Governor Hochul slows down AirTrain at LaGuardia – Trade Observer
The LaGuardia AirTrain the project derailed.
Govt. Kathy hochul pulled the emergency brakes on a $ 2.1 billion proposal to connect Flushing, Queens to LaGuardia Airport Monday saying the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey should consider other ways to get commuters to the airport.
“I asked the Port Authority to thoroughly review alternative transit solutions to reduce car traffic and increase connectivity at LaGuardia Airport ”, Hochul noted in a statement his office sent out on Monday afternoon. “We need to make sure our transportation plans are bold, visionary, and meet the needs of New Yorkers. “
Port authority officials said they were ready to make changes, even though they called a rail link to LaGuardia “political imperative”Just four days ago.
“[Gov. Hochul] asked for further conversations and of course we will answer all of her questions and engage with her to whatever extent she desires ”, Rick cotton, executive director of the Port Authority, told reporters at a board meeting on September 30.
Hochul’s remarks, which could send the railway line back to the drawing board, marked the biggest deviation from his predecessor’s infrastructure agenda since his taking the oath six weeks ago.
The controversial transit project had gained momentum thanks to the government of the day. Andrew Cuomo’s third term and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved its environmental review of the 1.5-mile monorail in July.
But Hochul promised one more collaborative style with state and local lawmakers on public policy and infrastructure proposals, unlike Cuomo my way or the highway approach.
Queens lawmakers have fiercely opposed AirTrain citing the presence of cheaper public transport options that serve a greater portion of residents, such as express buses and metro extensions.
“The feeling of a criticism is appreciated ”, Queens Senator Jessica ramos tweeted. “What my community and our coalition partners are asking for is a stop.”
Two neighborhood groups in Queens have joined an environmental non-profit organization Riverkeeper in a trial ask the United States Court of Appeal block the FAA recommendation. And the FAA would have considered suspending the project in response, News day reported.
Mayor Bill de Blasio even joined the stack, arguing that the port authority had to revisit all options from the start now that Cuomo was gone.
“I think there’s a lot to be said immediately – now that we don’t have, you know, the Imperial Governor – to look at the different options and see which one is better, ”de Blasio said Monday on NY1.
Hochul’s opposition to the project might be good policy with a crowded The Democratic primaries are looming next summer and many Queens elected officials are pushing against the plan.
“She’s probably overturning every decision after [next] June anyway, ”said a Democratic political consultant, who did not want to be quoted for fear of losing business. “Everyone in that part of town is against it anyway, so why would she be in favor? “
What happens next is less clear. The port authority could abandon the plan entirely with or without a vote of the members of its board of directors and call for new proposals. And if the port authority’s board members still want to move forward with the AirTrain, Hochul could replace the board members appointed by Cuomo, which she failed to do. the transport authority despite having made personnel changes elsewhere in his administration.
But Hochul’s call for a review of transit options around LaGuardia prompted advocates to welcome a rare second chance to transform bus and train services in the outer boroughs.
“There is no rush to spend billions of dollars in Queens when there are worthy capital projects all over the city, ”said Danny pearlstein, Director of Policy and Communications at Alliance of Horsemen, a public transport advocacy group. “There are so many new rail projects in Queens that it would seem like a real shame to invest real capital in something that hardly anyone wants.”