BP Levine, Rep. Nadler, West Side Elects Call for “Grand” Redesign of 8th Ave. Penn Entrance


PRESS RELEASE FOR: Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Contact: Win Roosevelt // 617-680-0158 // wroosevelt@manhattanbp.nyc.gov

VIDEO of the event is available in HD quality (h.264, mp4) format here.
PHOTOS of the event are available on the BP’s Flickr page.

NEW YORK – On Tuesday, in a move set to revitalize one of New York City’s most iconic transportation hubs, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and Representative Jerry Nadler jointly expressed their support for a “Grand Entrance” on 8th Avenue to be included in any future plan to redesign Penn Station. Flanked by a group of local officials and community groups, the two officials emphasized the need for the west-facing entrance to serve the rapidly growing West Side.

To solicit plans for the redesign, both Nadler and Levine also called for the City to initiate a competitive RFP process that will ask that applicants not only improve the functionality of the station but also transform the surrounding community through a world-class “grand entrance.”

“This is about preparing our city for the future while honoring our past. Our goal is to make the commute as efficient and pleasant as possible for the thousands who travel through here daily,” said Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine. “Penn Station is in one of the fastest-growing parts of Manhattan. As Hudson Yards and the West Side experience increasing growth and office occupancy rates, more commuters will be coming to and from the West Side, making 8th Avenue the most convenient entry point. This is a no-brainer.”

“We have an opportunity now, as we’re planning for a total reconstruction of Penn Station, to build an amazing entrance in the location that makes the most sense,” BP Levine added.

“As the preliminary design process for Penn Station’s reconstruction comes underway, I am joining my colleagues in calling on the MTA and Amtrak to include grand entrances on both 7th and 8th Avenues in the redesign,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “A world-class commuter hub deserves a world-class entrance, and the development of Hudson Yards, Manhattan West, and Moynihan Train Hall will only continue to drive passenger traffic coming from 8th Avenue. Utilizing the unused taxiway and moving MSG truck loading off the streets will make way for a bright, airy entry point to Penn with convenient access to all that Manhattan’s West Side has to offer.”

During the press conference, Nadler and Levine touted several key benefits to a new 8th Ave. entrance, including:

Improved Accessibility and Convenience: An 8th Avenue entrance would provide much-needed access to transportation for Penn Station commuters. Current estimates suggest that over 100,000 daily riders will benefit from this new entry point, a number that significantly outnumbers the current 8,000 daily users of Moynihan Train Hall.

Service to Multiple Train Lines: Moynihan Train Hall accommodates trains from Amtrak and LIRR, further emphasizing the importance of convenient access.

Alleviating Congestion: By eliminating the Theatre at MSG, there will be a significant reduction in theater and MSG loading activities on the neighboring streets

Support and Growth: The addition of the 8th Ave. entrance has garnered support from various civic organizations. Moreover, as Hudson Yards and the West Side witness increasing growth and occupancy rates, more commuters are predicted to come from the West Side, reinforcing the convenience of the new 8th Ave. entry point.

A Boon for Commuters: With even conservative estimates from the MTA indicating that 30% of Penn passengers come from the West Side, the new entrance has the potential to make 8th Ave. one of the busiest rail hubs in America.

The two elections were joined by State Senator Liz Krueger, Assemblymember Tony Simone, and City Council Member Eric Bottcher, all of whose districts overlap with Madison Square Garden and Penn Station, and who voiced strong support for the vision for a new 8th Ave. entrance.

“We have one shot to define the transit experience entering New York City for the next generation and we must get it right,” said Assemblymember Tony Simone. “A grand entrance on 8th Avenue will transform the station experience and rejuvenate the neighborhood, instilling pride in our transportation infrastructure once again.”

“New Yorkers deserve a train stations worthy of the greatest city in the world. We need a grand train hall on Eighth Avenue that elevates Penn Station’s sense of place and revives its reputation as one of the great transit centers of the world,” said City Council Member Erik Bottcher. The grand entrance situated on Eighth Avenue has the potential to become the awe-inspiring gateway that New York City rightfully deserves. Penn Station needs an iconic train hall that encapsulates the spirit of New York – bold, ambitious, and soaring. We have the momentum and ability to begin the much needed resuscitation of Penn Station and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to seize this moment and finally deliver on a new train hall that all New Yorkers can be proud of.”

State Senator Brad Hoylman-Sigal said: “Penn Station has been a nightmarish hellhole for decades. Now, New York has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to redesign Penn Station, so we must not squander the chance to rebuild the most important transit hub in the western hemisphere. It’s therefore crucial that we have an open and transparent process to consider Penn Station’s full potential, including a grand new entrance on 8th Avenue, that weighs the input of advocates, experts and the public. I’m grateful to Manhattan Borough President Levine and my colleagues in government for bringing attention to this important issue.”
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