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Opinion: Gov. Cuomo’s NYC Smart Building Plans Are Strong

Last week, Gov. Cuomo saved the biggest part of his four-day State of the State speeches for the end: A new West Side centered around an overhaul of the always terrible transit hub, Penn Station.

by Daily News Editorial Board / January 19, 2021

(TNS) — Last week,  Gov. Cuomo  saved the biggest part of his four-day State of the State speeches for the end: A new West Side, centered around an overhaul of the always terrible Penn Station.

Following his very successful, on-budget, ahead of schedule, completion of the Moynihan Train Hall in the Farley General Post Office for LIRR and Amtrak passengers, he laid out the puzzle’s other pieces.

Cuomo politely said: “Amtrak owns Penn and the federal government owns Amtrak. New York has been a good partner to Amtrak and the federal government and now they must be a good partner to us.” We’ll be direct: Evict Amtrak from Penn. New York just paid a fortune to erect the gleaming Moynihan for the sad-sack railroad. They must now hand over the keys to Penn, allowing Cuomo to efficiently fix the pit that Amtrak let fall into ruin.

Amtrak is always happy to have someone else build for them — in fact, they always insist that someone overbuild for them, just as they’re conning New Jersey into doing with the exorbitant Portal North Bridge.

It’s also good that Cuomo said: “New York State stands ready to help in an equitable Gateway venture, but New York has neither the resources, nor the patience to partner in more wasteful bureaucracy.” That means save money and time by repairing the current Hudson tubes immediately, and then dig two new, economical ones. Amtrak foolishly wants repairs to wait a decade, starting only after a new tunnel opens.

Instead of Penn South, NJTransit’s pricey stub-end station, Cuomo must pursue a more visionary, cheaper option: Lengthen Penn’s Tracks 1-4 to Moynihan and dig a direct connection to Grand Central, realizing a century-old dream while expanding Penn’s capacity. Then all New Yorkers, from WestchesterLong Island and RocklandOrange (and NJT) could access both Penn and Grand Central. Everyone can go everywhere.

(c)2021 New York Daily News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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