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Cuomo casts doubt on NYC’s congestion pricing plan

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Plus, the city looks to convert Manhattan and Bronx buildings into homeless housing—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup

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Cuomo says Trump administration could delay congestion pricing

Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast doubt Thursday that congestion pricing in Manhattan, which is supposed to generate $15 billion for the embattled MTA, could be delayed by the Trump administration. At an unrelated Thursday press conference Cuomo said that because of tensions between federal officials and New York state over immigration enforcement, the administration may “hold hostage” approval of the system, The Wall Street Journal reports.

“I wouldn’t hold my breath on congestion pricing,” Cuomo said.

The MTA aimed to start tolling drivers who enter Manhattan’s central business district as soon as January 2021. The tolls to enter the borough south of 60th Street are supposed to support the MTA’s $51.5 billion overhaul plan, including major subway signal and station accessibility improvements.

New York state needs federal approval to implement the change because many roads in the planned congestion zone are federal highways. To get approval from the Federal Highway Administration, the MTA first needs to conduct an environmental review that could take months or even years depending on the study the agency undertakes.

The White House referred questions about Cuomo’s comments to the Department of Homeland Security, which called the remarks “off-base,” according to The Journal.

And in other news...

  • A federal appeals court upheld a ruling that 21 graffiti artists are due $6.7 million after the landlord behind Long Island City’s famed 5Pointz art mecca whitewashed their work.
  • The city plans to convert 14 Manhattan and Bronx apartment buildings into housing for homeless New Yorkers.
  • A Brooklyn community board shot down a developer’s proposal to build a four-story mixed-use building in Vinegar Hill, with locals fearing the project will usher in “oversized” development in the low-rise historic district.
  • Extell’s One Manhattan condo tower on the Lower East Side has made for some “retina-scalding” skyline views, with sun beams bouncing off the building’s reflective glass.
  • New York Attorney General Letitia James accused New York City of committing fraud by artificially inflating the value of yellow taxi medallions, and is demanding $810 million from the city to compensate cabdrivers who are now saddled with staggering debt.
  • Train Daddy is officially leaving the station. Today is New York City Transit President Andy Byford’s last day on the job. It’s still not clear who—if anyone—is replacing him.