Tom Wright argues for building essential energy, environmental and educational facilities on Rikers instead of runways from LaGuardia.


“Our 2011 study that Crain’s cites recommended adding runways at Kennedy and Newark airports, not LaGuardia. Simply put, new LaGuardia runways would not add enough capacity. Our report found that a runway similar to the one presented in Crain’s would add only six to 10 flights per hour, require major operational changes at LaGuardia and Kennedy and generate conflicts with Newark. Without those changes, the runway would not increase capacity. Contrast that to the options for expanding Kennedy and Newark, which would create three to seven times more capacity and an exponentially greater economic benefit.”

Crain’s failed to mention that the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform, which seeks to close the Rikers correctional facility, identified a second alternative: reserving the island for energy, environmental and educational uses. Doing so would provide sites for desperately needed industrial facilities, such as renewable energy generation and a modern wastewater treatment plant, that are virtually impossible to locate elsewhere in the city—and would relieve struggling communities burdened by these noxious uses today. We could combine these facilities with state-of-the-art, on-site educational institutions and job-training centers in an open and accessible island with greenways and a memorial. This would attract students and professionals from around the region and the world, creating good jobs for New Yorkers and contributing to needed scientific and technological advancements.” – Tom Wright


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Don’t Make Rikers Into a Runway, Crain’s


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