New York Governor Andrew Cuomo may not be as well-loved as his predecessor, but his recently announced resignation is a victory for travelers. His decision to withdraw the state’s money from the LaGuardia AirTrain, a proposed extension of the Long Island Rail Road that would connect to the city’s two airports, is an important step toward ending this horrible embarrassment.
In New York City, the LaGuardia Airport is the gateway to all things. It serves as a gateway to the country for many, and has become a gate to the city for a few lucky travelers. However, many travelers get off at the airport and are left with a mediocre experience. Those who are not at the airport for a business trip, or those who are not flying from LaGuardia, will find that there is a good chance they won’t find the experience enjoyable. Pretty much all travelers, business or leisure, will find that they aren’t being taken to their desired destination, and that it is just too easy to get lost on the way.
In case you missed it, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that he will not be seeking a fourth term. With control of the state’s government divided by partisan interests, it’s hard to see how New York can find its way out of the bureaucratic morass it found itself in.
Is Cuomo’s exit going to save us from the LaGuardia AirTrain to Nowhere?
on August 13, 2023 by Gary Leff
Now that Governor Andrew Cuomo has resigned and it is safe to do so, dozens of Port Authority of New York and New Jersey employees are coming out against the absurd proposal to construct a railway to nowhere from New York LaGuardia Airport.
”For far too long, Gov. Cuomo and his staff have pushed the agency to make opaque, politically motivated decisions, including decisions that squander the trust and money of our bondholders, customers, and the general public,” dozens of Port Authority employees wrote in a letter to executive director Rick Cotton on Tuesday.
“Now is the moment to speak out and fight for what is right.”
It asks the Port Authority Inspector General to investigate whether Cuomo used “undue influence” to persuade agency officials to “manipulate the federally mandated Environmental Impact Statement process” to approve the LaGuardia AirTrain over alternatives such as a subway extension or dedicated bus lanes to the airport.
It all started in 2014, when then-Vice President Joe Biden compared New York LaGuardia Airport to a “third-world nation.” Biden and Cuomo worked together to get a plan for the airport approved quickly. That resulted in a beautiful Central Terminal, but a new structure and high-end shops do nothing to address the three most essential functions of an airport: arrivals, departures, and security.
- Get you there as soon as possible.
- Let’s get this over with.
- Get you up in the air and down as fast as possible.
Because no significant progress has been made in upgrading air traffic management, there is no additional runway, and airspace remains crowded even during normal periods. We were expected to be able to get to Manhattan in one piece. Instead, we got a more costly white elephant: a proposal to link New York LaGuardia airport to Manhattan by rail, which was intended to get approvals fast rather than provide the greatest transportation choice for New Yorkers and tourists.
- From the airport to the Willets Point station, they’d construct a 1.5-mile railway. This required traveling in the opposite direction of the city in order to connect to other existing trains, such as the 7 subway and the LIRR.
- The cost is expected to be $450 million. It’s already worth more than $2 billion.
After billions of dollars, LaGuardia would not only be without a direct rail to the city, but it would also be poorly linked. However, just a few people were inconvenienced as a result of the scheme. That, coupled with the governor’s political clout and – at the time – the Obama administration’s ability to do something, even if it was second (or fourth) best, looked promising. And the FAA has given clearance during the Biden administration (because it all began with Biden), even though the FAA knew the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was faking their study.
There will be no direct connection to the city. It will transport people away from the city before returning them there. It will also add to the already congested 7 line, substituting traffic congestion on the highway for traffic congestion on public transportation.
Cuomo was planning a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the project, but it’s essentially dead. Because the United States has grown poor at completing big infrastructure projects, it was considered the greatest choice because it was the one that could be done at least with enough strong-arming by Cuomo.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
On Monday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he will resign from office in 2018, effectively ending his bid for a third term. Cuomo’s departure will throw the balance of power in the state back in the hands of the Democratic Party, which hasn’t held a Senate seat in the state since 1994, and has lost the governor’s mansion since 2002.. Read more about jfk airport and let us know what you think.
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