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NYC’s congestion pricing plan could be held up by feds, other factors

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Plus, the 14th Street busway has made that thoroughfare safer—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

New York City Explores Congestion Pricing Options To Ease Traffic Snarls Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to tips@curbed.com.

Will congestion pricing be implemented by 2021?

In theory, New York City’s first-in-the-nation congestion pricing program is due to be implemented by the beginning of next year. But in practice, a number of obstacles to actually getting the plan in motion have popped up, leading some to wonder if it will meet the projected early 2021 target.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that a congestion pricing plan requires a buy-in from the federal government since some of the affected roads (portions of interstates, for instance) fall under its jurisdiction. And according to Politico New York, the feds’ notoriously slowpoke pace is now holding up an environmental review that must be completed before the program rolls out. (And depending on what sort of review is done—an abbreviated one, or a more in-depth environmental impact study—the MTA could be besieged by lawsuits or even more delays, respectively.)

“I’m more and more thinking there’s no way it’s going to be that in January of 2021, they start charging money,” one source told Politico. Yikes.

And in other news…

  • The 14th Street busway has led to a decline in crashes and injuries along the busy thoroughfare, according to data from Crashmapper.
  • A huge development that could rise near the Brooklyn Botanic Garden could “potentially lead to a significant adverse impact to natural resources,” according to the city’s Parks Department.
  • Work is back on at the long-stalled, Santiago Calatrava-designed St. Nicholas Shrine at the World Trade Center.
  • Macy’s wants to plop an office tower atop its iconic Herald Square store, but actually making it happen will be complicated (and require buy-in from local politicians). Bloomberg looks at what that all means.
  • An analysis of the open gangway cars that will eventually be rolled out throughout the subway system.
  • The city wants to park a historic ship in Brooklyn Bridge Park for educational programming—but first, it needs to find the right boat.
  • Two Trees seeks ideas for a parcel of land it owns on the Williamsburg waterfront—but only temporarily, since that property will eventually be incorporated into its massive River Street development.