Neighbors ask White House to stop LaGuardia AirTrain

Queens

For years, the LaGuardia AirTrain has been a hot topic in the neighborhoods near the airport and around the region.

Some people are vowing to continue to fight it.

An environmental review by the Federal Aviation Administration looked at the specific project. The final decision from the FAA could be issued by April 14.

Frank Taylor is president of the Ditmars Boulevard Block Association.

“You have food lines six blocks long all over and you’re going to spend $2.05 billion? One billion per mile,” he said.

Riverkeeper is an advocacy group. They wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. Senior Attorney Mike Dulong said he wants more direct benefit for the neighborhoods hosting it.

“What we need right now is for the community to get loud,” said.

State Sen. Jessica Ramos represents the area.

“This project needs to be stopped. This project is not for us,” Ramos said.

The FAA said alternatives, including a subway extension or busway, would not work.

A spokesperson for the Port Authority called the FAA process “thorough” and referenced the 600-page environmental impact statement.

“That appropriately and independently examined all alternatives and ultimately identified the Port Authority’s proposed route as the preferred alternative for bringing mass rail transit to LaGuardia Airport,” the spokesperson wrote in an e-mail to PIX11 News.

Tom Grech with the Queens Chamber of Commerce said the overwhelming number of responses submitted via e-mail to the FAA are positive.

“This will be a great shot in the arm for the Queens and greater New York City economy with all these jobs,” he said.

The environmental impact statement on the AirTrain project recommended ways to mitigate issues for the surrounding residents and waterway. It was released in mid-March.

Neighbors continue to express concern that the AirTrain will pass through their community. There are millions of dollars included for improvements to the promenade along Flushing Bay.

Lawsuits could be filed next.

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