Uh-oh! Today’s papers brought news of another nail in the coffin of Mayor Mike’s big congestion-pricing plans: Westchester assemblyman Richard Brodsky’s report deeming Bloomberg’s proposal unworkable in its current form. There’s only a week left for the legislature to act before the federal deadline to apply for some $400 million in start-up funds, and Brodsky’s report is just one more, uh, roadblock. Could an Albany scold destroy our billionaire’s big dreams? Actually, maybe not. Brodsky praised Bloomberg’s gumption at this spring’s public hearings on the plan, and he’s told us in phone interviews that he admires any effort to improve mass transit — which money from congestion pricing would do.
Brodsky is a perceptive, hyperarticulate debater — he dubbed himself “spectacularly unpersuaded” at one point — who relishes speaking his mind. But Governor Eliot Spitzer and Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno want congestion pricing while Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver refuses to condemn it. We’re wondering if Brodsky just wants his turn to wax philosophical in front of the media hordes before Albany’s ruling triumvirate settles things on its usual pragmatic terms. —Alec Appelbaum