Bill Aims to Prevent Tolls on City Highways
STATEN ISLAND — Lawmakers have introduced a bill to prevent future tolls on highways across the city — including the Staten Island Expressway — in response to President Barack Obama's recently announced transportation plan.
State Sen. Andrew Lanza and Assemblyman Matthew Titone introduced the bill on Friday that would ban any future addition of tolls to highways or roads in the city, saying that Staten Islanders pay enough at toll booths as it is.
"Staten Islanders are already tolled on either end of the expressway — there’s no way we will allow tolling in the middle," Titone said in a statement.
"This legislation ensures that any further discussion about tolls on the Staten Island Expressway is dead on arrival."
The bill comes in response to the president's $302-billion transportation plan, announced last month, that includes a provision to allow states to introduce tolls on interstate highways, which is currently prohibited, Lanza said.
And even though the possibility of tolls on Staten Island's roads could be far in the future, Lanza said they introduced the bill to curb the idea quickly.
"Even the mere suggestion of adding new tolls to Staten Island’s roadways adds insult to injury and must be nipped in the bud,” he said.
The bill will amend the current Vehicle and Traffic Law to prohibit the collection of tolls on highways and was referred to the State Senate's Transportation Committee.