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The Holland Tunnel - What can be done?

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Hello friends,

 

I have always visited the forum to read about your thoughs on NYC transportation in general and learned a lot here with you. Recently as I have been using the Holland Tunnel for my commutes, I started to think about possible improvements and decided to come here and share a little with you.

 

I have been seing more and more buses using the Holland Tunnel through the last three years, and lots of them are "not identified". I don't have a clue where they come from and go to. But still I think that the Holland Tunnel can catalyze a big change in Downtown Manhattan with a big project on the surrouding area. Maybe even extending BRT corridors. Do you guys have any thoughts on this?

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One of the biggest changes that needs to happen is direct limited access from the Tunnel Entrance to West Street and the FDR if its feasible. 

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In a perfect world, I'd have a separate tube for buses specifically entering/exiting PABT.... The temporary buses only lane isn't enough.

(I feel for the poor bastard that's gotta put those orange sticks in the ground for that long a distance every morning)

 

....But what Tokkemon brings up (West st) is also needed; the backtracking from the tunnel exit to West st. shouldn't have to be.... It's actually a peeve I personally have with/when using the Holland....

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In a perfect world, I'd have a separate tube for buses specifically entering/exiting PABT.... The temporary buses only lane isn't enough.

(I feel for the poor bastard that's gotta put those orange sticks in the ground for that long a distance every morning)

 

....But what Tokkemon brings up (West st) is also needed; the backtracking from the tunnel exit to West st. shouldn't have to be.... It's actually a peeve I personally have with/when using the Holland....

 

From what I understand, aren't the orange sticks always placed there. I mean they are pretty strict with lane changing through the Holland and Lincoln. But then again I haven't drove through the tunnels to Jersey for some time.

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There are two related issues with the Holland. One, way too many people from Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island are using the Holland to toll shop to get to points west, south, and even north (like say, using NY/NJ 17 to get to Woodbury Commons). Two, grade separating a limited direct ramp to West St or the FDR wouldn't be possible without some severe amounts of eminent domain. Even just setting aside lanes from buses would be very hard to do due to the fact that all the downtown streets are very narrow (with the exception of Canal St, which DOT has already said is too congested to even consider taking away lanes from.)

Edited by bobtehpanda

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From what I understand, aren't the orange sticks always placed there. I mean they are pretty strict with lane changing through the Holland and Lincoln. But then again I haven't drove through the tunnels to Jersey for some time.

For the Holland, I wouldn't know....

For the Lincoln however, for the AM rush, they're removed somewhere b/w 9 and 10am.... Was interesting to see the guy with my own two (eyes) get on & off the vehicle every few yards or so to physically remove the things.....

Edited by B35 via Church

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There are two related issues with the Holland. One, way too many people from Queens, Brooklyn, and Long Island are using the Holland to toll shop to get to points west, south, and even north (like say, using NY/NJ 17 to get to Woodbury Commons). Two, grade separating a limited direct ramp to West St or the FDR wouldn't be possible without some severe amounts of eminent domain. Even just setting aside lanes from buses would be very hard to do due to the fact that all the downtown streets are very narrow (with the exception of Canal St, which DOT has already said is too congested to even consider taking away lanes from.)

So lets just give up until the whole things crumbles?

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I should confess that I would love to see traffic mitigation measures in the area. Maybe restraining a full lane for buses in both AM and PM peak hours. Definately that would attract some of the buses that go midtown to the downtown Manhattan instead, but the city could also support the initiative by creating a bus plaza on 6th avenue or so. Something like what Curitiba did in their downtown most crowded area some years ago: https://www.opengreenmap.org/sites/default/files/user_upload/terminal_praca_ruibarbosa_0.jpg

 

I am sure that it would be able to mitigate some of the traffic that use to Holland from Queens, Brooklyn and LI. I should say that I do not believe that grade separation is the only answer (also because it would cost tons and tons of money). The change could be policy focused.

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One of the biggest changes that needs to happen is direct limited access from the Tunnel Entrance to West Street and the FDR if its feasible. 

Can you tell me a bit more about that? 

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In a perfect world, I'd have a separate tube for buses specifically entering/exiting PABT.... The temporary buses only lane isn't enough.

(I feel for the poor bastard that's gotta put those orange sticks in the ground for that long a distance every morning)

 

....But what Tokkemon brings up (West st) is also needed; the backtracking from the tunnel exit to West st. shouldn't have to be.... It's actually a peeve I personally have with/when using the Holland....

I was talking about the Holland, not the Lincoln.

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are you still able to drive by the nypd 1st precinct when exiting the holland tunnel?

Yes. Totally. And those irregular parking in front of the NYCPD are terrible.

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I was talking about the Holland, not the Lincoln.

Yeah....

 

So lets just give up until the whole things crumbles?

Funny how his (Bob's) posts tend to yield these types of responses....

Edited by B35 via Church

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So lets just give up until the whole things crumbles?

 

I mean, what can we do? Reviving the LOMEX or building elevated bus lanes wouldn't be feasible in this day and age (and also wouldn't help FDR-bound traffic, since there are no on/off-ramps in the general vicinity of Canal Street). The streets are too narrow unless you want to completely dedicate entire streets to buses. You could probably close off certain streets in the immediate areas to reduce conflict points, but that would probably be unpopular. Manhattan is basically at peak road capacity already and there is neither money nor political will to add new road capacity into the city.

 

The best long-term solution would be tolling the East River bridges westbound so people no longer toll shop using the Manhattan Bridge and Holland Tunnel instead of using the Verrazano, Triboro, Throgs Neck, or Whitestone Bridges, but that's about as likely as building the LOMEX. In any case, congestion is not really something that you can ever "solve"; it can only really be managed. Induced demand traffic theory states that whatever new capacity you make gets used up once people start adjusting for the new capacity. Besides, it's not as if the Holland Tunnel is going to collapse in on itself if it's at capacity and properly maintained.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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I mean, what can we do? Reviving the LOMEX or building elevated bus lanes wouldn't be feasible in this day and age (and also wouldn't help FDR-bound traffic, since there are no on/off-ramps in the general vicinity of Canal Street). The streets are too narrow unless you want to completely dedicate entire streets to buses. You could probably close off certain streets in the immediate areas to reduce conflict points, but that would probably be unpopular. Manhattan is basically at peak road capacity already and there is neither money nor political will to add new road capacity into the city.

 

The best long-term solution would be tolling the East River bridges westbound so people no longer toll shop using the Manhattan Bridge and Holland Tunnel instead of using the Verrazano, Triboro, Throgs Neck, or Whitestone Bridges, but that's about as likely as building the LOMEX. In any case, congestion is not really something that you can ever "solve"; it can only really be managed. Induced demand traffic theory states that whatever new capacity you make gets used up once people start adjusting for the new capacity. Besides, it's not as if the Holland Tunnel is going to collapse in on itself if it's at capacity and properly maintained.

What you have to remember there was a West Side highway at one point in existence at one time in that area  where you headed towards the Hudson and went elevated to go to the FDR  The crazy exiting from the Holland when first set up caused people to be robbed at the light .  The 1st precinct parking for everybody is in front of the precinct and why its crazy.

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The Holland Tunnel needs additional tubes, with the LOWMEX.  :D

 

It's crazy that it's such a chore just to get to the next state.

 

Even if "congestion pricing" were to be implemented the alternatives are to go through 

1) Staten Island via the congested BQE/Belt Parkway and the Staten Island Expressway 

or

2) The Bronx via the congested Cross-Bronx/Major Deegan Expressways and the George Washington Bridge. Look how far apart those crossings are, many destinations are BETWEEN those crossings on both sides of Manhattan. 

 

If they go with "Move NY" they should use funds to add 4 more lanes to the Holland Tunnel, Build the Lowmex, Midmex & Bushwick Expressways. And either build the Cross Brooklyn Expressway or convert the Belt Parkway to an Expressway. 

 

Allow the trip through Manhattan to be easier, no one actually want's to sit at red lights as they arrive at each avenue, they can still toll for entering midtown even if the vehicles don't get off the highways.

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The Holland Tunnel needs additional tubes, with the LOWMEX.  :D

 

It's crazy that it's such a chore just to get to the next state.

 

Even if "congestion pricing" were to be implemented the alternatives are to go through 

1) Staten Island via the congested BQE/Belt Parkway and the Staten Island Expressway 

or

2) The Bronx via the congested Cross-Bronx/Major Deegan Expressways and the George Washington Bridge. Look how far apart those crossings are, many destinations are BETWEEN those crossings on both sides of Manhattan. 

 

If they go with "Move NY" they should use funds to add 4 more lanes to the Holland Tunnel, Build the Lowmex, Midmex & Bushwick Expressways. And either build the Cross Brooklyn Expressway or convert the Belt Parkway to an Expressway. 

 

Allow the trip through Manhattan to be easier, no one actually want's to sit at red lights as they arrive at each avenue, they can still toll for entering midtown even if the vehicles don't get off the highways.

it is not about infrastructure. increasing capacity is not the goal. we increase the capacity and the demand also does. better would be to remove lanes from the holland and make them bus only.

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it is not about infrastructure. increasing capacity is not the goal. we increase the capacity and the demand also does. better would be to remove lanes from the holland and make them bus only.

The Holland Tunnel is only 2 lanes in each direction, you can't be serious.

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it is not about infrastructure. increasing capacity is not the goal. we increase the capacity and the demand also does. better would be to remove lanes from the holland and make them bus only.

 

The Holland has only four lanes. I don't think that's possible.

 

On the other hand, one of the Lincoln Tubes should be bus-only all times except nights.

What you have to remember there was a West Side highway at one point in existence at one time in that area  where you headed towards the Hudson and went elevated to go to the FDR  The crazy exiting from the Holland when first set up caused people to be robbed at the light .  The 1st precinct parking for everybody is in front of the precinct and why its crazy.

 

There was, but it got torn down because it literally collapsed. They were going to do the Westway tunnel (Robert Moses' last grand project) but the environmentalists and the residents stopped it.

 

You can technically still go to West St via Laight St on the first exit and make your way to the FDR tunnel that way.

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There was, but it got torn down because it literally collapsed. They were going to do the Westway tunnel (Robert Moses' last grand project) but the environmentalists and the residents stopped it.

 

You can technically still go to West St via Laight St on the first exit and make your way to the FDR tunnel that way.

 

 

It collapsed for the simple reason they forgot to maintain it like most of the things in the city.  Maintenance is the first thing cut in the budget for something else they consider more important.  So inspection disappears and the bridge falls down..  Reminds me of Philly with I-95 where Rendell's city government forgot to inspect  the highway for a number of years.  Someone saw the crack and took a photo which was sent to Harrisburg  which caused a State inspector to come out and look and the road was immediately closed. Philly used the Fed Highway money for other things.

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The Holland has only four lanes. I don't think that's possible.

 

On the other hand, one of the Lincoln Tubes should be bus-only all times except nights.

 

 

There was, but it got torn down because it literally collapsed. They were going to do the Westway tunnel (Robert Moses' last grand project) but the environmentalists and the residents stopped it.

 

You can technically still go to West St via Laight St on the first exit and make your way to the FDR tunnel that way.

 

I know. 4 lanes. So 1 lane in each tube should be bus only. This would definately minimize the traffic in downtown Manhattan A LOT. Beside, if the PABT really starts the renewal project, I do not see any other option but using the holland tunnel for a little more bus traffic.

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Is a "LOWMEX" even possible?? (love the acronym)

 

It was considered but scrapped because it would've cut through the heart of Soho and destroyed it.

 

vanshnookenraggen.jpg

 

There was also a much crazier Mid-Manhattan Expressway.

 

Mid-Manhattan-Expressway-LOMEX-Unbuilt-R

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It was considered but scrapped because it would've cut through the heart of Soho and destroyed it.

 

vanshnookenraggen.jpg

 

There was also a much crazier Mid-Manhattan Expressway.

 

Mid-Manhattan-Expressway-LOMEX-Unbuilt-R

 

I swear, didn't Moses learn anything from the Cross Bronx Expressway?

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