Sunday, May 16

Some voices ask the White House to cancel the AirTrain project between LGA airport and New York Subway

The JFK AirTrain was launched in December 2003.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images

LGA airport has been waiting for a direct connection to the New York Subway for a long time, especially after the JFK terminal achieved its own in 2003.

Last year the plan finally moved forward, with a view to opening in 2025, at a cost of $ 2 billion. Depending on the final decision scheduled for next week, construction was to begin as soon as the summer of this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) calculated in August. But some neighbors and local politicians want to stop him.

Frank Taylor, president of the Ditmars Boulevard Block Association, is one of the voices that have been raised against, citing the New York’s precarious economic situation after the pandemic. “You have six-block food lines everywhere and are you going to spend $ 2.05 billion? One billion per mile, “he criticized in statements to Pix11.

Riverkeeper, environmental advocacy group, sent a letter to the White House Secretary of Transportation, Pete Buttigieg. His lead attorney, Mike Dulong, calls for a more direct benefit to the neighborhoods that would host the AirTrain route from the airport to Metro Line 7, which serves the CitiField Stadium in Los Angeles. NY Mets and the National Tennis Center, headquarters of the US Open, and links to the Long Island Train (LIRR).

“What we need now is for the community to get stronger,” said the State Senator Jessica Ramos (D), which represents the area. “This project must stop. This project is not for us ”, he affirmed. Previously, the congresswoman (D) Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who represents part of the area in the Capitol, he has also criticized the planned aerial train.

For decades there has been a search for how to connect Manhattan and LaGuardia, one of the few large airports in the US that does not yet have a rail link. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) plan is supported by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D).

The FAA has said that alternatives such as a ferry, a Metro extension or a bus line would not work. Additionally, the project includes millions of dollars for boardwalk improvements along Flushing Bay.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority called the FAA process “thorough” and referred to the 600-page environmental impact statement. “It appropriately and independently examined all the alternatives and finally identified the route proposed by the Port Authority as the preferred route to carry the mass rail transportation to LaGuardia airport ”.

Tom Grech, of the Queens Chamber of Commerce, He noted that the overwhelming number of responses emailed to the FAA are positive. “This will be a great opportunity for the economy of Queens and New York City with all these jobs ”.

But neighbors continue to express concern that the AirTrain passes through their community and some criminal lawsuits may be filed if the project is approved.

“AirTrain LGA will provide millions and millions of air travelers with reliable travel of 30 minutes from downtown Manhattan to the airport“, Predicted last year the president of the Port Authority, Kevin O’Toole.

Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton noted in a separate statement in August that the initial proposed route of the rail link moved north, further away from a neighborhood on the other side of Grand Central Parkway from the airport. The plan would not require the taking of any private property, according to Cotton.

However, some of the problems could be considerable. The FAA report concluded that the neighborhood would “disproportionately experience high and adverse noise and vibration impacts ”during construction and light emissions significant once the link is up and running. Additionally, 93 residential units that line the Parkway would lose their views of Flushing Bay.

The environmental impact statement on the AirTrain project, submitted in mid-March, recommended ways to mitigate the problems for surrounding residents and the waterway.

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