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FAA to Hold Two Public Scoping Meetings Next Week for Proposed LaGuardia AirTrain

Proposed AIrTrain route (anewlga.com)

May 29, 2019 By Meghan Sackman

The Federal Aviation Administration will be holding two public scoping meetings in East Elmhurst next week to get public input on the proposed LaGuardia AirTrain project, which is now entering the environmental review process.

The meetings aim to get public comment on the project, which involves constructing a 1.5-mile elevated train line that would link LaGuardia Airport to Willets Point—near Citi Field. The Willets Point terminal would then connect to the Long Island Rail Road and the No. 7 train.

The proposed route would run along the Grand Central Parkway and across the edge of the Citi Field parking lot. The train would reduce the travel time from Manhattan to LaGuardia down to 30 minutes, officials say.

Comments collected at these hearings, which will be held June 5 and 6 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the LaGuardia Airport Marriott Hotel, will provide the FAA with feedback as to neighborhood concerns–and what the agency should study as part of the environmental review process.

Public feedback will typically involve issues pertaining to noise, air quality, light emissions and safety.

These meetings come after the FAA’s official notice of intent was issued on May 3 to announce the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), pushing the project into the required public comment period, which will end June 17.

The meetings, according to the FAA, will be held in an open house format where people can learn about the environmental aspects of the project, ask questions and ultimately comment. A public record will be kept of the meetings and the comments.

The project, estimated to cost $1.5 billion, aims to reduce traffic congestion and provide travelers with access via efficient public transportation. Currently, 90 percent of LaGuardia flyers travel by car to get to the airport, according to the Port Authority.

The project would not require the acquisition of private property.

After the public comment period is completed, the FAA will write up a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) with its findings on the project’s impact. The public will then have at least 45 days to provide additional commentary based on those findings.

The FAA will then produce a Final Environmental Impact Statement that must address the public’s concerns. The FAA will then render a final decision as to whether to proceed with the project.

The public is also able to send comments on the project to the following email address: [email protected]

Proposed LaGuardia AirTrain Route

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10 Comments

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Tyronne Fauntleroy

Its bad enough we have crap wandering the neighborhood . This will just bring more trouble . What ever happened to the train to the plane?? Ask the people of critterville Hamilton each and Howard beach how the air train did wonders for they’re neighborhood .

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Mike Goldman

The Air Train is a really dumb idea. Instead of building a whole new train system what they should be doing is building a spur off the adjacent Port Washington branch of the Long Island Railroad right into La Guardia. You get on a train at Penn and you’re at La Guardia in about 20 minutes, no changing of trains, no shleping of luggage from one train system to another. One seat from Manhattan to the airport! Some of the LIRR trains can make a single stop at Woodside to pick up Queens people, including locals and those who get to Woodside on the #7 subway. Right now we can do this from from Penn and eventually, if they ever get it done, from Grand Central also. That’s how to do this.

Arguments against it?

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your_neighbor

They say that it will reduce travel time between LGA and Manhattan to 30 minutes. Doesn’t it take over 30 minutes right now to just get from Times Sq to Citi Field on the 7 (when it is running well). Add to that whatever time it takes on this new air train service.

At off peak times I regularly make it from the Lincoln Center area to LGA in 30 min or less.

Just bite the bullet and extend the N/W to travel along the GCP for the same or less money.

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Bill

The article cited is nonsense and fantasy. If everything went perfectly it would still take decades to complete this proposal. It makes assumptions which will probably never happen. To say the subway expansion would be a “non event with no community pushback” is pure nonsense. Of course, those living on 31st Street north of Ditmars would not be happy, as would others along the route and would certainly raise a stink.

Then there is the idea that LGA would be expanded into Riker’s? Really? This is a political issue with all sorts of unrealistic assumptions.

Landfill to expand the runways? That has been on the table for years and always rejected. The recent ongoing renovations specifically denied the concept.

Let’s be real here. The proposed link to Willet’s Point is the best option that could realistically be accomplished.

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Mike

A two block extension of the N train from Ditmars Boulevard station to Con Edison and an expanded LaGuardia Airport is plausible. There would definitely be some community pushback, but i think it would be minimal since it’s only a 2 block extension.
They already closed two of the nine jails on Rikers island and both the mayor and governor have committed to closing the remaining jails.
Rikers Island real estate will be a very valuable asset. It’s going to be interesting to see how this one plays out.

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Jay

The AirTrain is for eastern Queens & Long Island residents. Once they completely close Rikers island jail (est. 2027), they will connect and expand LaGuardia airport into Rikers island and extend the W/N elevated train line north from Astoria straight to the Rikers/LaGuardia airport.
This has been the plan from day one.

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Bill Hanousek

The present proposal connecting LGA to Willets Point has the benefit of avoiding the usual “not in my back yard” objections since it largely follows the Grand Central Parkway and Citi Field route.

Running the N/W to LGA would impact major residential areas and would never have community support.

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Jon

Hi Jay,

Extending the N/W to go to LGA would be the best way to benefit the most people going to the airport. And it extends a train to a lot of people that really need it and can’t walk to its current location.

But, if you live on 31st Street, having an elevated train run down the middle of your street would really hurt home values and hurt quality of live a lot for those people. Anywhere under the train just seems so dumpy. I’m not sure of the history or why these were never made as subways.

But, the only way I see this working is if the train is put underground and that is unlikely.

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Jay

Agreed, however, it’s only a two block extension of the N train. I believe that is something that can be done.

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