x

Politics

Gianaris Supports NYC Subway Extension to LaGuardia after Cuomo’s AirTrain Nixed

NEW YORK – While the AirTrain plan supported by former Governor Andrew Cuomo has been dropped, the plan to extend the New York City subway to LaGuardia Airport is gaining support. The New York Daily News reported that Governor Kathy Hochul on October 4 “ordered the Port Authority to seek ‘alternatives’ to former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to build a rail link from Willets Point in Queens that would have connected the airport to the Long Island Rail Road and the No. 7 train,” adding that Cuomo’s “plan would have sent LaGuardia travelers from Manhattan past the airport and made them backtrack to reach the terminals.”

And although “Cuomo’s plan last year received federal approval,”  “local elected officials are among those who want the AirTrain plan replaced with a subway extension,” the Daily News reported, noting that Greek-American New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens), “whose political base is Astoria, backs extending the N/W train to LaGuardia by building new subway tracks above the Grand Central Parkway — which would give travelers a straight ride from Manhattan to the airport.”

“A new overhead track that bends east from a point between the 30th Avenue and Astoria Boulevard N/W stations and then runs along the Grand Central would not require disrupting swaths of the surrounding neighborhood,” Gianaris told the Daily News.

“That seemed to make the most sense to me, it achieves the goal of getting the subway system linked up with the airport,” said Gianaris, the Daily News reported. “It keeps us from wreaking havoc on some of our local streets.”

“Gianaris in the early 2000s was among a number of Queens officials — including area Councilman Peter Vallone — who opposed extending the N line by turning it east at the Ditmars Boulevard stop over Ditmars Boulevard to the Grand Central,” the Daily News reported, adding that “the Astoria Boulevard route Gianaris now favors would run beneath the Hell Gate Bridge trestle, which Amtrak trains use for Boston-bound northeast corridor trains.”

“The Hell Gate Bridge issue was cited by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) officials when they approved Cuomo’s plan earlier this year,” the Daily News reported, noting that the route would also “hug St. Michael’s Cemetery, and would have to descend into a tunnel to make sure LaGuardia runways have enough clearance. Gianaris thinks the problems are solvable.”

“Another drawback to Gianaris’ preferred plan: Sending trains east below Astoria Blvd. might cut service to the N/W lines’ current northernmost stops, Astoria Blvd. and Ditmars Blvd.,” the Daily News reported, adding that “the new line might force the MTA to split service, with some trains terminating at LaGuardia and others at the Astoria-Ditmars station. But Gianaris, the Senate’s deputy majority leader, believes a subway extension will work better than Cuomo’s plan.”

“The [former] governor knew what plan he wanted, and flaws were discovered in every other plan. I’m looking forward to looking at fresh ways,” Gianaris told the Daily News.

“The subway extension could take years to plan, review and build,” the Daily News reported, noting that “funding it may be easier since the FAA earlier this year changed regulations that only allowed airport passenger facility charges to fund rail links that do not also serve communities.”

“I’ve been supporting this since I was a kid growing up in Astoria,” said Sen. Jessica Ramos (DQueens), whose district includes East Elmhurst, LaGuardia’s neighborhood, the Daily News reported. “I think that we can figure out a way for it not to displace any residences and perhaps make the best use of the industrial zone as possible.”

“It was definitely a disappointment that the wrong project was being pushed through, but I don’t think it [Hochul’s suspension of the project] was a loss,” Sen. Ramos told the Daily News. “It allows the community to come together around a concept that would benefit many more New Yorkers.”

RELATED

NEW YORK – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris issued the following statement on June 24 following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.

Video

Mission…to Alonnisos, a TNH Documentary

O oceanic you sing and sail White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors You who loved the distant Sporades You who lifted the tallest flags You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades (Andreas Empeirikos)   What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams? TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.