In October, Governor Cuomo announced a competition to modernize four of New York's (ruthlessly plagued) airports. Out of that contest with a $500,000 bounty came ReThinkNYC, a plan to extend LaGuardia Airport from East Elmhurst to the Bronx, while paving over Rikers Island and a substantial amount of the surrounding waterways (h/t W2tB). Sound like a bonkers idea? Well, it is, and it's about as realistic as riding a griffin with Manti Te'o's girlfriend through the Land of Oz, but here's how master-planner Jim Venturi sees it: ReThinkNYC would connect a ton of major transportation networks, including Amtrak, MetroNorth, NJ Transit and Long Island Rail Road, and major highways with an airport of exponentially increased capacity. The airport's new layout would have travelers enter the transportation hub in the Bronxwhere whence Port Morris stoodand take an underground Air Tran to the new concourses, built out on the infill land mass that formerly included Rikers Island.
The new airport would expand LGA's gate count from 76 to 165, and include longer runways that would allow the airport to run more efficiently when busy and in inclement weather. ReThinkNYC also brings a massive convention centerlarger than the Javits Centerand a hotel to Port Morris, next to the new 22-track rail station. The plan also includes the extension of the A line through the magically-funded and expanded Second Avenue subway. Under the plan, Rikers Island's prison facilities would get split up and divided throughout the boroughs, which is just one of the nails in the coffin of this bonkers ideathe Times points out that other than its fiscal impracticality, the plan to pepper the boroughs with prisons would never get the okay in a public review process.
ReThinkNYC is interesting as a thought experiment in city planning, and despite its status in consideration for an Architizer A+ award, it'll likely never be more than a lofty idea. Heck, the city can't even get it together to fund the critical infrastructure it already has.
Check out the ReThinkNYC proposal in its entirety here.
· ReThinkNYC's Ambitious Regional Plan Seeks to Expand La Guardia Airport Into The Bronx—Well Sort Of [W2tB]
· ReThinkNYC [official]
· An Idea to Restructure and Expand LaGuardia Airport [NYT]
· All LaGuardia Airport coverage [Curbed]