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Around the Horn

PCAC - Maximize Broadway Capacity and Reliability

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(I wasn't sure if this required its own thread and it features a lot of the proposals that we have discussed in detail in this thread so I'll mention it here)

The Permanent Citizen's Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) released a study today in which they commuted between Astoria (Broadway (N)(W) station) and Lower Manhattan (Bowling Green (4)(5) station) for 100 days in 2017 and 2018. The data they collected is interesting enough but the recommendations in the study are the main reason I thought it was worth posting here

Quote

1. MAXIMIZE N/R/W LINE CAPACITY AND RELIABILITY

A. Reconfigure the Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard terminal tracks to increase AM peak Manhattan-bound train frequency and reliability. The Astoria-Ditmars terminal’s track configuration limits AM peak service into Manhattan, and creates service gaps that lead to station and onboard N/W line crowding. 

B. Reroute the N/R lines and de-interline (route-simplify) the Manhattan Broadway Line to increase train frequency and reliability, while reducing the Lex/59 St station crowding problem. Undertake an in- depth comprehensive route review: model the following conceptual reroutes and line simplifications.

Alternative 1: Reroute the N line to follow the Q line to 96th Street.

▫  Double W service frequency to cover the loss of N service to Astoria during weekdays, and run W service to Astoria on the weekends.

▫  Extend a portion of W trips to a Brooklyn terminus to reduce terminal delays at Whitehall Street.

▫  Educate riders on service changes and alternatives. 

Alternative 2: Reroute the R line to join the W line through the Lexington Av/59 St station to Ditmars Blvd. in Astoria.

Reroute the N line to join the F line through the Lexington Av/63 St station to Forest Hills.

▫  Increase frequency on the M line.

▫  Educate riders on service changes and alternatives. 

Benefits: Alternatives 1 & 2:

▫  Alternatives 1 & 2: De-interlines (simplifies) the Broadway line to improve reliability by reducing interlocking delays.

▫  Alternatives 1 & 2: Reduces Lex/59 St station crowding and reduces the platform shuffle by having only two lines (R/W) arriving at the platform instead of three (N/R/W).

▫  Alternative 1: Eliminates merges at 34th Street (Manhattan) to speed up trains, allowing for more train throughput.

▫  Alternative 2: Eliminates merges at 34th Street (Manhattan) and Queensboro Plaza (Queens) to speed up trains, allowing for more train throughput.

▫  Alternative 2: Reduces crowding on Queens Boulevard express E service since riders can stay on the N line for express service in Manhattan.

▫  Alternative 1: Adds service to the Second Avenue line, addressing ridership needs on the corridor, while making the new line a more attractive alternative. 

2. MAXIMIZE 4/5 LINE CAPACITY AND RELIABILITY

A. Ensure 4/5/6 line CBTC is installed within five years of Fast Forward implementation to improve reliability, resiliency, track speeds, and crowding. NYC Transit’s Fast Forward Plan has prioritized 4/5/6 CBTC installation from 149 St/Grand Concourse to Nevins St. 

B.  Continue track speed and signal timer adjustments to improve train speed and throughput.

C.  Evaluate moving the southbound 4/5 platform at 14 St/Union Square station north to the straight

track area, thus eliminating the need for the gap fillers and subsequent delays.

D.  Reroute the Brooklyn termini 2/3/4/5 lines to eliminate Nostrand Junction train conflicts. The proposed reroute would require new crossovers. Undertake an in-depth comprehensive route review: model the following conceptual reroute, and determine the feasibility to expand capacity at the Flatbush Avenue terminal. 

3. IMPROVE TRAFFIC FLOW AND REDUCE CROWDING AT LEX/59 ST STATION

   

A. Apply the methodology and resources that were applied to Grand Central station to Lex/59 St crowding and levels of service issues. In the future, look toward incorporating requirements for developers for value capture opportunities and other potential investments to apply such methodologies and resources.

Benefits:

▫  Improves mezzanine, platform, and staircase circulation.

▫  Provides more platform space by removing bulky stair casings and columns where feasible.

▫  Improves station access by reopening and providing new station entrances.

▫  Provides the opportunity to make the station ADA accessible.

B.  Establish a Lex/59 St station crowd control mitigation plan staffed with additional platform controllers. NYC Transit lacks a robust crowd mitigation effort to address extreme crowding conditions. During peak hours for the Lex/59 St station, platform crowding during the PM commute can become so extreme that it is difficult to exit and board trains, stairwells become backed up, severely limiting platform movement.

C.  Conduct regular table-top exercises to address Lex/59 St station crowding situations.

Benefits:

▫  Defines how to measure when the station becomes congested.

▫  Staff is trained to identify that once free movement along the back of a platform is lost, crowd

control procedures are put into place.

▫  Station is equipped with a dedicated station control room to facilitate crowd control operations.

D. Create station passenger-based crowding metrics, to better inform NYC Transit of when to implement station-specific crowd-control measures. NYC Transit does not have a crowding metric indicating which stations are under extreme stress from overcrowding. Riders waiting for the Queens-bound N/R/W service in the PM peak face large stairwell and platform crowds as 4/5/6 trains bring more riders to the station seeking to transfer to less frequent N/R/W service.

Benefits:

▫  Addressing station overcrowding through operational adjustments.

▫  Coordinates efforts with NYPD Transit police to provide attention and presence at stations that

have overcrowding safety issues.

▫  The metric can inform and support capital investment needs for improved capacity and expansion efforts.

E. Implement and enforce a two-lane Lexington Avenue dedicated busway during Lexington Line CBTC installation, and apply Transit Signal Priority (TSP) as soon as possible to speed up buses. Riders don’t want to take slow buses, so they crowd the subway. Lexington Avenue bus speeds are slow due to congestion, deliveries, and double parking. Enforcement and creation of an additional dedicated bus lane will be crucial when CBTC is being installed. Benefits:

▫  Bus travel is prioritized in the corridor, which increases bus speeds and frequencies.

▫  Frees up subway capacity, with more Lexington line subway riders taking buses for short distance trips.

https://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/100_100-Final-Report.pdf

The recommendations begin on page 42 and include maps 

@RR503 @Union Tpke

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Around the Horn said:

(I wasn't sure if this required its own thread and it features a lot of the proposals that we have discussed in detail in this thread so I'll mention it here)

The Permanent Citizen's Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) released a study today in which they commuted between Astoria (Broadway (N)(W) station) and Lower Manhattan (Bowling Green (4)(5) station) for 100 days in 2017 and 2018. The data they collected is interesting enough but the recommendations in the study are the main reason I thought it was worth posting here

https://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/100_100-Final-Report.pdf

The recommendations begin on page 42 and include maps 

@RR503 @Union Tpke

I saw this yesterday. It was already on the site, having seen the PCAC's page on different revenue sources. I love the Astoria recommendation. 

Edited by Union Tpke

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Posted (edited)
44 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

I saw this yesterday. It was already on the site, having seen the PCAC's page on different revenue sources. I love the Astoria recommendation. 

Me too! A good friend of mine works there; this is truly amazing stuff they've put together (the dwell time data makes me angry -- no civilized place has >1 min dwells). Thanks for flagging this @Around the Horn!

Edited by RR503

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About time someone (PCAC in this case) proposed Deinterlining Broadway and Rogers. (Broadway I won’t Question but in the case of Rogers, I’m more on board with what @RR503 proposed a couple of months back) 

I also like how that report addresses the issue with Lexington Avenue 59th Street. I’ve been using that station on an occasional basis for 5-6 years now and the crowding there since the return of the (W) is reaching close to unbearable. As to Solve the issue that it has, I feel like that it’s a tough problem to solve because you can’t simply take down pillars or expand the platforms. platform controllers sound nice but I don’t think that’ll do enough.

One last thing I’ll point out (and this is mostly biased) Mezzanine reconstruction, and making Lexington/59 ADA is a whole lot easier than it sounds/looks. 

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23 hours ago, Around the Horn said:

(I wasn't sure if this required its own thread and it features a lot of the proposals that we have discussed in detail in this thread so I'll mention it here)

The Permanent Citizen's Advisory Committee to the MTA (PCAC) released a study today in which they commuted between Astoria (Broadway (N)(W) station) and Lower Manhattan (Bowling Green (4)(5) station) for 100 days in 2017 and 2018. The data they collected is interesting enough but the recommendations in the study are the main reason I thought it was worth posting here

https://www.pcac.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/100_100-Final-Report.pdf

The recommendations begin on page 42 and include maps 

@RR503 @Union Tpke

Reading this really made my day! I’m glad the PCAC sees what we’re seeing. Now we just need MTA management to get on board.

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Split out from the proposals thread to avoid getting buried in the other ideas.

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Posted (edited)

It’s again really heartening to see advocacy orgs getting into the nitty gritty here. I’d love to see PCAC follow up on this report with more data/recs on other parts of the system — imagine what this attention given to some of the other choke points could do...

Edited by RR503
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13 hours ago, RR503 said:

It’s again really heartening to see advocacy orgs getting into the nitty gritty here. I’d love to see PCAC follow up on this report with more data/recs on other parts of the system — imagine what this attention given to some of the other choke points could do...

Frankly if I were in charge, I would have these "audits" (for lack of a better phrase) on every trunk on a regularly scheduled basis as part of the subway on-time performance metrics

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After reviewing the Rogers junction trackmap, I'm not sure how de-interlining Rogers helps in any way, unless they add switches east of the junction but west of Nostrand Ave Station.

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3 minutes ago, N6 Limited said:

After reviewing the Rogers junction trackmap, I'm not sure how de-interlining Rogers helps in any way, unless they add switches east of the junction but west of Nostrand Ave Station.

jxpUZg5.png

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On ‎3‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 11:08 PM, Around the Horn said:

Frankly if I were in charge, I would have these "audits" (for lack of a better phrase) on every trunk on a regularly scheduled basis as part of the subway on-time performance metrics

I'd prefer if these audits and reviews actually led to some real changes. Every so often, we have line reviews done by either outside agencies or internally by the MTA and almost every time, they all lead to the same result: nothing changes. It's good to know what's preventing optimal efficiency in the subway. It doesn't help if all these reports just sit on a desk somewhere.

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3 hours ago, RR503 said:

jxpUZg5.png

If the goal is to tank service, then this is a great idea. If not, then I would suggest redesigning that particular stretch of the Eastern Parkway Line in order to address awful merges and horrendous relays for short-turned trains.

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2 hours ago, Lance said:

I'd prefer if these audits and reviews actually led to some real changes. Every so often, we have line reviews done by either outside agencies or internally by the MTA and almost every time, they all lead to the same result: nothing changes. It's good to know what's preventing optimal efficiency in the subway. It doesn't help if all these reports just sit on a desk somewhere.

Oh of course!

My idea would be that these audits and reviews would help identify problem area's that could be fixed in an upcoming GO or as part of a larger capital project. For example, with this report in hand the next step would be implementing the suggested crowding procedures at Lex-59th and signal adjustments along Lex while looking into the larger capital recommendations, like the de interlining proposals and the Union Square proposal to determine the best course of action for those projects and then seeing them through completion.

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On 3/17/2019 at 8:23 PM, Lance said:

I'd prefer if these audits and reviews actually led to some real changes. Every so often, we have line reviews done by either outside agencies or internally by the MTA and almost every time, they all lead to the same result: nothing changes. It's good to know what's preventing optimal efficiency in the subway. It doesn't help if all these reports just sit on a desk somewhere.

An ops planning employee once told me "I am paid to write reports that my boss will never read. What you are asking is a political question".

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3 hours ago, bulk88 said:

An ops planning employee once told me "I am paid to write reports that my boss will never read. What you are asking is a political question".

I used to post my suggestions on the reports that I had to send to Albany and i asked the exact same question why it was not included in the report to the commissioner as every other department posted what they were doing. I  never received an answer.

On 3/17/2019 at 8:23 PM, Lance said:

I'd prefer if these audits and reviews actually led to some real changes. Every so often, we have line reviews done by either outside agencies or internally by the MTA and almost every time, they all lead to the same result: nothing changes. It's good to know what's preventing optimal efficiency in the subway. It doesn't help if all these reports just sit on a desk somewhere.

The state Department of Audit and Control would be at Arthur Kill Correctional Facility many times over the years to do their sampling, issue a report that would be challenged (of course) and the department. The changes of course that they agreed to would be cosmetic   and back to business within months.

The only time that the Department and my area Library Services implemented major changes was when a new commissioner came in 2008 and changed time frame for sending in reports.At that time a new person was placed in charge of Library Services and it was the only time that I can remember that the supervisor asked the librarians  what they wanted attend the changes were implemented soon after they were posted. It is very rare that there are supervisors who are political even though they are under civil service who will take a stand on an issue and I think that the reason is New York State Civil Service Law 75 (b) is beyond being useless.

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