Thursday, November 18, 2010

Here Come Criticisms of Bloomberg's Plan to Extend 7 Line to Secaucus

It comes as no surprise that the critics of Mayor Bloomberg's plan to extend the 7 Line to Secaucus has come under fine. You've got absolutely clueless criticisms from Daily News columnist Michael Daly who thinks that the PATH trains are sufficient and that the line to Secaucus makes no sense for New Yorkers who want to go to New Jersey for shopping (and the complaint centers around the tax benefit for shopping at Newport Center rather than outside the enterprise zone in Jersey City - when all New Jerseyans benefit from lower sales tax than New Yorkers - including on clothing).

Moreover, Daly presumes that the only reason New Yorkers go to New Jersey is for shopping. He ignores sports fans who would attend football, hockey, and basketball games or conventions at the Meadowlands facilities. There are no Giants or Jets fans in New York? Right now, most of them trek to New Jersey by car because the trains are impossible to coordinate and if you live in Queens, you'd practically have a 1-seat ride to the Meadowlands stadium. This would improve the utility of those facilities for both New Yorkers and New Jerseyeans.

Jay Walder who heads the MTA complains that the MTA doesn't have the money in its capital budget to handle the project and that it can't manage yet another major project while it has three projects underway (Fulton Terminal, Second Avenue Subway and the 7 Line expansion to 34th and 11th Avenue). Of course, the capital funds for this project would be coming from a combination of sources including, federal monies, Port Authority, and one could potentially expect some New Jersey funds at the same time for a project that would cost about half what the ARC tunnel cost.

Meanwhile, there's a claim that the $3 billion that New Jersey passed up after Gov. Christie killed the ARC tunnel has disappeared is a curious one. Is that money not going to be distributed to other worthy mass transit projects at all or does the New York delegation think that they can't get the money? Where is the pull from the New York delegation to line up those funds? Instead, it will be spread out among other projects that move far fewer people than the 7 Line expansion would see.

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