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Editor's Notebook July 2024

Craig Mongeau - Editor in Chief - July 2024


When Gov. Hochul recently did an abrupt about face on the New York City congestion pricing plan, like everything else these days, there were some who were happy and others who were not.

Count New York City Comptroller Brad Lander among the displeased crowd and like just about everything else these days, multiple lawsuits are being floated as a result of the governor's sudden reversal.

Regardless of how that plays out, the congestion plan, in reality, does have both good and bad aspects to it. Obviously, NYC has a significant congestion problem. The plan was to charge motorists entering Manhattan from 60th Street all the way south varying levels of tolls from as low as $1.2 for taxis and high as $36 for large trucks. Passenger vehicles would be $15. The plan is designed to funnel approximately $1 billion to the MTA. While supporters say it's necessary, detractors say it's a tax and in reality, it is, but more like the euphemism "user fee."

Also, not all vehicles entering Manhattan contain tourists; many people are those who work in the city or have to deliver goods and services to it. Whether it be from the taxis, Ubers or Lyfts or from businesses, the added cost will very likely just be passed on to consumers. So, it could be in some instances, paying twice. But again, NYC has terrible traffic issues, and the plan pause leaves the MTA even shorter in its Capital Funding program. Nevertheless, I still don't want to drive into Manhattan with or without being charged to do so. What a nightmare.

This October 23, we are expecting a pretty big crowd at the annual N.Y.S. Highway & Public Works Expo, but there'll be no threat of charging anyone to drive there or pass through the doors. As of press time, close to 80 percent of the large exhibit floor space has been sold and approximately 65 percent of the small exhibit floor space is spoken for. Also, please see pages 38 and 39 to check out the current floor plan of the Expo.

Again, thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you when it's much cooler in October. P