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Fort Lee mayor files class-action lawsuit to stop NYC congestion pricing plan

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich says congestion pricing would mean more pollution and toxins in surrounding neighborhoods in New Jersey.

Chris Keating

Nov 1, 2023, 10:05 PM

Updated 257 days ago


The borough of Fort Lee is taking a crack at putting an end to plans for New York City’s congestion pricing that would target commuters in lower Manhattan.
The borough’s mayor has partnered with a Fort Lee residents to file a class-action lawsuit to stop it from going into effect in the spring of 2024.
A study by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has shown that the George Washington Bridge will take on 20% more traffic if congestion pricing goes into effect. With that data in mind, Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich says this would mean more pollution and toxins in surrounding neighborhoods.
Sokolich has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the borough demanding the Department of Transportation perform an environmental impact study - one that takes New Jersey into account and not just New York City.
"It’s not fair, we’re being disregarded. We’re being ignored,” Sokolich says.
The mayor was joined by Democratic Rep. Josh Gottheimer, who has been a strong opponent of congestion pricing.
“So trucks will be backed up here, as far as the eye can see, billowing cancer-causing pollution into the lungs of children and families,” Gottheimer says.
That lawsuit also states that if congestion pricing goes through, a “medical monitoring” fund should be set up to serve residents who may have health problems.
The MTA’s goal with congestion pricing is to get more cars off Manhattan streets, clean up the air in the city and provide $5 billion to fund subway repairs.
John McCarthy, MTA’s chief of policy and external relations, mocked the congressman for fighting against congestion pricing.
“It’s Gottheimer Groundhog Day and—shocker—he wants to send more traffic and more pollution to New York. News flash: Manhattan is already full of vehicles, and we don’t need more carbon emissions,” McCarthy wrote in a statement. “Congestion pricing needs to move forward for less traffic, safer streets, cleaner air and huge improvements to mass transit.”
Congestion pricing is set to go into effect in the spring of 2024.

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