Saturday, June 28, 2008

Queens subways swamped due to overdevelopment

There may be a building boom in Flushing and Long Island City, but the No. 7 subway line that links them cannot accommodate any more trains and already carries one of the borough's heavier passenger loads.

Queens subway riders struggle for comfort

The MTA is aware of the situation, but No. 7 line manager Lou Brusati said solutions will not happen overnight.

"There are 2,500 people on most of our trains on the 7 line," Brusati told an audience at a forum in Jackson Heights earlier this year, adding that the trains are crowded even during nighttime hours. "The whole line is above capacity. You need another line."

The No. 7 line is becoming Queens' development train, linking downtown Flushing to Long Island City, both of which are increasingly home to high-rises and thus a population spike.

Muss Development announced June 18 that more than 60 percent of units in the first phase of luxury project Sky View Parc in Flushing had been sold. The development, planned as 1,100 units in six towers, has as its only subway access the 7 line.

Crowding is an issue on four of Queens' 12 subway lines, where Metropolitan Transportation Authority data show the tracks cannot hold any more trains per hour. The 7, E, F and V trains are packed to 100 percent capacity at peak times with the N, R and W lines coming close to that status.


I want everyone to click on the link, print this article out and mail it to your elected officials and community board with thank you notes for causing this mess. And then send an e-mail to this reporter and thank her for understanding that overdevelopment affects everyone (even luxury condo dwellers) whether they realize it or not. Allowing unchecked development to continue in light of this situation is criminally insane. Of course, you'd think the blackouts and floods would have already made an impression...

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

Some developers actually mention kayaking as a possibility for commuting.

With a straight face.

With clueless investors (notice I did not say residents) buying the apartments, and the local community board, local politicians, and local press all a joke, they get away with this.

There is always the watertaxi option (and of course, instead of the developers paying for it, you and I will.

Bastards.

Anonymous said...

Flushing Line>Willets Point>DISASTER!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Lux condo owners take black cars to work - not the subway. Subways are for the little people.

Salvatore said...

"Lux condo owners take black cars to work - not the subway. Subways are for the little people."

I agree, but the hipster/yuppie punks take the subway because "they want to feel the city." Sigh.. what ever happened to the good ol' days of the French Revolution? Time for some heads to roll... "elected officials" do not do anything.. we know this.. so what is next?

Anonymous said...

More extensive LIRR service, buses to the east river ferry and more subway service in Queens rather then extending 7 train service in Manhattan.

and why dont you assholes stop insulting other demographics - this is about the MTA not the type of people that use the train .
Idiots

Ridgewoodian said...

Salvatore-- Careful what you wish for: when the Revolution comes most of the posters on this site are going to find themselves sadly separated from their heads.

ANYWAY – It seems there are two solutions to this problem: 1) Throw up a wall, literal or figurative, around the city or certain parts thereof and say, “That’s it, no more.” 2) Increase the capacity of the transit system and other necessary infrastructure. Let’s be clear: the first option would be a disaster and, in any case, it’s just NOT going to happen. So that leaves option 2. Instead of bitching like bitches let’s get on our elected officials, here in the city, in Albany, and in Washington if necessary, to finally do the right thing by us. And what would that be? Here are some ideas: 1) The MTA, like most Authorities, was established specifically to be unaccountable to the people. Abolish it, replace it with a more democratically accountable operating agency. 2) Put it on a more secure financial footing. Congestion pricing would have put $400-$500 million a year into its coffers, which would have gone a long way towards keeping it solvent and even allowing it to increase service. Revive the idea or come up with a better one. 3) Require developers to pay towards the upkeep and expansion of the transit system, as well as other infrastructures their developments strain. 4) Expand the system. It’s a scandal that the city actually has LESS subway mileage than it did at the end of World War II, and the portion of it in Queens is just pathetic. We need more and better service. In my own neighborhood there are lots of underused railroad rights of way that could be transformed to transit use for a fraction of the cost of the Second Avenue Subway. And if even that turns out to be too expensive let’s look into a light rail system, like they have just over the river in New Jersey. Or at least Bus Rapid Transit. 5) Encourage all the xenophobic NIMBYs to move to Nassau County or some such place; out of the Greatest City in the World, anyway.

But whining about dastardly developers is just so much more fun, isn’t it?

Anonymous said...

Ridgewoodian : Best post I've read here in a long time. Couldn't have said it better, but unfortunately it probably fell on deaf ears. The crowd here prefers solution #1. So instead of working the problem they focus all their effort on bitching about developers.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS--

Thanks! Fightin' the good fight

Queens Crapper said...

No, you guys have it wrong. We complain about hos our government not only permits but encourages developers to break the law and supersize our neighborhoods. Don't like our complaints? Go visit Curbed instead. Oh, wait, they complain about that there, too.

Anonymous said...

what laws are being broken in the article presented? pls clarify?

Ridgewoodian said...

So we’ll tally Crapper as a Wall Builder. No one wants to drop a 445 Lafayette in the middle of, say, Juniper Park (although it wouldn’t be any more tasteless than some of the overpriced garbage already out there). BUT, the fact remains, the city is growing. Those who know about such things say there’s going to be another million people here in the next 20 years. Those people are going to need places to live – decent, affordable places to live. And they’re going to have to be able to get around town. Their garbage is going to need to be carted, their feces is going to need to be flushed. Their children are going to need to be educated. We can either face these realities now and start providing for them in ways that work in the context of our neighborhoods or we can stick our fingers in our ears, jump up and down, and scream “NO! NO! NO! NO!” at the top of our lungs. But if we do that we’ll just end up with a million extra people we can’t handle. And wouldn’t that suck?

Anonymous said...

hi ridgewoodian

"...decent, affordable places to live."


affordable?



hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Queens Crapper said...

Who's saying there will be a million more people here other than the Bloomberg administration? History hasn't provided that model of population growth. Hell, the 1961 zoning code was put in place in anticipation of providing for a population of 20 million. Do we have 20 million here? No. Do our current services provide for the 8 million or so that we do have here? No. Why should we drink this Kool-Aid?

Anonymous said...

How do I benefit from another million people moving into this city? How does my community benefit from it?

Anonymous said...

What a genius this Ridgewoodian is. Yes, this article says that congestion pricing is the way to go. In case you misread, the lines are already at 100% capacity with no more trains able to be added to the schedule. The MTA rep quoted in the article himself says we need another line, not improvements in existing service. We can see just with the price of gas increasing that sending more people to the trains is not the best idea.

Anonymous said...

Congestion pricing is not going to raise enough cash to expand mass transit. In Queens, they promised to ad a couple of extra buses to each line during off peak hours. Whoop dee doo. Try again.

Queens Crapper said...

"what laws are being broken in the article presented? pls clarify?"

Good point, they left out the illegal apartments that have been encouraged for the past 20 years that add to the congestion on the subways.

Anonymous said...

The state must fund other affordable alternatives to the 7 train, including the LIRR and ferries. Reopen the Corona and ELmhurst stations, and launch a Flushing River to Manhattan ferry.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you write your own newspaper crappy, It will save you the trouble of having to insert your agenda into legitimate news articles.

What a narrow mided bunch here! Yes, the lines are already at 100% capacity, but with the money from congestion pricing there could be funding for buses, ferries, subway improvements, etc. Will it pay for everything or solve all the problems? No, but its a start. It better than bitching about overdevelopment which time and time and time again you have proved that you can not make a dent in.

Queens Crapper said...

Don't need to start another lame weekly Queens newspaper, I have a blog that reaches a wider audience, as Elizabeth Crowley, the great environmentalist, would say. So the reality of living and tweeding in Queens is put out there. The "legitimate" newspapers, as you call them, are already run by the machine.

"Yes, the lines are already at 100% capacity, but with the money from congestion pricing there could be funding for buses, ferries, subway improvements, etc."

Oh...and here I thought it was about cleaning the air. But it was really only about raising money for mass transit. Maybe if the MTA didn't piss away the money it has, it would have enough to put a new subway line in. Anyway, we already chronicled why congestion pricing is a complete joke if you want to focus on transportation improvements.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they upgrade mass transit before they went on this upzoning frenzy? This type of governing is killing us!

Anonymous said...

It's ok, we'll be kayaking to work soon. They're building a dock at Newtown Creek. no joke!

Anonymous said...

Mayor Bloomberg to Queens: "Fuck you, folks. We'll institute congestion pricing and price you out. My friends will still have their black cars, and we won;t have to deal with the likes of you. It sounds like a win-win to me."

Freddy said...

"It better than bitching about overdevelopment which time and time and time again you have proved that you can not make a dent in."

Oh contrare, Monsieur or Madame. We have voting power. And we can make sure that the next leader of NYC does not continue stupid development policies that are choking us to death. Power to the people!

Anonymous said...

Here's another of Crappy's gems:

Albany made the right call on congestion

Anonymous said...

Be careful they will extend the subway right through Maspeth, Middle Village and Elmhurst! The we would reall be in for some shit!

faster340 said...

I don't bother taking the subway anymore. I live in Maspeth and it's 5.3 miles door to door to my job in Manhattan on 23rd Street. It takes a bus and subway to get there. It also takes anywhere from 40-60 minutes to get there most times. From waiting for the bus to crowded subways and delays. To me this is absolutely ridiculous! Now when I drive I take the midtown tunnel ($4.50) and park in a garage not far from my office ($16). I am there in 10-20 minutes most times. Yes it costs more but I can't stand taking this mass transit anymore and spending 2 hours a day to travel 10.6 miles round trip. My mother lives 45 miles away on Long Island and I can get there faster sometimes than I can get to work via mass transit. Something is absolutely wrong with this system! Subway and city government alike!!!

Truman Harris said...

Yeah, then they would use that as a reason for why we need upzoning. Oh wait, they are not downzoning us as promised, so in effect they are upzoning us already, and WITHOUT a subway.

Julie said...

"Be careful they will extend the subway right through Maspeth, Middle Village and Elmhurst!"

There already are subway lines in Middle Village and Elmhurst.

Anonymous said...

There already are subway lines in Middle Village and Elmhurst.

Not up Grand Avenue or down my street in Maspeth that's for sure...

Anonymous said...

Maspeth is not Middle Village or Elmhurst.

Anonymous said...

Oh contrare, Monsieur or Madame. We have voting power. And we can make sure that the next leader of NYC does not continue stupid development policies that are choking us to death. Power to the people!

---

What a joke! Talk to me after the next election buddy. I believe that people were saying the same thing here in the run up to the special election. If you think a new adminstration is going to come one and stop development you are sadly mistaken. I want some of the stuff that you are smoking!

Anonymous said...

Now when I drive I take the midtown tunnel ($4.50) and park in a garage not far from my office ($16). I am there in 10-20 minutes most times. Yes it costs more but I can't stand taking this mass transit anymore and spending 2 hours a day to travel 10.6 miles round trip.

---

And you daddy warbucks are what congestion pricing was aimed at. You like throwing your money around, well contribute to the greater good. You pay $25 extra dollars a day to commute in you hummer to save 20 minutes.

Anonymous said...

Oh...and here I thought it was about cleaning the air. But it was really only about raising money for mass transit.

---

Your argument is silly. It can't be about both?

Anonymous said...

Be careful they will extend the subway right through Maspeth, Middle Village and Elmhurst! The we would reall be in for some shit!

--

Thank you for being honest. This is the reason why everyone is against Congestion pricing. They are afraid that with a subway line or express buss in their neighborhood, Queens will become a little less suburban. Time to pay your fair share.

Queens Crapper said...

"Thank you for being honest. This is the reason why everyone is against Congestion pricing. They are afraid that with a subway line or express buss in their neighborhood, Queens will become a little less suburban. Time to pay your fair share."

The QM24 runs through Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale. The M train ends in Middle Village and the G, R, and V go through the heart of Elmhurst. The main opposition to congestion pricing came from eastern Queens. So, you have no idea what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

Ever take the QM24? You might as well walk!

Fran said...

"There are 2,500 people on most of our trains on the 7 line," Brusati told an audience at a forum in Jackson Heights earlier this year, adding that the trains are crowded even during nighttime hours. "The whole line is above capacity. You need another line."

The MTA is saying another line is needed. That was never included in their CP spin, nor is it now.

"As it is, four of the 12 subway lines that serve Queens cannot accommodate any more trains per hour. Congestion pricing would have generated revenue to increase service on the E and F lines, the New York League of Conservation Voters said."

If they cannot accommodate any more trains per hour and they are running at 100% capacity, then how would service have been increased?

"Even without Mayor Bloomberg's failed congestion pricing plan, subway ridership has increased noticeably since last year, the MTA said."

Of course it did, because we keep building more housing units and upzoning.

"Rusianoff's feeling is that riders who can avoid those peak periods would benefit."

That's nice, Gene, but when the anti-CP crowd suggested the city try to encourage this, you laughed it off as not a real solution. Now you're embracing it?

faster340 said...

"And you daddy warbucks are what congestion pricing was aimed at. You like throwing your money around, well contribute to the greater good. You pay $25 extra dollars a day to commute in you hummer to save 20 minutes."

I am not daddy warbucks. I have responsibilities at home prior to me going to work and getting up earlier doesn't work in my situation.

I also drive a 94 Toyota Corolla not a hummer that gets 35 miles per gallon. I also use my car a lot for work traveling to different sites in NYC so you can watch cable tv. Otherwise I would have to use car service. I also use parking garages be it at my own expense or my company's garage so that way I don't clog up the street. Besides I leave for work at 6:45am and come home at 4:00pm I don't find much traffic getting myself home at these times. I can usually breeze right in and home... My time is valuable to myself and my family and mass transit takes away from that for me!

You have no clue!, you only read what garbage the daily rag newspapers choose to shove down your throat.

Ridgewoodian said...

ANONYMOUS: "...decent, affordable places to live."


affordable?



hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

I’m not sure what’s funny about decent, affordable housing and directing our social policies to that end.

CRAPPER: Who's saying there will be a million more people here other than the Bloomberg administration? History hasn't provided that model of population growth.

Well, if you really want to talk historic trends, the city has added population in each and every census, except two, going back to the first one in 1790. Those two? 1960, when it lost about 110,000, and 1980, after the disastrous decade of the 70s, when it lost over 800,000. In 1990 it had gained back 250,000 of those people. In 2000 it gained another 650,000 to top 8 million for the first time. The best estimates that I’ve seen are that it’s gained roughly 250,000 since the last census. So the trend is upward. And, it should be noted, this is in the face of population decline in the rest of the Northeast. So people are coming HERE specifically. And that’s probably going to continue, barring unforeseen catastrophe.

ANONYMOUS: How do I benefit from another million people moving into this city? How does my community benefit from it?

Another million customers for your business. Another million workers in the talent pool for you to hire. Another million taxpayers paying into the system. But even if it doesn’t benefit you specifically, it’s still going to happen so you might as well get ready for it.

ANONYMOUS: In case you misread, the lines are already at 100% capacity with no more trains able to be added to the schedule. The MTA rep quoted in the article himself says we need another line, not improvements in existing service.

In case YOU misread, I’m all for adding new lines, and for exploring other forms of transit.

ANONYMOUS: We can see just with the price of gas increasing that sending more people to the trains is not the best idea.

That makes….no sense.

Anonymous said...

Ridgewoodian - your the man. Thanks to you for letting me know I am not alone in my neighborhood.

Ridgewoodian said...

Anonymous: Thanks! Feel free to drop me a line.