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Monday, Apr 23, 2007
The proposal for “congestion pricing,” which City Hall believes would reduce traffic and auto emissions while raising money for transportation projects, has already been met by harsh criticism from drivers and some officials outside Manhattan.
Other proposals in the plan, dubbed PlaNYC by the mayor’s staff, range from building huge capital projects and creating government authorities to implementing relatively benign initiatives in housing, transportation and land use.
One proposal calls for investments of $200 million a year from both the city and state to create a financing authority that would assure the completion of major projects like the Second Avenue subway. New authorities, with representatives from the city, state and private industry, would push for improved energy efficiency in new buildings and for the replacement of energy-guzzling power plants.
The city also would encourage the construction of platforms over railyards and highways to create land for housing. In addition, the plan would open 290 schoolyards as playgrounds, eliminate city sales taxes on energy-efficient hybrid vehicles, increase the number of bike paths and cultivate mussels to suck pollution out of the rivers.
Much of the plan, including its most costly proposals, would require state approval. Gov. Eliot Spitzer did not attend Mr. Bloomberg’s address, although another governor — Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, who appeared via videotape on two large screens — introduced the mayor.
Governor Spitzer, in a brief statement released late yesterday, said: “The mayor has released a comprehensive plan with admirable goals, especially the commitment to reduce energy consumption, and we look forward to reviewing the plan.”