Friday, February 25, 2011

Transit priorities backward?

From Crains:

The city's poor public transit service outside Manhattan could threaten the explosion of economic growth experienced by the outer boroughs in recent years, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Center for an Urban Future.

As the fastest-growing sectors of New York City's economy, such as health care and education, continue their expansion in the outer boroughs, fewer residents there are commuting into Manhattan for work, the report says.

While the number of Brooklyn commuters traveling to Queens for work shot up 32% since 1990, Brooklyn commuters traveling into Manhattan increased only by 13%, according to the research. And more Bronx residents are now traveling to Queens and Westchester country for work than ever before. Meanwhile, people on Staten Island are either staying in their borough or commuting to Brooklyn or New Jersey in greater numbers.

But the city's Manhattan-centric transit system, much of which dates back to the early decades of the 20th century, makes it hard—and sometimes impossible—for workers to travel easily between the outer boroughs. The result is climbing commute times and lost job opportunities for many residents.


I have an idea... let's build a 2nd Avenue subway and a bunch of bike lanes. That will solve the problem.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Light rail service extended from the Astoria line to LGA AND giving access to local residents is a cost-effective idea instead of the 2 Ave. subway. In fact 15 miles of light rail could be built vs the cost of boring through rock for 4 miles.

Light rail and electric rail buses are where we should be plowing money into transit everywhere including across one of the Bronx-Queens bridges - preferably the Whitestone or Throgs neck to serve these outlying Queens and Bronx areas.

Melissa said...

I love this story about the fall of the second ave el http://thethirdrail.net/0107/cohen1.html
apparently some well-connected rich folks just didn't like it

Anonymous said...

What about the Triboro Rx train that would connect The Bronx, QUeens and Brooklyn.

Look into it, it's fascinating and mind boggling how it would change this city (mostly for the outer boroughs).

Anonymous said...

Or they could always just finish this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IND_Second_System

Erik Baard said...

Oh my goodness. Again with the bike lane slaps. As if that minimal budget would change anything, or that bicyclists weren't also among the most ardent mass transit advocates (like Transportation Alternatives). While you're grousing, TA is lobbying for mass transit improvements and funds.

Queens Crapper said...

The bike lanes are being built and marketed as a panacea because there is no funding for mass transit. Well, unless Manhattanites want a subway line down Second Avenue. That we have money for. Queens buses? Shut 'em down.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea... let's build a 2nd Avenue subway and a bunch of bike lanes. That will solve the problem.
------
Who is Queens will go beyond whining and complaing? If you reelect the bastards everytime in a Roman Triumph they don't give two shits what you want.

You get what you deserve people.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about the GG line, and how horrible it is. Add more trains. Spend some money on it. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about the GG line, and how horrible it is. Add more trains. Spend some money on it. Problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Light rail service extended from the Astoria line to LGA AND giving access to local residents is a cost-effective idea instead of the 2 Ave. subway.

sure and add to development in the area - now who wants to live next to sevearl power plants that generate a considerable percentage of the city's energy, beside an airport, and between two sewage facilities that make the area smell like a shit house.

Anonymous said...

Or they could always just finish this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IND_Second_System

---------------

Looks like we had intelligent urban designers back in the day. This subway plan would have nicely met the needs of currently underserved neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.

Anonymous said...

TRI-BORO RX.

Look into it.

Anonymous said...

A beltway is needed connecting the 7 and N to 123456 lines via Randall's Island.

Erik Baard said...

I've never heard bike lanes referred to as a panacea for mass transit woes. Not once from any DOT official putting them in or my advocacy peers. I have been out in the cold with my bicycling friends petitioning to save the W, at hearings to protect funding, etc. We've been in meeting after meeting to identify commuter needs and threats to mass transit. We seek a complete picture -- safer streets, more transit options.

As for Second Avenue vs. Queens buses, I don't know the projections for ridership, economic impact, pollution reduction, etc. for these two areas. Until I do, I can't compare them. Naturally many, many Queens residents will be riding the Second Avenue subway though.

Anonymous said...

The second Ave subway is needed, as the Lex line is running at capacity. Try taking the 6 train at rush hour.
The need for a second ave subway is independent of the transit needs in queens. It's silly to say that because queens needs transit improvements that the 2nd ave subway is not needed.

Queens Crapper said...

I agree there should be a second avenue subway. What I don't agree is that the second avenue subway should come before improvements in Queens. All Queens gets is cut, cut, cut while Manhattan gets all the capital. The 7 runs at capacity and the E is pretty close, too.

Anonymous said...

And what is our city doing? Wasting money for a study to extend the 7 Train into New Jersey.

Anonymous said...

Join the 7 and N over Randalls Island to the 123456 as a beltway line.

Anonymous said...

Light rail service extended from the Astoria line to LGA AND giving access to local residents is a cost-effective idea instead of the 2 Ave. subway. In fact 15 miles of light rail could be built vs the cost of boring through rock for 4 miles.

NOT IN MY FUCKING NEIGHBORHOOD VALLONE!

Eli said...

This article has it right on the money. Travel by train in the outer boroughs is very difficult. Basically, the reason that you can get from point A to point B in the outer boroughs is by pure accident. Because of this, the boroughs is largely dependent on bus, which, given the state of our roads can be very unreliable.

I have an idea that I think would do better than working with the MTA (as some have been proposing): Forget working with the MTA altogether and create a light rail system run independent of it, with the dual purposes of "tying up loose ends" in the subway system and becoming the primary transportation network for the outer boroughs.

It will run on roads whenever logical, on abandoned at-grade right-of-ways (specifcially, the abandoned portion of the LIRR Rockaway Line)whenever logical, and underground in places of high vehicular traffic, so that these trams are not delayed by cars. A tram line (the tracks) will spontenously change from underground to at-grade, or at-grade to right of way (or other configurations), according to what the situation would call for. The underground portions will have low level platforms to discourage passengers from crossing the tracks, and the whole system will be powered by pantograph so that no third rail will be necessary.

One of several main hubs will be at Woodhaven and Queens Blvd., where buses from all directions in Queens (Rockaways, Ozone Park, Corona, Bayside, etc.) converge at the IND station at that location, as well as on the many malls in the area. Having trams/light rail run the same routes as buses and cars would help relieve the disgraceful congestion that takes place in the area at most times of the day, and would reduce the long commutes that these faithful passengers have to suffer through every day during the rush hour, along with countless other benifits.

Along with that, the system (i.e. the tunnels and track gauge) would be built to BMT specifications and would be constructed in a way that portions can be easily connected to the subway system, if the MTA wishes to do so, with expenses only for converting platforms and other miscellenous aspects.

I personally think that the above would be a foolproof plan of bringing rail transit to the outer boroughs, even if it wouldn't be part of the subway system.

If you still want an expanded subway system, look at this gem (http://justintokke.com/NYCS/tokke%20subway%20small.png), which shows what the subway system would be like in the creator's imagination. Though it contains some things that may be physical impossibilities (such as a tunnel from Manhattan to Staten Island), it has some things that are definitely worth looking at.