Demanding Answers: Port Authority Announces New Plan To Fight LaGuardia Congestion

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — You have likely seen the video or experienced it yourself –
the traffic nightmare at LaGuardia Airport.

Now, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it has a plan to make sure such a situation will not happen again for the upcoming holiday weekend.

CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer was demanding answers Wednesday on the plan.

The dangerous “carmageddon” at LaGuardia last Friday made for a miserable experience for everyone there. Passengers and crews filled sidewalks and roadways as they frantically tried to make flights.

The situation did not please Gov. Andrew Cuomo. After all, the $4 billion redevelopment project responsible for the delays is his brainchild.

“The delays on Friday were unacceptable,” Cuomo said.

Kramer asked the governor about the debacle.

“Since these problems have been going on for about six months, why haven’t they been addressed?” she asked.

Cuomo spoke of the complexities of the project — redoing the airport while keeping it open for the 28 million passengers who use it.

“LaGuardia is the size of a large postage stamp,” he said. “The parcel is very small, so we’re now building a new airport at the same time we’re operating the existing airport.”

And while he did not admit to reading the riot act, Cuomo made it clear he did not want a repeat

“I’ve spoken to the Port Authority over the weekend,” he said. “We have a new team that’s going to come in and be put in place to manage the airport better logistically.”

That may be why the Port Authority announced a big new plan to reduce congestion this weekend – the President’s Day holiday — with 300,000 passengers expected.

It includes free bus service to the airport from Jackson Heights and Woodside, Queens train and subway stations, discounted parking in a long-term lot, and free parking for passenger pickup in a cell phone lot.

But there is still no word on other traffic alleviating proposals like park-and-ride at Citi Field.

Kramer asked Cuomo if he was about park-and- and or maybe having dedicated buses from subway stops.

“You’re exactly right,’ he said. “We’re thinking about all of the above.”

But there is still nothing firm

“I apologize for the congestion. That’s an inevitable byproduct,” said Port Authority Chairman John Degnan. “It’s unfortunate that people have to experience that.”

If you are planning to travel this weekend, it might be a good idea to take the Port Authority’s advice and allow an extra 90 minutes to get to the airport.

Kramer called the Mets to see if a park-and-ride option was in the cards at Citi Field, but a representative refused to comment.

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