Lappin Describes Her Position as “Similar to Gov. Spitzer’s”

lappin.jpgA couple of weeks ago I nearly spit out my morning coffee over the front page of Metro NY when I read that my City Council member Jessica Lappin was opposed to Mayor Bloomberg’s congestion pricing plan. Dismissing residential parking permits as "a hunting license" Lappin said she was afraid of a "crush of cars" at the at the 86th Street boundary.

In the past, my group, the Upper Greenside, has worked with Lappin to bring new greenmarkets to our neighborhood as well as other environmental issues. Based on our conversations about traffic, she seemed very positive about the idea of congestion pricing. She once wrote a letter to former DOT commissioner Iris Weinshall at our request about the dangerous traffic congestion around the Queensboro Bridge.

Last Friday, while Mayor Bloomberg was testifying in front of the State Assembly about congestion pricing, I accompanied Ann Seligman from Environmental Defense on a visit to Lappin’s legislative office to advocate for the mayor’s plan. Lappin jumped in immediately, saying, "I support congestion pricing, I just have some tough questions about the details." She described her position as close to Governor Spitzer’s. She wants to see something happen but has some concerns over the plan’s details.

Lappin says that she (like many other City Council members) has not been able to get answers to her questions from the Mayor’s office (which, naturally, seems to be focused on the New York State Assembly right now). I suspect that if they give her some attention and get her some answers, she will go public with her position. She was optimistic that something would get done on congestion pricing this summer.

I was glad to hear that her position was generally pro-congestion pricing, but I’m still disappointed in her lack of leadership on this issue, especially when compared to Council Member Dan Garodnick who shares much of the Upper East Side with Lappin.

If you live in Lappin’s district, consider calling her office at (212) 535-5554 to give her a push in the right direction. Better yet, she’s hosting a town hall meeting this Thursday. I strongly encourage Livable Streets advocates to show up and and ask her and other elected officials about their positions on congestion pricing, bicycling and and other urban environmental issues.


Jessica is Lappin’ up the Congestion Pricing Anxiety

At 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 […]

Jessica Lappin: Congestion Pricing Advocate

This recent constituent e-mail shows that Council Member Jessica Lappin’s lukewarm support for congestion pricing seems to have turned into full-fledged support now that the proposal has no chance of being implemented (taking a page out of Assemblywoman Joan Millman‘s book). In Lappin’s defense, she did vote for pricing when it came before the council. […]

86th Street: The Congestion Pricing Battle Line

The 86th Street border of Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed congestion pricing zone is emerging as the northern front of an increasingly intense political battle. Last week, Upper East Side City Council Member Jessica Lappin worried that congestion pricing would bring a "crush of cars circling around 86th Street looking for parking spots." Over on the West […]

Glick’s Excuse: Everything But the Kitchen Sink

Welcome to Glickville As Deborah Glick herself would tell you, no state legislator had more reason to support congestion pricing than she did. In a district where 95.4 percent of working residents would not have paid the charge, where households with a car are outnumbered by households sans vehicle three to one, and which nonetheless […]

Congestion Pricing: What’s the Deal?

Nobody knows whether the convoluted and difficult congestion pricing "deal" reached by political leaders yesterday will actually result in anything. The deal is complex even by Albany standards. A few things, however, are clear: Mayor Bloomberg does not have a "green light" to move forward with congestion pricing, nor has he been granted any new […]

Congestion Pricing Questions the Mayor Will Need to Answer

New York State Assembly Member Deborah Glick represents Chelsea, Greenwich Village, Tribeca and a good piece of Chinatown and Lower Manhattan. Encompassing the Holland Tunnel, Canal Street and a section of the Westside Highway, her district suffers from some of the worst traffic congestion in all of New York City. Transit-rich and offering some of […]