Bridge used to take a toll


At a Sunday ceremony marking the Manhattan Bridge’s 100th anniversary, transportation consultant Sam Schwartz held a copy of a toll sign that was on the bridge 90 years ago. Schwartz, a traffic consultant who writes Downtown Express’s Transit Sam column, supports similar tolls under a system like congestion pricing, which would charge drivers (but not horses) to enter Midtown and Lower Manhattan during peak times. Also at the ceremony were Scott Stringer and Marty Markowitz, the Manhattan and Brooklyn borough presidents; Janette Sadik-Khan, Department of Transportation commissioner; and John Catsimatidis, Gristede’s C.E.O., who sponsored a fireworks display later that evening. Below them on the river, a fireboat sprayed a tri-colored salute. Some Chinatown activists boycotted the celebration because of deaths caused by reckless drivers coming off the Manhattan Bridge; the groups, including the Civic Center Residents Coalition, said the city needs to do more to make the area safe.