Kathy Hochul’s laughable excuse to push her flawed Penn Station makeover
Governor Kathy Hochul calls the area around Penn Station “rusty”, comparing it to “Skid Row”. No kidding! And whose fault, if not, at least in part, hers?
And the only reason she admits it is because it will further her ill-conceived redevelopment plans.
Embracing the grossly misguided ideas she inherited from her disgraced predecessor Andrew Cuomo, Hochul would ask the state to take back large swathes of property around the transit center via eminent domain — it is destroyed, after all — and to use it to let a developer (who donated generously to his campaign) build super-tall office towers there (receiving equally great tax breaks in the process).
Rationale: The new buildings would generate revenue to fund station improvements and beautify the neighborhood.
Yet the finances of the plan represent, as Nicole Gelinas puts it, a Rube Goldberg ploy that makes little sense, let alone justification. The plan also steals the city’s tax and governmental authority. And it won’t even produce enough change in the transit hub.
Does Penn and surrounding areas need improvement? Absolutely. They have been a disgrace for decades. Every day, commuters and tourists have to make their way past armies of the homeless, drug addicts, mentally ill people and outright criminals.
But that’s because progressives, including Hochul herself, have refused to take these people off the streets. petty criminals who commit crimes everyday – and get caught again and again for it – may not even be asked to post bail when arrested, but must be released immediately, no questions asked.
This is history not just for Penn Station, but for many parts of the city. Are they also all considered spoiled?
If Hochul is unhappy with the station and the blocks around it, she should focus her attention on cleaning them up; Fixing these disastrous bail laws would be a good start. And there are plenty of better ways, as Gelinas also noted, to fund a proper overhaul of the station itself.
Meanwhile, calling the area “Skid Row” to further Hochul’s flawed plan is about as seamless a ploy as it gets.