CBS News
April 8, 2008

Lawmakers rejected a proposal on Monday to charge Manhattan motorists an extra fee to drive in the city, a plan advocates hoped would reduce traffic and curb pollution.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver announced the decision after a survey of Democratic Assembly members in a private conference. The decision comes after days of closed-door negotiations, and means the city will forfeit $354 million in federal funding for trying to kick-start the plan.

The concept aimed to cut traffic and pollution by forcing more commuters onto mass transit. It would have charged most drivers $8 to drive below 60th Street between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Truckers would have paid $21.

The Legislature faced a Monday deadline to act on Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal, which was already endorsed by Democratic Gov. David Paterson, the Republican-led Senate and the City Council.

Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser did not immediately comment.

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