Bloomberg's traffic plan hits gridlock

Traffic in midtown Manhattan

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: The federal government wants to do something about traffic. It's dangling a big carrot in front of cities that can come up with innovative ways to make our commutes less annoying. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg pitches his idea today in Washington. He wants to charge drivers $8 to enter much of Manhattan, but so far, he's not getting much support from his state capitol. Jeremy Hobson has more.


Jeremy Hobson: New York City is competing with eight other cities for a share of $1.1 billion from the Department of Transportation. Each city has to present a traffic-cutting plan that includes congestion pricing.

Mayor Bloomberg's problem is that the state legislature is not yet on board with his plan and time is running out.

In his radio address on Sunday, Bloomberg warned Albany that it has until next Monday to approve the plan – or no federal funds.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg: To leave this half a billion dollars just sitting on the table would be absolutely ridiculous.

Even so, it appears unlikely that state lawmakers will act in time. Brian Turmail is a spokesman for the Department of Transportation.

Brian Turmail: Well the department is looking for certainty, and if we don't have that certainty in place by July 16, it's unlikely that New York City would be selected as an urban partner this year.

If New York doesn't get the money, other cities in the running include Miami, Dallas and San Francisco.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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