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Village Dems host congestion pricing panel discussion

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Everyone has questions — and many have concerns — about congestion pricing for Manhattan. An expert panel discussion hosted by the Village Independent Democrats tonight, Wed., April 3, at 6:30 p.m. will offer lots of information on both sides of the contentious issue.

Due to the rainy weather, there will be no in-person gathering and the event will be on Zoom only.

V.I.D. is billing the event as “an open discussion” of the pros and cons of the traffic-tolling scheme, noting this will be the first time so far that this type of forum has been held on the issue — even though the plan is set to go into effect in late June.

However, there is currently still a full deck of lawsuits arrayed against the traffic-tolling scheme — with Rockland County, NY, just the latest municipality to sue to stop the plan.

Unlike previous hearings on the traffic fee by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, at which only politicians could ask questions and the public could only offer comments at the end of the discussion, the V.I.D. forum will be a discussion among the four panelists. At the discussion’s end, the public will also have the opportunity to ask the panelists questions under the guidance of a moderator.

The two panelists in favor of M.T.A. congestion pricing are Lisa Daglian, executive director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the M.T.A., and Rachael Fauss, senior policy adviser for Reinvent Albany.

The pair of panelists opposing congestion pricing are Kathryn Freed, a retired New York State Supreme Court justice and former Lower Manhattan city councilmember, and Tommy Loeb, a retired New York City and State senior political staff member and former executive director of the American Jewish World Service, Save Darfur Coalition. Freed and Loeb both live within the proposed congestion zone and are plaintiffs on a class-action lawsuit to stop the plan.

The Zoom link for the meeting is

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