West Side Parking Debate: SIP Update

MTR was already impressed by the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s show of backbone in resisting NYC’s plan for more parking on Manhattan’s far west side; the plan requires a revision of NY’s State Implementation Plan for attaining carbon monoxide (CO) levels in accordance with EPA standards (see MTR # 565). We are happy to report that DEP has even more spine than originally thought.

In a letter to NYC Dept. of Environmental Protection Comm. . Emily Lloyd, DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis made it clear that the parking management study required by the CO SIP of 1979 (and by subsequent court order) must be produced before any SIP revision would be considered. While a 1981 version of the study has been produced, a contemporaneous letter from the EPA rejects the nearly 300-page report for inadequately addressing the issues delineated by the court. Grannis’s current request is a tall order given the condition of the study and, barring miraculous intervention, may kill the proposal outright.

NYSDEC is also currently drafting the NY SIP for Particulate Matter (PM2.5 SIP), which would logically include the parking plan as one strategy for attaining compliance with EPA air quality requirements. Some lobbying is in order to ensure that the parking strategy is included.

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