Albany – Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan (D-Queens) voted to pass legislation creating a commission which will develop a plan to lessen traffic in New York City. The commission goal is to develop a plan to address severe congestion in Manhattan and its related public health, environmental and economic consequences (A.9362).
Nolan served for many years as the Assembly representative on the MTA Capital Review Board. “As someone who has devoted time in Albany to securing additional mass transit funds I want to do what I can to improve the environment without unfairly taxing the people of Queens and the other boroughs ,” said Assemblywoman Nolan.
The New York City Traffic Congestion Mitigation Commission will be composed of 17 members appointed by state and city officials to develop a plan to curb worsening traffic congestion in the city.
“Swelling traffic is unhealthy for our city and its residents – and we need to adequately address this issue,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “However, we must proceed with caution. We need to conduct a thorough review of the plan to ensure there’s not an adverse impact on Queens and other neighborhoods surrounding Manhattan as well as on the visitors and commuters who help our city thrive.”
The Commission will conduct public hearings and review the city’s plan as well as other traffic mitigation proposals. It will then develop a comprehensive plan that will be subject to review and approval by the State Legislature by March 31, 2008. Under the legislation, the city can begin necessary preparatory steps, but cannot impose any congestion pricing fees until the implementation plan has been approved by the State Legislature.
The U.S. Department of Transportation has set aside $1.1 billion in funding to be distributed nationwide to foster innovative approaches to reduce traffic congestion. According to Assemblywoman Nolan, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation is expected to make final decisions on the submitted proposals by August 8, 2007. New York’s mitigation plan will be repealed if the U.S.D.O.T. fails to commit at least $250 million by October 1, 2007.
“This legislation takes into consideration the various plans that have surfaced to relieve the traffic congestion that stymies city residents, workers and visitors,” Assemblywoman Nolan said. “And it will be done in a deliberate and thorough way, ensuring that no rash decisions are made on this vitally important issue.”
As an additional precaution, the plan will sunset on June 30, 2012, unless reauthorized by the Legislature.