News

We Still Have Room to get the Penn Station the Region Deserves. We Need Your Help!

Rethink, Sam Turvey, turveysa@gmail.com, July 15, 2023

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Our fight for a worthy Penn Station pits us against New York State, its  agencies, moneyed lobbyists, and the Empire State Development Corporation; all bent on having their way regardless of the business environment or the wishes of the public.  Collectively, they use their pulpits of power to continue to try to sell their retrograde side of the story.

Our campaign is for a 21st-century-new Penn Station operated with through-running and high-speed rail, the world standard. We seek an above-ground station with an abundance of natural light.  We favor one that is reasonably faithful to a modernization of the original McKim, Mead & White station.  We are woefully mismatched when it comes to resources.  Even the negative press for the official Penn Station Plan frequently serves as a subliminal advertisement by featuring deceptive perspectives and eye-washed architectural renderings.

That we may be right can only carry us so far. While we cannot outspend the opposition, we can spend enough so that our story is not swamped by misinformation, half-truths and lies.  We fight in the streets, court, in print, radio, television, and social media as well as government offices at the local, state, and federal level. We fight in the courts. We will continue to leverage the superiority of our ideas to fight on multiple fronts.

Our efforts in conjunction with the Empire Station Coalition, other key partners, and a sickly office space market, have caused a “decoupling” of the Governor’s neighborhood demolition plan which supposedly would have funded the plan to rehab Penn Station.  And, yes, there have been positive changes to the plan and it continues to evolve and bring in new players.  We should be open to new ideas and not hardwired to the top-down plan foisted on us a few years back.

There is still no transit plan, no through-running, nor indication that the powers that be will give us more than a basement makeover on a  60’s era tortured below-ground station construct. The neighborhood demolition plan, inexplicably, remains on the table.

When Madison Square Garden decides to move to more monied pastures, as it most assuredly will; the compromises of today will be the stumbling blocks of tomorrow.  Billions wasted for the MTA’s proposed glass and chrome embellishments sitting atop a transit system designed in 1910. 

The City Planning Commission recommended a new ten-year use permit for   Madison Square Garden – at best, a short-sighted decision.

The City Council will vote in the fall. Environmental reviews for the proposed station and through-running (an operating model that would add the same “connectivity” our subways brought to the outer boroughs to our outlying counties) will take place later this year, into 2024, and perhaps, 2025.  We will be in this for the long term but really need your help.

Please join our cause and consider financial contributions as well. We take no salary or other compensation for what we gladly do.  But we do  need your help to pay for the tools necessary to wage this fight – technology, social media resources, press campaigns, advertisements, architectural renderings, legal fees for our litigation challenging the Governor’s plan and other essentials.

Donations of whatever size are greatly appreciated and deductible to the extent provided by law as we are an IRS 501(c)3 Not for Profit Corporation.

Say no to pay-to-play projects, no to low expectations, no to all the conflicted deals that cause you to doubt this City.  This time, we go for the glory.