ReThinkNYC has submitted a massive regional proposal to improve access to La Guardia Airport (LGA) as part of a competition to modernize NYC’s 4 area airports in which the winner would fetch a $500,000 prize.
In short, the proposal seeks to essentially wipe out about half of the existing Port Morris neighborhood east of the RFK Bridge and adding a convention center, parking, terminals and rail links straight into an expanded La Guardia Airport that would take over Riker’s Island as well.
The plan has many merits to it in wanting to connect so many different transportation networks in our region and bringing that hub into The Bronx (and Sunnyside Queens as well), including extending the A train east along 125th Street and send it up with the new 2nd Avenue T line (and Q train) into The Bronx snaking its way through Port Morris, Hunts Point, connecting up to East 180th Street on the 2 and 5 line and make its way up through the 5 Dyre Avenue Line (The 5 line would be replaced by the 3 other lines along Dyre Avenue).
Unfortunately most of the plan is too ambitious and would require the displacement of many businesses in Port Morris as well as residents who live there.
There’s also the issue of the old Port Morris Line which went from the neighborhood up into Melrose and beyond but it’s no longer viable as several major developments have been built on these very tracks.
Oh and more pollution from an expanded airport? Let’s not even get started on that issue when the South Bronx already has 8x the national rate of asthma and 21x the hospitalization rate in New York City for the ailment. The closer proximity of more runways in an expanded La Guardia Airport CLOSER to The Bronx would have a disastrous impact on the already precarious air quality.
In 2005, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, surveyed the air around the Hillsboro airport in that state and this is what they found:
“When the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality surveyed the airport in 2005, it found a lead cloud hovering above Hillsboro, a circular plume spanning 25 square miles. At its center—right about where the Kittlesons live—lead levels were twice as high as the National Ambient Air Quality Standard threshold set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).” – via Living near an airport could be toxic | Salon
LGA currently received over 100,000 more flights a year than Hillsboro so what would an expanded airport do the South Bronx?
What about Riker’s Island? Where are we going to place the inmates? Sure, our nation has a problem with over incarceration and the highest prison population on the globe but where will such a facility be placed?
Currently this plan is being voted on at Architizer A+ Awards site among 90 other projects so hop on over and see what else they have in store.
Below are some downloadable images from their website so you can check them out here as well but make sure you check the the websites so you can get the full gist of their logic and ambitious plan.