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    Second Avenue Subway Discussion


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    #1 CenSin

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 02:55 AM

    This is an article from about 2 months ago:

    The MTA Wants to Deny the Bronx a New Subway

    …the MTA is taking steps that will inhibit the line from serving the borough.

    Isolating the 2nd Avenue Subway

    The MTA divided the construction of the 2nd Avenue subway into four segments (phases) and commenced work on Phase I (63rd St. to 96th St.), which benefits the very wealthy Upper East Side. In the planned Phase II (96th St. to 125th St.), the agency has broken with all previous 2nd Avenue subway plans which proposed a station at 125th St. & 2nd Avenue with the line continuing north into the Bronx. In its current proposal, the MTA turns the line west on 125th St. with the station on an east-west axis to facilitate transfers from Metro North and the Lexington Avenue line.

    This alignment has grave consequences for the Bronx:

    • As far as the Bronx goes, the east-west station alignment creates a dead end. The 15 "Q" trains from the 63rd St. junction, projected to use the line, would never go to the Bronx.
    • A 2nd Avenue subway going north from 125th St. could split in the Bronx and provide 2 new subway lines in that borough. With the "Q" line marooned in Manhattan, the remaining 2nd Avenue line would have the capacity for only one extension.
    • A bellmouth at 125th St. & 2nd Avenue which the MTA does plan to provide would be totally dependent upon the completion of Phase III (Houston St.-63rd St.) and start of the proposed "T" train service. If Phase III is not built, the Bronx won’t have a new subway.

    It must be added that this westward extension is extremely expensive. The Phase II tunnels, built in the 1970's by the cut and cover method are shallow. The western extension, however, would have to go under the Lexington Avenue line, which has 2 levels. This means deep bore tunneling with a super expensive cavern station. All of this for a transfer! Wouldn’t going into the Bronx serve more people? Absolutely! Thus, why is the MTA wasting money on a transfer point?

    This alignment provides substantial evidence that the MTA has no intention to extend the new subway into the Bronx. The agency hopes that the transfer will add riders to the 2nd Avenue subway, which otherwise, would suffer from low ridership. This is a highly optimistic scenario since riders always prefer the quickest and most direct connection to their destination. They have no time for an additional cruise through the Upper East Side.

    Not content with making an Bronx extension of the 2nd Avenue subway more difficult, the MTA is taking steps to prevent the Bronx from using its best route: the Amtrak line.

    Obstructing the Most Effective Bronx Extension Route

    The Amtrak railroad line traverses the entire eastern part of the Bronx. The roadbed has room for 6 tracks with Amtrak using only two. Furthermore, the line crosses the Bronx in exactly the right areas: Hunt’s Point, Parkchester, the Municipal Hospital Complex and the huge Co-op City housing development.

    In terms of cost, extending the subway via the Amtrak would save a fortune: no tunneling (except at the tail end), no blasting, no digging, etc. It would be a matter of laying the ties, tracks, the 3rd rail, signals and building stations. The Regional Planning Association (RPA) proposed using a part of this route as did the MTA.

    In the 1970's, the MTA considered extending the 2nd Avenue subway into the Dyre Avenue line. Trains would have used the Amtrak route to 174th St. and then an elevated connection, remaining from the defunct New York, Westchester & Boston railroad, to the E. 180th St. (#2, #5) station. At the same time that the agency decided to turn the 2nd Avenue subway west at 125th St., it also decided to tear down the elevated connection at 174th St. This was done in 2003 ending the possibility of a connection to Dyre Avenue and sending a signal that the MTA no longer wanted to extend the 2nd Avenue subway into the Bronx.

    Since East Side Access will allow LIRR trains to go directly to Grand Central, space will open up at Penn Station. The MTA wants to run Metro North commuter trains from Connecticut on the same tracks as Amtrak to Penn Station. Since the roadbed has room for 6 tracks, this in itself would be no problem. The 2nd Avenue subway could use the other four tracks.

    Recently, however, the MTA has revived a 2006 proposal (Kappstatter) to build four Metro North stations directly on the Amtrak trackbed and thus, block its use for a 2nd Avenue subway extension! It would improve the commute for the 1% while preventing one for the 99%. Would the commuter train alone make a difference for the Bronx?

    Currently, the Metro North Harlem line runs directly through the center of the Bronx. The ride is prohibitively expensive and thus, few Bronx residents benefit. It has a few stations but aside from Fordham Road, they are so little used that most trains simply bypass them. No entrepreneurs established any significant companies along the route knowing that without a subway, the area would be unattractive to good employees.

    The same pattern would likely hold on the Amtrak. The proposed stations would not attract many riders and would mostly be bypassed. The only exception is the Bronx Municipal Complex where the station would be very useful for wealthier doctors and hospital administrators but not to hospital workers or the families of patients.

    What makes the MTA Metro North station proposal so galling is that the Amtrak line can accommodate both–amazingly, a project for the 100%--if the planning process is done right: The Metro North station at the Municipal Hospital complex should be built to accommodate both Metro North and 2nd Avenue trains. Parkchester and Hunt’s Point may not need Metro North stations at all if these two areas are served by the 2nd Avenue extension. At Co-op City the 2nd Avenue subway would leave the Amtrak and via a short tunnel enter the heart of Co-op City. A Metro North station built north of this point would not pose any conflict.

    If the stations are built on the trackbed, however, they will block the best and most inexpensive route for a Bronx 2nd Avenue subway. This action would force the extension to be dug elsewhere at enormous expense. Taken together with its plans for Phase II, it’s clear that the MTA doesn’t want the Bronx to have a new subway.

    Source: The MTA Wants to Deny the Bronx a New Subway | Suite101.com

    I was under the impression that a station at 125 Street and 2 Avenue wasn't possible due to the water or impediment to future extension to the Bronx.

    Any comments?
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    #2 lilbluefoxie

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:20 AM

    Even if they did set it up so it could go north into the Bronx, chances are it wont be till 2112 till such an extension even opens
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    #3 TwoTimer

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 03:26 AM

    I dont think they wanted to build a rather lengthy transfer (think the fabled PABT Times Sq transfer tunnel in length), but rather have passengers go right downstairs and find the tail end of a (Q). Remember that 2Av is two blocks away from Lexington, not one. Lex to 3rd isn't as long as 3rd to 2nd, but its not like its a city block either. With a transfer tunnel that long, it wouldn't dent the Lex ridership coming out of the Bronx one bit.

    But yes, older plans just had a station at 125&2nd and on into the Bronx with no Manhattan terminus entirely. The SAS was always about the wealthy, anyway.
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    #4 CenSin

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

    I dont think they wanted to build a rather lengthy transfer (think the fabled PABT Times Sq transfer tunnel in length), but rather have passengers go right downstairs and find the tail end of a (Q). Remember that 2Av is two blocks away from Lexington, not one. Lex to 3rd isn't as long as 3rd to 2nd, but its not like its a city block either. With a transfer tunnel that long, it wouldn't dent the Lex ridership coming out of the Bronx one bit.

    But yes, older plans just had a station at 125&2nd and on into the Bronx with no Manhattan terminus entirely. The SAS was always about the wealthy, anyway.

    According to the article, the tail end would be for the MetroNorth riders. The Lexington riders get the front end.
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    #5 Kacie Jane

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 05:37 PM

    I think at this point, it seems like it's going to take a minor miracle to get even Phase II built. We're probably at minimum 10 years from the line being open to 125th Street. I would imagine that it would probably about a decade or two beyond that before a line in the Bronx were even properly considered, much less funded and built.

    I think it's perfectly reasonable for the (Q) to end at Lexington so that customers can have a convenient transfer. Then decades down the line, if a new Bronx line is built, the (T) can split off at 116th and continue northward.
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    #6 checkmatechamp13

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:00 PM

    According to the article, the tail end would be for the MetroNorth riders. The Lexington riders get the front end.


    He's not talking about that, though.

    If the MTA built a station at 125th Street/2nd Avenue (which is not the plan), you'd have Lexington Avenue riders going through a long passageway between 2nd Avenue and Lexington Avenue and catch the back end of the (Q).

    Under the current plan, yes the station would be at 125th Street/Lexington Avenue, and apparently it would be on the western side of Lexington Avenue, so riders from the (4)(5)(6) on Lexington Avenue get the front end, and riders from the Metro-North on Park Avenue get the back end. It's a lot easier for the riders than having to go through a long passageway to reach 2nd Avenue.

    It would be cheaper to have the station end on the eastern side of Lexington Avenue, so that you don't have to tunnel under the (4)(5)(6), but then it would make it impossible to extend the line further across 125th Street because the (4)(5)(6) are in the way. I guess they figure that if they're already sloping the line downward so it could get past the Lexington Avenue Line, they might as well make it easier for Metro-North riders as well.

    The thing is, though, that if they did extend it to The Bronx, they'd make it harder to transfer from Metro-North, but they could still link up with the (6) (at 138th Street/3rd Avenue) and the (2)(5) at 3rd Avenue/149th Street (and (2) riders actually benefit from this, whereas they wouldn't benefit from a connection at 125th Street/Lexington Avenue)

    The Regional Planning Association actually recommended that the route go up 3rd Avenue, and then go across Fordham Road and go across to Inwood. This would actually help everybody that the 125th Street/Lexington Avenue transfer would (because now you connect with the (4) at Jerome Avenue and the MNRR at Fordham Plaza, and now you have additional connections to the (A), (1), and (:o/(D)). If the bellmouth is built, I don't see how an extension across 125th Street would preclude the service to The Bronx: Just have the (Q) serve 125th Street and have the (T) serve The Bronx).

    Just for the record, the RPA mentioned the 125th Street, 3rd Avenue/ Fordham Road, and Amtrak alignments, and listed out the pros and cons.

    The report I'm referring to is here: http://www.rpa.org/p...ows_transit.pdf (This is also the report the article is referring to)
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    #7 Via Garibaldi 8

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:46 PM

    lol... Some folks in here say that the Bronx has good subway coverage so I'm a bit confused... Which is it?? :confused: Then I hear that the subways in the Bronx always screw up, so I guess my question is if this extension did happen, would it really make subway service in the Bronx any better??
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    #8 CenSin

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

    lol... Some folks in here say that the Bronx has good subway coverage so I'm a bit confused... Which is it?? :confused: Then I hear that the subways in the Bronx always screw up, so I guess my question is if this extension did happen, would it really make subway service in the Bronx any better??

    I looked this up while drawing my geographically accurate subway map. There actually are 3 big gaps in the Bronx where coverage is solely by bus. The official map will have you believe otherwise.
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    #9 Via Garibaldi 8

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:57 PM

    I looked this up while drawing my geographically accurate subway map. There actually are 3 big gaps in the Bronx where coverage is solely by bus. The official map will have you believe otherwise.


    Well quite frankly subways aren't meant to spring up everywhere. I mean I don't think it's a coincidence that in many areas of the Bronx, the safer and more affluent areas don't have subways. MetroNorth works just fine as a substitute in the affluent areas of the Bronx and it keeps out the riff raff. I mean I couldn't imagine Riverdale would a subway. The whole character of the neighborhood would be ruined. :tdown:
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    #10 Shortline Bus

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    Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:12 PM

    Well quite frankly subways aren't meant to spring up everywhere. I mean I don't think it's a coincidence that in many areas of the Bronx, the safer and more affluent areas don't have subways. MetroNorth works just fine as a substitute in the affluent areas of the Bronx and it keeps out the riff raff. I mean I couldn't imagine Riverdale would a subway. The whole character of the neighborhood would be ruined. :tdown:



    VG8 taking a page from Mitt Romney lol. Hey lets also give VG8 a Mercedes as well lol.
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