74° Good Afternoon
74° Good Afternoon

Highway haze

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the opening

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the opening of a new flyover roadway at LaGuardia Airport aimed at improving driving in and around the airport.

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point! Not a subscriber? Click here.

Daily Point

Brace for delays

Forget setting aside extra hours at the airport just to get through security before boarding a flight. Sometime in the not-so-distant future, you might have to set aside more than two hours just to get to LaGuardia Airport from midtown Manhattan.

That’s just part of the data the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey unveiled Thursday as the Federal Aviation Administration’s environmental review for a proposed AirTrain to LaGuardia begins.

Traffic now is horrid. A study by Sam Schwartz Engineers showed that the number of cars going and coming from LaGuardia has grown exponentially over the last few years. Budgeted driving time from Times Square has increased by 18 percent since 2014. Drivers have to budget even more time to get back to midtown from the airport, the study found.

And in 2017, there were 114 days — basically one in every three — when travel time from the airport into midtown took 70 minutes or more.

The traffic study showed that those numbers will get only worse, especially with increasing numbers of e-hail cars and self-driving cars likely to join the traffic, eventually leading to a two-hour window for travel time.

Most LaGuardia passengers start their journey to the airport from midtown or lower Manhattan, the study found, with only 7.2 percent coming from Long Island. Interestingly, though, more than 14 percent of LaGuardia employees come from Long Island.

The data are being utilized to advocate for the AirTrain as an alternative that could cut travel time significantly.

Of course, there could be a caveat worth considering. If the subways aren’t fixed by 2045, taking the AirTrain could be just as bad.

Randi F. Marshall

Talking Point

Molinaro plays to his base

GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro is running targeted Facebook ads about Herman Bell, who was convicted of killing NYPD officers Joseph Piagentini and Waverly Jones in 1971. Bell, 70, was granted parole this year, a decision Molinaro blames on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.

The ads don’t note that Cuomo condemned the release or that the GOP-controlled State Senate confirmed the governor-appointed members of the parole board.

The audience for those ads has been largely male, according to a review of the ads on Facebook’s new political ad archive.

The four Bell ads from October estimated an audience that ranged about 70 to 80 percent male. It’s a bit of a trend for Molinaro, the Dutchess County executive. Many of his recent Facebook ads lean toward a male audience.

Facebook ads can be targeted by lists or by background information that users themselves volunteer. The archive shows only the demographics of users who saw the ads, not the secret campaign sauce of how the ad got to them.

For the record, a Molinaro spokesman says the campaign isn’t targeting males. So the male audience for his ads might show another way that Republican candidates really are facing a gender gap.

Mark Chiusano

Pencil Point


Reference Point

Days of future past

Commuting by cannonball. Trains running on beams in the sky. New York City expanding and annexing Long Island.

Those were some of the prognostications of officials asked by Newsday’s Inquiring Photographer to opine on what Hempstead Village would be like in 300 years. The question was posed as the village celebrated its first 300 years, and the answers ran on Newsday’s editorial page on Oct. 11, 1943 — that’s 75 years ago today.

Here are some abridged responses:

Frank Curran, assistant director of education research, Long Island Lighting Co.: “For one thing, there’ll be no more Long Island Rail Road in 2243. Electronics will have advanced to the point where freight and passenger trains will be flown along beams in the air above storm level.”

The Rev. John S. Haight, pastor, St. George’s Episcopal Church: “Hempstead will be a thriving city but it will keep its colonial characteristics.”

James N. Gehrig, presiding supervisor, Town of Hempstead: “When you think of the improvements that have been made in the automobile in the last 40 years, the airplane, autogyro and helicopter, in the next 300 years, may be outmoded means of transportation. We might even be shuttling back and forth from New York City in the shell of a cannon-ball, shot from a gun in Hempstead and reaching New York in one minute.”

Wilbur R. Seaman, former fire chief: “It’s hard to say, but I do believe that at the rate we are progressing within the next 50 years Nassau will have become a city and Hempstead will be absorbed into that city. Or it may be that New York City will expand further and take in all of Long Island in another annexation.”

Adelaide Faron, Hempstead Village librarian: “Nassau will be one large incorporated area, probably not a part of New York City, although there has always been a lot of argument over that, and eventually called the City of Hempstead. It has a right to be the center of the county. It has always been called ‘The Hub.’ ”

Michael Dobie