Friday, April 5, 2013

Let's talk about urban design and urban planning. Let's talk about how wrong a decision will affect the entire city and it's people.
There are 3 main airports that serve the NYC area - JFK, La Guardia and Newark International Airport which is in New Jersey.
A few years ago, the Port Authority of NY and NJ built an airtrain in both the Newark and JFK airport to make it easier for commuters to get to the airport. Maybe they were trying to imitate many airports in Europe where you can get there by train or subway.

What I want to tell you is how it was decided for Newark airport. The Port Authority of NY and NJ built a new commuter rail station for the AirTrain on the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line. They spent millions of dollars building this new facility.This station is located only 5 minutes away from the existing old Pennsylvania Newark Train Station which is also a big transportation tube.

Every train stops at the old station, including the Path, which cost only $1.50 from Midtown Manhattan. There are buses in front of it, taxis and any kind of public transportation. It is a very beautiful and eclectic building.

The new one is in the middle of nowhere. The only way to get there is with the NJ train which cost $7.50 from Penn Station, Manhattan and not every train stops there. Once you are there you are stuck there - no cabs, no subways, no buses, no car access, nothing. Is it not stupid?!

Many times I was stuck there. I remember once after a big snowstorm all the flights were cancelled. I took the Airtran to go back home after my very frustrated attempt to fly to Florida for a wedding. Once I got to the new station, I realized the NJ train didn 't work, the same reason being the snowstorm. I couldn't call any of my friends to pick me up in that station because there was no car access and the air train was not working anymore. So, I couldn 't go back to the terminal.

So, we've learned that traveling with a stroller in the city is complicated, but traveling with a suitcase here is also complicated! Why did these people make this decision?! Every decision made for the city has to be taken with the people of this city in mind. Who are; in the end, the users. It's amazing how such a bad decision can make our lives more complicated. We get used to the idea that the city is not built  to our benefits and this is totally wrong!