VIDEO: Councilman Oddo On Port Authority Toll Hikes

In the above video, Councilman James Oddo cries foul over the Port Authority’s plan to raise tolls on Hudson River Crossings at a hearing earlier this week in Staten Island.

During the same hearing, reportedly the first of eight in New York and New Jersey, there was a noticeable tension between constructions workers and other audience members – including a shouting match between one union member and a leader of a local advocacy group.

Joe Valentine, head of the Vice President of Taxpayers of Staten Island, got into it with Dennis Lee, a member of Construction Local 79.

Members of various trade unions stand to gain from infrastructure improvements proposed along with the toll increases. The Port Authority says the additional funds will also go towards re-building the World Trade Center.

While Brooklyn itself has no Hudson river crossings, many of us do have friends, family and jobs in New Jersey.

How would increased tolls affect you? Do you feel the planned infrastructure work is worth the hefty increases?

Some say the Port Authority is exaggerating the toll increases, just to make the public think they’ve achieved a victory when tolls are raised less than was originally announced. Do you think this could be their strategy?

Councilman Oddo represents the 50th Council District, which includes central Staten Island, as well as parts of Dyker Heights, Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst.