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Fort Lee Residents Fear Increased Pollution Amid MTA’s Congestion Pricing Plan


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Fort Lee NJ, the looming implementation of congestion pricing near the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee has stirred concerns among residents about heightened traffic and pollution levels in their community.

Local resident Richard Galler expressed that congestion is a frequent issue in the borough, often resulting in bumper-to-bumper traffic that exacerbates pollution-related health problems like his asthma and of coarse we all remember “Bridge Gate” , that toppled the Christie Administration.

Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich echoed Galler’s sentiments, emphasizing the detrimental impact of increased pollution on residents’ quality of life. With the anticipated 20% surge in traffic volume once congestion pricing takes effect, concerns about worsening air quality loom large.

In response to the impending congestion pricing plan, Galler and the borough of Fort Lee have taken legal action against the MTA. Their lawsuit challenges the MTA’s environmental assessment, which predicts a diversion of vehicles and trucks away from Manhattan to circumvent toll charges. Such diversions are expected to lead to heightened pollution levels in areas surrounding major bridges and expressways, including the George Washington Bridge and parts of northern New Jersey.

The MTA’s analysis forecasts an increase in pollutants such as particulate matter in Bergen County, Staten Island, and the South Bronx. These findings underscore the growing concerns about asthma and other respiratory issues among residents living in proximity to heavily trafficked areas.

Community organizations like South Bronx United are actively monitoring air quality in “Asthma Alley,” where elevated levels of pollution pose a significant health risk to residents. Additional air monitors are slated to be installed to track air quality changes resulting from congestion pricing-related traffic diversions.

On Staten Island, the NAACP has joined the legal battle against the MTA, citing concerns about environmental injustice and its disproportionate impact on vulnerable communities. Statistics from Port Richmond reveal alarmingly high rates of childhood asthma, highlighting the urgent need for mitigation measures to safeguard public health.

While the MTA aims to reduce pollution through initiatives like transitioning to zero-emissions buses and investing in mitigation efforts, community advocates stress the need for immediate action to address the health risks posed by increased traffic and pollution.

As the debate over congestion pricing continues, residents and officials alike are calling for tangible solutions to protect public health and mitigate the environmental impact of transportation policies. Only time will tell whether these efforts will be sufficient to address the looming challenges posed by congestion pricing in Fort Lee and beyond.

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3 thoughts on “Fort Lee Residents Fear Increased Pollution Amid MTA’s Congestion Pricing Plan

  1. Its always a good laugh when people who buy property next to a busy highway have the balls to complain about the traffic. Ask anyone who has gone before the co-op boards there how attitudes are.

    1. Bridge Congestion-gate. Blame Chris Christie.

  2. There appears to be more traffic and congestion all over the place not just fort Lee. At the rate contractors are building it’s going to take a half hour to go 2 blocks

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