Joe Anastasio of LTV Squad wrote an analysis of Elizabeth Crowley's light rail plan that really calls her out on the carpet for lying about its feasibility and purpose. Some highlights:
"The last statement on the slide is a complete lie: existing air train rail cars can't use the Lower Montauk line. Again, there is no third rail. Installing one, with a modern signal system, would be a billion-dollar project. There's also the little matter of FRA and ADA regulations, which are being ignored. All of those AirTrain cars would likely have to be replaced. Anyone who knows anything about rail operations knows this. This is not an oversight on Team Crowley's behalf. They have been working on this for two years now. This statement is a lie. A purposely stated lie."
"...Liz is quoted as saying there is a lot of underutilized manufacturing which is also threatening us". Again: none of this property is 'underutilized'. Blue collar jobs are needed to maintain a large city. We need to work to preserve the few industrial zones we have left in NYC."
"Personally, I think it's lazy to argue against a transit project on the grounds of 'gentrification'. I wouldn't even mention this G word if literally this whole (*&@*&^ presentation wasn't geared towards real estate development. I'm not going to pound on this drum though. As you've seen, I have a dozen other red and yellow flags to throw. I'm sticking to those. Don't be surprised if someone else throws this G flag though ‒ and when they do, the only person to blame here is Team Liz Crowley for opening this door by putting out a presentation that is all about real estate development and not about actual commuters."
"Crowley started talking about this plan in 2015. So far, all we have is real estate developer pandering, money being thrown at studies, and no idea who and if anyone would ride this thing. Transit on the Lower Montauk shouldn't be this hard and preposterous, but apparently for our politicians, it is. At the moment, this isn't a transit plan, it's a god damned money pit for hired consultants and a marketing scheme to attract even more nefarious real estate developers who do not have commuters or the communities' best interests at heart. I'm not going to stand for it, and neither should you."
To read the entire breakdown yourself, visit: tinyurl.com/CrowleyLightRail. We'd also like to point out that AECOM, the consulting firm hired to complete this study, is the same group that submitted a bogus environmental study in support of a shelter at the proposed Cooper Ave homeless shelter site.
Transit expert Larry Penner wrote the following in Crains:
"Even with a planning feasibility study, millions more will be needed to pay for environmental documents along with preliminary design and engineering followed by final design and engineering efforts necessary to validate any basic estimates for construction costs. Crowley's previously stated belief that it would be under $100 million doesn't add up.
Rather than spend several hundred million dollars to build a light-rail system which could take a decade or more, why not ask the LIRR to resume service on this corridor? It could run a two-car scoot service reconnecting Long Island City, Glendale and Middle Village with other communities including Richmond Hill and other intermediate stops to Jamaica. The LIRR could use existing equipment, which would afford far earlier implementation of service than light rail."
To read his take, visit tinyurl.com/PennerRail