Storms moving through the Northeast this week have pushed New York’s LaGuardia airport to the breaking point.
Already plagued with traffic constrictions surrounding a complete airport overhaul, passenger flow hit another snag this past week with the weather-related cancellation of thousands of flights, leading to a higher volume of vehicle traffic into and out of the terminals.
Traffic got so bad at several points that passengers were abandoning booked cars and walking along the expressway to catch flights.
— ABC News (@ABC) February 10, 2017
Passengers leaving the airport had similar issues locating their shared vehicles. One passenger reported landing at 10:30 am, hailing an Uber at 10:40 and getting picked up 50 minutes later. The ride finally left the grounds at 12:30, two hours after the passenger arrived.
Local 7 ABC news reporter CeFaan Kim visited the airport on Friday and spent over an hour simply trying to get to the terminal.
— CeFaan Kim (@CeFaanKim) February 10, 2017
LaGuardia is in the midst of a complete overhaul which should eventually transform the central building into a higher capacity terminal, better capable of handling higher passenger and airport volumes. Vice president Biden has called LaGuardia in its current condition “third world” while the current administration frequently points to the state of New York airports as evidence of crumbling infrastructure.
Though New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has long talked up the eventual merits of the overhauled airport and Delta Airlines has taken a front seat in the development, many passengers are concerned about the next few years of heavy congestion and miserable transits. In its defense, the airport only hopes that things will be different in 5-6 years, when the project is finally complete in 2022.
In the meantime, passengers may be stuck with heavy commute times, especially around periods when weather and infrastructure disruptions slow the system down. Later this week, another storm is forecast for the region.