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MTA Capital Program Committee Meeting Testimony- “Taking Us All Out to the Old Ballgame Means an Accessible Mets-Willets Point”

Good afternoon, I’m Lisa Daglian, Executive Director of the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, PCAC. I’m a little hoarse today after cheering our New York teams on to victory this weekend. 

 In fact, I’m looking forward to root- root- rooting for my home team into October and even November — Let’s Go Mets! — but unfortunately too many of my fellow fans will not have the opportunity to cheer on our Amazin’s in person because they can’t get to CitiField by transit. Similarly, too many tennis fans couldn’t get to the US Open, for the same reason. It’s past time to make Mets-Willets Point accessible. 

It’s too late to get it right for this season, but there is still time to start planning for next season. All fans should be able to take the 7 or the LIRR to the game. It’s the best way to get there. Making the area around the ballpark more enticing and welcoming would also go a long way to improving the fan experience. I was excited to hear some of Rich Davey’s ideas about how that might happen, and we look forward to working with him and his own all-star team to go from concept to creation. Because of all the players —literally — involved, making the station accessible should be a partnership with the MTA, Mets, US Open and City.   

On the MTA funding side, congestion pricing is the best way to ensure there is enough money to make this critical project happen and happen soon. We’re at a critical juncture in the congestion pricing conversation, and we want to reinforce our position that we need to move forward as expeditiously as possible. To be clear: the Environmental Assessment shows that congestion pricing will reduce gridlock, improve air quality and raise essential funding for vital transit projects. The more exemptions there are, the higher the tolls will be. We don’t envy the TMRB, but their work is so vitally important to making congestion pricing work that we are looking forward to seeing them in action soon. 

Let’s Go Mets, and we’re looking forward to the day when we can all go out to the old ballgame.