NYC congestion pricing lawsuit highlights traffic, environmental concerns

With just over seven weeks before the MTA plans to start charging drivers in NYC with congestion pricing, residents in Battery Park City are among those trying to pump the brakes.

"We can't just let the MTA do a half-baked job," said Elizabeth Chan.

Chan is the lead plaintiff in one of the lawsuits filed to stop the MTA’s congestion pricing plan, which she says has sidestepped the crucial requirement of an environmental impact study – required of most large projects. 


NYC congestion pricing map, costs, hours, exemptions

Here's everything you need to know about congestion pricing in NYC, including the start date, a map, toll prices, toll hours and exemptions for drivers.

She says a study would show more drivers will flock to the West Side Highway – which is exempt from the $15 charge – and that more traffic will bring more pollution.

"There are more children in this neighborhood during the day than there are any type of population because there's Stuyvesant High School, there's like all these middle schools, all these elementary schools, private schools, daycares," Chan said.

Some parents and caretakers in the neighborhood agree with Chan. But the MTA disagrees, telling FOX 5 NY: "Every detail of this issue has been studied extensively as evidenced by the 4,000-plus page environmental assessment, and now it’s time to deal with the congestion that’s clogging roads and slowing down buses, emergency vehicles and commerce while also polluting the air we breathe."


NYC congestion pricing: Could legal challenges push back start date?

With congestion pricing gantries set to be activated on June 30 in NYC, one major roadblock remains: seven lawsuits filed in federal court to block it from happening.

Chan’s lawsuit is one of seven filed against the MTA to try to stop it from going forward next month, and it’s not the only lawsuit that says the MTA skipped a step by not conducting that environmental impact study. The MTA has countered in the past, saying they have conducted exhaustive research that essentially covers that.

A key hearing will take place next Friday in a federal court in Lower Manhattan.