NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Congestion pricing is getting the green light in Albany, but drivers are seeing red over the new deal.
The plan involves charging a toll on drivers entering Midtown, Manhattan below 60th Street. The surcharge will not apply to the West Side Highway and FDR Drive, as long as you are just passing through.
Sources have told CBS2 drivers in cars could pay around $11.50, and truck drivers around $25.
A panel of experts will set the surcharges by the end of 2020.
But residents who live in the zone say the plan will cost them more than just toll fees, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported Monday.
In neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, where parking is already at a premium, resident Frank Manzanet is worried it’s about to get even worse.
“Oh most definitely. They’re gonna park here and then we’re gonna have more problems with parking. There’s problems already with parking,” Manzanet said.
He said he thinks it’ll be a consequence of drivers trying to avoid congestion pricing. And he’s far from the only one a little nervous.
“This is really socking us in all the wrong places for all the wrong reasons,” Lower West Side resident Val Hawk said.
“I’m in favor of congestion pricing because, at least in theory, it will help contribute to the cost of maintaining public transportation,” added Joe Reiner of the Upper West Side.
Lawmakers claim the money raised will go towards the struggling Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and help ease congestion on the roads. But many wonder how it will affect neighborhoods outside the zone, including in the outer boroughs, if drivers try to avoid the toll.
“I don’t think we can get many more people in Astoria, to tell you the truth. We’re overcrowded already,” resident Cathie Rossi said.
City Councilman Mark Levine supports congestion pricing, but is pushing a bill that would set up a residential parking permit system so outsiders can’t cross a bridge or tunnel and then flood city neighborhoods and take up spots.
“I do fear that that will get worse now that people will want to avoid the congestion fees. So anywhere north of the congestion zone fear we will see more people dumping their cars and hopping on mass transit,” Levine said.
So much of this is still up in the air, especially if some drivers get a congestion pricing discount if they’ve already paid a bridge or tunnel toll.