Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cross Harbor Plan Revived

By Eric Yun

The controversial Cross Harbor Freight Program is once again picking up steam. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been contemplating several solutions to improve traffic and delivery of goods across New York Harbor.

Local residents will get the chance to listen to the new developments and give their input at next week’s Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst (COMET) meeting.

The Port Authority had developed a plan to build a tunnel beneath New York Harbor to connect New Jersey, New York City and Long Island. Included in the plan was creating an intermodal station in Maspeth.

The station would have allowed freight trains from other states to delivering goods to Queens, and then transferred to trucks at the Maspeth rail yard to various areas in the city and Long Island. This would have created immense traffic issues in Maspeth, Middle Village, Glendale, Sunnyside and Hunters Point.

Community residents heavily criticized the plans arguing, their neighborhoods could not handle any more rail or truck traffic. In 2005, Mayor Michael Bloomberg opposed the plan and the program was put aside.

Now, the Port Authority is arguing that something must be done and have reopened public hearings and environmental studies to get something accomplished.

Given the previous idea for the Cross Harbor Freight Program, local residents are afraid that any implementation of the program will lead to increased traffic and pollution.

Port Authority officials will give a public presentation at the next Communities of Maspeth and Elmhurst Together (COMET) on Tuesday, November 16 at 61-57 Maspeth Avenue at 7:00 P.M. Residents are encouraged to attend to listen to the presentation and give feedback.

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