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New York Anti-Traffic Plan Fails

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A plan by New York mayor Michael Bloomberg to institute congestion pricing in Manhattan failed to move forward in the State Senate Monday, ending the city's chance to receive up to $500 million in federal aid to support the legislation. State lawmakers, who convened in Albany yesterday for a special session, never voted on the mayor's plan, which didn't have enough support from Democratic leaders to pass.

If approved, the congestion pricing plan would impose an $8 fee for cars and $21 for trucks entering Manhattan below 86th street on a weekday, similar to measures enacted in London. In addition to the city's Democratic leaders, Bloomberg's plan has been met by opposition from several business advocacy groups, who contend that congestion pricing would ultimately hurt the city's many retailers, restaurant owners, and manufacturers.

Bloomberg expressed his disappointment with Albany's inaction during a news conference on Tuesday. "The failure of the State Assembly to act in time on a deadline imposed by the federal government is a terrible setback for clean air and to our critical commitment to fight climate change," Bloomberg said in a statement. Despite the setback in the capital, Bloomberg vowed to continue working with business, environmental, and labor organizations in coming up with solutions to address the city's traffic and pollution problems.

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