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EE Broadway Local

Department of Subways - Proposals/Ideas

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10 hours ago, RR503 said:

Not that this is the most important objection to this plan, but you can't easily branch 63. Pretty sure the provision left at the 63 St connector in '01 is for a flat junction, ie all 63 St trains have to run via Bypass. Even if you could branch, though, do you not see how branching 63 basically forces you to keep all of Queens interlined? I don't think you want that... I can totally see the argument for a line on Northern, but I neither think it should be the (G) nor should it swoop down through the south end of the yards to siphon traffic away from a not-that-busy (7) stop. 

The easiest way to do Northern Blvd. is an extension of the (L) along 10th Avenue and a cross-street like 50th Street.

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11 hours ago, RR503 said:

Not that this is the most important objection to this plan, but you can't easily branch 63. Pretty sure the provision left at the 63 St connector in '01 is for a flat junction, ie all 63 St trains have to run via Bypass. Even if you could branch, though, do you not see how branching 63 basically forces you to keep all of Queens interlined? I don't think you want that... I can totally see the argument for a line on Northern, but I neither think it should be the (G) nor should it swoop down through the south end of the yards to siphon traffic away from a not-that-busy (7) stop. 

 

43 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

The easiest way to do Northern Blvd. is an extension of the (L) along 10th Avenue and a cross-street like 50th Street.

I see the notions that both of you guys have upon Northern Blvd and why it is a bad idea to extend the (G) to points east of Queens Plaza/LIC. I agree with these notions, But if we had to build Northern Blvd RIGHT NOW, then I’ll have to say that the (G) would be our Best Bet. The way that @JeremiahC99 explained is one way to extend it. Another way (and this option is slightly more preferable) is to rebuild 36 with 2 outer tracks that lead to Northern Blvd. The S/B Tracks could be built in a DeKalb and Chambers (1)(2)(3) style of Platforms. Then the tracks could run under Sunnyside for a brief moment and then up Northern Blvd. Later on, you could then extend the (L) up Northern via 50th or 57th Street and using the 11th Street Cut to replace the (G). However, this idea would force you to deinterline QBL 100% Which wouldn’t sell well with commuters in Jamaica. I personally don’t agree with this setup, but it’s just fun to think about how certain things can be built in different ways. 

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FIrst post in a while. I think the (G)(L) would be a good fit for Northern Blvd and SAS can come later. If phase 3 is built with at least provisions for express tracks we can have a fully fledged Northern Blvd trunk line. 

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10 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

 

I see the notions that both of you guys have upon Northern Blvd and why it is a bad idea to extend the (G) to points east of Queens Plaza/LIC. I agree with these notions, But if we had to build Northern Blvd RIGHT NOW, then I’ll have to say that the (G) would be our Best Bet. The way that @JeremiahC99 explained is one way to extend it. Another way (and this option is slightly more preferable) is to rebuild 36 with 2 outer tracks that lead to Northern Blvd. The S/B Tracks could be built in a DeKalb and Chambers (1)(2)(3) style of Platforms. Then the tracks could run under Sunnyside for a brief moment and then up Northern Blvd. Later on, you could then extend the (L) up Northern via 50th or 57th Street and using the 11th Street Cut to replace the (G). However, this idea would force you to deinterline QBL 100% Which wouldn’t sell well with commuters in Jamaica. I personally don’t agree with this setup, but it’s just fun to think about how certain things can be built in different ways. 

I just chose the (G) for the Northern Blvd service because with the exception of the (R), every other Queens Blvd line would be too popular to reroute to the Northern Blvd Line. In addition, the (G) is less busier than other lines (but it does have good ridership), so having it run on a new corridor won't interfere with other services, as well as Queens-Manhattan ridership, which is pretty heavy. It could also help to build a good ridership base for the line as well since riders through central Queens served by the (7) can now ride into Brooklyn without going into Manhattan first, especially if the stops are placed where the bus lines intersect.

However, the alignment of the line is a mystery and why I elected not to put it in my grand master plan. For it to work, I would have to make some adjustments to the track layout to not interfere with trains switching from local to express tracks. I could move the (M) switches farther up the tunnel to the end of the pocket track, which would allow for a construction of spurs from the local track or a flying junction instead. This may unfortunately have to merge with the bypass from the 63rd Street tunnel, which I don't like. The 63rd Street bypass provisions consists of one trackway branching from the Jamaica-bound track. It is assumed that the other trackway would tunnel underneath the whole mess. I would probably use this provision and expand it to 4 tracks once the line reaches the Sunnyside Yard area. This could possibly segregate bypass traffic and Queens traffic and mitigate my concerns about the potential merge, though a four track subway ROW through the yard would mean that I could expand the entire yard onto private property. Two stops would be made, with one at 39th Street and another at 48th Street, serving Sunnyside and connecting to the Q104 bus. At this point, the Northern Blvd (G) line would split off from the bypass line and run via the AmTrak ROW, then leave the ROW at Northern, becoming an elevated line over the middle of the street. This modern structure, similar to ones used in the AirTrain JFK and to an extent, the 1988 ramp carriying (J) and (Z) trains between elevated and subway at 127th Street, would be two tracks.

An alternative that avoids this whole mess of dealing with the bypass is to just tunnel through the entire route. The switch reconfiguration would still occur. This avoids dealing with the bypass by placing the Northern Blvd tracks underneath Northern all the way, but would cost a lot more tunneling than what it needs to do, which could increase costs. Stations would have to be possibly built further underground to avoid interfering with (E) and (F) service, which uses the lower level express tracks under the same route through Sunnyside. The other plan would involve less tunneling since the only tunnels that need to be built are the ones linking to the bypass and yard, and my master plan involves reducing the amount of unnecessary tunneling to the fullest possible extent while creating new lines (some of the plans involve using existing or abandoned ROWs).

In the end, in spite of the benefits of a Northern Blvd Line, I just chose to leave the (G) as is and not including the Northern Blvd plan in my New Program for Action. Instead, I am focusing my efforts to improve service on the existing (G) route and enhancing the existing Q66 bus service as well. Once an consensus is reached, I will reconsider adding the Northern Blvd Line, which by the way is not a new idea (though only I came up with an elevated structure over the street)

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12 hours ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

I see the notions that both of you guys have upon Northern Blvd and why it is a bad idea to extend the (G) to points east of Queens Plaza/LIC. I agree with these notions, But if we had to build Northern Blvd RIGHT NOW, then I’ll have to say that the (G) would be our Best Bet. The way that @JeremiahC99 explained is one way to extend it. Another way (and this option is slightly more preferable) is to rebuild 36 with 2 outer tracks that lead to Northern Blvd. The S/B Tracks could be built in a DeKalb and Chambers (1)(2)(3) style of Platforms. Then the tracks could run under Sunnyside for a brief moment and then up Northern Blvd. Later on, you could then extend the (L) up Northern via 50th or 57th Street and using the 11th Street Cut to replace the (G). However, this idea would force you to deinterline QBL 100% Which wouldn’t sell well with commuters in Jamaica. I personally don’t agree with this setup, but it’s just fun to think about how certain things can be built in different ways. 

I actually like this Dekalbized 36 St plan, with the (G) using tracks 1 and 2 from Queens Plaza to 36 St, where I assume they'd stop at some new outer platforms. You'd have to do (F)(M) local (E)(K) express for it to work, but provided you build out 59-63 then you should be okay. It's a pretty way of avoiding some complex series of flying junctions, and as you say it makes it easy to add Manhattan service in the future via the 11 St Cut. 

I think this'd actually sell really well in Jamaica. People love express trains to 53 (which of course may be the plan's greatest challenge -- making sure (E)(K) don't die).

Edited by RR503
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10 hours ago, RR503 said:

I actually like this Dekalbized 36 St plan, with the (G) using tracks 1 and 2 from Queens Plaza to 36 St, where I assume they'd stop at some new outer platforms. You'd have to do (F)(M) local (E)(K) express for it to work, but provided you build out 59-63 then you should be okay. It's a pretty way of avoiding some complex series of flying junctions, and as you say it makes it easy to add Manhattan service in the future via the 11 St Cut. 

I think this'd actually sell really well in Jamaica. People love express trains to 53 (which of course may be the plan's greatest challenge -- making sure (E)(K) don't die).

Couldn’t you run the (E)(K) express and (F)(M) local by swapping their roles south of west 4th? (I’m not advocating for this, this is just a random thought I had).

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16 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Couldn’t you run the (E)(K) express and (F)(M) local by swapping their roles south of west 4th? (I’m not advocating for this, this is just a random thought I had).

How does one relate to the other?

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56 minutes ago, Lex said:

How does one relate to the other?

Because of the issues of QBL express going to only WTC and the (F) being too long if it was a local.

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3 hours ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Couldn’t you run the (E)(K) express and (F)(M) local by swapping their roles south of west 4th? (I’m not advocating for this, this is just a random thought I had).

The swap would help with terminal capacity assuming you’re running Queens trains local on 8th, though Culver riders wouldn’t be happy. The bigger impediment to the plan generally speaking though is the fact that local-63 cuts off QB local from LIC, which is a non starter. 

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On 9/7/2019 at 11:33 PM, JeremiahC99 said:

That Queens bypass is also meant to relieve crowding on the Queens Blvd Line and speed travel times for passengers going from SE and Central Queens to Manhattan and eventually Brooklyn if a planned Northern Blvd stop is built with a transfer to Queens Plaza. The proposal goes back to 1968. Would you rather continue to have slower service between Southeast Queens and Midtown or provide a faster ride in between, which will benefit a lot of people?

Back in 1968, it might have made more sense for the MTA to propose the Queens bypass tracks as a nonstop super express. Back then, Manhattan held a greater share of 9-to-5 jobs, that the newly-formed MTA seemed to believe they needed to cater to. But today, we have more intra-borough commutes than we did before and we really should try to capitalize on that as best we can. And I think we can do that here. We also shouldn’t underestimate just  how busy some of the QB local stations can get. But as long as you build only a few strategically placed stations on the bypass, it will still be a faster ride from Southeast Queens.

On 9/8/2019 at 1:19 AM, Lex said:

A proper relief line will have a few intermediate stations in order to serve as both a boost to peak train throughput and a connector for points along it.

The bypass allows for the former (great for Manhattan during the peaks) while eschewing the latter (little more than shit for Queens, the "beneficiary" of the damn thing). It's not like we're talking about a distance that is two miles or less, either. We're talking about crossing 1/3-1/2 of the entire borough without a single station to help the neighborhoods along the way in any capacity. That's not an efficient use of resources, just a pet project.

Agreed. I myself have come around on the idea that the QB bypass should function more as relief line for the QBL as a whole, rather than just for the express services. As a former (M) or (R) rider (whichever came first in the morning), I’d be on local trains packed to the gills until Roosevelt Avenue. Given how many busy bus routes connect only to the local trains in between 71st-Continental and Roosevelt, it’s not hard to see how. A relief service would relieve not only those busy QB local stations, but also help keep the (E) and (F) get “less slammed” at Roosevelt. Though I do believe the relief service should have fewer stops than the existing QB locals do, so that it can still be faster than taking a bus to the local, then slamming the express at Roosevelt. So, basically, a 2nd Avenue V service that branches off Queens Blvd at 71st-Continental, surfaces onto the LIRR r-o-w, makes a few stops on the r-o-w before stopping in LIC and heading into Manhattan. I think 63rd Drive, Woodhaven Blvd and Grand Avenue would be good locations on the r-o-w. 

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue

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4 hours ago, RR503 said:

The swap would help with terminal capacity assuming you’re running Queens trains local on 8th, though Culver riders wouldn’t be happy. The bigger impediment to the plan generally speaking though is the fact that local-63 cuts off QB local from LIC, which is a non starter. 

Even if the (G) stops on two new outer tracks, like @LaGuardia Link N Tra proposed up thread? Wouldn’t that make pretty much any QBL de-interlining plan that doesn’t have QB locals via 53rd a non-starter? 

On 9/8/2019 at 11:54 AM, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

 

I see the notions that both of you guys have upon Northern Blvd and why it is a bad idea to extend the (G) to points east of Queens Plaza/LIC. I agree with these notions, But if we had to build Northern Blvd RIGHT NOW, then I’ll have to say that the (G) would be our Best Bet. The way that @JeremiahC99 explained is one way to extend it. Another way (and this option is slightly more preferable) is to rebuild 36 with 2 outer tracks that lead to Northern Blvd. The S/B Tracks could be built in a DeKalb and Chambers (1)(2)(3) style of Platforms. Then the tracks could run under Sunnyside for a brief moment and then up Northern Blvd. Later on, you could then extend the (L) up Northern via 50th or 57th Street and using the 11th Street Cut to replace the (G). However, this idea would force you to deinterline QBL 100% Which wouldn’t sell well with commuters in Jamaica. I personally don’t agree with this setup, but it’s just fun to think about how certain things can be built in different ways. 

 

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2 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Even if the (G) stops on two new outer tracks, like @LaGuardia Link N Tra proposed up thread? Wouldn’t that make pretty much any QBL de-interlining plan that doesn’t have QB locals via 53rd a non-starter?

Yes, my apologies for not being clearer. LGA's plan makes this work. 

 

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2 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Back in 1968, it might have made more sense for the MTA to propose the Queens bypass tracks as a nonstop super express. Back then, Manhattan held a greater share of 9-to-5 jobs, that the newly-formed MTA seemed to believe they needed to cater to. But today, we have more intra-borough commutes than we did before and we really should try to capitalize on that as best we can. And I think we can do that here. We also shouldn’t underestimate just  how busy some of the QB local stations can get. But as long as you build only a few strategically placed stations on the bypass, it will still be a faster ride from Southeast Queens.

Well you are actually correct that the non-stop, bypass may not be necessary today. As for intra-borough trips, I feel that the way the subway may be could make it impossible without additional tunneling, and my upcoming grand master plan aims to reduce tunneling costs as much as possible, only doing so where it is absolutely necessary. I do feel that with some subway extensions further out from Downtown Jamaica, the bus service can be rerouted away from Downtown Jamaica and can be instead rerouted to radiate around Downtown Jamaica and serve that intra-borough demand. However, a (7) extension from Main Street via Parsons Blvd could set the stage for some direct Bronx-Queens service, especially since the Q44 bus between the two boroughs appears to be popular to the local community (I did not incorporate this plan yet).

One of my current plans for the bypass is to connect it to a reactivated Rockaway Beach Branch, since there has been interest on restoring it for faster service to Manhattan. While the Q52/53 buses are available nearby on Woodhaven Blvd, it connects to the overcrowded Queens Blvd Subway, does require a transfer (which uses up the free transfer), and its Select Bus Service implementation has been subject to controversy. A new rail line on the branch would possibly provide a faster route to Midtown for Richmond Hill residents. In my plans, I have it connected to the bypass, with a station at Woodside-61st Street. It would then merge with a resignalled 63rd Street Line and take advantage of the extra capacity of the planned Second Avenue Subway. It is of note that the existing signalling system can handle at most 30 trains per hour. With a new Signal system, that number goes up to 40, increasing capacity. However, some lines, due to physical obstacles and the sad realities of crowding, may never reach 40 trains. Assuming 95% of the capacity can be realistically used up before delays incur, the realistic max capacities would be 28 trains on the old signalling and 38 on the CBTC system.

I just did it this way since I feel that it would be cheaper than if you tunneled under Yellowstone Blvd to connect to the Queens Blvd Line or tunneled under 66th Avenue to Queens Blvd. After all, I feel that constructing on an existing ROW would be cheaper to do (I also plan to do the same thing for the (E) extension to SE Queens). The tunneling under Yellowstone would come at a later date.

As for stations, I am mulling on adding a station at 63rd Drive, where a station on the LIRR once existed. Q38 bus riders could transfer at this location instead of the Queens Blvd. Grand Avenue could be another candidate for connections with the also-popular Q58 and Q59 bus lines as well. Stops in Sunnyside would also be considered as well, with one at 39th Street and another at 48th Street. This should cater to some of the intraborough bus ridership, and allow for some connectivity to neighborhood buses. 

Once I have the time, the master plan will be released, but any feedback is welcome for these plans.

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Definitely would like to see what you come up with. Though the bypass through Woodside will probably require tunneling as there is very little space in that area for two extra tracks, let alone a platform for them to stop there for a transfer to the (7) and LIRR. I still think a bypass line is needed, but as a relief line as opposed to the super express proposed by the MTA half a century ago. 

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RBB and Jamaica are both contenders for Bypass service, and it can potentially be given to them both. I’d have local QB service (K) or (M) running to the RBB while the SAS on the Bypass will run to Jamaica. The question then becomes whether it should run to Hillside (which would be extended) or SE Queens with the (E).

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15 minutes ago, Harlem Crosstown said:

What do you think should be done with the Jamaica (J)(M)(Z) lines?

Thats actually part of my grand master plan for improving the subway system. I don’t want to spoil too much since it’s still going through modifications at this time, taking into account feedback received, but almost every line is having its service altered in a way.

I intend to release the grand master plan either on Thursday or Friday, depending on how classes and other commitments go.

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2 minutes ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Thats actually part of my grand master plan for improving the subway system. I don’t want to spoil too much since it’s still going through modifications at this time, taking into account feedback received, but almost every line is having its service altered in a way.

I intend to release the grand master plan either on Thursday or Friday, depending on how classes and other commitments go.

Are you going for a cost effective plan?

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5 minutes ago, Harlem Crosstown said:

Are you going for a cost effective plan?

My plan intends to reduce construction costs by limiting the amount of tunneling that would be required. It would only be used where it is absolutely necessary, such as in Manhattan and parts of Queens. Also, I do aim to prioritize construction on existing and abandoned right of ways, such as the Rockaway Beach Branch, since it would be least expensive to use these ROWs for Subway service.

This has been done before. Prominent examples of such construction include the Dyre Avenue (5) Line and the Rockaway (A) line, which both have used ROWs that were previously abandoned.

The related service changes would also make service more efficient and increase capacity.

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18 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Well you are actually correct that the non-stop, bypass may not be necessary today. As for intra-borough trips, I feel that the way the subway may be could make it impossible without additional tunneling, and my upcoming grand master plan aims to reduce tunneling costs as much as possible, only doing so where it is absolutely necessary. I do feel that with some subway extensions further out from Downtown Jamaica, the bus service can be rerouted away from Downtown Jamaica and can be instead rerouted to radiate around Downtown Jamaica and serve that intra-borough demand. However, a (7) extension from Main Street via Parsons Blvd could set the stage for some direct Bronx-Queens service, especially since the Q44 bus between the two boroughs appears to be popular to the local community (I did not incorporate this plan yet).

Given the relative densities of demand on crosstown vs core-bound corridors, I think your approach to the issue is sound -- crosstowns get upgraded buses (or LRT) and subways where the demand exists/ROW does. I do not think your (7) plan is a good idea, though. You're much better off extending it further out along Roosevelt or up towards Whitestone. As the (G) has shown us, mixing types of demand doesn't work out well in the long run. 

18 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

One of my current plans for the bypass is to connect it to a reactivated Rockaway Beach Branch, since there has been interest on restoring it for faster service to Manhattan. While the Q52/53 buses are available nearby on Woodhaven Blvd, it connects to the overcrowded Queens Blvd Subway, does require a transfer (which uses up the free transfer), and its Select Bus Service implementation has been subject to controversy. A new rail line on the branch would possibly provide a faster route to Midtown for Richmond Hill residents. In my plans, I have it connected to the bypass, with a station at Woodside-61st Street. It would then merge with a resignalled 63rd Street Line and take advantage of the extra capacity of the planned Second Avenue Subway. It is of note that the existing signalling system can handle at most 30 trains per hour. With a new Signal system, that number goes up to 40, increasing capacity. However, some lines, due to physical obstacles and the sad realities of crowding, may never reach 40 trains. Assuming 95% of the capacity can be realistically used up before delays incur, the realistic max capacities would be 28 trains on the old signalling and 38 on the CBTC system.

I just did it this way since I feel that it would be cheaper than if you tunneled under Yellowstone Blvd to connect to the Queens Blvd Line or tunneled under 66th Avenue to Queens Blvd. After all, I feel that constructing on an existing ROW would be cheaper to do (I also plan to do the same thing for the (E) extension to SE Queens). The tunneling under Yellowstone would come at a later date.

As for stations, I am mulling on adding a station at 63rd Drive, where a station on the LIRR once existed. Q38 bus riders could transfer at this location instead of the Queens Blvd. Grand Avenue could be another candidate for connections with the also-popular Q58 and Q59 bus lines as well. Stops in Sunnyside would also be considered as well, with one at 39th Street and another at 48th Street. This should cater to some of the intraborough bus ridership, and allow for some connectivity to neighborhood buses. 

Once I have the time, the master plan will be released, but any feedback is welcome for these plans.

Should the Bypass have stops? Yes. Should it be a priority? No. Should it be connected to the RBB? f**k no. 

The current issues with Queens capacity has everything to do with service patterns and operations and little to do with the absence of a bypass -- especially if you're seeing our infrastructure issues through a minimally interventionist systems management lens. We have 3 B Division tunnels under the East River; it would stand to reason that each could run 30tph for a total of 90tph under the river. Today, we run 25 via 60th, 25 via 53rd and 15 via 63rd for a grand total of...wait for it...65tph, or 72% capacity. The loads that use that capacity are themselves not evenly distributed. Express trains and the (N)(W) carry (more) than their fair share of Manhattan-bound passengers, while the locals run relatively empty. With these problems in mind, priority one for Queens should be a) addressing the operational factors that limit us to such a low capacity figure, and b) addressing the load imbalance.

The first issue comes down to Forest Hills, Astoria and 63rd St. The former two terminals have been discussed extensively on the forum, so I'll continue w/o elaboration. The latter issue gets to the crux of the problem with any Bypass plan that precedes new river tunnels: 63 St doesn't have to run below capacity. Provided the cars, I could, tomorrow, reroute the (M) via 63 St, the (R) to Astoria, and add a new 53 St-8th Ave service to fill the (R)'s gap in Queens...and voila, I've just filled the capacity 'hole' in 63 without adding new lines. It's worth noting here, too, that in the long run, capacity is inversely proportional to the complexity of routes, which is to say that we're never going to achieve 40tph service levels if our system is as extensively interlined as it is today. Even internationally, 32tph seems to be the max with reverse branching, and that's without some of NYCT's more conservative design assumptions regarding CBTC.

The second issue is all service patterns. All (M) train destinations are duplicated by an express service, and most (R) train destinations are a short walk from an (E)(F) stop (the  exception being the (4)(5) transfer at Lex-59). If you can 'untangle' local and express destinations and thus incentivize people to stay on local trains, you've basically won the battle. The most common (and my preferred way) of undertaking this is to send all QB local trains to 53 St and then 8th Ave, while expresses run via 63 and 6th Ave. There are other permutations of these service patterns (some, like @LaGuardia Link N Tra's above, requiring concurrent investment), but the general idea holds through. Point being, if you implement such a service pattern, you've just massively increased your effective capacity. 

Let's now talk about the Bypass. Given the expense of adding more infrastructure, and the fact that adding a Bypass without a new underriver tunnel forces interlining in Queens (how are you going to replace the (R) if half your 63 cap is going to the Bypass?), I would argue that simply leveraging current infrastructure to the best of our abilities is the best choice here. Yeah, it'll cost the riders some time, but for the long term health of our system minimizing interlining and maximizing the value of current facilities is the generally accepted approach; you can achieve relief of express trains without having to make big spends.

(Now, you could in theory still deinterline with a Bypass by giving QB local back to the (G), but I daresay the issues with that take are somewhat self-evident) 

Finally, the RBB. The RBB is something I've always been on the fence about. Yes, it's there, and relatively easy to build, but building for the sake thereof isn't wise. We've gotta ask what markets it'd actually be serving. There certainly is a strong Queens crosstown market in the area, but I (and others) question just how well the RBB can serve that market given that key intersecting lines (like the (A) and (J) don't have super easy transfers to/from the corridor. Likewise, while business activity does follow the nearby Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, there is sometimes a good distance between the RBB and those activity centers -- are we *sure* that the RBB is the best option we have here? I'm quite happy to be proven wrong in my doubts here, but as I said, we've gotta be methodical. 

Insofar as Manhattan access to the Rockaways is concerned, any argument that uses today's (A) train as an inflexible baseline condition is doing itself a disservice. Rockaway frequency can be enhanced by extending the (C) to Lefferts (or building out the portion of the Fulton line that would have carried (A)s directly to the Rockaway line, thus allowing (C)s to serve Lefferts alone and (A)s to go to the Rockaways without any merge issues). Likewise, travel speed on the (A) today is limited by extensive grade time installations -- many of which date back to the installation of the original signal system -- as well as merge interactions. If you smooth those out, you get a better, faster Midtown-bound line at a fraction of what it would cost to run the RBB to the Bypass. And this is, of course, before we consider the opportunity cost of using Bypass cap for the RBB rather than for where the actual travel density is -- ie Jamaica. 

So I see I've written quite the wall of text here. I'll stop now. My apologies. 

Edited by RR503
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1 hour ago, RR503 said:

Given the relative densities of demand on crosstown vs core-bound corridors, I think your approach to the issue is sound -- crosstowns get upgraded buses (or LRT) and subways where the demand exists/ROW does. I do not think your (7) plan is a good idea, though. You're much better off extending it further out along Roosevelt or up towards Whitestone. As the (G) has shown us, mixing types of demand doesn't work out well in the long run. 

I was kind of aiming for that approach, since the bus routes do have the potential of serving a greater purpose than feeding into the subway. However, I proposed a Parsons Blvd route due to its direct connection into the Bronx parallel to the Whitestone Bridge. I think another proposal elsewhere (not on the forums) thought of the same idea. However, this would only duplicate north-south Q20 and Q44 service and might not do anything to curb the number of buses terminating in the congested Flushing neighborhood. 154th Street was a another alignment that was bought up, but would run through a residential street.

I could however adopt your suggestion and have it run further along Roosevelt Avenue to Northern Blvd, and from there, along Northern to eastern Queens, most likely at Little Neck Pkwy and Northern Blvd. This alignment would intersect with almost all north-south routes that currently feed into Flushing, especially on routes that then run on Northern. These bus routes can then be rerouted to better serve Northeast Queens as crosstown routes (currently, almost all NE Queens feed into the Main Street (7) stop).

In my upcoming plan, I have left the (7) as is, due to the fact that the Flushing terminal can already turn around more than 20+ more trains. This would be built as a phase 2 of the plan.

1 hour ago, RR503 said:

Should the Bypass have stops? Yes. Should it be a priority? No. Should it be connected to the RBB? f**k no. 

The current issues with Queens capacity has everything to do with service patterns and operations and little to do with the absence of a bypass -- especially if you're seeing our infrastructure issues through a minimally interventionist systems management lens. We have 3 B Division tunnels under the East River; it would stand to reason that each could run 30tph for a total of 90tph under the river. Today, we run 25 via 60th, 25 via 53rd and 15 via 63rd for a grand total of...wait for it...65tph, or 72% capacity. The loads that use that capacity are themselves not evenly distributed. Express trains and the (N)(W) carry (more) than their fair share of Manhattan-bound passengers, while the locals run relatively empty. With these problems in mind, priority one for Queens should be a) addressing the operational factors that limit us to such a low capacity figure, and b) addressing the load imbalance.

The first issue comes down to Forest Hills, Astoria and 63rd St. The former two terminals have been discussed extensively on the forum, so I'll continue w/o elaboration. The latter issue gets to the crux of the problem with any Bypass plan that precedes new river tunnels: 63 St doesn't have to run below capacity. Provided the cars, I could, tomorrow, reroute the (M) via 63 St, the (R) to Astoria, and add a new 53 St-8th Ave service to fill the (R)'s gap in Queens...and voila, I've just filled the capacity 'hole' in 63 without adding new lines. It's worth noting here, too, that in the long run, capacity is inversely proportional to the complexity of routes, which is to say that we're never going to achieve 40tph service levels if our system is as extensively interlined as it is today. Even internationally, 32tph seems to be the max with reverse branching, and that's without some of NYCT's more conservative design assumptions regarding CBTC.

The second issue is all service patterns. All (M) train destinations are duplicated by an express service, and most (R) train destinations are a short walk from an (E)(F) stop (the  exception being the (4)(5) transfer at Lex-59). If you can 'untangle' local and express destinations and thus incentivize people to stay on local trains, you've basically won the battle. The most common (and my preferred way) of undertaking this is to send all QB local trains to 53 St and then 8th Ave, while expresses run via 63 and 6th Ave. There are other permutations of these service patterns (some, like @LaGuardia Link N Tra's above, requiring concurrent investment), but the general idea holds through. Point being, if you implement such a service pattern, you've just massively increased your effective capacity. 

Let's now talk about the Bypass. Given the expense of adding more infrastructure, and the fact that adding a Bypass without a new underriver tunnel forces interlining in Queens (how are you going to replace the (R) if half your 63 cap is going to the Bypass?), I would argue that simply leveraging current infrastructure to the best of our abilities is the best choice here. Yeah, it'll cost the riders some time, but for the long term health of our system minimizing interlining and maximizing the value of current facilities is the generally accepted approach; you can achieve relief of express trains without having to make big spends.

(Now, you could in theory still deinterline with a Bypass by giving QB local back to the (G), but I daresay the issues with that take are somewhat self-evident) 

Finally, the RBB. The RBB is something I've always been on the fence about. Yes, it's there, and relatively easy to build, but building for the sake thereof isn't wise. We've gotta ask what markets it'd actually be serving. There certainly is a strong Queens crosstown market in the area, but I (and others) question just how well the RBB can serve that market given that key intersecting lines (like the (A) and (J) don't have super easy transfers to/from the corridor. Likewise, while business activity does follow the nearby Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, there is sometimes a good distance between the RBB and those activity centers -- are we *sure* that the RBB is the best option we have here? I'm quite happy to be proven wrong in my doubts here, but as I said, we've gotta be methodical. 

Insofar as Manhattan access to the Rockaways is concerned, any argument that uses today's (A) train as an inflexible baseline condition is doing itself a disservice. Rockaway frequency can be enhanced by extending the (C) to Lefferts (or building out the portion of the Fulton line that would have carried (A)s directly to the Rockaway line, thus allowing (C)s to serve Lefferts alone and (A)s to go to the Rockaways without any merge issues). Likewise, travel speed on the (A) today is limited by extensive grade time installations -- many of which date back to the installation of the original signal system -- as well as merge interactions. If you smooth those out, you get a better, faster Midtown-bound line at a fraction of what it would cost to run the RBB to the Bypass. And this is, of course, before we consider the opportunity cost of using Bypass cap for the RBB rather than for where the actual travel density is -- ie Jamaica. 

So I see I've written quite the wall of text here. I'll stop now. My apologies. 

For the service changes, I am proposing a service plan similar to what you are proposing ((R) to Astoria, (M) via 63rd, new 8th Avenue-53rd Street service) for my plan. As you said, this could alleviate some of the problems on Queens Blvd. 63rd Street capacity could also be increased. However, 6th Avenue also has a reverse branch, which is the (M) which goes on the Chrystie Street cut over the Williamsburg Bridge. Removing this branch could have the possible potential to increase capacity on the (F) by adding a second service. This service would be the Culver Express.

On the subject of the bypass, with the resignalling of the 63rd Street Tunnel as part of Fast Forward, I was proposing that for the 63rd Street service, the (F) be 15 trains, 10 for the Second 6th Avenue service, and another 12 for the bypass service. As mentioned before, the slot for the (R) would be replaced by a second 8th Avenue service. That gives us 37 trains per hour, out of the new signal capacity of 40 trains. However, even with the Chrystie Street service rerouted to Culver (this service would be scheduled as part of the (F), you may still have your concerns unaddressed.

For Rockaway Beach service, I have plans to connect two of its stations to the existing line stations. My proposed Liberty Avenue station would have a passageway to the 104th Street station on the (A) and my proposed Brooklyn Manor-Jamaica Avenue stations would have a connection to the (J) at 104th Street. The Woodhaven Junction station on the LIRR Atlantic Branch would be reopened with a passageway to my proposed Atlantic Avenue station. These three connections would allow for connectivity to the existing subway and LIRR systems. However, I believed that the branch would be reactivated because of the travel times to Manhattan. Yes we could have the (C) service Lefferts in a way and iron out all the timers, but the (A) would still have to travel through a substantial part of Brooklyn, making a lot of stops before reaching Lower Manhattan and then Midtown.

Because of these concerns, I am dropping the Rockaway Beach Branch and the Bypass from my plans. These can also be built later as part of a phase 2 while the issues are ironed out.

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15 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

Because of these concerns, I am dropping the Rockaway Beach Branch and the Bypass from my plans. These can also be built later as part of a phase 2 while the issues are ironed out.

Why the bypass? I think it should run as a SAS (V) Line with intermediate stops and then join QBL at 75 Ave, running to Hillside/179. This has been proposed by many others and doesn’t relate to the RBB.

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For the south end of the SAS, I propose having the (V) train run to the Jamaica line and the Atlantic Ave (L) station. The (T) can either run to Fulton Street or the Brighton express, displacing the (B) to the Culver Line and Dyker Heights with the (G) which would be extended in anticipation of a Staten Island Line. For the latter (T) routing, (W) trains can run the Fulton Local line so the (C) can go to Lefferts Blvd.

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On 9/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, RR503 said:

Should the Bypass have stops? Yes. Should it be a priority? No. Should it be connected to the RBB? f**k no. 

The current issues with Queens capacity has everything to do with service patterns and operations and little to do with the absence of a bypass -- especially if you're seeing our infrastructure issues through a minimally interventionist systems management lens. We have 3 B Division tunnels under the East River; it would stand to reason that each could run 30tph for a total of 90tph under the river. Today, we run 25 via 60th, 25 via 53rd and 15 via 63rd for a grand total of...wait for it...65tph, or 72% capacity. The loads that use that capacity are themselves not evenly distributed. Express trains and the (N)(W) carry (more) than their fair share of Manhattan-bound passengers, while the locals run relatively empty. With these problems in mind, priority one for Queens should be a) addressing the operational factors that limit us to such a low capacity figure, and b) addressing the load imbalance.

The first issue comes down to Forest Hills, Astoria and 63rd St. The former two terminals have been discussed extensively on the forum, so I'll continue w/o elaboration. The latter issue gets to the crux of the problem with any Bypass plan that precedes new river tunnels: 63 St doesn't have to run below capacity. Provided the cars, I could, tomorrow, reroute the (M) via 63 St, the (R) to Astoria, and add a new 53 St-8th Ave service to fill the (R)'s gap in Queens...and voila, I've just filled the capacity 'hole' in 63 without adding new lines. It's worth noting here, too, that in the long run, capacity is inversely proportional to the complexity of routes, which is to say that we're never going to achieve 40tph service levels if our system is as extensively interlined as it is today. Even internationally, 32tph seems to be the max with reverse branching, and that's without some of NYCT's more conservative design assumptions regarding CBTC.

The second issue is all service patterns. All (M) train destinations are duplicated by an express service, and most (R) train destinations are a short walk from an (E)(F) stop (the  exception being the (4)(5) transfer at Lex-59). If you can 'untangle' local and express destinations and thus incentivize people to stay on local trains, you've basically won the battle. The most common (and my preferred way) of undertaking this is to send all QB local trains to 53 St and then 8th Ave, while expresses run via 63 and 6th Ave. There are other permutations of these service patterns (some, like @LaGuardia Link N Tra's above, requiring concurrent investment), but the general idea holds through. Point being, if you implement such a service pattern, you've just massively increased your effective capacity. 

Let's now talk about the Bypass. Given the expense of adding more infrastructure, and the fact that adding a Bypass without a new underriver tunnel forces interlining in Queens (how are you going to replace the (R) if half your 63 cap is going to the Bypass?), I would argue that simply leveraging current infrastructure to the best of our abilities is the best choice here. Yeah, it'll cost the riders some time, but for the long term health of our system minimizing interlining and maximizing the value of current facilities is the generally accepted approach; you can achieve relief of express trains without having to make big spends.

(Now, you could in theory still deinterline with a Bypass by giving QB local back to the (G), but I daresay the issues with that take are somewhat self-evident) 

Finally, the RBB. The RBB is something I've always been on the fence about. Yes, it's there, and relatively easy to build, but building for the sake thereof isn't wise. We've gotta ask what markets it'd actually be serving. There certainly is a strong Queens crosstown market in the area, but I (and others) question just how well the RBB can serve that market given that key intersecting lines (like the (A) and (J) don't have super easy transfers to/from the corridor. Likewise, while business activity does follow the nearby Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, there is sometimes a good distance between the RBB and those activity centers -- are we *sure* that the RBB is the best option we have here? I'm quite happy to be proven wrong in my doubts here, but as I said, we've gotta be methodical. 

Insofar as Manhattan access to the Rockaways is concerned, any argument that uses today's (A) train as an inflexible baseline condition is doing itself a disservice. Rockaway frequency can be enhanced by extending the (C) to Lefferts (or building out the portion of the Fulton line that would have carried (A)s directly to the Rockaway line, thus allowing (C)s to serve Lefferts alone and (A)s to go to the Rockaways without any merge issues). Likewise, travel speed on the (A) today is limited by extensive grade time installations -- many of which date back to the installation of the original signal system -- as well as merge interactions. If you smooth those out, you get a better, faster Midtown-bound line at a fraction of what it would cost to run the RBB to the Bypass. And this is, of course, before we consider the opportunity cost of using Bypass cap for the RBB rather than for where the actual travel density is -- ie Jamaica. 

So I see I've written quite the wall of text here. I'll stop now. My apologies. 

It’s true that the current (M) and (R) services are underutilized compared to the (E)(F) and (N)(W) and that we could have significantly more trains per hour without a Queens Bypass if we detangle the current QBL and Broadway BMT service patterns. Detangling Broadway might be easier, save for some QB riders who like having a direct train to Carnegie Hall or Times Sq (even with an (E) or (F) station nearby). But the harder sell is going to be running all QB locals via 53rd and all expresses via 63rd. The biggest problems with 63rd are its “out-of-the-way” location and widely spaced stations with lack of in-system transfers (other than the (Q)). That’s probably due to the MTA’s original intention in 1968 to make it the Manhattan point of entry for the Queens Super Express. And I feel that rerouting all QB express service into 63rd is just not going to go well with QB express riders, especially those who transfer to the Lex. A 59-63 passageway is key to getting this to work, because the current OOS transfer is not going to cut it. People will just bail on the locals at Roosevelt. Or gripe heavily about how long it takes to get to Lex. This is my biggest concern with a fully deinterlined QBL. Personally, I like that @LaGuardia Link N Tra‘s plan has QB local trains running via 63rd and 6th and QB express trains via 53rd and 8th, because the express is the more popular service. I say, give it the more popular crosstown corridor that has more transfers. Forcing New York subway riders onto local trains has failed so many times because for better or worse, New Yorkers have been brainwashed into thinking that taking a  local train is no better than taking a bus. I've already seem some pushback on here about how a (K) via QB would be essentially like having an 8th Ave (V) train

22 hours ago, JeremiahC99 said:

For the service changes, I am proposing a service plan similar to what you are proposing ((R) to Astoria, (M) via 63rd, new 8th Avenue-53rd Street service) for my plan. As you said, this could alleviate some of the problems on Queens Blvd. 63rd Street capacity could also be increased. However, 6th Avenue also has a reverse branch, which is the (M) which goes on the Chrystie Street cut over the Williamsburg Bridge. Removing this branch could have the possible potential to increase capacity on the (F) by adding a second service. This service would be the Culver Express.

...

Because of these concerns, I am dropping the Rockaway Beach Branch and the Bypass from my plans. These can also be built later as part of a phase 2 while the issues are ironed out.

There would still be a reverse branch of the (M) if it moved over to 8th Avenue, like you proposed in the past. Though it would still be better than splitting the (M) back into the separate (brownM) and (V) services, because of how popular the connection to Midtown has become. 

As for the bypass, if you want more express trains between Jamaica/Hillside (and possibly points east) and Midtown, it’s either a bypass or a totally separate line parallel to QB or the (7). You don’t have to drop it entirely.

As for Rockaway Beach Branch, I can see why you would. There seem to be too many things working against restoring RBB and no clear agreement as to what would be the best way to run it (subway, LIRR, light rail, DMU, even busway). I looked back on some of my older posts and recall how much I argued in favor of restoring RBB as either an extension of the (M) or (R). But then we’d be forcing the (M) or (R) into having even more merging than we already have. But more importantly,  we’d be locking the QBL into the current reverse-branched mess by extending the (R) onto the RBB. 

6 hours ago, Harlem Crosstown said:

Why the bypass? I think it should run as a SAS (V) Line with intermediate stops and then join QBL at 75 Ave, running to Hillside/179. This has been proposed by many others and doesn’t relate to the RBB.

Yes, something like this. A (relatively) easy way to have more express trains between Queens and Midtown, though not a whole lot more, because the ( V ) would still have to share 2nd Ave with the (T) from Midtown to points south. But it’s still better than having just the maxed-out (E) and (F).

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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On 9/10/2019 at 4:36 PM, RR503 said:

Finally, the RBB. The RBB is something I've always been on the fence about. Yes, it's there, and relatively easy to build, but building for the sake thereof isn't wise. We've gotta ask what markets it'd actually be serving. There certainly is a strong Queens crosstown market in the area, but I (and others) question just how well the RBB can serve that market given that key intersecting lines (like the (A) and (J) don't have super easy transfers to/from the corridor. Likewise, while business activity does follow the nearby Woodhaven Boulevard corridor, there is sometimes a good distance between the RBB and those activity centers -- are we *sure* that the RBB is the best option we have here? I'm quite happy to be proven wrong in my doubts here, but as I said, we've gotta be methodical. 

Insofar as Manhattan access to the Rockaways is concerned, any argument that uses today's (A) train as an inflexible baseline condition is doing itself a disservice. Rockaway frequency can be enhanced by extending the (C) to Lefferts (or building out the portion of the Fulton line that would have carried (A)s directly to the Rockaway line, thus allowing (C)s to serve Lefferts alone and (A)s to go to the Rockaways without any merge issues). Likewise, travel speed on the (A) today is limited by extensive grade time installations -- many of which date back to the installation of the original signal system -- as well as merge interactions. If you smooth those out, you get a better, faster Midtown-bound line at a fraction of what it would cost to run the RBB to the Bypass. And this is, of course, before we consider the opportunity cost of using Bypass cap for the RBB rather than for where the actual travel density is -- ie Jamaica. 

So I see I've written quite the wall of text here. I'll stop now. My apologies. 

RBB restoration was always a topic I posted in favor of in the past, as I mentioned in my last post. Since about a year ago, I’ve become much less in favor of it, though. Part of it is that, yes, how well would RBB function as a Queens crosstown service? Maybe if we ever do see a study from the MTA, we might have a better idea. Even though there is so much traffic on parallel Cross Bay/Woodhaven Blvd, it’s difficult to determine exactly where all that traffic is going once it leaves Woodhaven. Proponents of restoring the branch vary wildly as to where they think it should ultimately go or what kind of rail (or even bus) service it should be. This too is part of the problem. For the longest time, I advocated extending the (M) or (R) via the turnouts between 67th Ave and 63rd Drive. But as I’ve already mentioned in my previous post, doing that would force the QBL to stay in its current messy, reverse-branched setup. Not to mention it would subject the (M) or (R) into being longer routes with even more merges than they already have. And neither would be a much faster option than the (A) for getting to most destinations in Midtown, especially if those grade timers can be ironed out. 

 

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