More New York City voters oppose than support a plan to toll the now-free East River bridges to Manhattan while reducing the tolls on bridges linking only the outer boroughs and using part of the net gain in revenue for mass transit, according to a poll released Thursday.
A Quinnipiac University survey found 49 percent of voters are against the proposal being revived by transit advocates and 44 percent are for it. Even more -- 69 percent -- oppose setting tolls on the four East River bridges without easing the burden on drivers traveling between the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Poll assistant director Maurice Carroll said New Yorkers have been saying no to East River bridge tolls for years.
"But the people pushing the idea this time are savvy," he said. "They'd marry new tolls to toll reductions elsewhere."
The plan is intended to reduce traffic congestion and is proposed by the Move NY coalition, which includes former city traffic commissioner Sam Schwartz and transport workers unions. The group contends its overall proposal would generate $1.5 billion a year for roads, bridges and transit.
Mayor Bill de Blasio and city Department of Transportation officials have been noncommittal on the plan, but City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said Thursday she "would lean towards" it.
Such a plan would also require approval in Albany.
Opposition is strongest in Brooklyn with 57 percent against, and support is strongest in Staten Island with 61 percent in favor.
Quinnipiac surveyed 969 voters via landline and cellphone May 6-12. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.
The poll also showed a majority of voters -- 66 percent -- want government to set limits on what landlords can charge their tenants.
More than 1,000 supporters of rent regulation, including Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James, rallied in lower Manhattan and marched over the Brooklyn Bridge Thursday evening calling for Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to strengthen rent laws.
With Matthew Chayes