Moynihan Going Express to Local, Through D.C.

The Paterson administration declined to comment. But based on its preliminary application, officials seem to be hoping that the major aesthetic and symbolic improvements would, when coupled with efficiencies that come from a new platform and better circulation, be justification enough for the federal government. (The project, the state estimates in the application, would boost ridership by 5 percent.)

Never a project short on support from the civics, the new, more incremental approach has already won plaudits from those familiar with it, and many have signed a letter supporting the stimulus application.

“This comes back to the vision that Senator Moynihan had in the first place,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “It’s important that the public understand that this isn’t dead—that there is still a chance to do this, and that this is really crucial,” she added. “It’s going to improve everyone’s experience coming into and out of the city.”

But the ball, of course, is headed to the Obama administration’s court, where the city will soon find out just how its interests stack up.