This politically fractured community has finally found a common cause — everyone is united in opposition to a toll increase on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
The rare showing of political hand-holding comes as Republicans and Democrats both blasted the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for calling for a one-dollar toll hike in next year’s budget.
Assemblywoman Janele Hyer-Spencer (D–Bay Ridge) says the move is downright troll-like.
“These hikes are an unfair burden on our families and I stand poised to fight this proposal,” said Hyer-Spencer.
Hyer-Spencer said she’ll send out a petition for residents to fill out and mail back to her office.
“I will personally carry these names with me to the MTA hearings in November where I will make your voices heard,” said Hyer Spencer.
But her voice may not be loud enough to budge the MTA.
That’s because the agency has proposed only two scenarios to avoid a budget shortfall — and both proposals involve raising the toll.
Rep. Vito Fossella (R–Bay Ridge) called on the MTA to go back to the drawing board.
“It is ironic to note that for the luxury of paying this fee, commuters get to sit in unbearable traffic and endless congestion, not to mention endure the consequences of poorly planned maintenance and construction projects that exacerbate an already untenable situation,” he said.
In June, one lane in each direction was closed for a lower-level rehab, a complete removal and reconstruction of the roadway, parapet wall and utilities, and rehabilitation of the steel beneath.
Already, the work has led to congestion that has spilled onto the streets of Bay Ridge.
Fossella fired off a letter to MTA Executive Director Elliot Sander bashing the proposal as untimely punishment on already construction burdened commuters.
“The MTA cannot justify charging motorists $10 or more to cross the span — an amount that would make the Verrazano toll one of the most expensive in the United States,” Fossella added.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will hold a hearing to discuss the tolls at the Brooklyn Marriott (333 Adams St., between Willoughby and Johnson streets in Downtown Brooklyn) on Nov. 5 at 6 pm.