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CenSin

Second Avenue Subway Discussion

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Actually, it was likely due to a perceived poor investment at the time. Remember that the current version of the line was to be built in stages, not all at once like the 1970s version was to be. Digging a large tunnel three miles further than the intended southern end of the line at the end of stage one would've been seen as a waste of money, regardless of the time savings we would've gotten from it. Then there's the maintenance of such a long and currently unusable tunnel, which I cannot imagine would've been that cheap. It would've been nice to get a head start on future construction of the line, but it would've already been about ten seven years that the tunnel would've sat idle without any plans for use. And based on the latest information on the project, it will be another decade before we even begin to discuss realistic plans for an extension of the line south of 63rd Street.

Edited by Lance
Corrected to account for 2011 completion of tunnel boring
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Just to clarify what I meant: I'd have built 63rd to Houston as phase 2 (directly after phase 1) and started 96th to 125th as phase 3, roughly around the same time as the MTA is currently.

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IMHO, are we really sure that Phases 3 and 4 are even a good idea? Where I'm coming from is that 2nd Ave below 63rd St is *not* really part of the East Midtown CBD. 2nd and 1st Aves are pretty much pure residential all the way down Manhattan, and if we're going to spend multi-billions on subway extensions it really should be either 1) Expanding capacity into Core Midtown or 2) serving transit deserts like 3rd Ave (Bronx) or Utica Av. My fear is everyone is drawing up plans for QB 2nd Ave services that to be honest I don't think anyone is going to really want to use (I live along QB BTW). People want anything between 8th and 3rd Aves and a lower SAS is at best convenient to 3rd Ave offices which already have decent subway access. 

I know some advance the argument that the city will somehow upzone or adjust Far East Midtown to become another office district but I doubt that's going to happen. The reality is that 1) That area is really well heeled and 2) with the general anti-development mindset of many city leaders I doubt the political will is there to have 2nd Ave morph into a business zone. 

Long story short, I think we are making a very big assumption that the SAS below 63rd st will be as big of a hit as the Uptown/Bronx section, and I personally don't see it.  

 

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24 minutes ago, shiznit1987 said:

IMHO, are we really sure that Phases 3 and 4 are even a good idea? Where I'm coming from is that 2nd Ave below 63rd St is *not* really part of the East Midtown CBD. 2nd and 1st Aves are pretty much pure residential all the way down Manhattan, and if we're going to spend multi-billions on subway extensions it really should be either 1) Expanding capacity into Core Midtown or 2) serving transit deserts like 3rd Ave (Bronx) or Utica Av. My fear is everyone is drawing up plans for QB 2nd Ave services that to be honest I don't think anyone is going to really want to use (I live along QB BTW). People want anything between 8th and 3rd Aves and a lower SAS is at best convenient to 3rd Ave offices which already have decent subway access. 

I know some advance the argument that the city will somehow upzone or adjust Far East Midtown to become another office district but I doubt that's going to happen. The reality is that 1) That area is really well heeled and 2) with the general anti-development mindset of many city leaders I doubt the political will is there to have 2nd Ave morph into a business zone. 

Long story short, I think we are making a very big assumption that the SAS below 63rd st will be as big of a hit as the Uptown/Bronx section, and I personally don't see it.  

 

East Midtown has already been upzoned. 

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7 hours ago, shiznit1987 said:

IMHO, are we really sure that Phases 3 and 4 are even a good idea? Where I'm coming from is that 2nd Ave below 63rd St is *not* really part of the East Midtown CBD. 2nd and 1st Aves are pretty much pure residential all the way down Manhattan, and if we're going to spend multi-billions on subway extensions it really should be either 1) Expanding capacity into Core Midtown or 2) serving transit deserts like 3rd Ave (Bronx) or Utica Av. My fear is everyone is drawing up plans for QB 2nd Ave services that to be honest I don't think anyone is going to really want to use (I live along QB BTW). People want anything between 8th and 3rd Aves and a lower SAS is at best convenient to 3rd Ave offices which already have decent subway access. 

I know some advance the argument that the city will somehow upzone or adjust Far East Midtown to become another office district but I doubt that's going to happen. The reality is that 1) That area is really well heeled and 2) with the general anti-development mindset of many city leaders I doubt the political will is there to have 2nd Ave morph into a business zone. 

Long story short, I think we are making a very big assumption that the SAS below 63rd st will be as big of a hit as the Uptown/Bronx section, and I personally don't see it.  

 

Parts of 1st and 2nd Avenues have always been offices, especially around the UN.  

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12 hours ago, shiznit1987 said:

IMHO, are we really sure that Phases 3 and 4 are even a good idea? Where I'm coming from is that 2nd Ave below 63rd St is *not* really part of the East Midtown CBD. 2nd and 1st Aves are pretty much pure residential all the way down Manhattan, and if we're going to spend multi-billions on subway extensions it really should be either 1) Expanding capacity into Core Midtown or 2) serving transit deserts like 3rd Ave (Bronx) or Utica Av. My fear is everyone is drawing up plans for QB 2nd Ave services that to be honest I don't think anyone is going to really want to use (I live along QB BTW). People want anything between 8th and 3rd Aves and a lower SAS is at best convenient to 3rd Ave offices which already have decent subway access. 

I know some advance the argument that the city will somehow upzone or adjust Far East Midtown to become another office district but I doubt that's going to happen. The reality is that 1) That area is really well heeled and 2) with the general anti-development mindset of many city leaders I doubt the political will is there to have 2nd Ave morph into a business zone. 

Long story short, I think we are making a very big assumption that the SAS below 63rd st will be as big of a hit as the Uptown/Bronx section, and I personally don't see it.  

 

Even if phase 3 is mostly residential how is that any different from the UES? Even with a transfer, it's still coverage. Area likes Murry Hill, The East Village, and the LES are seeing a fair amount of growth. A Phase 3 would probably spur more development and offer more options.  East Midtown would see some spill over. I'm not going to walk over a few hundred feet to Second Ave for service? Besides blocks are shorter on the eastside. New York is a hot frying at this point for transport In Manhattan more so. Any inch of new line will evaporate and spur development to make use at very worst case. There's so many unreachable points on the east side you won't have to reach to far.

Edited by RailRunRob

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On 12/7/2018 at 9:37 AM, Lance said:

Actually, it was likely due to a perceived poor investment at the time. Remember that the current version of the line was to be built in stages, not all at once like the 1970s version was to be. Digging a large tunnel three miles further than the intended southern end of the line at the end of stage one would've been seen as a waste of money, regardless of the time savings we would've gotten from it. Then there's the maintenance of such a long and currently unusable tunnel, which I cannot imagine would've been that cheap. It would've been nice to get a head start on future construction of the line, but it would've already been about ten seven years that the tunnel would've sat idle without any plans for use. And based on the latest information on the project, it will be another decade before we even begin to discuss realistic plans for an extension of the line south of 63rd Street.

I thought about this post while remodeling my man cave. I had provisioned extra raceways for cables under the floor to parts of my room that have no hardware to connect to at the moment, and the extra provisioning was costly. There may not be any hardware until 2020 or 2021. Or I may move to another city. But the thing is, my investment is reusable. Should I move, I can pack up the interlocking carpet tiles, the rubber tiles, and the cable raceways and install it into my new home without losing any of my investment. They will serve their original purpose no matter the outcome.

The MTA has an absolute right to withhold money from things that it does not think will be useful in the foreseeable future. With the track record of SAS being the way it is, phase 3 and beyond are best left untouched. Nobody has a timeline for finishing the job. And money that is available should be allocated to things that can demonstrate utility. We all know how that Chinatown segment of SAS will not be used in the current plans. Or maybe they may. But as far as a mind-eye can see, it may be a multi-million dollar storage cave forever.

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3 hours ago, CenSin said:

The MTA has an absolute right to withhold money from things that it does not think will be useful in the foreseeable future.

IMO here lies the problem. The MTA doesn't seem to have any proper planning arm as it did under City control. Pre-MTA Subway plans were in lockstep with Civic/regional planners.  Think were giving to much credit by even thinking the MTA/MTACC even knows what's useful moving forward to even withhold.  The MTA currently is a maintain and short game organization not in the game of prediction or building the future one bit. The 1970's SAS was an idea born and put in place in a different era and executed under a totally different regime and mindset plus the added external factors.  A casualty of a transitional time.

Edited by RailRunRob
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2 hours ago, RailRunRob said:

IMO here lies the problem. The MTA doesn't seem to have any proper planning arm as it did under City control. Pre-MTA Subway plans were in lockstep with Civic/regional planners.  Think were giving to much credit by even thinking the MTA/MTACC even knows what's useful moving forward to even withhold. 

BINGO!

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On 12/8/2018 at 4:59 PM, shiznit1987 said:

IMHO, are we really sure that Phases 3 and 4 are even a good idea? Where I'm coming from is that 2nd Ave below 63rd St is *not* really part of the East Midtown CBD. 2nd and 1st Aves are pretty much pure residential all the way down Manhattan, and if we're going to spend multi-billions on subway extensions it really should be either 1) Expanding capacity into Core Midtown or 2) serving transit deserts like 3rd Ave (Bronx) or Utica Av. My fear is everyone is drawing up plans for QB 2nd Ave services that to be honest I don't think anyone is going to really want to use (I live along QB BTW). People want anything between 8th and 3rd Aves and a lower SAS is at best convenient to 3rd Ave offices which already have decent subway access. 

I know some advance the argument that the city will somehow upzone or adjust Far East Midtown to become another office district but I doubt that's going to happen. The reality is that 1) That area is really well heeled and 2) with the general anti-development mindset of many city leaders I doubt the political will is there to have 2nd Ave morph into a business zone. 

Long story short, I think we are making a very big assumption that the SAS below 63rd st will be as big of a hit as the Uptown/Bronx section, and I personally don't see it.  

 

East Side Access is about to fire hose the Lex with downtown bound passengers. At the very least Phase III will be required.

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