Monday, July 14, 2008

Likely Staten Island Congressman Has Rail as Top Priority

Mike McMahon(D-Staten Island), is, thanks to Vito Fossella's drunken revelations and a terrible climate for Republicans, likely to be the new Congressman from New York's 13th district, which takes in all of Staten Island, and Bay Ridge, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend Bay in Brooklyn. Cook Political Report shifted it to "Lean Democrat" on July 3rd, which it is extremely hesitant to do for seats currently held by Republicans.

McMahon, fortunately, is highly invested in getting the rail lines on the North and West Shores built.

For his part, City Councilman Michael McMahon, (D-North Shore), a congressional candidate, has pledged to make solving Staten Island's transportation woes his first priority if elected. "It's not only a question of transportation, it's an incredible economic shot in the arm for both the North Shore and West Shore," McMahon said. The borough's Republican party has yet to nominate a candidate.

The North Shore rail line "would run along the North Shore from St. George to Mariners Harbor/Arlington"

While the West Shore line hasn't been figured out yet, one idea is that it would run "partially along the West Shore Expressway median, reaching the Pleasant Plains park-and-ride (near the Pleasant Plains Staten Island Railway station) on the southern end, and the Bayonne Bridge on the northern end." It would then cross the Bayonne Bridge to theoretically connect up with the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail line (which, by the way, is superb, and is spurring fast redevelopment in Hudson County). The Bayonne Bridge, by the way, was built from 1928-1931 with extra space in which to install rail lines, but it never ever got them.

Among other things, these two lines would greatly shorten the time necessary for Staten Islanders to get to work. The Census Bureau estimates the median commute for a Staten Islander is 43.9 minutes, possibly the longest for any area they calculate (though Brooklyn and Queens aren't much better, at least their commutes are on the subway where they don't have to sit on the road in traffic).

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

McMahon has an opponent in the Democratic primary, Steve Harrison.

Against Fossella in 06, Harrison received the highest percentage of the vote ever by a Democrat under the district's current configuration.