Lew's View: Gridlock Sam's toll plan - New York News

Lew's View: Gridlock Sam's toll plan

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MYFOXNY.COM -

You may have heard of Gridlock Sam "aka" Sam Schwartz.

He's the former Head of NYC Department of Transportation.  Well, Sam has a plan which rethinks the way traffic is handled on the roadways, bridges and tunnels in and around New York City.

Did you know that the toll for a big semi-truck loaded with cargo which leaves JFK and travels across the Verrazano Bridge is $70?  Did you know that to avoid that toll many trucks travel the streets of Brooklyn and Queens, take the Manhattan Bridge drive across city streets and through the Lincoln or Holland Tunnel to avoid paying the toll?

It really makes no sense to encourage behavior which is bad for older bridges, bad for neighborhoods and causes unnecessary traffic and delays for drivers and commuters.

As Sam pointed out on Good Day New York recently:  "Our policy is backwards, we're inviting people to drive thru Manhattan and avoid the highways that are built for them."

One piece of Sam's plan calls for adding tolls to the East River bridges while reducing tolls on other bridges. The idea is to make the transportation system more equitable.

Schwartz says, "$5 off the Triboro, $5 off the Throgs Neck, $5 off the Verrazano.  Put them where they belong and that's Manhattan, south of 60th street."

Sam says the we'll raise $56 Billion and we can use the money to re-built the Belt Parkway.

"We have a highway that connects the Verrazano Bridge which supplies a lot of trucks to JFK airport big cargo terminal," Schwartz says.  "We'd put the trucks on the highway and the cars on the city streets."

Now, that's a plan:  Raise funds to improve the system, add jobs and keep trucks off the city streets and back on the highways where they belong.

I think Sam has some great ideas and I encourage the mayor and Governor Cuomo to consider his recommendations.

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