Andrew Cuomo

Policy, Queens, Transportation

Cuomo’s $2.1B LaGuardia AirTrain project is halted

By Michelle Cohen, Wed, October 13, 2021

Rendering courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced Tuesday that it would be putting the brakes on any further development of the AirTrain, the proposed 1.5-mile elevated rail that would run between the airport and the eastern Queens neighborhood of Willets Point, with a connection to the subway and Long Island Rail Road. The project was a top priority for former Gov. Andrew Cuomo. His successor, Gov. Kathy Hochul, has called for a review of alternatives to the project in response to opposition by community groups and local officials who have criticized its environmental review process, its impact on the surrounding community, and a dearth of alternatives being discussed.

Is it the end of the line for AirTran?

Policy

Photo by Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

In a press conference this morning, Governor Cuomo announced that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and Port Authority of New York and New Jersey will mandate COVID-19 vaccines or weekly testing for employees on the New York side. The protocol will go into effect starting Labor Day. “We beat the damn thing by being smart the first time. Be smart again,” said the governor. This mandate joins a growing number that includes all state workers and all NYC municipal workers, including teachers and NYPD/FDNY members.

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Policy

Photo: Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office on Flickr

All workers employed by New York State will be required to be vaccinated against Covid-19 or get tested for the virus on a regular basis, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The governor put in place an even more stringent mandate for state hospitals: all patient-facing healthcare workers must now be vaccinated, with no test option offered. The announcement comes days after Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled out a similar requirement for all city workers and as President Joe Biden plans to announce all federal employees and contractors must be vaccinated or submit to testing.

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Policy

A state-run mass vaccination site at the Bay Eden Senior Center in the Bronx. March 2021. Photo by Don Pollard/Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo

Yesterday, New York State had 1,982 new Covid cases, up from 346 just one month ago. Of recent positive cases, 72.2 percent are linked to the Delta variant. Though 75 percent of the state’s population is vaccinated, the numbers continue to rise among the 25 percent, or roughly 3.5 million people, who remain unvaccinated. To curb the spread, Governor Cuomo today announced a $15 million initiative to work with community-based organizations that can help advocate for the vaccine in communities with both high Covid spread and low vaccination rates.

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Policy, Queens, Transportation

Rendering courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey can move forward with its proposal to build a $2.1 billion AirTrain to LaGuardia Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration announced on Tuesday. The 1.5-mile elevated rail would run between the airport and the eastern Queens neighborhood of Willets Point, with a connection to the subway and Long Island Rail Road. The agency’s final decision was delayed last month after community groups and elected officials raised concerns about the review process and the logistics of building the AirTrain.

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affordable housing, Flatbush, New Developments

A 900 unit affordable housing complex with public green space and community amenities is coming to Brooklyn’s East Flatbush neighborhood. Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday announced the state selected the proposal to redevelop 7.2 acres of the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center Campus following a request for proposals last summer. Designed by Sir David Adjaye’s Adjaye Associates and Studio Zewde, the $400 million project includes affordable and supportive housing, senior housing, opportunities for homeownership, and two new homeless shelters that will replace existing, outdated ones.

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Battery Park City, Policy

Rendering courtesy fo Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Office

A new monument honoring essential workers will no longer be built in Battery Park City’s Rockefeller Park after the community protested its location. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last month plans to construct at the Lower Manhattan park a “Circle of Heroes” memorial, which would include a circle of maple trees and an eternal flame. Opponents argue the monument would reduce green space and called out the governor’s office for not working with the community. As seen in a video posted on Instagram last week and as first reported by Gothamist, George Tsunis, the chair of the Battery Park City Authority, told local residents: “This site is going to change. It’s going to be a new site.”

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Battery Park City, City Living

All renderings courtesy of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office

A monument honoring the essential workers who served New Yorkers throughout the coronavirus pandemic will open in Battery Park City by Labor Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced on Wednesday. The “Circle of Heroes” memorial will include a circle of 19 maple trees, representing the individual groups of essential workers and their contributions. In the center, an eternal flame will honor those lost to COVID, according to the governor.

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City Living, Policy

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

Last week, Governor Cuomo announced that when New York hit a 70-percent vaccination rate among those 18+, he would lift reopening guidance across commercial and social settings. And as of today, the state has hit that milestone. In a celebratory press conference from the World Trade Center, the governor said, “We can now return to life as we know it.” To mark the occasion, there will be 10 fireworks displays across the state tonight, including one in New York Harbor.

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City Living, Midtown West

Photo: Kevin P. Coughlin / Office of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Flickr

A former police tow pound on the Hudson River is now a public park. Pier 76 officially opened on Wednesday following a three-month, $31 million construction project that involved stripping the tow pound to its frame and removing the sides and roof. The structure’s steel skeleton remains at the 5.6-acre site, with new areas to walk around, benches to sit and enjoy the waterfront views, and panels highlighting the area’s history as a major shipping port.

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