Jessica is Lappin’ up the Congestion Pricing Anxiety

lappin.jpgAt a City Council transportation hearing yesterday Manhattan City Council Member Jessica Lappin expressed anxiety about the effects of congestion pricing on her Upper East Side district. The ill-informed Lappin, who clearly has not read Donald Shoup's 750-page masterwork, The High Cost of Free Parking, asked DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan if the city would be building new municipal parking garages to accompany Mayor Bloomberg's traffic-reduction plan. Metro reports:

Under the mayor's congestion pricing proposal, drivers will have to pay a toll to go south of 86th Street in Manhattan. At a City Council hearing yesterday, Councilwoman Jessica Lappin drew a bleak picture.

"There will be a crush of cars circling around 86th Street looking for parking spots that don't exist," said Lappin, who feared the downtown-bound bridge-and-tunnel crowd would use her Upper East Side district as a parking lot before catching a train. "I envision idling, and more congestion, and more pollution in the air, because there aren't places for these cars to go." Parking in a garage would be out of the question, she said: "The garages up there are full."

Janette Sadik-Khan, two weeks into her job as the city's transportation commissioner, had a simple solution: a residential parking permit. Such permits would allow only residents to park on the street. Violators would be fined and perhaps towed.

Lappin wasn't buying it: "A residential parking permit is a hunting license." She believed plenty of outsiders would still be looking for a place to land. "Is the city considering municipal garages?" she asked.