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Moynihan Station

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More Press on Paterson's Announcement

Eliot Brown writes about Paterson's new direction for Moynihan Station in today'sNew York Observer.

Consistent with the project’s history, the pledge represents another turn in the project’s direction under new leadership. In prior permutations, the focus has been on revenue for the Post Office; an expansion of the train hall; a medium-size real estate transaction; and a mega-land-swap and an economic development project of gigantic proportions. The most recent plan, which was pushed by the Spitzer administration and which unraveled in March, involved moving Madison Square Garden to the Farley building and thereby unleashing $14 billion in public and private development.

Now, the Paterson administration seems to be focusing on rail capacity; the platforms and tracks under Penn Station have room for no more trains at peak hours, given the way they are currently used, and the prior plans involved a much-needed expansion of pedestrian and waiting space, but did not address this issue.

Read Paterson Takes His Turn on Moynihan by Eliot Brown of the New York Observer.

Read David Paterson: Port Authority should get ticket for new Penn Station by Douglas Feiden of the Daily News.

Read Paterson Wants Port Authority to Pick Up Moynihan Project by William Neuman of the New York Times.

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Paterson Makes Bold Statement in Support of the Construction of Moynihan Station

Today Governor David Paterson made a bold statement in support of the construction of Moynihan Station when he announced conditions related to the future of Moynihan Station at New York Building Congress forum. He emphasized the critical importance for the project to emphasize infrastructure improvements and to that end announced that the Port Authority of New York would be taking over the project.

The Governor said that while New York City and State are in a difficult economic climate, fiscal responsibility is not just about reducing spending; it’s about making wise investments. Throughout New York State’s history, the government has moved ahead with infrastructure projects during times of financial insolvency. For example, the state was facing a deficit for seven of the ten years it took to construct the Erie Canal and the Lincoln Tunnel, George Washington Bridge and the Independent Subway System (IND) were all constructed during the Depression.

New York City was in the midst of a fiscal crisis during the construction of the historic Penn Station. “By any measure the 20th century was the New York Century. We entered it as a burgeoning metropolis and we left it as the greatest and most powerful city in the world. We can make the 21st century the New York Century as well, but only if we invest wisely in our infrastructure.”

Paterson said the Federal government must put together a plan for the nation’s infrastructure so we may reduce our dependency on fossil fuels and avoid catastrophic disasters like last year’s bridge collapse in Minneapolis. He also decried the Federal government's “starving” of Amtrak and reduction of slots at the city’s airports. The Governor said that we must bolster the rail options between Washington DC, Boston and other cities within 300 miles of New York City. Rail is the most fuel-efficient way to move people,, and it is critical that we lighten the loads of our airlines and on our highways. In the absence of a Federal transportation plan, Paterson said the State must develop its own plan.

“It is fitting that 100 years after the building of the first Penn Station, we assess our infrastructure priorities and establish clear conditions for the future of transportation in our State,” said Governor Paterson. “If we are to realize our full potential for growth in the 21st century, then we must look to increase our rail capacity. That is why today I have outlined the conditions that I believe must be met if we are to move forward with the Moynihan Station project. Moynihan must be more than a beautiful station; it must move more people more efficiently.”

The Governor’s specific conditions for Moynihan Station development include:

1. Ensuring that the Moynihan Station project increases transportation capacity by physically expanding the number of tracks and platforms and instituting operational changes by Long Island Railroad, New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.

Paterson announced that he was asking the leadership of the three railroads to report to himself and Governor Corzine on how they planned to work together.

2. Coordinating the development of Moynihan Station in tandem with other major development projects including New Jersey’s Access to the Region’s Core (ARC) which is the first crossing under the Hudson in 50 years;

The Governor made it clear that it would be a formidable challenge to ensure that the project will be coordinated with major infrastructure projects like ARC and unifying the three transit systems of Amtrak, Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit. “This is why we want the Port Authority to take over the leadership in terms of constructing Moynihan Station, and what we are really saying is that with such major development occurring, there has to be coordination,” the governor said.

3. Taking necessary steps to ensure that the project also helps to revitalize the surrounding community.

While the Governor acknowledged the importance of making Moynihan Station a Gateway to New York city and catalyst for development on the Far West Side, he said first and foremost this is a transportation project.

“Increasing our transportation capacity is an important step, but it is only a one step. We must ensure that we carefully coordinate the improved capacity with other major development and infrastructure projects, which is why today, I called on my Deputy Secretary for Economic Development, and Infrastructure to convene all of the project’s partners from both the public and private sectors to discuss the challenges they face,” Governor Paterson continued. “Deputy Secretary Gilchrist will report back to me with an assessment of these challenges and potential solutions.” “By any measure the 20th century was the New York Century. We entered it as a burgeoning metropolis and we left it as the greatest and most powerful city in the world. We can make the 21st century the New York Century as well, but only if we invest wisely in our infrastructure,” added Governor Paterson.

Read Governor Paterson's press release.
Read Paterson Invokes New Deal in Calling for Fresh Moynihan Plan by Eliot Brown in The New York Observer.
Read Paterson Gives Moynihan Another Shot by Matthew Schuerman of WNYC.
Read Paterson appoints aide to look into Moynihan by Theresa Agovino of Crain's New York.

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Paterson Asks Developers for New Moynihan Plans

When asked today on WCBS Radio about the status of Moynihan Station, Governor Paterson said that the state has asked the developers to come back with new plans.

A listener asked:

"Governor Paterson, what is the status of Moynihan Station and the purposed new Penn Station (also involving a new Madison Square Garden if the full plan goes forward). Is that plan dead, or is there potential for the project to move forward?"

The Governor responded:

"We have asked the developers of the potential Moynihan Station to come back to us with another plan that particularly features the subject we've been talking about today--transportation. Already we have addressed with them the dwindling supply of revenues that we as the state can put into the plan, and we're expecting an answer form them within a week or two."

He didn't clarify the transportation improvements he had in mind, but one would assume he could be referring to the negotiations on ARC, or maybe AMTRAK's proposed high speed rail (see ”New DC/NY High Speed Rail Link?” and “DC/NY High Speed Rail Legislation Advances in House.”).

Let's hope those plans become public soon.

Listen to Governor Paterson speak with Wayne Cabot and Steve Scott on WCBS Radio. He discusses Moynihan Station at minute 11:50.

Paterson Wants New Moynihan Station Plan From Developers, Eliot Brown for New York Observer.


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