Bill de Blasio is pictured.
Mike Segar/Reuters

A morning roundup of the day’s news.

Price check: Don’t get too excited about congestion pricing in New York City just yet. Mayor Bill de Blasio said Monday he “does not believe” in Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to charge access to the city’s highest-traffic areas to support public transit budgets. While the Governor considers congestion pricing "an idea whose time has come," de Blasio, poured some cold water on that plan when asked in a press conference whether he would support the idea in a second term, per The New York Times:

“There are some people that believe in it, I just happen to be someone who does not believe in it, based on what I’ve seen so far… I’ve never been in favor of this strategy. I’ve never seen an example of it that I thought was fair. I’m always going to keep an open mind, but no.”

  • Perhaps he was stirred by this contrarian ode to the pleasures of driving in the notoriously congested city (The New Yorker).

*Knock knock*: A longread by Alec MacGillis from New York Magazine and ProPublica titled “Is Anybody Home At HUD?” describes the dismantling of the housing and urban development agency under Secretary Ben Carson. Here’s a quote from one anonymous career employee gazing into the void:

“I’ve never been so bored in my life. No agenda, nothing to move forward or push back against. Just nothing.”

Room for squares: A new report from NeighborhoodX finds that the average price per square foot in Manhattan currently stands at $1,773, compared to San Francisco’s $1,185 per square foot, Boston $751 per square foot, and Los Angeles $451 per square foot. (Curbed) But if you follow the Christian Science Monitor’s latest #vanlife trend story offering, maybe we should just embrace living in our cars as a cheapest option for 150-square foot apartment.

Look at the neighborhood: A new report shows the first signs of D.C.’s affordable housing push and an analysis by Next City digs into how Philadelphia’s 55 neighborhoods are faring as the city changes. Meanwhile at the national level, HUD’s leadership remains in limbo, with the No. 2 position still unfilled.

Back to school: Our colleagues at The Atlantic dig into whether the extravagant amenities that colleges and universities use to lure students actually work, or if #dormlife should be a bit more modest. (The Atlantic)

Selling the “Summer of Hell”: New Jersey Transit spent more than $1 million on a its digital advertising campaign to inform riders about changes to service caused by the repair project at Penn Station, the campaign cost about $300,000 more than a typical annual marketing budget. (AP)

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