Sadik-Khan: Many Initiatives Are Under Way…

Today's Crain's Insider, available to subscribers only, reports on the next steps for the Bloomberg Administration's broader Long-Term Sustainability Plan now that congestion pricing has cleared its first hurdle in Albany:

7.30.07 Crain's NY Business
The Insider
by Erik Engquist and Anne Michaud

GREEN PLAN Closer to home

NOW THAT the Legislature has passed a congestion-pricing bill, the Bloomberg administration can turn to other environmental initiatives it outlined this spring in PlaNYC 2030, its blueprint for the city's future.

"A lot of effort has been put into what's happening in Albany," says Jason Babbie, senior environmental policy analyst at the New York Public Interest Research Group. "Now, it's going to take some work putting these other things in motion. But it's not rocket science."

The city can get 88% of the way toward its goal of cutting annual greenhouse gas emissions by 49.1 million metric tons from projected 2030 levels by adding clean power generation capacity, making buildings more efficient and accommodating 900,000 residents who would otherwise live in sprawling suburbs.

Furthermore, much of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's green agenda will be hammered out by the Public Service Commission, says Ashok Gupta of the Natural Resources Defense Council. "That's where the big decisions will be made that will be critical to the city's efforts, through the regulatory process and not the legislative process."

Meanwhile, the city's transportation commissioner says her agency is pressing forward with traffic-cutting plans that don't require approval from Albany or Washington. Janette Sadik-Khan says that many initiatives are under way and more are under consideration, including perhaps new alternate-side parking regulations. She aims for citywide installation of advanced signal controllers-now used on only a third of the city's traffic corridors.

To reduce the number of drivers cruising for parking spots, Ms. Sadik-Khan says, the city will put muni meters on more commercial strips, and it may raise prices. A crackdown on placard abuse is getting closer, she says.