Port Authority Bus Terminal : Next Steps

Two months ago the Port Authority  adopted its 10 year Capital plan and earmarked $ 3.5 Billions to build a new bus terminal . However the Chairman indicated that “ this resolution does not preclude the study of any additional options for providing cross-Hudson transportation. We continue to acknowledge that, while the bus terminal is a critical first step, it is only one piece of a menu of options that must be in place to meet the needs created by future demand increases”. Such statement is a big step in the right direction. Watch his speech here.

Also in response to the CB4 letter on the #7 extension, CB4 met with the Planning Department of the PANYNJ and explained our concepts. It was a productive meeting.

Then in early April, at its last full board, Community Board 4 passed a resolution summarizing the input gathered from the community over the last 12 months . The key points of this terrific letter to the Chairman of  the Port Authority are as follows:

  • Do no harm: no eminent domain and no demolition
  • Comply with the zoning: residential zoning was negotiated as part of the last rezoning and will produce affordable housing.
  • Improve air quality: no staging or parking facilities – the new building should be enclosed with a filtration system. All bus accesses should be underground.
  • Integrate with the regional transportation system: a Path 7 extension of the # 7 should be studied as well as a long distance bus terminal and garage for tour and charter buses and the impact of the Gateway project factored in the plans.

These points will the basis for our discussions going forward with the Port Authority.

Yesterday at the Regional Planning Association (RPA) annual assembly, infrastructure was on everyone’s mind. The panel discussion “Crossing the Hudson” was very popular. Polly Trottenberg, NYC DOT Commissioner was the star of the exchanges with the Port Authority: “no one build large bus terminals inside cities any longer” she told them. And then she enjoined the Port Authority to build partnership to succeed: “There was no one representing  NYC on the Design Competition Jury ” she added. Brava.

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