Cuomo Calls Manhattan Traffic Plan an Idea ‘Whose Time Has Come’

Mr. Cuomo’s comments come on the heels of a separate plan proposed by Mayor de Blasio to tax the wealthiest New York City residents to create a dedicated fund for the subway.

Mr. Bloomberg’s proposal was part of a broader plan for sustainable growth in the city and a major part of his environmental agenda.

At the time, the city’s subway system was ascendant, but the plan would have raised at least $500 million annually that could have been used to counter festering problems, including a fraying transit infrastructure.

In hindsight, with subway disruptions now a near-daily headache and politicians scrambling to find hundreds of millions of dollars just to make emergency repairs, transit advocates say the financing could have helped avert at least some of the problems.

But despite the support of then-Gov. David A. Paterson, the plan failed in part because of stiff opposition from elected officials from Brooklyn and Queens, as well as the suburbs, who viewed it as primarily benefiting Manhattan at the expense of their constituents.

“That was a missed opportunity,” said Alex Matthiessen, the leader of Move NY, a group that has continued to push congestion pricing and recently unveiled its own proposal.

Photo

Manhattan-bound traffic on the Williamsburg Bridge.

Credit
Michael Appleton for The New York Times

With the subway riddled with problems, Mr. Cuomo, a Democrat, believes that the political dynamics and public opinion have shifted.

“For people to make basic change in their own life is hard,” he said. “For society, which is now the collective, to make basic change is hard.”

He noted that in a time of crisis or hardship, legislation that might not otherwise be politically feasible can often be achieved. For example, he was able to secure some of the nation’s most stringent gun control measures after the massacre…

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