The plan to charge drivers extra tolls to enter Manhattan's most congested neighborhoods died recently when Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in Albany announced his chamber wouldn't take up the proposal because of strong opposition within the conference dominated by New York City Democrats, the Associated Press reports.
In a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, the mayor shrugged off the defeat and said courage is needed in political leaders to take decisive action on the environment.
The traffic fee proposal, known as congestion pricing, called for drivers of cars to pay $8, and trucks $21, to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. Opponents argued it was an unfair tax on middle-class commuters who drive to work for lack of mass transit options in their neighborhoods.
According to the AP, by failing to pass congestion pricing before a midnight deadline on Monday, the state appeared to have forfeited an offer of $354 million in federal money to help kick-start the initiative.