Brooklyn, NY- Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman (D/WF) submitted testimony on Tuesday at the MTA’s public hearing on the Scope Environmental Impact Statement for the Lower Manhattan-Jamaica/JFK Transportation Project. In her testimony, Assemblywoman Millman highlighted that Lower Manhattan/JFK rail link will only benefit Brooklyn if the MTA creates a new tunnel under the East River.
Millman stated the need for the Environmental Impact Statement of the project to fully investigate the needs of all the communities involved and to ensure that the project adds to Brooklyn’s transit infrastructure. Millman went on to praise the goals of creating a rail link from Lower Manhattan to JFK by stating, "The investment in improved rail service will lay the foundation for sound transportation infrastructure to a rapidly expanding business and residential district in Downtown Brooklyn. Furthermore I firmly believe it will assist the Lower Manhattan economic recovery effort following the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. By improving Brooklyn’s transit infrastructure these districts will be better equipped to compete for high profile commercial tenants and provide relief for an already beleaguered transit system."
Millman continued that although she supports the goals of the project she was concerned about two of the alternate proposals to creating a new tunnel. She said, "Two of the alternatives of particular concern to me are that the rail link will utilize tunnels under the East River that are currently used for the N/R and A/C lines. If theses lines are compromised in any way as transit options for Brooklyn subway riders, then what is already a severe overcrowding situation will become worse."
Additionally, she described how the pending development between the Downtown Brooklyn re-zoning and the Atlantic Yards will add thousands of riders to the system. She concluded, "That is why I am calling on the MTA to specifically and comprehensively address the need to create a new tunnel to serve the growth of Downtown Brooklyn. Only with a new tunnel will Brooklynites truly benefit from the Lower Manhattan/JFK link."