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Harry

Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

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Well, there's a simple answer to why most progression by the MTA are just transfers/tiny tunnels.

Today the MTA is limited by funding and is being manipulated by Darth Cuomo. They have to agree with his dumb projects that don't gain additional net benefit. Hopefully Byford can make the MTA a better place rather than "a block in a hard place."

Most extensions don't even step a foot outside Manhattan. It'll be 2040 by the time SAS gets done from 125 to Hanover Square, if it's even built. The (7) extension is so miniature, that it only serves one development as opposed to many by other trunk lines. The Program for Action featured so many valuable projects just crumpled up and turned into a foot's length of trackage. For example, the once-grandiosely planned bypass was just a "tunnel to nowhere," ending at 21 St-Queensbridge, until the 63rd Connector was built. Or what about the Southeast Queens Extension, supposed to serve the long-suffering residents of Laurelton/Rochdale, only to be shrunk down to a single yard under Archer Av. Finally, the MTA destroyed the Third Av EL for absolutely nothing in reward, forcing passengers to cram onto local buses. Today, we don't even consider actually good projects just shafted aside, stagnating any progress into a missed opportunity. 

How about instead of focusing on Manhattan Island, which already has the subway serving it, how about we step outside into Brooklyn or Queens? Let's at least get an extension of the (3) down Utica, not a LGA AirTrain. Or what about multiple extensions into Eastern Queens, where most communities out there are much more farther compared to one-block spacing of subway lines in Manhattan? Yes, it would be bit costly, but at least you're accomplishing something by actually serving those in need. 

In other words, we shouldn't be expanding inward. We should be expanding outward! 

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4 minutes ago, Coney Island Av said:

In other words, we shouldn't be expanding inward. We should be expanding outward! 

Technically, the (7) extension to the far west side is expansion outwards.

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1 hour ago, Coney Island Av said:

In other words, we shouldn't be expanding inward. We should be expanding outward!

When you say “expanding outward” do you also mean expand into another state? Because a few months ago, there was a discussion about expanding the (7) to Seacaucus NJ. I also vaguely Remeber a few years back how it was mentioned by other people to extend the (L) to NJ.

I feel we need to fix our system before we do any more expanding, anywhere, for that matter. I’m satisfied with the Phase 1 of SAS being completed, and I hope to see future projects be completed like this.

But Just a few months ago, it took a chair, I kid you not, a chair, to delay service, and Just earlier this evening, there was a power outage on 8th ave between 42nd PABT and 59th Columbus circle. This also effected 6th ave, and QBL. Your right when you said the (MTA) is suffering from funding, that’s also a contributing factor for not really expanding within the past 8 decades. 

Lets fix our system first, then add onto it, or else your going to make a bad situation, worse...

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3 hours ago, Coney Island Av said:

Well, there's a simple answer to why most progression by the MTA are just transfers/tiny tunnels.

Today the MTA is limited by funding and is being manipulated by Darth Cuomo. They have to agree with his dumb projects that don't gain additional net benefit. Hopefully Byford can make the MTA a better place rather than "a block in a hard place."

Most extensions don't even step a foot outside Manhattan. It'll be 2040 by the time SAS gets done from 125 to Hanover Square, if it's even built. The (7) extension is so miniature, that it only serves one development as opposed to many by other trunk lines. The Program for Action featured so many valuable projects just crumpled up and turned into a foot's length of trackage. For example, the once-grandiosely planned bypass was just a "tunnel to nowhere," ending at 21 St-Queensbridge, until the 63rd Connector was built. Or what about the Southeast Queens Extension, supposed to serve the long-suffering residents of Laurelton/Rochdale, only to be shrunk down to a single yard under Archer Av. Finally, the MTA destroyed the Third Av EL for absolutely nothing in reward, forcing passengers to cram onto local buses. Today, we don't even consider actually good projects just shafted aside, stagnating any progress into a missed opportunity. 

How about instead of focusing on Manhattan Island, which already has the subway serving it, how about we step outside into Brooklyn or Queens? Let's at least get an extension of the (3) down Utica, not a LGA AirTrain. Or what about multiple extensions into Eastern Queens, where most communities out there are much more farther compared to one-block spacing of subway lines in Manhattan? Yes, it would be bit costly, but at least you're accomplishing something by actually serving those in need. 

In other words, we shouldn't be expanding inward. We should be expanding outward! 

Too bad you didn't actually read the article.

The problem with expanding the subway outward, as it is, is that the subway is packed to the gills today. You'd be dumping more people into an overcrowded system. Second Avenue is needed because it will provide extra trains that you can then run out of Manhattan. (And before someone pipes up, no, the (G) is not a viable solution to this because everyone just transferred to Manhattan-bound trains the first chance they got anyways.)

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9 hours ago, Harry said:

Why did New York abruptly stop building subways after the 1940s? And how did a construction standstill that started nearly 80 years ago lead to the present moment of transit crisis?

The first two words that come to mind are Robert Moses. (Remember that he absolutely hated both cities and minorities. He felt that cities should not be viable in and of themselves, but rather they exist only as conduits for suburban traffic.)

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One of the biggest problems was the monopolies in the city. The private companies, namely IND, was ran to be a better alternate than els. Ok, I guess that's fair (at least in Manhattan). 

Most of the IND before WWII was made to replace Els instead of looking at what service was most needed. Plus the companies were forced to keep the price the same for a handful of years. Now we have no choice but to raise some sort of price every 2 years. 

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4 hours ago, Gotham Bus Co. said:

The first two words that come to mind are Robert Moses. (Remember that he absolutely hated both cities and minorities. He felt that cities should not be viable in and of themselves, but rather they exist only as conduits for suburban traffic.)

Same. I read this article in my algebra class (in which my teacher for that didn't show up.) With the way NY is progressing now, we most likely will go nowhere with out subway system. @Coney Island Av @Gotham Bus Co. @MysteriousBtrain and @bobtehpanda you all make good points.  My personal opinion is that someone in the (MTA) should step up and take the risk to make a massive expansion plan and I'll throw a few examples out.

Completed SAS (with improved phases 2,3. and 4)

Third Avenue Subway (I'm personally still unsure of where it's northern terminal could be)

Laruelton Extension from Jamaica Center

queens bypass

Utica Line

Hillside extension

and a Jewel Avenue or Northern Line 

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1 hour ago, LGA Link N train said:

My personal opinion is that someone in the (MTA) should step up and take the risk to make a massive expansion plan and I'll throw a few examples out.

Completed SAS (with improved phases 2,3. and 4)

Third Avenue Subway (I'm personally still unsure of where it's northern terminal could be)

Laruelton Extension from Jamaica Center

queens bypass

Utica Line

Hillside extension

and a Jewel Avenue or Northern Line 

There's no point in having someone "step up" if the issues of unnecessarily high construction prices, cost overruns and delays aren't addressed first. Such a plan would meet he same fate as the Program For Action under that scenario. That being said, I do agree with your list of routes.

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1 hour ago, Around the Horn said:

Theres no point in having soneone "step up" if the issues of unnecessarily high construction prices, cost overruns and delays aren't addressed first. Such a plan would meet he same fate as the Program For Action under that scenario.

Well, no unless they address the issues you mentioned. If they do that then maybe we'd be in a Better position 

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Thanks Harry for starting this thread.  It's given me a reason to stop posting my occasional history lessons,  lol . Since our subway system expansion plans always stall because of financial shortcomings let me propose something way outside the box. How about 

The Amazon Queens Bypass 

The Apple SE Queens Extension 

The Microsoft/ Walton Third Avenue Bronx line 

The Berkshire Hathaway Utica Avenue line 

The Google SAS Bronx Connection 

I actually thought that if Barclays thought it's worthwhile to have naming rights why not go all in with the idea . Every other plan failed due to money problems so I figured I'd go with the biggies 😀 . Carry on. 

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When I was a kid and really fascinated with the subway system I asked my family and my fourth grade teacher what I thought was a simple question.  How come Navy Seabees and the Army Corps of engineers didn't build new subways ? Mom worked for the Navy department and my teacher's dad was with the corps of engineers.  Found out that what I proposed was illegal. When I asked my uncle about the C C C program he was in as a youth and how come that couldn't be used for subway construction in the ' 50s his simple answer was " politics ".  I often wonder if something similar using federal funding,  coupled with local funding, would be viable and legal today.  If the Corps of engineers can dredge the Mississippi river than why not use their expertise here ? Just my thoughts.  Carry on. 

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I wouldn't even count Archer Subway as an expansion since it came at the expense of service to 168; at best it was a 1-for-1 trade at best. 

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Where there's money, there's power... When the population with deep pockets moved outward into the suburbs, their interests and spending went with them. The article mentions that the affluent didn't see the subway as a benefit to them after a certain point, as they would commute via automobile, further reinforcing this fact. It's a shame that those who can give inertia to good cause often don't... There's this whole mentality of avoiding involvement into markets that don't secure the bidder's peace of mind. It's why the (1) and (6) don't bother with Brooklyn—the folks from Riverdale and Pelham Bay Park don't want to see people from Crown Heights or Brownsville on their trains. Then you have the Second Avenue Subway currently going as far north as 96th Street. Do you really think this "elite" group of politically-connected people are going to care about extending it further to 125th Street in Harlem? They almost certainly don't. Why? Simple, because they don't associate with the Harlem demographic. However, I do, and you do, but our voices will be left unheard. Those "public hearings" that the MTA likes to hold before major projects is nothing more than to give the illusion that minorities have a say in it all, when in fact final decisions have been made without them. Until we see some intelligence in the people enmeshed with political connections, this is how it's going to be...

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On 4/17/2018 at 4:21 PM, Trainmaster5 said:

When I was a kid and really fascinated with the subway system I asked my family and my fourth grade teacher what I thought was a simple question.  How come Navy Seabees and the Army Corps of engineers didn't build new subways ? Mom worked for the Navy department and my teacher's dad was with the corps of engineers.  Found out that what I proposed was illegal. When I asked my uncle about the C C C program he was in as a youth and how come that couldn't be used for subway construction in the ' 50s his simple answer was " politics ".  I often wonder if something similar using federal funding,  coupled with local funding, would be viable and legal today.  If the Corps of engineers can dredge the Mississippi river than why not use their expertise here ? Just my thoughts.  Carry on. 

Pretty sure it would require a stretch in the definition of “National Security and Defense” more extreme than being used for Trump’s Spite Fence and grosser than Chris Christie’s “re-read” of Port Authority’s shipping charter to repair the Pulaski Skyway.

It could be done - where there’s a will, money will be found to pay for it, but it requires a helluva imagination.

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2 hours ago, Deucey said:

Pretty sure it would require a stretch in the definition of “National Security and Defense” more extreme than being used for Trump’s Spite Fence and grosser than Chris Christie’s “re-read” of Port Authority’s shipping charter to repair the Pulaski Skyway.

It could be done - where there’s a will, money will be found to pay for it, but it requires a helluva imagination.

I hear what you're saying. "National Security and Defense" and all that. Pretty much what I was told back in those prehistoric days of the 1950's. Somehow I still haven't seen that picture of the aircraft carrier, cruiser, or nuclear sub traveling along the Mississippi River and it's been about 60 years. Maybe we can get the Corps to dredge the Hudson and East River and claim National Security too ? Maybe get them to build a tunnel from Manhattan to the Bronx for the SAS . Something to connect the island to the mainland USA and call it a security issue.  Of course those of us residing on the other two islands of the city, Staten and Long Islands are probably considered expendable. National Security and such.  Just thinking out loud. Carry on.

Edited by Trainmaster5
additional thought

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16 hours ago, Deucey said:

Pretty sure it would require a stretch in the definition of “National Security and Defense” more extreme than being used for Trump’s Spite Fence and grosser than Chris Christie’s “re-read” of Port Authority’s shipping charter to repair the Pulaski Skyway.

It could be done - where there’s a will, money will be found to pay for it, but it requires a helluva imagination.

The National highways are considered part essential for military defense and logistics, so we've got one foot in the door, kinda.

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3 minutes ago, Jsunflyguy said:

The National highways are considered part essential for military defense and logistics, so we've got one foot in the door, kinda.

Not all of them. But because the subway isn't "meaningfully" connected to the national rail grid, and doesn't actually connect to military bases or depots, I don't think a basic stretch would work.

It'd have to be an amazing stretch - like (E) connecting to LIRR mainline stretch, or (1) connecting directly to Empire Corridor and possibly having cargo boxcars added to consists.

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