New York's City Council recently set a 10 year time limit for Madison Square Garden to vacate the roof of Penn Station, clearing the way for major renovations or replacement of the "claustrophobic maze". But why wait more than a decade for billions of dollars to be raised, agreements to be hammered out, and designs to be completed to improve the daily experience for users of the country's busiest train station, asks Robert W. Previdi, former spokesman and operations planner for New York City Transit. He offers four goals for improving the station in the interim.
"These goals — universal ticketing, access to all arrival and departure information, better signage throughout the station, a more engaging (and perhaps more profitable) retail experience — might seem obvious. The problem is that territorial claims within the station run deep."
"Moving Madison Square Garden someday sounds like a good idea. But running the station as one single transportation hub, not three, and focusing on assisting commuters and travelers in navigating the warren that is Penn Station will result in streamlined operations and a more pleasant commuting experience — even without moving Madison Square Garden or expanding tunnel capacity between New York and New Jersey," he concludes.