Legislation Prohibiting East River Tolls Announced
State Senator Tony Avella was joined on December 13 by Assemblymember David Weprin (D-Fresh Meadows), the Queens Civic Congress, and the Queens Chamber of Commerce at a press conference announcing legislation Avella will be introducing in the state senate that would prohibit the installation of tolls on any bridges controlled and operated by the City of New York, which include the East River bridges.
In a statement, Avella said the imposition of tolls on the East River bridges, including the Willis Avenue, Third Avenue, Ed Koch-Queensboro, Williamsburg, Manhattan, and Brooklyn Bridges is not a revenue generating option that the residents of this city should be forced to endure. Such tolls would place an unfair burden upon Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan residents who would be forced to pay to travel between the boroughs. Given the always increasing cost of living in the city and with constant bus and subway fare hikes, city residents are in no position to again face another huge increase in their daily living expenses.
Avella stated, “Despite the ever-present need for additional revenue, the imposition of tolls on the East River bridges is not an acceptable revenue generating option. Adding tolls to any of these bridges would have a devastating effect on working and middle class families and small businesses. Everyone agrees that we need to address traffic congestion problems throughout the city, but the first step has to be improving mass transit. That is why I will be introducing legislation to prohibit putting tolls on these bridges.”
Weprin stated, “I am proud to join my colleagues and the community to support Senator Avella’s legislation which would ban tolls on the East River bridges. The addition of tolls on the East River bridges would take away much needed income from working families and local businesses. There are other ways we can raise revenue without financially burdening workers who have to commute to work to support their households.”
“Any plan to impose tolls on the East River bridges is merely another revenue generating plan, not a traffic-reducing plan. It should be the responsibility of the leaders of the city to find ways of increasing revenues without placing the fiscal burden upon those who can least afford it,” concluded Avella.