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Save Murray Hill: Stop the MTA's Park Avenue Ventilation Project

This petition had 953 supporters

Petition to Governor Andrew Cuomo, MTA President Veronique Hakim, State Senator Liz Krueger, NYC Council Member Daniel Garodnick, NYS Assembly Member Richard Gottfried, NYS Assembly Member Dan Quart, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Mayor Bill deBlasio, and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer

November 30, 2016:  For anyone who cares about working, living or visiting in New York City, this is a pressing issue. If the MTA’s proposal to excavate Murray Hill NYC goes through, residents will face illness, businesses will be hurt and there will be years of ceaseless noise, fumes and rodents. And according to MTA officials, they are doing this because “the money needs to be spent.”  We are a group of concerned NYC residents and businesses who love this historic neighborhood and want to see it survive.

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The MTA’s proposed “emergency” ventilation plant for the Lexington Avenue IRT line along Park Avenue in Murray Hill, will negatively impact all residents and businesses from 34th to 39th Street.

The consequences of this project to our community would be devastating:

  • years of noise pollution from jackhammers tearing up the street and sidewalks
  • environmental and air quality dangers (already demonstrated with MTA’s East Side Access Project at Park Avenue and 37th Street)
  • The likelihood of damage to historic buildings from blasting
  • Unmanageable pedestrian and vehicular traffic via one open northbound lane, particularly for ambulances and fire trucks

These would be the consequences for a historic residential neighborhood that has already endured eight years - and still ongoing -  of the East Side Access construction.

This ill-conceived project is based on an obsolete 22-year-old study.  Representatives of MTA have stated that the proposed plant is discretionary, and have demonstrated bias by stating: “We have to build something…in Manhattan.” From a Freedom of Information report, we know that in the past 20 years, there has not been a single fire/smoke incident where subway riders were in any danger or even inconvenienced.

Given the $34+ billion debt of the MTA and the impending fare increase, there is simply no justification for undertaking another discretionary project for which there is no demonstrated need.

Furthermore, there are alternatives that make much more sense, with much less cost and disruption to the community, particularly the recently announced Metro North Clean Sweep Program employing newly-acquired vacuum cars patrolling the tracks regularly in order to evacuate the debris that causes track fires.  

Please join us by signing this petition and calling on our elected officials to stop this unwarranted project from moving forward.


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