Congestion Pricing and Confusion

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Under the program, most passenger cars will be charged $15 a day to enter a congestion zone below 60th Street in Manhattan.Credit…Karsten Moran for The New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “M.T.A.’s Congestion Fees Will Launch on June 30” (news article, April 27):

Any congestion pricing plan must be implemented responsibly, with full consideration of its effects on vulnerable communities and the environment. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s plan promises anything but that.

The projected increase in traffic and pollution along the F.D.R. Drive, concentrated in an area with many low-income residents that is already designated as an Environmental Justice Area by New York State, is deeply concerning. The loss of mature trees because of a similarly ill-conceived coastal resiliency plan only exacerbates the issue, as it will take decades for new trees to provide the same level of pollution mitigation.

It’s also troubling that while compensation has been offered to New Jersey and the Bronx, officials have neglected to address the harms already identified that will be felt by those living directly within the congestion taxation zone. If this plan is to be truly transformative, its effects must be thoroughly studied and mitigated.

The M.T.A.’s resistance to a proper environmental impact study and its urgency in pushing this plan forward are alarming. Rushing forward without proper due diligence is irresponsible and risks irreparable harm to already vulnerable communities.

In addition, comparisons with the London congestion pricing plan show the problems that city is having. Time to destination has not declined.

The communities along the F.D.R. and everyone who will be affected, including the working poor from all boroughs, deserve a transparent and equitable approach to this significant policy change.

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