Mayor Michael Bloomberg's proposal to make mid-town Manhattan the first American urban center to institute congestion pricing has died in a secret vote in a Capitol conference room, the New York Times reports. ABG reported on this proposal when the NY City Council approved it just one week ago.

A similar scheme is said to have reduced motor vehicle traffic and pollution levels in London, England. According to one study, "In the first year of the scheme's implementation, traffic delays in central London have dropped by around 30% and around 65,000-70,000 fewer car movements come into the zone each day."

A surprising coalition of environmentalists, transit advocates and Republican leaders moved the ambitious plan forward. Even the Bush administration was giving the go-ahead, paving the way for $354 million in traffic mitigation and mass transit funding. "The congestion pricing bill did not have anywhere near a majority of the Democratic conference, and will not be on the floor of the Assembly," Mr. Silver said after his meeting with fellow Democrats.

[Source: New York Times]

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