This was first featured in The Point, the editorial board's daily newsletter for insiders. To subscribe, click here.
Dozens of readers accepted our invitation to name the one change that would fix the dreadful experience known as LaGuardia Airport. Here are your top questions, along with answers from the Port Authority aviation team planning the airport's $4 billion overhaul who met with the editorial board Tuesday.
Readers: We need a smoother flow of traffic. You can't read signs while doing 90-degree turns in heavy traffic.
Port Authority: Signage is the subject of two meetings a week. It’s one of our biggest challenges. We are limited because the signs can’t appear too early on the Grand Central Parkway, according to Parks Commission rules. Signage will be critical, especially during construction. When we’re done, we hope that the terminals will be more logically laid out. Even beyond signage, there are millions budgeted for improved traffic management.
Readers: Give us a water taxi, subway and LIRR connections.
Port Authority: AirTrain service is looking very positive, but it will depend on the cost and potential ridership. We’re studying those now. The AirTrain would stop at the terminals and connect near CitiField to the No. 7 subway line and the LIRR. We’re also looking into a marine terminal for ferry service, but there may be an issue with the wakes. We’re looking at that, as well.
Readers: Drop-off and pick-up is a nightmare! Will there be any effort to ease congestion and facilitate the movement of vehicles?
Port Authority: It’s going to be much better. We’re creating three levels to replace the single level everyone uses now for arrivals and departures. One level will be dedicated to arrivals, and one to departures. The lowest level will serve high-occupancy vehicles like shuttle buses.
Readers: Will you accommodate ride-sharing like Uber?
Port Authority: There’s already a lot near the marine terminal that Uber drivers can use. It opened last summer. The lot has geofencing technology, so only the drivers in the lot are pinged. The new plan will provide for this, too.
Readers: Re-lay out security for more inspection stations and more room to move off the belt and get reorganized. Also better connectivity (moving walkways, a small internal shuttle) between terminals.
Port Authority: Security will double from the current 30,000 square feet in four screening areas to 60,000 square feet in one central area. There will be moving walkways.