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Around the Horn

Bay Ridge area politicians call for split R train

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This article shows how the East Midtown Rezoning did not go far enough:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-26/jpmorgan-under-pressure-to-fund-transit-upgrades-near-new-tower

Quote

The bank’s 2.4 million-square-foot (223,000-square-meter) project is the first under New York City’s 2017 rezoning of the Midtown East area. JPMorgan is able to build a taller tower because it agreed to buy so-called air rights from Grand Central Terminal and St. Bartholomew’s Church. It was required to contribute more than $40 million to a fund for public-space enhancements, but doesn’t have to make transit upgrades mandated for some other developers because its site falls outside of the requisite zone, said City Council Member Keith Powers.

But that hasn’t stopped politicians from pushing the bank to be a good neighbor. While the transportation upgrades aren’t legally required, the philosophy behind the rezoning “was to say when you increase density and height, you also have to address transit improvements in the area,” said Powers, whose district includes the JPMorgan site. “In addition to what they’re required to do, I’ve asked them to look at making enhancements to the Grand Central entrance adjacent to their building.”

 

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1 hour ago, Union Tpke said:

Yes, a lot of those GCT things are being done with 1 Vanderbilt. Lex/63 can be very crowded when an F and Q come at the same time in the AM rush. A lot of people go down the stairs to transfer, which is good. However, it can definitely handle more passengers. Do you think a regular passageway should be built, or one with travellators like that removed at Court Square? Agreed on the last point.

Keep in mind, too, that unlike the other Queens platforms, there is massive room to grow throughput wise at Lex-63, and that directional flows are (relatively) separated. 

If a passageway is done, there should absolutely be travellators. I don’t see capacity being so much an issue as speed — that’s the key here if you’re gonna create a defensible replacement for (4)(5) to (R) at 59.

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I'm just trying to envision how such a transfer passageway would fit with the existing infrastructure in the area. Obviously it would have to flank the Lexington Ave tunnels, but unless its construction coincides with new developments between 63rd Street and 60th Street, it's going to be much more difficult to build such a passageway, as it would have to run beneath the basements of the brownstones along that stretch of Lexington Ave.

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If you're talking about connecting 63rd with 59th/Lex; I've always heard there was actually an electrical room connecting them somewhere!  So it might be a matter of relocating that.

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15 minutes ago, Eric B said:

If you're talking about connecting 63rd with 59th/Lex; I've always heard there was actually an electrical room connecting them somewhere!  So it might be a matter of relocating that.

Do you know anything more about this electrical room?

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1 hour ago, Lance said:

I'm just trying to envision how such a transfer passageway would fit with the existing infrastructure in the area. Obviously it would have to flank the Lexington Ave tunnels, but unless its construction coincides with new developments between 63rd Street and 60th Street, it's going to be much more difficult to build such a passageway, as it would have to run beneath the basements of the brownstones along that stretch of Lexington Ave.

The Lex platforms IINM fit entirely within the Lexington Avenue ROW. I'd imagine this would be a matter of digging up a sidewalk, and functionally extending the platforms to 63. 

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1 hour ago, RR503 said:

The Lex platforms IINM fit entirely within the Lexington Avenue ROW. I'd imagine this would be a matter of digging up a sidewalk, and functionally extending the platforms to 63. 

I think you can just go for a Bleecker St style transfer - 3 blocks instead of 1 but same principle. Then move the (M)(N) to 63 St and then traffic flow through the complex should be much more balanced. Even though the (M) transfer will be less convenient than the (R), Lex express / QB express riders get an actual transfer between the (4)(5)(F).

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On 3/2/2019 at 6:53 PM, Deucey said:

No, (brownM) was. It got cut for low ridership between downtown Brooklyn and 36th or 59th St - wherever it split.

Because this is an argument for intra-Brooklyn service along 4th Av, the routing of a supplemental service is agreed - 4th Av, but the terminal isn't. 

Which is why I posed my question - creating a variant of (brownM) to accommodate this doesn't seem like the best method when something else could be done that solves multiple problems at once - subpar corridor service in Bk, cascading train delays in Midtown because of bad switching operations, and more efficient resource allocation on the service side.

It's all thought experiment anyway - this is just another to contribute.

It was split at 36th Street, which was of no use to Bay Ridge riders.

This new (K) / (Z) would essentially be the old <RR> Bankers Special EXCEPT such a new line would be 24/7 running from 95th Street-Essex 24/7 and replace the (R) shuttle late nights.  I suspect the new line would get far greater ridership than the old (brownM)

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2 hours ago, RR503 said:

The Lex platforms IINM fit entirely within the Lexington Avenue ROW. I'd imagine this would be a matter of digging up a sidewalk, and functionally extending the platforms to 63. 

That may be, but I think you're understating the process involved. Using Bleecker St as an example, it took about seven years and $135 million to extend the platform 300 feet in order to correct that BoT head scratcher they implemented all those years ago. I can't imagine it'd be any easier or less expensive to effectively extend the Lexington Ave line platforms roughly 700 feet to 63rd Street. It gets even worse if there's any utility relocation required or if there's a requisite width to meet ADA regulations. It's not an impossible feat by any means, just annoyingly difficult, especially if they're restricted to only using the sidewalk space.

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3 hours ago, Wallyhorse said:

It was split at 36th Street, which was of no use to Bay Ridge riders.

This new (K) / (Z) would essentially be the old <RR> Bankers Special EXCEPT such a new line would be 24/7 running from 95th Street-Essex 24/7 and replace the (R) shuttle late nights.  I suspect the new line would get far greater ridership than the old (brownM)

By disagreeing, you're actually making my point.

Very few are riding from 95th St to 42nd St on (R) - they're typically switching to (N) at 59th or (D) at 36th St.

Or they're taking the express bus. Or, gasp, driving.

So recreating old BMT services is fairly pointless, as is attempting to create a route that captures Manhattan fares, since the problem is that the service frequency along 4th Av is unreliable.

But because the unreliability part is not because of 4th Av - it's because of QBL delays, or the merges on Broadway in Midtown, or even route length, the focus should be how to fix the issues that make 4th Av local stations intolerable.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new through-route - that could mean doing a split of one route, or doing a rationalization.

But putting your (K) onto the Nassau Line and/or Jamaica just causes more issues since now you have it held up by terminating (J) (Z) trains at Broad St; holding up (J) (Z) trains at Broad St or Chambers, or even at Essex St blocking (J) (Z) and (M) .

Reconnecting Nassau to the Bridge now delays (N) (Q) because of not just diverging switches and DeKalb; you now have a level crossing.

And you still have the 57th St issue, (R) 's length, and you haven't fixed the reliability issue - you've spread it to more areas.

That's a solution, but not a viable one IMO; rationalizing the services patterns and proper operation of the infrastructure is a more viable one.

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5 hours ago, Q Broadway Express said:

When was the (R) extended to Whitehall Street nights?

November 2016

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21 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

Do you know anything more about this electrical room?

Never been able to find anything else about it. (Now, forgot where I heard it from. No one else seems to know anything about it).

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22 hours ago, Lance said:

I'm just trying to envision how such a transfer passageway would fit with the existing infrastructure in the area. Obviously it would have to flank the Lexington Ave tunnels, but unless its construction coincides with new developments between 63rd Street and 60th Street, it's going to be much more difficult to build such a passageway, as it would have to run beneath the basements of the brownstones along that stretch of Lexington Ave.

Lexington Avenue – 63rd Street platform level underpinned IRT 4

 

Lex Express tracks are above, and in "the ceiling" at 63 lex upper level. It wouldn't be hardest thing to mine some more rock and build a hallway on the side of the Lex Express tracks (with a wall for noise) to its platform at 59.

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I don't quite get what this is we're looking at. This is looking in the ceiling?

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1 hour ago, Eric B said:

I don't quite get what this is we're looking at. This is looking in the ceiling?

Yes. Looking at the ceiling from 63/Lex platform upper level.

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21 hours ago, Deucey said:

By disagreeing, you're actually making my point.

Very few are riding from 95th St to 42nd St on (R) - they're typically switching to (N) at 59th or (D) at 36th St.

Or they're taking the express bus. Or, gasp, driving.

So recreating old BMT services is fairly pointless, as is attempting to create a route that captures Manhattan fares, since the problem is that the service frequency along 4th Av is unreliable.

But because the unreliability part is not because of 4th Av - it's because of QBL delays, or the merges on Broadway in Midtown, or even route length, the focus should be how to fix the issues that make 4th Av local stations intolerable.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new through-route - that could mean doing a split of one route, or doing a rationalization.

But putting your (K) onto the Nassau Line and/or Jamaica just causes more issues since now you have it held up by terminating (J)(Z) trains at Broad St; holding up (J)(Z) trains at Broad St or Chambers, or even at Essex St blocking (J)(Z) and (M) .

Reconnecting Nassau to the Bridge now delays (N)(Q) because of not just diverging switches and DeKalb; you now have a level crossing.

And you still have the 57th St issue, (R) 's length, and you haven't fixed the reliability issue - you've spread it to more areas.

That's a solution, but not a viable one IMO; rationalizing the services patterns and proper operation of the infrastructure is a more viable one.

I’m not quite sure what you mean by fixing the issues making 4th Ave local stations “intolerable.” If you’re talking about the physical condition of the stations themselves, judging by the recent rehabilitation of Prospect Ave, 53rd St and Bay Ridge Ave, it seems like the MTA is addressing that issue. Slowly. 

But even if they rehab all of the 4th Ave local stops, what good will it do if the sole 24/7 train line serving them continues to be plagued by signal problems at Grand Ave, sick passengers at Roosevelt, taking too long to get in, out and back in to 71st-Continental, etc.? It’s not about so much about recreating old BMT services as it is about providing that is much more predictable and reliable. The current (R) service is neither. Perhaps an Astoria (R) would be the best improvement, as opposed to a split. But no one at the MTA has even considered that.

On 3/2/2019 at 6:04 PM, B35 via Church said:

smh.... The illusion of seclusion diluted by delusion....

Have any split of the R train come to fruition & it'll end up yielding a future calling for a restoration of the "old" (and by that, I mean the current) pattern by these same Bay Ridge area politicians.....

 

Not necessarily. They might possibly call for the (R) to go back to Midtown Manhattan if the split doesn’t make 4th Ave local service better, but I doubt they’ll be asking for it to go back to Queens Blvd and Forest Hills fully local. The MTA might want to do their due diligence and show these same Bay Ridge pols why the split is not an improvement over the current service. And offer some real alternatives to a split (R). CBTC on Queens Blvd and 60-foot R211s with faster boarding are years away. 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

I’m not quite sure what you mean by fixing the issues making 4th Ave local stations “intolerable.”

Is that the only part you read?

(Intolerable means "unable to be endured", or "not able to tolerate" - ie the long waits for a train at 4th Av stations.)

Edited by Deucey
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Here's another idea since the Nassau St proposal seems to be against some people:

(R) Bay Ridge/95th St to 96th St/2nd Av via 4th Avenue Local/Bridge/Broadway Express, yard remains the same but (Q) and (R) alternates sets at 96th St.

(N) Coney Island/Stillwell Av to Astoria/Ditmars via 4th Avenue Express/Lower Manhattan/Broadway Local.

(W) Whitehall St to Forest Hills/71 Av via Broadway Local/60th St/Queens Blvd Local, yard change from Coney Island to Jamaica. During rush hours, some SB trips end at Canal St and deadhead to City Hall, to not overload Whitehall St.

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55 minutes ago, Deucey said:

Is that the only part you read?

(Intolerable means "unable to be endured", or "not able to tolerate" - ie the long waits for a train at 4th Av stations.)

Nope... I read the whole post. (And I know what intolerable means...) There is plenty in your post - and in this thread - that I do agree with you on...the long waits for the train at local stations included. The problem is that the intolerably long waits at the 4th Ave local stations are all too often (not always...such as today’s signal problems at 36th and 4th) the result of problems affecting the (R) in Queens or Manhattan. The recent issues with the work trains affecting AM rush on 4th Ave might be a good place to start. They shouldn’t be affecting Brooklyn (D)(N)(R) service well into morning rush. But I don’t think that alone is going to address unreliable (R) service.

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44 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

Here's another idea since the Nassau St proposal seems to be against some people:

(R) Bay Ridge/95th St to 96th St/2nd Av via 4th Avenue Local/Bridge/Broadway Express, yard remains the same but (Q) and (R) alternates sets at 96th St.

(N) Coney Island/Stillwell Av to Astoria/Ditmars via 4th Avenue Express/Lower Manhattan/Broadway Local.

(W) Whitehall St to Forest Hills/71 Av via Broadway Local/60th St/Queens Blvd Local, yard change from Coney Island to Jamaica. During rush hours, some SB trips end at Canal St and deadhead to City Hall, to not overload Whitehall St.

Were it not for the lack of an easy way for the (R) to access the DeKalb bypass tracks without delaying the (D) and (N) at Atlantic, I’d say this would be pretty easy to implement. The (R) on the Bridge would certainly shave a lot of time off Bay Ridge riders’ commutes. Though I get the feeling Sea Beach line riders would take issue with having the (N) rerouted to the Montague Tunnel 24/7, even if it does stay express in Brooklyn.  

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2 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Were it not for the lack of an easy way for the (R) to access the DeKalb bypass tracks without delaying the (D) and (N) at Atlantic, I’d say this would be pretty easy to implement. The (R) on the Bridge would certainly shave a lot of time off Bay Ridge riders’ commutes. Though I get the feeling Sea Beach line riders would take issue with having the (N) rerouted to the Montague Tunnel 24/7, even if it does stay express in Brooklyn.  

I mean they dealt with the (N) being local in Manhattan for 6 years...

The reroute via Mountague adds a short amount of time to the commute. If they have a problem, they can simply take the (N)(R) or (Q) at Atlantic.

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5 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Were it not for the lack of an easy way for the (R) to access the DeKalb bypass tracks without delaying the (D) and (N) at Atlantic, I’d say this would be pretty easy to implement. The (R) on the Bridge would certainly shave a lot of time off Bay Ridge riders’ commutes. Though I get the feeling Sea Beach line riders would take issue with having the (N) rerouted to the Montague Tunnel 24/7, even if it does stay express in Brooklyn.  

Also, it actually is simple.

The (R) switches to the Bridge track at DeKalb (Q) platform and operates the same route up to 96th St.

The (N), I forget where the switch was, can easily switch to the local track somewhere between Atlantic & DeKalb.

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Lawrence St said:

I mean they dealt with the (N) being local in Manhattan for 6 years...

The reroute via Mountague adds a short amount of time to the commute. If they have a problem, they can simply take the (N)(R) or (Q) at Atlantic.

The only thing this proposal accomplishes an increase in Dekalb congestion (new (N)(R) merge, new (B)(Q)(R) merge), a reduction in potential Brighton capacity, and an inconvenience for Sea Beach. 

Sea Beach and West End are longer routes with higher ridership than 4th Local. They get express service. 4th local straight-rails into Montague, and has cross platform transfers to both sides of the bridge at multiple stations. It gets tunnel. You are more then welcome to throw a Nassau service into the mix for diversity's sake, but you're not welcome to reinvent the wheel...

To this whole (K)(Z) debate: Broad is only an issue insofar as your terminal ops suck, something that'd need to be fixed at Forest Hills anyway. The merge at Essex would be annoying, yes, but the fact that it's a terminal allows you to hold a conflicting (K)(Z) for a minute so that a (J) can clear. Optimal? No. Dealbreaker? No. This just comes down to whether or not you think there's a value in having Nassau-4th Service instead of more Broadway-4th. 

Edited by RR503
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23 hours ago, Deucey said:

By disagreeing, you're actually making my point.

Very few are riding from 95th St to 42nd St on (R) - they're typically switching to (N) at 59th or (D) at 36th St.

Or they're taking the express bus. Or, gasp, driving.

So recreating old BMT services is fairly pointless, as is attempting to create a route that captures Manhattan fares, since the problem is that the service frequency along 4th Av is unreliable.

But because the unreliability part is not because of 4th Av - it's because of QBL delays, or the merges on Broadway in Midtown, or even route length, the focus should be how to fix the issues that make 4th Av local stations intolerable.

That doesn't necessarily mean a new through-route - that could mean doing a split of one route, or doing a rationalization.

But putting your (K) onto the Nassau Line and/or Jamaica just causes more issues since now you have it held up by terminating (J)(Z) trains at Broad St; holding up (J)(Z) trains at Broad St or Chambers, or even at Essex St blocking (J)(Z) and (M) .

Reconnecting Nassau to the Bridge now delays (N)(Q) because of not just diverging switches and DeKalb; you now have a level crossing.

And you still have the 57th St issue, (R) 's length, and you haven't fixed the reliability issue - you've spread it to more areas.

That's a solution, but not a viable one IMO; rationalizing the services patterns and proper operation of the infrastructure is a more viable one.

That could be adjusted by going back to my original idea of splitting the (J) and (Z) in two by having the (J) terminate at Chambers, save for a limited number of peak-hour trains that would continue to Broad so Broad Street would still see the same number of trains as they do now.  

You also brought up one reason why in my original plan, it called for reconnecting the Nassau Line to the Brooklyn-bound track ONLY on the Manhattan Bridge to make for a Nassau Loop line, with this new (K) or (Z) in that version running via the tunnel to Manhattan and back to Brooklyn via the Bridge, the only difference being it would be ONLY done on the Bridge going to Brooklyn and NOT the other way.  That plan would have had the new (K) / (Z) only stop at Jay-Metrotech, Court, Broad, Fulton and Chambers going northbound before going over the Manny B back to Brooklyn (while in reality 95th Street would be the sole terminal in such a loop, Chambers would technically be the north terminal even if trains only stop there and go right in and out like a normal stop).  This also would have had an equal number of (N) trains to the number of (K) / (Z) trains running over the Bridge becoming fully local on the Broadway line going southbound only, with those (N) trains operating via the Tunnel ONLY going to Brooklyn as northbound service would be unaffected by this and all such going to Manhattan would still operate via the Bridge as they do now.  

Those would be the alternative ways to do it save for doing the schedule where at Essex, if a (J) train comes in as a (K) / (Z) is scheduled to leave Essex, the (K) / (Z) train goes first so it's not stuck behind the (J) at Broad.

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