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Improvements to Penn Station 

By Sebastian Jimenez, Reporter

The iconic Penn Station, which stretches through midtown and oversees all the traffic from Amtrak, the Subway, and LIRR, is finally getting a renovation. New York State has agreed to supply funding for the Penn Station project, but it has been met with mixed feelings from New Yorkers. What exactly happened to Penn Station?

The first phase of the renovation consists of reconstruction to expand Penn Station and accommodate the consistent commuter population. This will roughly cost $8 billion to raise ceilings, provide a sky view to shine upon Penn, and create more elevators to alleviate the congested sidewalks. The sidewalks are often packed like sardines moving in both directions, and the underground tunnels connecting the Penn Station subway to Moynihan Hall are no different. The plan focuses on creating extra buildings for Penn Station to make it a singular commuting hub that is easy to navigate.

Although reconstruction is expected to take nearly 40-45 years, it is a symbol that revitalizes the beauty of New York. Adding natural light to Penn Station will reduce its ambiance as a dark, humid sewer and transform it into a bright, modern space.

New office spaces and residential areas are being planned to surround Penn Station to celebrate the vibrant traffic that Penn Station receives. Also, the addition of two tunnels starting from the Hudson River will connect Penn Station to the edges of Manhattan.

Reactions to Penn:
Many, including Governor Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams, see the renovations as a restoration of the beauty of our city. Their hope beams through as the plans are starting to materialize quickly. In contrast, many locals are reluctant to see the positive change. As residential areas and offices are planned, many fear that it will put people on the streets with outrageous rents and gentrification. Some fear that it will kill local businesses and drive them out of the city. Small businesses are fearful skyscrapers will replace their humble livelihoods. Some contest the reliability of the new trains, as there are always delays in the current system.

Will this be a positive change for the city, or will it cause more harm than good? Let us know your thoughts.

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