Andy MattisonNov 30, 2017, 10:29 pm

Regional Planning Association suggests subway overhaul

Officials from the tri-state area received more than 60 recommendations for the region

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NEW YORK CITY — The Regional Planning Association suggested a major overhaul of the New York City subway system and the restructuring of the Port Authority during an event attended by several public officials.

The plan also laid out more than 60 recommendations for the region from northern New Jersey to Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Southern Connecticut.

"The investments that they're recommending in our infrastructure is consistent with our vision. It's going to bring jobs to the region, it's going to bring jobs to Mount Vernon and I'm excited to partner with them," Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas said.

In presenting five years of data on climate health and sustainability across the region, the association said the city should modernize its subway system in the next 15 years and proposed several ways to fund it.

"We've proposed congestion pricing. It's already under discussion we think it probably even needs to be enhanced. It needs to be dedicated to this new entity, not to the existing functions of the MTA," said fourth Regional Plan Committee Chair Rohit Aggarwala.

In addition to infrastructure suggestions for the region, the association also looked at housing.

"As people take Ubers and Lyfts to get to the trains on Long Island and Connecticut, we don't need to babysit cars on those parking lots anymore, so let's build housing there," Regional Planning Association President Tom Wright said.

Transportation is a key element in Suffolk County's “Connect Long Island” plan.

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka also touched on the importance of affordable housing in New Jersey.

"We, the council, just passed for us inclusionary zoning ordinance and a lot of folks are saying that it was too early to do that and I just don't believe that. Especially since when you look at Manhattan, the affordable units in Manhattan are about $3,000 which I think is outrageous," Baraka said.

The suggestions are now in the hands of dozens of public officials who will decide how to use those recommendations to maintain infrastructure.

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