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Around the Horn

Bay Ridge area politicians call for split R train

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4 hours ago, RR503 said:

Meant to say keep the (J) on J1. My bad.

The thought with J1 and J4 is that you're not gonna need two pockets to turn this Bay Ridge service, so may as well consolidate your tracks in a way that allows trains turning on J3 easier access to South Brooklyn-bound tracks when it comes time to install a properly placed switch Then you'd have the (J) on J1 and J4 and turning trains on J3, which'd save you the difficulty of crossing in front north of Chambers. 

All this said, I still don't follow why we shouldn't be just sending this to Essex middle. Yeah, (M) loses cross platform, but Bay Ridge/Lower Manhattan gains xfers/consistent xfers, and we don't have to spend so much money in the near term. 

I think two pockets is better, as for when trains are delayed and coming in one behind the other. This is not a complementary line like the (W), and I think when that half used Court St. it hat the two pockets, so I figured it would need the same wherever it went.

What you're suggesting there is basically the same as the original idea I mentioned, with running the (J) through on J1, except that I used existing through track J4 as the pocket (so you wouldn't have to break J3 through), while the (J) in the other direction (downtown) stays on 2 track. What is 2 track (the one against the wall) used for in your idea? (or did you mean J2?)

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For all the foamers, Councilman Justin Brannan is in my advocacy group and is a daily (R) train and express bus rider. He has this to say about the issue:

"While of course our main focus needs to be on fully funding the Fast Forward plan and improving reliability through signal modernization and infrastructure improvements, we also have to recognize that riders (like me and you!) want and need relief NOW – so some creative thinking can't hurt.

The idea behind this proposal – an idea that actually came from R train riders – is to end the problem of a sick passenger in Queens causing delays on Manhattan-bound R trains in Bay Ridge. And the MTA’s own stats back it up.

The R performed better when it ran in two sections. To wit, before the Montague Street tunnel reopened, the R ran on time at 88% vs. a 59% on-time rate as of this past December.

I personally enjoy the 1-seat ride from 95th Street to City Hall but the majority of riders transfer off the R by the time it gets to Court Street/Borough Hall anyhow.

Another idea would be for the R to loop between 95th Street and Canal Street. This would at least get us into Manhattan and still insulate riders from issues in Queens.

But, again – these are just ideas! Don't kill me.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS TOO"

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23 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

@Via Garibaldi 8 where can I submit an idea and do I have to attend any meetings as a result?

Justin Brannan is on social media.  If you are on Facebook, I suggest going to the "Bay Ridge & Brooklyn Subway/Bus/Ferry Status" group and posting there under his post.  He posts in my group on occasion, but only for express bus matters.  

Edited by Via Garibaldi 8
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40 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

For all the foamers, Councilman Justin Brannan is in my advocacy group and is a daily (R) train and express bus rider. He has this to say about the issue:

"While of course our main focus needs to be on fully funding the Fast Forward plan and improving reliability through signal modernization and infrastructure improvements, we also have to recognize that riders (like me and you!) want and need relief NOW – so some creative thinking can't hurt.

The idea behind this proposal – an idea that actually came from R train riders – is to end the problem of a sick passenger in Queens causing delays on Manhattan-bound R trains in Bay Ridge. And the MTA’s own stats back it up.

The R performed better when it ran in two sections. To wit, before the Montague Street tunnel reopened, the R ran on time at 88% vs. a 59% on-time rate as of this past December.

I personally enjoy the 1-seat ride from 95th Street to City Hall but the majority of riders transfer off the R by the time it gets to Court Street/Borough Hall anyhow.

Another idea would be for the R to loop between 95th Street and Canal Street. This would at least get us into Manhattan and still insulate riders from issues in Queens.

But, again – these are just ideas! Don't kill me.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS TOO"

Does he mean Canal St on Nassau or Broadway?

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Here's the thing. There is no way to loop the (R) unless you rebuild Nassau loop/line between Chambers Street and Canal St. You also can't terminate the (R) at Whitehall St without doing something to the (W) and rerouting the (N) weekends which I'm sure (N) riders would not go for. It's going to be domino effects if the (R) is to be split and it won't be pretty.

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Well, I'm glad he's open to alternative proposals. That's a start for sure because as mentioned, a complete elimination of (R) service across the river is a non-starter.

It does bring up an interesting point though. The (R) is not the only line subject to cascading delays. In fact, most lines suffer the same fate when an incident occurs. For example, a serious enough incident on 8th Avenue can cause significant delays on the (A) and (C) in Brooklyn and possibly the (B) and (D) as well depending on the location of the incident. Obviously we cannot split every line to avoid such a situation, and I'm aware nobody is suggesting such a drastic move. However, to avoid such cascading problems, the agency has to get better with delay mitigation. They get it right sometimes when they reroute trains away from the incident area, but more times than not, trains are either held in stations for the duration of the incident or are allowed to proceed through the area, albeit at slower speeds, thus leading to a conga line of trains on the opposite end of the line, well away from the location in question. We can fix this one issue by splitting the (R) into separate routes, but we're not tackling the underlying issue at hand by ignoring the true cause.

On the subject of the actual proposal @Via Garibaldi 8 quoted, I wouldn't read much into the particulars there. It's obvious he has a general idea of the subway layout in the area, but he's not an avid railfan and probably isn't looking at a track map to see what's actually possible.

Edited by Lance
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My personal opinion from speaking with the (MTA) personally just in passing is that they likely will break it up. It's only a question of where.  I was told that they have some plans in place.  What specifically we'll have to wait and see, but I'm guessing breaking it up is very likely.

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14 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Justin Brannan is on social media.  If you are on Facebook, I suggest going to the "Bay Ridge & Brooklyn Subway/Bus/Ferry Status" group and posting there until his post.  He posts in my group on occasion, but only for express bus matters.  

Thanks. I'm not sure if I'll be able to join because I live in Queens, (The other end of the (R) line)

 

On a different note, I'd like to learn a bit more about Express buses, if you have a Facebook Group related to it, whats the name of it so I can Join?

Edited by LaGuardia Link N Tra

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6 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Does he mean Canal St on Nassau or Broadway?

There's an (R)(W) stop at Canal St. I'm guessing he's referring to that stop. Why don't you ask him. Not sure...

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6 minutes ago, Lance said:

On the subject of the actual proposal @Via Garibaldi 8 quoted, I wouldn't read much into the particulars there. It's obvious he has a general idea of the subway layout in the area, but he's not an avid railfan and probably isn't looking at a track map to see what's actually possible.

No I wouldn't read much into that either. He is an (R) commuter, not a railfan. He's just throwing out ideas. Nothing more. I do know that he obviously speaks with the (MTA) though and has spoken with Byford personally about a number of transportation issues, so there's that.  He is VERY active on social media though. He doesn't always respond, but I can tell that he reads up on posts and such regularly.  

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4 minutes ago, LaGuardia Link N Tra said:

Thanks. I'm not sure if I'll be able to join because I live in Queens, (The other end of the (R) line)

 

On a different note, I'd like to learn a bit more about Express buses, if you have a Facebook Group related to it, whats the name of it so I can Join?

lol... It's only been posted in my signature now for months...

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29 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

lol... It's only been posted in my signature now for months...

Oh that's what that is... 😛

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This is the only thing I can see them doing based on what all of you have said, since everything else has some sort of big problem. Someone might have suggested this already, but I'm only listing what's possible:

(K) Bay Ridge-Essex St 

4 Av Local (via Montague)

Nassau St Local (removes (J) and (M) platforming)

(N) Sea Beach-SAS

Sea Beach Local

4 Av Express (via Bridge)

Broadway Express

2 Av Local

(R) West End/Sea Beach-Astoria

West End/Sea Beach Local

4 Av Local (via Montague)

Broadway Local

Astoria Local

(W) Whitehall-Forest Hills

Broadway Local

Queens Blvd Local

(Q) same

 

Not so sure about what the (R) and (W) should do in Queens, but I don't know about having the (W) being the sole representer for Astoria

Edited by Bay Ridge Express

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3 hours ago, Eric B said:

I think two pockets is better, as for when trains are delayed and coming in one behind the other. This is not a complementary line like the (W), and I think when that half used Court St. it hat the two pockets, so I figured it would need the same wherever it went.

What you're suggesting there is basically the same as the original idea I mentioned, with running the (J) through on J1, except that I used existing through track J4 as the pocket (so you wouldn't have to break J3 through), while the (J) in the other direction (downtown) stays on 2 track. What is 2 track (the one against the wall) used for in your idea? (or did you mean J2?)

I was thinking that Js to Broad would use current J4 solely to ease switching on/off a single J3 pocket. Your way is better though. Keep the Js on the wall, and turn trains on J3 and J4 (you could install switches n/o Bowery/Canal and run it as a relay, too). If we're not going to do Essex, that'd be the way to go. 

2 hours ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

For all the foamers, Councilman Justin Brannan is in my advocacy group and is a daily (R) train and express bus rider. He has this to say about the issue:

"While of course our main focus needs to be on fully funding the Fast Forward plan and improving reliability through signal modernization and infrastructure improvements, we also have to recognize that riders (like me and you!) want and need relief NOW – so some creative thinking can't hurt.

The idea behind this proposal – an idea that actually came from R train riders – is to end the problem of a sick passenger in Queens causing delays on Manhattan-bound R trains in Bay Ridge. And the MTA’s own stats back it up.

The R performed better when it ran in two sections. To wit, before the Montague Street tunnel reopened, the R ran on time at 88% vs. a 59% on-time rate as of this past December.

I personally enjoy the 1-seat ride from 95th Street to City Hall but the majority of riders transfer off the R by the time it gets to Court Street/Borough Hall anyhow.

Another idea would be for the R to loop between 95th Street and Canal Street. This would at least get us into Manhattan and still insulate riders from issues in Queens.

But, again – these are just ideas! Don't kill me.

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR IDEAS TOO"

I'm really sympathetic to the concerns about the R, but Brannan must understand that R performance has been tracking with the system -- since 2013, network OTP has gone down quite a bit too. 

What galls me here is that Brannan et al are focusing on what is essentially an aggravating factor of poor R performance (route length) rather than the actual drivers of said performance -- the complex merge patterns, the poor signalling decisions, the long dwell times, the ridiculous terminal ops. None of those are complex fixes, and I've actually pointed out as much to him. Just so happens that it's less glitzy, and harder to explain to constituents. 

And again, there are reroutes to be had here -- I want to be clear in that I think there's absolutely a discussion that needs to be had. But I think reroutes need to address real delay causes, which this doesn't -- it inconveniences people without solving the underlying issue. I hope he comes to understand this

Edited by RR503
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2 minutes ago, RR503 said:

I was thinking that Js to Broad would use current J4 solely to ease switching on/off a single J3 pocket. Your way is better though. Keep the Js on the wall, and turn trains on J3 and J4 (you could install switches n/o Bowery/Canal and run it as a relay, too). If we're not going to do Essex, that'd be the way to go. 

I'm really sympathetic to the concerns about the R, but Brannan must understand that R performance has been tracking with the system -- since 2013, network OTP has gone down quite a bit too. 

What galls me here is that Brannan et al are focusing on what is essentially an aggravating factor of poor R performance (route length) rather than the actual drivers of said performance -- the complex merge patterns, the poor signalling decisions, the long dwell times, the ridiculous terminal ops. None of those are complex fixes, and I've actually pointed out as much to him. Just so happens that it's less glitzy, and harder to explain to constituents. 

And again, there are reroutes to be had here -- I want to be clear in that I think there's absolutely a discussion that needs to be had. But I think reroutes need to address real delay causes, which this doesn't -- it inconveniences people without solving the underlying issue. I hope he comes to understand this

Quite frankly, with all due respect, I think you're making a big to do over nothing. What you're complaining about are long-term problems in my view.  I think it's fine to talk about these problems, but in the here and now people NEED to get to work NOW, not years down the road, so yet again, as I noted in my meeting on Wednesday with the (MTA) , we have a transportation crisis, whether you take the subway, the bus, or drive, and so we need to look at short-term fixes in the here and now and then work on the long-term ones.  

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7 minutes ago, RR503 said:

But I think reroutes need to address real delay causes, which this doesn't

Not necessarily. You can get away with performing a reroute while STILL deinterlining Broadway. The (MTA) is also putting dwell times as a long term problem, saying that the R211s will replace the R46s in a couple of years... a lot of people will die before that happens.

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8 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Quite frankly, with all due respect, I think you're making a big to do over nothing. What you're complaining about are long-term problems in my view.  I think it's fine to talk about these problems, but in the here and now people NEED to get to work NOW, not years down the road, so yet again, as I noted in my meeting on Wednesday with the (MTA) , we have a transportation crisis, whether you take the subway, the bus, or drive, and so we need to look at short-term fixes in the here and now and then work on the long-term ones.  

Not really. He suggested a lot of short-term fixes (at least shouldn't require years worth of work), but the main problem is how to do it and when the (MTA) will actually do them.

Edited by Bay Ridge Express

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4 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Quite frankly, with all due respect, I think you're making a big to do over nothing. What you're complaining about are long-term problems in my view.  I think it's fine to talk about these problems, but in the here and now people NEED to get to work NOW, not years down the road, so yet again, as I noted in my meeting on Wednesday with the (MTA) , we have a transportation crisis, whether you take the subway, the bus, or drive, and so we need to look at short-term fixes in the here and now and then work on the long-term ones.  

Short term the one thing they can do immediately is just implement the brown R during weekdays and adjust accordingly. Weekends that's where everything is thrown off because you can't have the brown R and yellow R unless you cut something in return..

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13 minutes ago, Via Garibaldi 8 said:

Quite frankly, with all due respect, I think you're making a big to do over nothing. What you're complaining about are long-term problems in my view.  I think it's fine to talk about these problems, but in the here and now people NEED to get to work NOW, not years down the road, so yet again, as I noted in my meeting on Wednesday with the (MTA) , we have a transportation crisis, whether you take the subway, the bus, or drive, and so we need to look at short-term fixes in the here and now and then work on the long-term ones.  

Give me a little money, an hour, a megaphone, and access to all R crews and I can start us down the road to solving dwell and terminal ops. Give me access to subway schedulers, cars, and money and I can fix the N crossover in a month or two. Give me an expanded SPEED team and an interdepartmental review team and I can have signal changes going in a month. These are not long term fixes, they’re just fixes that require an attention to detail. 

Edited by RR503
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14 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Give me a little money, an hour, a megaphone, and access to all R crews and I can start us down the road to solving dwell and terminal ops. Give me access to subway schedulers, cars, and money and I can fix the N crossover in a month or two. Give me an expanded SPEED team and an interdepartmental review team and I can have signal changes going in a month. These are not long term fixes, they’re just fixes that require an attention to detail. 

Yeah right. We're dealing with the (MTA) here. You know the deal... lol

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Would fixing the 95th street terminal help? Take down the fake wall and have cross tracks past 95th street for layovers?

Edited by ABOGbrooklyn

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Just now, ABOGbrooklyn said:

Would fixing the 95th street terminal help? Take down the fake wall and have cross tracks pass 95th street for layovers?

Yes, but only in the long run

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1 minute ago, Bay Ridge Express said:

Yes, but only in the long run

What's stopping the (MTA) from doing this? Shouldn't be that costly?..

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On 2/20/2019 at 5:07 PM, RR503 said:

Sorry what? We should split the (R) instead of, you know, addressing the real problems of merges, speed, station ops, terminal ops, maintenance ops...? 

And let me clarify: there are reroutes I'd like to see done -- generally ones where there is a benefit not attainable operationally to be had. This doesn't even come close to being on that list.

Days late on this, sorry about that, but I originally thought that this (R) shuttle would run to Manhattan and terminate at some station like Whitehall, seeing that the Montague tunnel has to be used somehow. I'm no professional here, but I've looked at the proposal again and I now certainly agree with your point. Cutting the (R) shuttle down to Brooklyn is a horrible idea, not even counting the "real problems" you mentioned into consideration.

That said, route length certainly isn't and shouldn't be a main factor to solving this problem. However, it's important to make sure a line of long length is held down less by these problems of merges and timing/signaling/terminal ops. than small lines since a wider swath of riders and events pass through it day by day. I'm not on the boat of cutting (R) service across the river since it addresses length and side notes other major problems you mentioned, when it should really be the other way around.

Edited by NoHacksJustKhaks
Fixed first paragraph

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