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OpinionEditorial

NYC traffic plan needs a push down the road

Only two of 10 members have been appointed to the ridiculously named Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Workgroup.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers haven't

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and state lawmakers haven't demonstrated they're serious about easing congestion on NYC's roads. Above, 42nd Street in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Drew Angerer

Nearly one year ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said congestion pricing was “an idea whose time has come.”

Apparently, the governor and other state officials have a loose definition of time.

So far, Cuomo and state lawmakers haven’t demonstrated they’re serious about easing congestion on NYC’s roads, bridges and tunnels by tolling those who drive in Manhattan’s central business district, defined as below 60th Street. Instead, Albany leaders have relied on a time-honored delay tactic: forming task forces.

Last fall’s Fix NYC advisory panel emerged with some very good ideas, since then left mostly undone. Then the ridiculously named Metropolitan Transportation Sustainability Advisory Workgroup was established in this year’s state budget. It was touted as the next step and tasked with issuing a report on congestion pricing by the end of 2018.

But in the four months since the advisory group was established, only two of 10 members have been appointed. Only the State Assembly did its job, choosing its two members back in June. The governor, the State Senate, Mayor Bill de Blasio, the MTA, and both the city and state transportation departments all have appointments to make — and haven’t done a thing.

The refrain heard over and over again from representatives of those agencies and officials: “We’re working on it.” So much for an idea whose time has come.

It’s long past time for state and NYC officials to get serious about an antidote to the traffic that clogs midtown Manhattan and the outerborough crossings. Picking on Uber, or promising an ephemeral task force, may sound good — but they don’t solve anything. If Cuomo, state lawmakers and MTA officials who say they support congestion pricing really want to reduce traffic, they need to remove the political roadblocks in the way of congestion pricing.

They should finish what they started, and make appointments to the work group.

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