NJ, feds to duke it out in court over $15 congestion pricing toll

The hotly debated question of whether New York’s $15 congestion charge should be kept in place winds up in federal court this week as New Jersey seeks to block the measure.

Garden State attorneys will face attorneys for the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the MTA Wednesday and Thursday in a Newark courtroom over whether sufficient review was conducted to assess the toll’s impact about Jersey drivers.

If the federal government gets the lawsuit dismissed, the new charges will be one step closer to reality, despite a handful of other litigation.

Gov. Phil Murphy filed a lawsuit in July seeking to block congestion pricing, saying it would unfairly target Garden State residents. P.A.

There are four other lawsuits in courts in New Jersey and New York seeking to block congestion pricing, according to a Politico report.

Last week, the MTA board voted in favor of a plan to charge drivers $15 to enter Midtown Manhattan below 60th Street, while trucks will face even higher tolls students.

Supporters of the policy – ​​the first of its kind in the country – say it will reduce pollution and rush-hour traffic jams while generating billions that can be spent on improving the public transit system.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy filed a lawsuit against the federal government in July, saying it unfairly targeted his state’s residents.

Federal Judge Leo Gordon will decide the outcome of this week’s hearings, which will focus on the FHA’s purported endorsement of the MTA’s conclusion that there would be “no significant impact on the human or natural environment” if congestion pricing was applied.

Murphy’s case will be heard in federal court in Newark on Wednesday and Thursday. Stephen Yang for the NY Post

New Jersey is asking Gordon to rule that the FHA should not have approved the MTA report and that the entire plan needs further study.

The judge will likely have to rule before June, when the toll is expected to take effect.

As in the New Jersey case, many other lawsuits claim insufficient review was conducted to study the environmental effects on the locations to which traffic will be redirected.

The federal government will seek to have the suit dismissed, while New Jersey lawyers want the judge to block the new tolls and force the project to undergo new reviews. Christophe Sadowski

In January, a teachers union joined Staten Island’s borough president in a similar move, saying city workers will disproportionately bear the new tolls.

Other lawsuits claim the project would worsen pollution by creating new traffic patterns that would cause bottlenecks in certain areas of Manhattan.

New York Post

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