Oh thank goodness....
via NYTimes, April 7, 2008, 3:01 pm:
Congestion Pricing Plan Is Dead, Assembly Speaker Says
By Nicholas Confessore
Updated, 4:20 p.m. | ALBANY - Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's ambitious dream to remake New York City streets with an elaborate plan for congestion pricing died today in a private conference room on the third floor of the State Capitol.
It was there that Democratic members of the State Assembly, who control the chamber, held one final meeting to debate the merits of Mr. Bloomberg's plan, ultimately voting - in secret - against the idea before Mr. Silver emerged to announce the outcome. The opposition was so overwhelming, said Sheldon Silver, the Assembly speaker, that he would not hold an open vote of the full Assembly, though many Republicans were supportive of Mr. Bloomberg.
"The congestion pricing bill did not have anywhere near a majority of the Democratic conference, and will not be on the floor of the Assembly," Mr. Silver said after his meeting with fellow Democrats.
Today was the deadline for the Legislature to approve a congestion pricing plan - a scheme that has been used in many cities worldwide, like London - so that the city could qualify for $354 million in federal grants for traffic mitigation and mass transit aid.
The collapse of the plan, which would have charged drivers $8 to enter parts of Manhattan during peak hours, was a huge blow to Mr. Bloomberg's environmental agenda and political legacy, and his second major defeat at the hands of Mr. Silver and the state Assembly, which in 2005 blocked the mayor's plan to redevelop the West Side railyards and allow a big sports stadium to be built there. [read on...]