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Plan That Would Toll Queensboro Bridge Introduced In Assembly

Queensboro

March 28, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

A controversial plan to toll the free East River Bridges is under official consideration by State lawmakers.

The proposal, unveiled by the coalition Move NY last February, would introduce tolls on the Queensboro and other East River bridges of $5.54 each way with E-ZPass, or $8 without.

However the plan would also reduce fares on other major bridges, including the Triborough/RFK, by up to 48 percent.

The bill was formally introduced by Assembly Member Robert Rodriquez of Manhattan on March 23, with 14 co-sponsors.

Move NY believes that this “toll swap” would be more fair for drivers on the Triborough/RFK and other tolled bridges, who have fewer transportation alternatives. Meanwhile, the coalition charges that it would de-incentivize the Queensboro Bridge, therefore reducing congestion and pollution around Queens Plaza.

Move NY also says its plan would generate $1.35 billion annually. Per the bill text, the new revenue would go towards MTA expansion projects potentially including ferry service, subway and bus station improvements and road and bridge maintenance, among others.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to address some of the biggest weaknesses in our transit system,” Rodriguez said in a statement. “This plan will provide a steady and significant source of revenue for the MTA, allow transit starved communities to fund critical improvement projects, and relieve congestion.”

However, the proposal has received a mixed reaction within Queens particularly.

Last year, nine Queens Assembly Members signed a joint statement with Borough President Melinda Katz and several other lawmakers calling the plan unfair to “families who live in the transit desert of Queens.”

In December, Jonathan Matz of Move NY acknowledged at a Community Board 2 committee meeting that “Queens will be a tough nut to crack” in

Nolan: Yet to provide comment on Move NY proposal

Nolan: Yet to provide comment on Move NY proposal

their efforts to drum up support.

State Sen. Jose Peralta is among the few Queens legislators who support the bill. Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has also backed the plan, although his support is largely symbolic as Move NY needs to be enacted on the State level.

The Assembly bill has one Queens co-sponsor: Andrew Hevesi of Forest Hills.

Western Queens Assembly Members Aravella Simotas and Cathy Nolan could not be reached for comment on the bill as of press time.

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25 Comments

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Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr.

Still, based upon the political climate in the local and state levels, this bill will go nowhere.

Reply
babster

BTW people are already parking cars from suffolk county under the train and parking on the street creating more problems in an already congested neughborhood.
Aldo, the Qns midtown tunnel is also backed up

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Sean

-babster BTW people (commuters) have been parking in the neighborhood since I was a child in the 1950’s. Thanks for the timely news flash.

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Gardens Watcher

OK Sean, so what do you think will happen with traffic on our local Queens streets when they put a toll on QB bridge? News flash: Way more drivers will clog & pollute the streets of Sunnyside & LIC looking for a safe, cheap and sometimes free place to park rather than paying the tolls. So resident-only parking & fees will become necessary. QB bridge will still be packed regardless of what the plan predicts. Doesn’t sound like a good solution for western Queens.

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SuperWitty Smitty

Doesn’t sound as if you’ve thought this out. There is an imbalance between the neighborhood where there is a tunnel with a toll and a bridge that is free. All the cars crowd into the area around the free bridge right now, creating an imbalance. If there was a toll on the bridge, there would be less incentive for cars to get off the expressway and use our local neighborhood roads to get over the river. That’s the problem we have right now.

Having a toll on the bridge would also discourage locals from driving into Manhattan, rather than use mass transit. In spite of the current mass transit issues, driving into Manhattan still needs to be discouraged and mass transit still should be less expensive, more efficient and more convenient. There are fewer places in Manhattan to park than ever before and it’s become more and more expensive.

The only REAL long-term solution is to improve mass transit. Maybe right now, the #7 is very frustrating, but realistically, tens of thousands of people are carried back and forth every day with a minimal negative impact on Sunnyside. Maintaining one of the only free ways to cross the river encourages small thinkers to drive back and forth, and that will lead to more pollution, more congestion, more pedestrians getting mowed down on QB by non-local drivers who are participating in “rush” hour and remain oblivious to the fact that they are driving thru a local neighborhood.

Fewer cars will bring benefits to sunnyside and LIC, and the toll revenue can fund mass transit improvements, along with a less-crowded bridge so we can have an exclusive lane for express buses for those residents who prefer not to take the train.

Do any of us think there will be fewer cars and trucks on the road in 5, 10 years from now? Are the numbers going down? No! By doing nothing now, we can only look forward to worse problems tomorrow.

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Gardens Watcher

Spare us the PR blitz Smitty and check out the in-depth story on the MoveNY plan and its secret lobbyists as posted on QueensBuzz.com. Doesn’t sound like you’ve been around the block that long. It is a FARE plan, not a FAIR plan.

Sean

Skillman avenue and Queens Blvd are busy routes to the bridge. It also get’s really bad around Queensborough plaza. So while I will not be happy to pay I think it’s not a bad idea. I also like the idea that the Triboro drops in price, thereby sucking more drivers away from our area. My understanding is that tolls on the bridges gets fewer people to drive and raises money that can be put in to the MTA. Of course I’m assuming the money from the tolls will actually find it’s way to the MTA and be used to improve the service.

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SuperWitty Smitty

I frequently take the Q39 (48th Ave) to Court House Square and catch the E train. The 32 and the 60 are also good alternates to the trains by Queens Plaza but because of so much traffic crowding the roads around those neighborhoods by hundreds of drivers (many of them all alone in their cars) who want to drive over the river for FREE, tens of thousands of mass transit users sit in traffic jams.

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Gardens Watcher

Tell Cathy Nolan to reject this plan! Every call and e-mail is logged and matters. Call her local office (718) 784-3194 or Albany (518) 455-4851.
E-mail: [email protected]

Reply
Native NYer

s someone who drives into Manhattan several times a week in the evening for classes, I’m not thrilled with paying a toll but I will still drive if the bill is passed. Why? Because the 7 train is horrible and ultimately, I save 30 minutes on my way home because traffic is light at 10pm when I come home. The justification for tolling the free East River bridges is “fairness” and another income stream for the MTA. If the revenue from the 59th street bridge went to maintain transit options in Western Queens, it would be more palatable. The 7 train is a mess and has been for the 25 years I’ve lived in Western Queens. The Hudson Rail Yards stop is a mess because the MTA can’t manage a thing. The subway and bus fares should rise to the level required to fund the MTA’s capitol budget for them.

I just reread my post, it’s a rant. I need a nap.

Reply
rikki

i agree with you put the 1.35 billion into building a new tunnel asap to grand central and connecting the shuttle to times square it would get done in what 5 years? not 20+ the way it is now.

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SuperWitty Smitty

It’s a great idea; anything to get non-local traffic off of our neighborhood streets. It could even be done so it’s slightly cheaper to be on the LIE. Of course, we;ve had this discussion before. The same pros and cons will be brought up and debated and we’ll get no where.

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Craic Dealer

Non-local traffic? What like non-Sunnyside? Non-Queens? Statements so general like this makes a general solution a complete disaster for the people but lucrative for politicians.

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SuperWitty Smitty

The thousands of cars driving on Queens Blvd through our neighborhoods by drivers whose sole purpose is to avoid the LIE and the Midtown tunnel toll. The fact that the bridge is free and an easy alternative to the expressway brings a tremendous amount of traffic to Sunnyside that otherwise would not exist.

If you want to pretend that this is a new topic that hasn’t already been backed up by many studies and has already been discussed for years, go right ahead and believe what you want. The traffic and car culture in Sunnyside needs to change, and it will, regardless of old school thinking.

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CG

Don’t you think this could encourage people to park in Sunnyside and take the train? I don’t want there to be tolls on the east river bridges.

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SuperWitty Smitty

Aren’t non-locals already driving to Sunnyside and parking so they can take the 7?

Sunnysider

Tolls on the Queensboro Bridge will lessen traffic on Sunnyside residential streets. We wouldn’t get all the traffic that’s avoiding the Triboro Bridge and Midtown tunnel. Traffic patterns would be altered.

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babster

Absolutely. For those who work in Manhattan, visit doctors, museums the trains buses are not reliable so we’d have to use taxis and cars for an $11 roundtrip.
The traffic over the bridge is horrific and tolls would create a disaster. It wouldnt be good for Queens

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Eurozone

For Sunnyside at the least. This is a great thing for the neighborhood. Especially that we have plenty of transit options.

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Craic Dealer

Assembly Member Robert Rodriquez of Manhattan and 14 co-sponsors talk about “fairness” to Tri-borough bridge user’s by having other people pay a toll. That’s the stupidest logic ever! What would be fair to the Tri-borough user’s is to lower Tri-borough user’s toll and leave it at that! RobRod and his cronies are just trying to garnish more money for an already broken government-MTA system and their unions. MTA is absolute trash and the government is going to strong-arm people to give it more money to make it more trashy. Below is BobRod’s office contact number as well as Van Bumer’s. Tell them to sod off and strong arm someone else…

http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Robert-J-Rodriguez/contact/

http://jimmyvanbramer.com/contact

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#blamefoxnews

-craic dealer You sound like a sucker who has a two dimensional take on macroeconomic issues regarding the economy. You’re a low information imbecile of a sucker who believes “right to work for less” propaganda. You’re stupid enough to believe low wages will set you free and are actually good for a Capitalist country that uses a consumer driven market economy and a progressive system of taxation to maintain infrastructure and a national defense. Why don’t you move to Oklahoma, Arkansas, South Carolina or one of the other impoverished Right to work states? RTW legislation keeps people poor and society substandard.That is a fact just list the poorest states, the states with the lowest wages, highest crime, highest divorce rates, highest teen pregnancy rates all Right to work states. Why would you want to implement proven failed policies in one of the most productive, wealthier and successful places in the nation? You’re a low information imbecile. Oh by the way your status as useful idiot is still greatly appreciated. My target price for my Smith and Wesson is coming soon.

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