A community forum on the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain will take place on Tuesday
February 8, 2019 By Meghan Sackman
A number of local organizations are hosting a community forum in East Elmhurst on Tuesday to discuss the pros and cons of the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain as the formal process to move the project forward is about to begin.
The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to initiate the public review process this spring as it prepares to build a 1.5-mile elevated train line that would connect the airport to Willets Point, near Citi Field. The Willets Point terminal would then be connected to the Long Island Rail Road and train # 7.
The forum, scheduled for Feb. 12 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the New York LaGuardia Airport Marriott, plans to educate residents about what the project entails and address concerns about the route, transit system, construction and Moreover.
The group discussion will be followed by a workshop that will explain to residents how to get involved in the public review process.
The project, estimated at $ 1.5 billion, aims to reduce congestion and provide travelers with an alternative means of transportation. Currently, 90 percent of LaGuardia’s flyers travel by car to get to the airport, according to the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.
The proposed route would run along the Grand Central Parkway and cross the Citi Field parking lot. It would not require the acquisition of private property.
AirTrain advocates say the ride from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport via the proposed route – and LIRR or subway connection – would be around 30 minutes.
The public review process will be led by the FAA in conjunction with the Port Authority.
“The FAA plans to begin the environmental impact assessment of the LaGuardia Airport Access Improvement Project in the spring,” said an FAA spokesperson. “Plans are still being finalized for the public meetings. “
The process will begin with a “scoping” meeting where the public will have the opportunity to comment on what the FAA should consider – via a public hearing – when it considers the proposal.
The FAA will then prepare a draft environmental impact study and another public hearing will take place.
The forum, hosted by local groups such as Guardians of Flushing Bay, Flushing Chamber of Commerce and Ditmars Boulevard Block Association, will educate attendees on how they can participate in the review process.
The port authority said a number of different routes will be considered as part of the process, but the 1.5 mile is what it thinks best. He estimates that between 6.6 million and 10 million trips would be made on the AirTrain LGA in its first years of operation.
Critics of the current proposal say the project will cause Train 7 to be overcrowded and the planned journey time of 30 minutes is overly optimistic.
“The purpose of the forum is to educate and provide people from the opposition to ask questions and connect with people with similar concerns,” said John Choe, executive director of the Flushing Chamber of Commerce. , at the Queens Post.
Rebecca Pryor, program coordinator for local groups Guardians of Flushing Bay and River Keeper, said it’s important for locals to get involved at this early stage.
“The public has to say ‘this is what needs to be reviewed’ and if it is not reviewed, it is not a full review. The only way this process is democratic is for people to know it. “
For more information on the forum, click here