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KK 6 Ave Local

Light Rail in NYC?

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So I think we all know light rail costs much less than a new subway, and the 2nd phase of the SAS is going to cost $6B, so to avoid that mistake again, we should put light rail where future expansions are being planned! Simple! Not really though. Light rail/Trams go on the road, which is also used by cars (there are lots of cars) and buses (those are common too) so making a special ROW would be bad for basically everyone. So if we do build light rail, we should build on freed up roads that are close to big ones, so people can walk to the trams, and if need be to build under a crowded road, we can use a tunnel. So in my opinion, light rail would be a good idea, and it's being considered too with the BQX proposal, but I think it should be city-wide!

Let me know of your opinions/proposals regarding this, and if you think this should be in a different section, please tell me.

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33 minutes ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

So I think we all know light rail costs much less than a new subway, and the 2nd phase of the SAS is going to cost $6B, so to avoid that mistake again, we should put light rail where future expansions are being planned! Simple! Not really though. Light rail/Trams go on the road, which is also used by cars (there are lots of cars) and buses (those are common too) so making a special ROW would be bad for basically everyone. So if we do build light rail, we should build on freed up roads that are close to big ones, so people can walk to the trams, and if need be to build under a crowded road, we can use a tunnel. So in my opinion, light rail would be a good idea, and it's being considered too with the BQX proposal, but I think it should be city-wide!

Let me know of your opinions/proposals regarding this, and if you think this should be in a different section, please tell me.

Well, we have to remember the MTA continues to make these projects like SAS way too expensive and long to make in the first place, and if we want to build an less costly extension to the SAS or any other corridor that needs a subway, it's likely too crowded for a light rail in the first place, so our only option is to make the train cheaper. I feel building light rails city wide will only ignore the issue of subway expansion in general, and why we need to fix it, and I dont feel light rails are good in this regard since building all future expansions with light rail wont give it the aforementioned capacity of an actual subway, speed or ability to last long either, and if your going to build a tunnel just for a light rail due to above ground crowds and traffic, why not just make it an actual subway.

Lastly, light rails aren't avoiding being expensive projects that take forever either (just look at the D.C. streetcar), they are still prone to bad politics, becoming over budget and/or vanity projects that dont really need to exist, point is, they can cost tons as well, and it wont change anything about why the MTA is preforming poorly these days. I feel streetcars do have a place in the city, but using them to replace subways and high density areas sounds outlandish to me.

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks
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2 minutes ago, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

Well, we have to remember the MTA continues to make these projects like SAS way too expensive and long to begin with, and if we want to build an extension to the SAS, a corridor likely way too overcrowded for a light rail, our only option for SAS is to make it cheaper. I feel building light rails city wide will only ignore the issue of subway expansion in general, and why we need to fix it, and I dont feel thats good since building all future expansions with light rail wont give it the capacity of an actual subway, speed or ability to last long either, and if your going to build a tunnel just for a light rail due to above ground crowds, why not just make it a subway.

Lastly, light rails aren't avoiding being expensive projects that take forever either (just look at the D.C. streetcar), they are still prone to bad politics, over budget or becoming vanity projects that dont really need to exist, they can cost tons as well, and it wont change anything about why the MTA is preforming poorly these days. I feel streetcars do have a place in the city, but using them to replace subways sounds outlandish to me.

I wasn't going with replacing subways, there was a part to the original post I was going to add, but forgot to so it looked like I was replacing subways altogether. It should only be put in places where it can be, go to Midtown somehow, and serves neighborhoods getting in influx of people * cough cough Northern Queens cough cough *.

It does reduce costs in a way, and the tunnel thing I was talking about was in the form of underpasses. Lots of things I didn't clarify.

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Some disadvantages:

  • New York City drivers and bikers mix with light rail traffic on street surfaces.
  • Light rail has lower capacity.
  • It will use all new equipment that’s incompatible with the subway giving the MTA another type of equipment to maintain. This reduces the ability to swap equipment with different parts of the system.

A light rail as an alternative to projects where heavy rail is needed is just a band-aid for a hemorrhage that will eventually need to be removed and redone.

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16 minutes ago, CenSin said:

Some disadvantages:

  • New York City drivers and bikers mix with light rail traffic on street surfaces.
  • Light rail has lower capacity.
  • It will use all new equipment that’s incompatible with the subway giving the MTA another type of equipment to maintain. This reduces the ability to swap equipment with different parts of the system.

A light rail as an alternative to projects where heavy rail is needed is just a band-aid for a hemorrhage that will eventually need to be removed and redone.

Light rail could work along Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway in the Bronx.

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55 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

Light rail could work along Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway in the Bronx.

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

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14 minutes ago, officiallyliam said:

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

Could LRT  supplement SBS on some corridors like the B82 and M60?

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4 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

Could LRT  supplement SBS on some corridors like the B82 and M60?

Why would you need LRT to supplement SBS? SBS as a long-term strategy is largely useless anyway; LRT should be the next step up in terms of capacity from SBS.

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3 minutes ago, officiallyliam said:

Why would you need LRT to supplement SBS? SBS as a long-term strategy is largely useless anyway; LRT should be the next step up in terms of capacity from SBS.

I mean that you could supplement on some routes (have a 125th street crosstown to replace the M60 bus lanes) and replace others (like the B82).

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46 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

I mean that you could supplement on some routes (have a 125th street crosstown to replace the M60 bus lanes) and replace others (like the B82).

Light rails typically replace buses - as in the bus route the light rail replaced gets extremely low ridership after LRT opens and it's eventually cancelled.

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1 hour ago, officiallyliam said:

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

Pelham Parkway and Union Turnpike above Queens Blvd would definitely be good candidates for LRT, though for Fordham Road (where the Pelham Pkwy service would continue) and Lefferts Blvd (south of Queens Blvd, where the Union Tpke service could potentially continue towards JFK), there may be a need for some total separation of LRT and auto traffic, depending on the width of those streets in certain areas. Same thing with LRT via Main St or Kissena.

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7 hours ago, officiallyliam said:

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

There is absolutely no way to have light rail on Lefferts. There is no room whatsoever for lanes dedicated for light rail or buses. However, the ridership does warrant it.

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15 hours ago, officiallyliam said:

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

What's wrong with the BQX? Is there little space to warrant it?

 

Edited by KK 6 Ave Local

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7 hours ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

What's wrong with the BQX? Is there little space to warrant it?

Theres people who believe the BQX is a good idea and there is space to warrant it, but with it's completion date being at the very least 2024, its funding being questioned, and many thinking it would not be a good substitute for the subway to get around (instead made to spur developments and drive up land costs in the region, as an example: Portland Oregons trams, a lot people dont see it as a good idea at all. Of course, what you think of the BQX is solely up to you...

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks
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7 hours ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

What's wrong with the BQX? Is there little space to warrant it?

 

It's a waterfront railway running on narrow streets I'm mixed traffic subject to delays that only ends up being a novelty and not a serious solution to mobility.

I think the time of the streetcar in NYC passed when they were replaced by buses.

Were it an actual LRT metro line - like most cities building LRT have done - with exclusive access on roadways (ie a curb separating cars from the tracks and independent signalling along with grade separations) and it went down corridors of high usage vs meandering paths, then maybe.

But I don't see NYCDOT closing Bedford Av to cars...

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33 minutes ago, NoHacksJustKhaks said:

Theres people who believe the BQX is a good idea and there is space to warrant it, but with it's completion date being at the very least 2024, its funding being questioned, and many thinking it would not be a good substitute for the subway to get around (instead made to spur developments and drive up land costs in the region, as an example: Portland Oregons trams, a lot people dont see it as a good idea at all. Of course, what you think of the BQX is solely up to you...

Since the BQX will be entirely along the river where rent is the highest, the geographical proximity to the rich and distance from the poor will effectively make it a rich man’s scenic shuttle. It bypasses a lot of subway stops as well—mainly the East River crossings by a few blocks. The connections that it does appear to serve are mostly with the (F) and (G) at both ends of the route.

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22 hours ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

What's wrong with the BQX? Is there little space to warrant it?

 

It's a pipe dream fueled by Deblasio's hatred for Cuomo and rich waterfront real-estate developers. There's no chance of it getting built even if we wanted it.

 

Edited by kosciusko
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LIght rail if it is its not a tourist attraction in the CBD is only built in america in 2 situations. Legacy railroad dedicated ROW or steal a lane (no sharing, not even for left turns, LE & EMS are only vehicles allowed to drive down the LRV lane) from a 45 mph vehicle speeds and 1/8 to 1/4 mile between lights arterial road.

2nd reason. Light rail was built for BUDGET reasons. Before LR the TA had one artic bus every 20 or 30 minutes on a route and it was standing room only, but the TA or politics say no new driverhires. An LRV is 2 or 3 artic buses. After building the LRV system, it remains at 20 minute headways. UTA Trax is my example. I almost want to say it is commuter rail but with street running to the CBD from the edge of downtown.

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Light rail transit is appropriate in New York City if the following conditions are met:

  • The route is very busy
  • The route is not feasible to serve with a subway extension
  • (Optional) The route shares a very constrained section with a lot of buses.

The main advantage of light rail is that it can be tunneled, but it doesn't have to be if it doesn't need to be. So you could build a short light rail tunnel for Main St in downtown Flushing and it would save a lot of money, as opposed to a subway tunnel the entire length of Main St. That being said there's nothing really stopping one for building a similar tunnel for buses:

3552498829_006d52404a_o.jpg

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On 5/13/2018 at 10:05 PM, officiallyliam said:

There are actually several corridors in New York where LRT would be warranted; it's a good middle-ground in areas where buses aren't quite enough, but subways aren't necessary or would be impractical. This could include:

  • Fordham Road/Pelham Parkway
  • 145th/149th/Southern Boulevard
  • Flushing to Jamaica (via either Main Street or Kissena)
  • Lefferts Blvd-JFK
  • Union Turnpike
  • not the Brooklyn Waterfront

This isn't an exhaustive list, there are probably more. Several of these are also in corridors which are more transit-dependent than car-dependent, and using street space to improve transit there isn't a dealbreaker. If done right, LRT in New York could be great (see: Paris trams, Croydon tramlink, Muni metro); if done wrong, it'll end up as yet another failed and useless streetcar to nowhere (see: DC Streetcar, Detroit QLine, and the BQX as proposed).

For the Union Tpke one, could you extend it to the Jackie Robinson Parkway to, say, Alabama Avenue (J)(Z) or Bway Junction?

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4 minutes ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

There's a LRT project called vision42 that wants a light rail on 42nd Street. Not sure if that would work out...

No way it will work considering that the M42 is the slowest bus route in the city. 

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17 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

The main advantage of light rail is that it can be tunneled, but it doesn't have to be if it doesn't need to be. So you could build a short light rail tunnel for Main St in downtown Flushing and it would save a lot of money, as opposed to a subway tunnel the entire length of Main St. That being said there's nothing really stopping one for building a similar tunnel for buses.

The Seattle transit tunnel model could work in a few places - it makes sense, as it allows for improvements to bus reliability in busy areas, and means that LRT can be implemented on the busiest routes. For example, a Main Street tunnel in Flushing could be fed by a Flushing - Jamaica - Bx LRT trunk line, as well as by the numerous short local buses that being people to the subway; you could do something very similar with a transit tunnel through downtown Jamaica. Other locations could work too: possibly the western section of Fordham Road, which could have a cross-Fordham LRT as well as the other buses going through that area.

14 minutes ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

For the Union Tpke one, could you extend it to the Jackie Robinson Parkway to, say, Alabama Avenue (J)(Z) or Bway Junction?

The parkway isn't near wide enough unless you built the LRT elevated above the road, or adjacent to the parkway - but for that cost, it's not worth it. The route is only going through Forest Park, so it's not really serving anyone, and provides few connections other than at Broadway Junction.

4 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

No way it will work considering that the M42 is the slowest bus route in the city. 

That's why they're suggesting it - the crux of the proposal (similar to DOT's 34th Street Transitway proposal from 2010) is that street space on 42nd Street should be better allocated to public transportation and walking, which are far and away the main methods of accessing the 42nd Street corridor. LRT on 42nd Street wouldn't work tomorrow, given the congestion on the road, but if LRT and buses were given some form of ROW, the situation would be much better.

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2 hours ago, KK 6 Ave Local said:

There's a LRT project called vision42 that wants a light rail on 42nd Street. Not sure if that would work out...

I thought that got axed, or was that the 34th Street one?

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