TRAINS AND PLANES – What I’m Thinking About Today
1. It’s Wednesday, May 13, 2015. It’s cooler, but still a pretty day in New York.
2. As everyone else, I’m saddened by last night’s Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia and the death of six travelers.
Hopefully, investigators will find the cause quickly. Train travel should a safe way of getting from place to place.
But this incident, along with two Metro-North commuter train crashes in recent years, remind us that safety can never be taken for granted. This country needs to take a long look at what’s needed to make rail travel safer.
3. A recent proposal in The New York Times suggested what to do about busy, dilapidated La Guardia Airport, the airport closest to New York City.
The suggestion: Close it.
The proponent suggested that the area’s two other airports, John F. Kennedy and Newark Liberty, could take up the slack. But both of those airports aren’t much better than La Guardia, and there are few trips now as joyless as slogging to JFK on the bumper-to-bumper Van Wyck Expressway.
La Guardia’s problems are daunting, but solvable. Direct rail access from Manhattan would help cut down on the vehicle traffic. Re-organizing the gates to keep short-haul flights in the same general vicinity is a good idea. So is putting up some readable signs to tell you where everything is.
There was a time when, in a radio ad, La Guardia was billed as “New York’s friendly neighborhood airport.” That can still be the case with a little vision. But scrapping it solves nothing.
4. The song of the moment is “Animal” by Conor Maynard. Keep that in your head today.