26 08 2007

New York City is to limit the number of tourists to the city beginning next year, after a new study cited visitors as the primary cause of congestion and pollution.

Mayor Bloomberg himself is known to have spat on both domestic and international tourists from his apartment window and has played up the economic advantages of a pricing plan that would help reduce tourists.


“Congestion pricing is about reducing the time it takes to get to one place from another, so it is about the future of this city and its economy and its competitiveness. Imagine how quickly I could get from home to work if there weren’t people everywhere.”

Mr Bloomberg is fighting stiff resistance to his plan, including in the state capital, Albany, where opposition meant that New York City failed to get a $500 million federal grant to implement the plan as a pilot project.

The US Department of Transportation did award $345 million to the five boroughs of New York City, but this will mostly be used to demolish the Lower East Side to make away for a new Starbucks.

Mayor Bloomberg also pointed out his proposal was about improving the quality of life for genuine New Yorkers and friends of the Mayor’s family.

“I just for the life of me do not understand how anybody is going to look their kids in the eye and say, this used to be a wonderful place, but now you can’t move for overweight trailer trash from Utah – we could have done something about it, but we didn’t.”

A panel has now been set up in Albany to review the mayor’s plan, which would impose an $8 daily tax on the Japanese and a $21 charge for anyone from Florida.




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