Jump to content
Attention: In order to reply to messages, create topics, have access to other features of the community you must sign up for an account.
Sign in to follow this  
MAA89

Open South Channel Bridge

Recommended Posts

I usually take the (A) train at Beach 67th St at 8:25am to get to my classes at 9:30am (the 52 minutes ride plus 5 minute walk means I am usually there by 9:20am). A few days ago, though, I was waiting for the (A) when I noticed what seemed like a red (or maybe amber) signal just outside the station, and feared the worst. The train arrived and I got on, only to be told the South Channel Bridge is open and we cannot proceed until it closes. We waited in the station for 17 minutes before the train moved. (Then we picked up massive numbers of people at Broad Channel, Howard Beach and Aqueduct, causing overcrowding). The ride was also slower than usual and I got to class 15 minutes late.

 

This is not the first time I have been affected by a bridge that, once its opened to let boats through, seems to take 25-30 minutes to close and restore train service. I once lost half of a tennis lesson I paid a lot of money for due to being held at B67th for 45 minutes due to an open bridge.

 

My question is: who or what is so damn important that they need to raise the bridge to let them pass through by boat, at the expense of thousands of rush hour commuters and other unfortunate train-riding folks? Why would they ever open the bridge if they know it takes 25 minutes to get it back down? Why does it take so long to operate this bridge anyway (there was a week back in April when 4 out of the 5 weekdays we had to get off at Rockaway Blvd and take the Q53 because the bridge was open and they didn't know how to get it back down). Are there guidelines for when the bridge may be opened? Is it restricted only to emergency vehicles? Even then, cannot emergency services land on shore and transport people by road, or airlift by helicopter? After all, train passengers may be rushing to handle an emergency of their own. Why do they HAVE to open the damned bridge and cause commuters misery? Is there anyone at (NYCT) I have the right to complain to?

 

:mad::tdown::tdown:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It is US law that land traffic must yield to boat traffic at drawbridges.

 

The fact that the bridge has problems lowering after boats pass is a big problem that needs to be fixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have absolutely no recourse.

 

As far as the Federal DOT is concerned, it all boils down to one question: What was invented first, the boat or the train? Considering that boats have been around for centuries, and trains have only been around since the early 19th century, boats get the right of way. That's the way it is and that's the way it always will be.

 

In regards to the South Channel Bridge, it always has its problems in not being able to close, especially during the winter. And it doesn't go up & down, it twists open from the center.

 

As long as you live in the Rockaways and take the (A) train, you will always have to deal with the bridge and its quirks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have absolutely no recourse.

 

As far as the Federal DOT is concerned, it all boils down to one question: What was invented first, the boat or the train? Considering that boats have been around for centuries, and trains have only been around since the early 19th century, boats get the right of way. That's the way it is and that's the way it always will be.

 

In regards to the South Channel Bridge, it always has its problems in not being able to close, especially during the winter. And it doesn't go up & down, it twists open from the center.

 

As long as you live in the Rockaways and take the (A) train, you will always have to deal with the bridge and its quirks.

 

I see that. I wonder what happens if I sidle up to a drawbridge on horseback and claim right of way because (I assume) horses have been used as transport longer than boats.

 

I am saying that boat-owners should be a little more considerate and not use theirs during rush hours, but there is nothing to do if they do. However, I do remember one occasion when the train was held in the southbound direction while the bridge closed. After we started moving, the conductor announced: "If you look out to your right you can see the boat for which the bridge was opened" and we all had a laugh because the boat was tiny and there is no way it needed the bridge to open. I think the conductor knew it too. This is what makes me angry when the bridge is opened for seemingly needless reasons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see that. I wonder what happens if I sidle up to a drawbridge on horseback and claim right of way because (I assume) horses have been used as transport longer than boats.

 

What would happen is that you'd be beating a dead horse, because that sucker would have drowned before you'd even reach the bridge.

 

I am saying that boat-owners should be a little more considerate and not use theirs during rush hours, but there is nothing to do if they do. However, I do remember one occasion when the train was held in the southbound direction while the bridge closed. After we started moving, the conductor announced: "If you look out to your right you can see the boat for which the bridge was opened" and we all had a laugh because the boat was tiny and there is no way it needed the bridge to open. I think the conductor knew it too. This is what makes me angry when the bridge is opened for seemingly needless reasons.

 

It has absolutely nothing to do with being considerate. We have someplace to go and so do they. The bridge is opened up primarily for large vessels, but also for smaller boats with tall masts. The average boat clearance is 22-24 feet depending on weather and water conditions.

 

 

Boat operators have to request permission via radio to the elevator maintainer, who operates the bridge on site, for the bridge to be opened if they are not able to clear the bridge without having to have it opened. The maintainer sends a buzzer to Rockaway Park Tower so that the tower can electrically unlock the bridge. When the tower does so, the maintainer can then operate the bridge. After the boat(s) have passed, the maintainer closes the bridge and then passes the signal to the tower who then electrically locks the bridge and fleets the train lineups over it. If there is a train (or trains) in the immediate area of the bridge, or if there is a train anywhere between north of Beach 67/90 Sts and south of Broad Channel, the tower will retain control and the bridge will remain closed so that the train(s) can clear the bridge. Under no circumstances will a train remain stuck between stations so that the bridge can open up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What would happen is that you'd be beating a dead horse, because that sucker would have drowned before you'd even reach the bridge.

 

Not necessarily South Channel Bridge, which was built for trains anyway, but any one of thousands of bridges all over USA that can be raised or swung open to let boat traffic through obviously overlooks the fact that pedestrians and horse carriages, if any, might have a superior claim to the right of way. And why would my horse drown before reaching the bridge that spans the water? Anyway, this is all meant to be in tongue-in-cheek spirit and I do not intend to offend or criticize you or the Federal DOT.

 

 

If there is a train (or trains) in the immediate area of the bridge, or if there is a train anywhere between north of Beach 67/90 Sts and south of Broad Channel, the tower will retain control and the bridge will remain closed so that the train(s) can clear the bridge. Under no circumstances will a train remain stuck between stations so that the bridge can open up.

 

But I clearly remember one occasion when we were held between stations, in this case, I think it may have been the one between Howard Beach and Broad Channel (if that too opens for boats), so it may have had a different chain of command, but I still found it odd (as did most of the other passengers), and many were seriously unhappy when the conductor made that announcement and the boat in question seemed hardly to justify the need to open the bridge.

 

This was on the southbound track on a Saturday around 1:30 or 2:00pm, if that information helps in any way. The interruption was short (about 6-7 minutes) and I wasn't in any hurry, but bridge openings are still aggravating, and certainly an unforeseen delay (even if I had taken the previous train, I might still have been waiting).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not necessarily South Channel Bridge, which was built for trains anyway, but any one of thousands of bridges all over USA that can be raised or swung open to let boat traffic through obviously overlooks the fact that pedestrians and horse carriages, if any, might have a superior claim to the right of way. And why would my horse drown before reaching the bridge that spans the water? Anyway, this is all meant to be in tongue-in-cheek spirit and I do not intend to offend or criticize you or the Federal DOT.

 

The water was there before any road was built, before horses were on the Earth, and before the human species ever existed. So water has the highest seniority, and as anyone who works in a union shop will tell you, seniority rules.

 

 

 

But I clearly remember one occasion when we were held between stations, in this case, I think it may have been the one between Howard Beach and Broad Channel (if that too opens for boats), so it may have had a different chain of command, but I still found it odd (as did most of the other passengers), and many were seriously unhappy when the conductor made that announcement and the boat in question seemed hardly to justify the need to open the bridge.

 

Between Howard Beach and Broad Channel one can't do anything about that and it doesn't constitute a safety issue. As far as the C/R goes, he didn't know the reason one way or the other. While everyone was looking and guffawing at the little boat off to the right, they might have missed the huge cargo boat to the left of the bridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The water was there before any road was built, before horses were on the Earth, and before the human species ever existed. So water has the highest seniority, and as anyone who works in a union shop will tell you, seniority rules.

 

 

 

 

 

Between Howard Beach and Broad Channel one can't do anything about that and it doesn't constitute a safety issue. As far as the C/R goes, he didn't know the reason one way or the other. While everyone was looking and guffawing at the little boat off to the right, they might have missed the huge cargo boat to the left of the bridge.

Not only that, but the c/r has no right to give his opinion over the PA system. That's an unauthorised announcement that is not part of the "blue book" (READ" c/r Bible") It's also unprofessional to do so and if I were a superisor, at the very least, he'd get a good tongue lashing over that. If he were skating on thin ice with me over other stuff, there's my opening to do some writing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You have absolutely no recourse.

 

As far as the Federal DOT is concerned, it all boils down to one question: What was invented first, the boat or the train? Considering that boats have been around for centuries, and trains have only been around since the early 19th century, boats get the right of way. That's the way it is and that's the way it always will be.

 

In regards to the South Channel Bridge, it always has its problems in not being able to close, especially during the winter. And it doesn't go up & down, it twists open from the center.

 

As long as you live in the Rockaways and take the (A) train, you will always have to deal with the bridge and its quirks.

 

That or the LIRR, the Rockaways are lucky in the sense they are well connected to the city and other places by both Subway and Long Island Railroad.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That or the LIRR, the Rockaways are lucky in the sense they are well connected to the city and other places by both Subway and Long Island Railroad.

 

I wouldn't say that. In fact, service out in the Rockaways is downright rancid. It is one of those places where you need a schedule to plan your departure; nobody likes waiting for an (A) train in the middle of winter when the trains are 24 minutes apart. Not to mention how long a trip to the city could possibly take during the weekends when the (A) often goes local all the way. 1 1/2 hours to go to Midtown? Yikes!

 

Finally, the LIRR is only useful if you live near Mott Ave or in Inwood. Otherwise it's very inconvenient to access. If I lived in Wavecrest or Edgemere, the LIRR would be totally useless.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

if you had a car you could drive to the station. but isnt there a bus or something that goes from the one end of the Rockaways to where the LIRR station is?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am saying that boat-owners should be a little more considerate and not use theirs during rush hours
You're assuming that the only boats out there are luxury yachts having fun with nothing to do out there disrupting your commute. There are several commercial boats and fishing boats out in the open waters trying to make money to support their families. You are trying to blame them for thinking about themselves by saying they should be more considerate, well why don't you do the same? This thread goes to show how most New Yorkers only think about themselves and how the world should revolve around them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
if you had a car you could drive to the station. but isnt there a bus or something that goes from the one end of the Rockaways to where the LIRR station is?

 

Are you thinking of the Q22?

 

Where is the OP getting off the (A) at? The LIRR may not be the best option, not to mention that the NYCDOE won't pay for students to use MN and LIRR within the city limits anymore then they pay for students to use the express buses.

 

This thread goes to show how most New Yorkers only think about themselves and how the world should revolve around them.

 

I've seen the type. They push past you like you're nothing. I'm just waiting for one to knock me down so I can take them to the cleaners.

Edited by Ken S.
adding reply to Y2Julio

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen the type. They push past you like you're nothing. I'm just waiting for one to knock me down so I can take them to the cleaners.

 

Oh great, yet another person looking to get rich quick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That or the LIRR, the Rockaways are lucky in the sense they are well connected to the city and other places by both Subway and Long Island Railroad.

 

Err, no. The subway only got here because LIRR gave up their right of way because of falling ridership (with the advent of the Interstate Highway and air travel, people stopped taking the train to go to their city's local beaches). In any case, LIRR service from Far Rockaway is disadvantageous in many ways: much higher fare than the subway, takes 1 hour and 5 minutes to get to Midtown (no better than the subway) and has to go through Nassau county, meaning that the City Ticket program (discounted city travel on LIRR on weekends) does not apply. Plus the station is at the farthest eastern corner of Far Rockaway, a five minute walk from the Mott Avenue subway station. So, for me (I live 10 minutes walk from the Beach 67th St station), I would take about 20 minutes to get to Mott Avenue, five minutes to get to Far Rockaway LIRR and then wait for however long it takes for the next train to start, i.e. at least 30 minutes after setting out from home. For people living farther west in the Rockaway peninsula, the LIRR is completely irrelevant. The only neighborhood which is truly well connected by both subway and LIRR is Jamaica, since other branches of the LIRR end in Long Island (at Flatbush Avenue or Long Island City) and do not carry on to Manhattan, requiring people to take the "wrong-way" LIRR train to Jamaica to transfer to one that does.

 

There are tentative plans for a direct rail link (See URL below) between Lower Manhattan and JFK airport via an extension of LIRR's Atlantic Branch. If that happens, the commute times from the Howard Beach area to Lower Manhattan would be cut by 40%. This would be all well and good for Howard Beach residents. What I would love to see is a spur line extending from the JFK terminal and ending in the Rockaway peninsula near the present Hammels Wye intersection of the two Rockaway subway branches. There is a large area between Beach 67th St and Beach 90th St subway stations that is poorly served; this would fill in that gap. However, I know this must remain a pipe dream for some time to come; the Arverne area was a barren desert between 1964 and 2005, and re-population, while occurring, is still slow, so the critical mass needed to justify additional rail links don't exist. In any case, when LIRR sold their right of way to the (NYCT), the latter adapted it for subway use, so now the elevated tracks and channel bridges can no longer be used for commuter rail, and so new bridges/tunnels would have to be built. It is unlikely there will ever be enough money for this (also, it would be hard to get permits from the federal government to build a line through the protected Gateway National Recreation Area).

 

The most obvious way to improve service for Rockaway residents would be to designate a few rush hour (A) trains a super-express and send them to Nostrand Avenue (normal service thereafter) with stops only at Howard Beach for connection to the AirTrain and B'way Junction to transfer to the (C)(L)(J) and (Z), and allow a connection to the LIRR station at Nostrand Avenue. This will reduce commute times by at least 35%. If the LIRR Atlantic Branch extension is built, riders can transfer at Nostrand Avenue to the LIRR. Super-express (A) trains have massive support in the Rockaways, with the local newspaper The Wave lobbying for it for years. I think a better transit solution for the eastern Rockaways is long overdue: as of January 1, 2007, the Rockaway population stood at 129,531 (not including the Roxbury and Breezy Point co-ops), of which 110,000 lived in Far Rockaway, Edgemere, Arverne or Rockaway Beach. If the (MTA) allows the Rockaways to have super-express service, I will gladly let the Lefferts Blvd people have their own (A) service, since the super-express will mean the long rush-hour headways will have less of an impact.

 

(The western half of the peninsula is primarily upper-middle class, prefer to use automobiles and do not mind paying tolls on multiple bridges. If they want public transit, they can use the QM16 express bus, the Q35 over the Gil Hodges Memorial Bridge and Flatbush Avenue and connecting to the (2)(5) at Brooklyn College, the Rockaway (S) connecting to the (A) at Broad Channel, or take the NY Water Taxi at Jacob Riis Park. It appears to me that the 20,000 residents of the western Rockaways are over-served compared to the 110,000 residents of the eastern half).

 

http://www.plannyc.org/taxonomy/term/728

 

http://www.rockawave.com/news/2008/0321/front_page/004p1_xlg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are you thinking of the Q22?

 

Where is the OP getting off the (A) at? The LIRR may not be the best option, not to mention that the NYCDOE won't pay for students to use MN and LIRR within the city limits anymore then they pay for students to use the express buses.

 

Not sure why the LIRR came up in this thread (I suppose because the LIRR doesn't have to cross Jamaica Bay over a bridge). I take the (A) at Beach 67th St, and it is particularly aggravating, since that is the last stop on the Far Rockaway branch in the Manhattan-bound direction, and having just missed crossing the bridge before the boat turns up, making the 5 minute ride across the Bay to Broad Channel a 20 minute nightmare.

 

Mike Bloomberg says he will expand the CityTicket program on MNCRR and LIRR to include weekdays; don't know whether to believe him; irrelevant in any case since I am not a US citizen (but a legal permanent resident) and cannot vote here (not that I would vote solely because of the candidate's promises for transit).

 

P.S. Couldn't multi-quote your message with Lilbluefoxie's since you posted while I was typing the previous post.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure why the LIRR came up in this thread (I suppose because the LIRR doesn't have to cross Jamaica Bay over a bridge). I take the (A) at Beach 67th St, and it is particularly aggravating, since that is the last stop on the Far Rockaway branch in the Manhattan-bound direction, and having just missed crossing the bridge before the boat turns up, making the 5 minute ride across the Bay to Broad Channel a 20 minute nightmare.

 

Mike Bloomberg says he will expand the CityTicket program on MNCRR and LIRR to include weekdays; don't know whether to believe him; irrelevant in any case since I am not a US citizen (but a legal permanent resident) and cannot vote here (not that I would vote solely because of the candidate's promises for transit).

 

P.S. Couldn't multi-quote your message with Lilbluefoxie's since you posted while I was typing the previous post.

 

I was asking what station you get off the (A) at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I've seen the type. They push past you like you're nothing. I'm just waiting for one to knock me down so I can take them to the cleaners.

 

Oh great, yet another person looking to get rich quick.

 

More like teach an uptight snob a lesson in humility.

 

Sorry, but this is all very off topic. I am not the "me-first" kind of guy. All I wanted to know was the procedures and circumstances under which the bridge is opened and train traffic halted. I just want to get to classes and work on time.

 

I am sorry if either of you have had experiences with persons the kind you are describing, but perhaps you should take your angst elsewhere.

 

And yes, I support that commercial and fishing boats and their owners have a right to make a living off the land (or the sea).

 

I never care how long it takes me to get home in the evening. All I need is a fast commute in the morning. If they can minimize the number of boats needing the bridge to open between 6:30 and 8:30am, that would be great. If they cannot, the (MTA) needs to fix this bridge so that it opens and closes quickly. If they can spend money to rehab stations in the Rockaways, they can spend a little more and fix the bridges' glitches.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

I am sorry if either of you have had experiences with persons the kind you are describing, but perhaps you should take your angst elsewhere.

 

 

I'm sorry, but it burns my britches to see all these people suing others for nonsensical reasons. In other countries when you get knocked down, you pick yourself up, brush yourself off and continue on. In the United States when you get knocked down, you get a lawyer. It all makes me sick.

 

More like teach an uptight snob a lesson in humility.

 

Right, teach a lesson in humility while lining your pocket with a few grand. I don't buy it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Right, teach a lesson in humility while lining your pocket with a few grand. I don't buy it.

 

Someone just got "0wn3d"!:):P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Not sure why the LIRR came up in this thread (I suppose because the LIRR doesn't have to cross Jamaica Bay over a bridge). I take the (A) at Beach 67th St, and it is particularly aggravating, since that is the last stop on the Far Rockaway branch in the Manhattan-bound direction, and having just missed crossing the bridge before the boat turns up, making the 5 minute ride across the Bay to Broad Channel a 20 minute nightmare.

 

Mike Bloomberg says he will expand the CityTicket program on MNCRR and LIRR to include weekdays; don't know whether to believe him; irrelevant in any case since I am not a US citizen (but a legal permanent resident) and cannot vote here (not that I would vote solely because of the candidate's promises for transit).

 

P.S. Couldn't multi-quote your message with Lilbluefoxie's since you posted while I was typing the previous post.

 

Also since the Far Rockaway line crosses back into zone 4, doesn't that make it ineligible to count for the CityTicket?

 

As to the LIRR giving up the current A line ROW, yes low ridership was a reason, but when someone's cigarrete or such lit up the bridge and burnt it down. That was the last straw for the LIRR and forced them to give up on the line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also since the Far Rockaway line crosses back into zone 4, doesn't that make it ineligible to count for the CityTicket?

 

As to the LIRR giving up the current A line ROW, yes low ridership was a reason, but when someone's cigarrete or such lit up the bridge and burnt it down. That was the last straw for the LIRR and forced them to give up on the line.

 

That one fire was not the reason. The bridge burnt down many times and when the city wanted it, it was an easy way to get rid of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.