Penn Station’s current state begs for renovations



Barbara Chang

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul’s plans to upgrade Penn Station will enable New Yorkers to commute withease and utilize the public transportation system the city has to offer.

“This plan puts New Yorkers first, delivering the rider-focused transit experience and great neighborhood they deserve,” Hochul said.

Hochul said that former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s original developments for Penn Station will not change, but her main focus will be on restoring the unwelcoming and shady-looking public transit station under Madison Square Garden.

She envisions a makeover for the current Penn Station to focus on bringing New York residents more accessibility and convenience.

The $7 billion plan to reconstruct Penn Station will include moving machines from storage to make corridors and foyers that are single level with high ceilings in order to let in more daylight, Curbed reported.

The new access points of Penn Station will make the station more appealing, the open areas around the station will look more like mini parks that people would like to spend time at. The plan will also make sure that there will be more streets catered only to bikes and pedestrians around the station.

Hochul’s proposition for Penn Station also involves several other updates.

Penn Station will have a one-story lobby that will be twice as tall as before, twice as much space for passengers. The space will be around 250,000 square feet, which is as big as the merger of the Moynihan and Grand Central halls.

It’ll be a lot easier to navigate the new version of Penn Station because the city plans to install lines that will guide visitors to points of exit and add stairs or escalators and elevators to train terminals.

There will also be new hallways below ground that will guide guests to the Sixth Avenue IND line from the Herald Square subway stop.

To ensure that Penn Station doesn’t get crowded, the new plan will increase the number of exits and entrances. Sidewalks near Penn Station will also have more room and 31st to 33rd streets will become shared streets that put people first.

According to The New York Times, the most important factor in the reconstruction of Penn Station is the establishment of a brand new railroad underpass that cuts across the Hudson River and adds train tracks, which would expand the structure into a new compound called Penn South.

This aspect should be one of the main goals of the Penn Station Project.

With regards to financing, the federal government would pay 50% and New York and New Jersey would pay 25% of the Penn Station project’s costs.

New York City authorities should ensure that construction for the new Penn Station happens only in the morning and during the day, when people are either at work or out and about, just to prevent the disruption of peace in the neighborhoods.

Additionally, Penn Station shouldn’t be located underneath Madison Square Garden. It would be more convenient if it was in a building above ground so passengers can gain access to it easier than they do now.

A lot of homeless people live and wander in Penn Station, therefore, the New York City Police Department should take initiative and try to relocate as many of them as possible.

Penn Station is usually very dirty, so the city should hire more people to join its cleaning crew. It is also dark there, so reconstructing the station to let more sunlight in would be ideal.

Also, the selection of vendors at Penn Station is mostly unhealthy and overpriced fast foods that are unappealing to many. Replacing them with more local foodstands and to-go counters would be a great change of pace for passengers who are always on the go.

Hochul’s new plan envisions a more functional Penn Station, making the implementations of the proposals essential.