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Union Tpke

Utica Avenue Transit Improvement Study Discussion

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https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/transit/2019/04/06/utica-avenue-subway-extension-mta-to-study-if-it-is-worth-pursuing

The dream of a subway running down one of Brooklyn's busiest corridors is nearly as old as the subway system itself.

Now, NY1 has learned the MTA and the city have started a study to see if the Utica Avenue subway extension, a nearly century-old idea, is worth pursuing.

The MTA's subway and bus division has joined with city agencies to launch the Utica Avenue Transit Improvement Study. It will examine a range of transportation options from adding faster buses, to building a subway line, to even adding a light rail line.

"We need to look at how we're going to move commuters as we continue to grow in this part of Brooklyn," Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said. "We have not figured that out yet, the MTA needs to take the idea off the drawing board. We need to move forward with it."

Utica Avenue is home to the busiest bus route in Brooklyn, serving 44,000 riders each day. And the subway station on Eastern Parkway and Utica Avenue on the 3 and 4 lines sees nearly 29,000 people a day, making it the one of the borough's busiest stops.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo agreed four years ago to spend $5 million to explore extending the 4 train from Eastern Parkway south along Utica Avenue. That money was never spent, but it now will be used for the new study.

Commuters on the busy corridor say if the MTA does build it, they will swipe.

But because the MTA has trouble building anything on the cheap, the likelihood of a new subway line seems remote.

"Wow, that would be a long shot. If it is possible, that would be great," one commuter said at the Crown Heights-Utica Avenue station. "It would make the ride much easier. I mean, you're in the train here, you wouldn't have to get out and to go stand on the corner and try to get a bus."

Bus commuters said they're fed up with packed rides that crawl through the streets. They want bigger buses and clear lanes.

"It becomes a hassle and I see why people want to take dollar cabs and whatnot," one commuter said.

"You have to sometime push and you have to wait for the other bus to get on because there's so many people," a bus rider said.

The MTA on Monday will begin meeting with local officials and surveying residents to help determine what would be the best way forward.

This is something I have heard a bit about from people inside transit.

A page on the new MTA website is up: https://new.mta.info/system_modernization/utica_avenue

The goals of the study (with editorializing):

The study process will define and rank five long-range investment packages. Each would improve the mobility of customers who will travel to and from the Study Area.

Proposed long-range investment packages may involve new transit service along Utica Avenue, capacity improvements to the existing network, or a combination of the two (If there is to be a subway extension along Utica, capacity improvements are needed).

The study will include the following steps:

1. Document current and future baseline transit capacity and demand. We will review recent studies, model travel demand, and conduct intercept surveys. We will also examine future land use scenarios for the corridor.

2. Analyze potential improvements to the Eastern Parkway (IRT) subway line at Nostrand Junction, Utica Avenue Terminal, and New Lots Avenue Terminal (NOT Flatbush terminal?). We will also look at opportunities for expanded railcar storage (WELL, look who is back).

3. Analyze transit improvements along the Utica Avenue corridor, including:

Improvements to the existing B46 SBS,

converting the existing B46 SBS into a Bus Rapid Transit (AN ADMISSION THAT SBS IS NOT BUS RAPID TRANSIT) or Light Rail Transit line (A STANDALONE LRT line without any broader plans, great idea), and

extending the existing subway on Eastern Parkway or Fulton Street (YOU WANT TO WRECK CAPACITY ON FULTON STREET, AND SPEND BILLIONS RETROFITTING THE LINE GO AHEAD) south along Utica Avenue. The extension could be either underground or as an elevated rail line (IT IS ABOUT TIME).

4. Create five investment packages. These would combine potential improvements to the Eastern Parkway (IRT) subway line and improvements along the Utica Avenue corridor.

5. Investigate possible funding sources and rank the five investment packages.

6. Conduct public outreach through Community Board presentations, the study website, and other engagement activities.

 

My main question, besides how funding for such a project would be obtained, is what "create five investment packages" means. It seems like the goal from the start is to deem the subway too expensive, and go for little solutions, such as added bus lanes, or fixing Nostrand Junction.

 

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What drives me absolutely insane is that people in the media and at organizations such as the RPA call this a (4) extension. This is inexcusable. The bellmouths in the tunnel structure for the line, which has been planned as long as the Second Avenue Subway, branch off of the local tracks, meaning that the (3) would run via Utica and the (4) to New Lots, requiring some crossovers.

RPA-4RP-22-Subway-Extensions.png

Screenshot-2019-04-08-16.29.05.png

32646776147_b99e8050e9.jpgScreen Shot 2019-04-11 at 7.57.47 PM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

47589270891_cef489764a.jpgScreen Shot 2019-04-11 at 7.58.08 PM by Union Turnpike, on Flickr

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That RPA proposal is half-assed and ridiculous. Nostrand can probably only go to Kings given the water table (unlike Utica there are many residences along the street so an El is unlikely) and that Utica proposal looks like an out-of-towner made it. Why isn't there a stop at Church? Who needs Glenwood when it is next to Kings Highway? Why does it end so abruptly at Flatbush?

At the very minimum I hope they do something like reorganize Rogers to fix the IRT and increase capacity; I would hope the service proposal would look like this:

(2) unchanged

(3) to Flatbush

(4) to New Lots via express

(5) to Utica via local (underground cut and cover stops at Remsen, Church-Linden and Avenue D; elevated stops at Kings Highway, Flatlands-Avenue J, Avenue N and Avenue U-Kings Plaza)

Also, if it could easily be operationally possible, why does express service end at Crown Heights? Is it to reduce crowding on the (4) or something? Is New Lots a poor terminal?

 

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8 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

At the very minimum I hope they do something like reorganize Rogers to fix the IRT and increase capacity; I would hope the service proposal would look like this:

(2) unchanged

(3) to Flatbush

(4) to New Lots via express

(5) to Utica via local (underground cut and cover stops at Remsen, Church-Linden and Avenue D; elevated stops at Kings Highway, Flatlands-Avenue J, Avenue N and Avenue U-Kings Plaza)

And in the process, decrease service...

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Posted (edited)

NY doesn't want or need a light rail, heavy rail only for NYC just because of capacity and density itself. 

I don't get why can't the MTA just build basic train stations just for transportation, that's all NYers want! Why do they have to go all extravagant like SAS? Just build basic looking stations and extend the (4) to KP.

Also extend the (2)(5) to Ave Z, making stops at Ave J or L, Kings Hwy, Gerristen Ave, and Ave U...

 

Also the person who made this map is definitely not from NYC, why would you extend the (N) west instead towards LaGuardia and the (7) ends abruptly instead of going to Bayside? Very dumb map.

Edited by ABOGbrooklyn

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15 minutes ago, Lex said:

And in the process, decrease service...

While transferring will obviously increase, you would be able to drastically increase service on all the IRT expresses as that flat junction is a major inhibitor of service... IIRC we lose about 12 tph and lots of time when trains are forced to wait for another one to pass; this would allow you to give some well-deserved relief to Bronx and Manhattan commuters. While transferring at Franklin will obviously increase, waits for trains would be much shorter since trains would flow seamlessly through the junction and come much more frequently (the only track needed to be installed would be one between the SB local track and SB Nostrand track).

 

1 minute ago, ABOGbrooklyn said:

NY doesn't want or need a light rail, heavy rail only for NYC just because of capacity and density itself. 

I don't get why can't the MTA just build basic train stations just for transportation, that's all NYers want! Why do they have to go all extravagant like SAS? Just build basic looking stations and extend the (4) to KP.

Also extend the (2)(5) to Ave Z, making stops at Ave J or L, Kings Hwy, Gerristen Ave, and Ave U...

Nostrand would be much more difficult to extend as an el would probably be needed past Kings Highway due to the water table, and unlike the commercial/industrial Utica, Nostrand has many more residences so an el would be shot down fast.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

 

 

Nostrand would be much more difficult to extend as an el would probably be needed past Kings Highway due to the water table, and unlike the commercial/industrial Utica, Nostrand has many more residences so an el would be shot down fast.

Nostrand only has a small stretch of people living between Kings Hwy and Ave U, basically only 4 blocks, with only one block that actually has houses as opposed to apartment buildings. The positives will outweigh the negatives. I'm sure the people in Eastern Sheepshead will be thankful they don't have to hike to the (Q) and people in Marine Park won't have to take the B2/3 to the (Q) anymore. It will also spark more development in Marine Park, which means good for business.

Edited by ABOGbrooklyn

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2 minutes ago, ABOGbrooklyn said:

Nostrand only has a small stretch of people living between Kings Hwy and Ave U, basically only 4 blocks, with only one block that actually has houses as opposed to apartment buildings. The positives will outweigh the negatives. I'm sure the people in Eastern Sheepshead will be thankful they don't have to hike to the (Q) and people in Marine Park won't have to take the B2/3 to the (Q) anymore. It will also spark more development in Marine Park, which means good for business.

I suppose you could build one but I would expect opposition to be fierce followed by warming approval; Utica would also have some opposition over columns removing parking but there would probably be little residential opposition given the few residences on the street and the lack of train service in the neighborhood (residents would probably be warm to a subway extension).

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5 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

I suppose you could build one but I would expect opposition to be fierce followed by warming approval; Utica would also have some opposition over columns removing parking but there would probably be little residential opposition given the few residences on the street and the lack of train service in the neighborhood (residents would probably be warm to a subway extension).

Also aren't modern elevated structures built to be much more quieter now, including the tracks?

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4 minutes ago, ABOGbrooklyn said:

Also aren't modern elevated structures built to be much more quieter now, including the tracks?

There are, but the problem is that since we don't have any (AirTrain is one but that doesn't really count) so people still picture large, ugly, and rattling metal structures vs quiet, compact and minimally invasive concrete ones. When I visit Miami every few times a year, I'm surprised at how quiet the structures are there- noise is usually from minimal vibrations and trains passing by at high speeds than noise from the structure itself (and this was built back in the mid 80s!)

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6 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

There are, but the problem is that since we don't have any (AirTrain is one but that doesn't really count) so people still picture large, ugly, and rattling metal structures vs quiet, compact and minimally invasive concrete ones. When I visit Miami every few times a year, I'm surprised at how quiet the structures are there- noise is usually from minimal vibrations and trains passing by at high speeds than noise from the structure itself (and this was built back in the mid 80s!)

With the example of Miami and San Juan metro, I wouldn't see Nostrand being much of an argument then.

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4 minutes ago, ABOGbrooklyn said:

With the example of Miami and San Juan metro, I wouldn't see Nostrand being much of an argument then.

I don't personally oppose the Nostrand extension, I am just saying people along it might given their unfamiliarity with quieter els.

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24 minutes ago, R68OnBroadway said:

While transferring will obviously increase, you would be able to drastically increase service on all the IRT expresses as that flat junction is a major inhibitor of service... IIRC we lose about 12 tph and lots of time when trains are forced to wait for another one to pass; this would allow you to give some well-deserved relief to Bronx and Manhattan commuters. While transferring at Franklin will obviously increase, waits for trains would be much shorter since trains would flow seamlessly through the junction and come much more frequently (the only track needed to be installed would be one between the SB local track and SB Nostrand track).

And in the process, put the (3) right back where it was before 1983 while losing the ability to pool between the (2) and (5) in order to stroke someone's ego. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing is done to fix the issue that's actually caused deinterlining to be viewed as a solution (it isn't) in the first place, nor make short-turning at Utica Avenue easier. To add further insult to injury, any move of the sort will pretty much guarantee the closure of two Harlem stations in order to keep costs down and minimize the pressure of non-revenue moves, which will totally fly with people.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing on Eastern Parkway should be used to facilitate Utica Avenue service, especially since there's a fair number of people heading/located further north of there on the Utica/Reid corridor. Moreover, while the (3) has the greatest amount of unused space for the bulk of its run in Brooklyn, running to New Lots Avenue also allows the (4) to be able to short-turn at Utica Avenue, and with the Lexington Avenue Line's ridership and existing unreliability that has nothing to do with Brooklyn, that's crucial.

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1 hour ago, R68OnBroadway said:

That RPA proposal is half-assed and ridiculous. Nostrand can probably only go to Kings given the water table (unlike Utica there are many residences along the street so an El is unlikely) and that Utica proposal looks like an out-of-towner made it. Why isn't there a stop at Church? Who needs Glenwood when it is next to Kings Highway? Why does it end so abruptly at Flatbush?

People love jerking off about 'tHe WaTeR tAbLe' but that's a solvable problem. They build subways in places like Bangkok with actual monsoon seasons, or Amsterdam which is literally below sea level (and the mother of all water table issues).

The RPA is a bunch of hacks. That being said, Glenwood is literally 300 ft away from Kings Highway. They just site the central portion of it at Glenwood so that one end can exit to Kings Hwy and the other can eventually link to some line on the Bay Ridge Branch. You can chill out over a name, you'll get a subway entrance where you want it.

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13 minutes ago, Lex said:

And in the process, put the (3) right back where it was before 1983 while losing the ability to pool between the (2) and (5) in order to stroke someone's ego. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing is done to fix the issue that's actually caused deinterlining to be viewed as a solution (it isn't) in the first place, nor make short-turning at Utica Avenue easier. To add further insult to injury, any move of the sort will pretty much guarantee the closure of two Harlem stations in order to keep costs down and minimize the pressure of non-revenue moves, which will totally fly with people.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing on Eastern Parkway should be used to facilitate Utica Avenue service, especially since there's a fair number of people heading/located further north of there on the Utica/Reid corridor. Moreover, while the (3) has the greatest amount of unused space for the bulk of its run in Brooklyn, running to New Lots Avenue also allows the (4) to be able to short-turn at Utica Avenue, and with the Lexington Avenue Line's ridership and existing unreliability that has nothing to do with Brooklyn, that's crucial.

Then what should? There's no money for a subway to Williamsburg and across the river. The (A)(C) can't do it because of how the station box at Utica is setup and there are no spare trains there anyways. And if you build a rinky dink shuttle to Crown Heights it's basically the same thing as extending the (4) .

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5 minutes ago, Lex said:

And in the process, put the (3) right back where it was before 1983 while losing the ability to pool between the (2) and (5) in order to stroke someone's ego. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing is done to fix the issue that's actually caused deinterlining to be viewed as a solution (it isn't) in the first place, nor make short-turning at Utica Avenue easier. To add further insult to injury, any move of the sort will pretty much guarantee the closure of two Harlem stations in order to keep costs down and minimize the pressure of non-revenue moves, which will totally fly with people.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing on Eastern Parkway should be used to facilitate Utica Avenue service, especially since there's a fair number of people heading/located further north of there on the Utica/Reid corridor. Moreover, while the (3) has the greatest amount of unused space for the bulk of its run in Brooklyn, running to New Lots Avenue also allows the (4) to be able to short-turn at Utica Avenue, and with the Lexington Avenue Line's ridership and existing unreliability that has nothing to do with Brooklyn, that's crucial.

Nobody has ever brought up the idea of closing 145th and 148th; doing so would be idiotic as the (3) starting in Harlem brings great relief in lesser crowded trains to residents of Harlem and the UWS. Eastern Parkway service is the only way to facilitate Utica service as Fulton has too much branching and should serve SE Queens over Utica. South 4th Street is another option; too bad it's a f*cking pipe dream by foamers that will thankfully never happen given the interlining, reverse branching and unnecessary costs it will bring. 

Just now, bobtehpanda said:

People love jerking off about 'tHe WaTeR tAbLe' but that's a solvable problem. They build subways in places like Bangkok with actual monsoon seasons, or Amsterdam which is literally below sea level (and the mother of all water table issues).

The RPA is a bunch of hacks. That being said, Glenwood is literally 300 ft away from Kings Highway. They just site the central portion of it at Glenwood so that one end can exit to Kings Hwy and the other can eventually link to some line on the Bay Ridge Branch. You can chill out over a name, you'll get a subway entrance where you want it.

I was complaining about Glenwood because it shows the RPA's lack of knowledge in naming a station after a small street versus a larger one; I know they are close and was just using it rhetorically to show their incompetence. 

As for the water table, it is solvable but I usually bring it up as we all know the MTA would bloat the cost of pumping and do a very poor job.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lex said:

And in the process, decrease service...

How does getting rid of a major bottleneck at Franklin Avenue - the (5) merging with the (2) and (3) before turning down Nostrand with the (2) - decrease service? And please don’t say “it takes away a one-seat ride” (we know it does). That one-seat ride is what’s decreasing service. 

2 hours ago, ABOGbrooklyn said:

NY doesn't want or need a light rail, heavy rail only for NYC just because of capacity and density itself. 

I don't get why can't the MTA just build basic train stations just for transportation, that's all NYers want! Why do they have to go all extravagant like SAS? Just build basic looking stations and extend the (4) to KP.

Also extend the (2)(5) to Ave Z, making stops at Ave J or L, Kings Hwy, Gerristen Ave, and Ave U...

 

Also the person who made this map is definitely not from NYC, why would you extend the (N) west instead towards LaGuardia and the (7) ends abruptly instead of going to Bayside? Very dumb map.

I disagree that New York “doesn’t want or need” light rail. Taking a “subway or no way” attitude will keep the City from having substantial transit rail expansion from areas that could absolutely use it. I don’t think light rail is necessarily the best option for Utica Avenue, but to say any rail transit expansion in the City has to be “subway or no way” will almost certainly ensure “no way” wins out every time. I do agree Utica stations should not be overbuilt “palaces” and that the (N) extension on that map doesn’t make sense.

3 hours ago, Union Tpke said:

What drives me absolutely insane is that people in the media and at organizations such as the RPA call this a (4) extension. This is inexcusable. The bellmouths in the tunnel structure for the line, which has been planned as long as the Second Avenue Subway, branch off of the local tracks, meaning that the (3) would run via Utica and the (4) to New Lots, requiring some crossovers.

Why can’t it still be a (4) extension? The second diagram which shows the (4) running on the local side and the (5) on the express at the Utica Avenue station sounds to me like a plausible option for extending the (4) down Utica. 

Edited by T to Dyre Avenue
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Posted (edited)
20 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

I disagree that New York “doesn’t want or need” light rail. Taking a “subway or no way” attitude will keep the City from having substantial transit rail expansion from areas that could absolutely use it. I don’t think light rail is necessarily the best option for Utica Avenue, but to say any rail transit expansion in the City has to be “subway or no way” will almost certainly ensure “no way” wins out every time. I do agree Utica stations should not be overbuilt “palaces” and that the (N) extension on that map doesn’t make sense.

I think an actual NYC LRT would be a good thing, but because the longest I’ve seen LRTs operate was in 320-360 ft consists, having them at grade with crossings introduces two variables that make heavy rail a possible better solution:

Grade crossings and mitigation 

Overcrowding

 

On the former, because there are so many red light runners, you now introduce the Blue Line and LIRR problem of train v car collisions - even with 4-quadrant crossing gates. 

On the latter, even with LRT at almost the length of BMT Eastern consists, you now have either intersection blocking (like we have/had in Sacramento) and people in the street walking around trying to board or alight, or overcrowded trains with no option to feasibly lengthen them and maintain flow from other traffic (including pedestrians).

At that point, you’re building it on els or underground, so why not make the equipment interoperable with A or B division rolling stock? (And I know I previously mentioned doing a 3rd Av and Fordham line as LRT - mainly to prevent either becoming an (A) extension from 207th St, but my mind’s changed on that. Even with my SI-Belt-Nassau idea, I see using LIRR cars or B division spec as a better plan. LRT isn’t infeasible, but maybe not the superior alternative.)

Edited by Deucey
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1 hour ago, Lex said:

And in the process, put the (3) right back where it was before 1983 while losing the ability to pool between the (2) and (5) in order to stroke someone's ego. Meanwhile, absolutely nothing is done to fix the issue that's actually caused deinterlining to be viewed as a solution (it isn't) in the first place, nor make short-turning at Utica Avenue easier. To add further insult to injury, any move of the sort will pretty much guarantee the closure of two Harlem stations in order to keep costs down and minimize the pressure of non-revenue moves, which will totally fly with people.

As far as I'm concerned, nothing on Eastern Parkway should be used to facilitate Utica Avenue service, especially since there's a fair number of people heading/located further north of there on the Utica/Reid corridor. Moreover, while the (3) has the greatest amount of unused space for the bulk of its run in Brooklyn, running to New Lots Avenue also allows the (4) to be able to short-turn at Utica Avenue, and with the Lexington Avenue Line's ridership and existing unreliability that has nothing to do with Brooklyn, that's crucial.

You know, I'm all for frank discussions on the nuances of deinterlining, but this is flat out wrong. Rogers Junction is *the* limiter of IRT express capacity; the fact it can only handle 45tph plays a massive role in the crowding issues seen daily on the (2)(3)(4)(5). To deny that for the sake of some (valid, albeit parochial and reductive) desire to preserve a one seat ride despite the civic costs is...sad. Advocating for what's best for you underpins democracy, but to do so without leaving any room for nuance is at best to engage in disingenuous discourse.

I want to return to Rogers' effects on the lines it serves though. The slaughter of area capacity is well established; allow me to add color to reliability claims. This is going to be stringline intensive; sorry for taking up so much space. 

This AM rush on the (4)(5) -- note the crazy runtime variability and strangely spaced service heading up Lex:

8YoY91U.png

This AM rush on the (2)(3) -- again peep the runtime var:

DG2bwgZ.png

Yesterday PM onto Nostrand, once again, it''s all about runtime variability and long dwells at Franklin. 

UdFcTN9.png

Yesterday PM rush (4)(5) -- note how those long dwells drive runtimes from Atlantic to Franklin up:

vyDs8FN.png

...but hey, it's not an issue. 

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15 minutes ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

How does getting rid of a major bottleneck at Franklin Avenue - the (5) merging with the (2) and (3) before turning down Nostrand with the (2) - decrease service? And please don’t say “it takes away a one-seat ride” (we know it does). That one-seat ride is what’s decreasing service.

Directly, it doesn't. The problem is that it comes with certain other issues that will cause a reduction in service. For one, the (3) loses direct access to a maintenance facility (again), and would need to rely on pooling with the (2) in order to retain some semblance of reliability, but with its current headways and stock, that becomes a chore for no good reason. (We'd probably end up retaining some amount of weekday service, but you can say goodbye to evening, weekend, and overnight service in order to give the cars a chance to go to a maintenance facility or rest at Lenox just to cut down on wear and reduce merging conflicts in Manhattan at a different flat junction. Naturally, that would be a giant middle finger to those in Harlem, particularly those in the 140s. If they somehow decide to restore maintenance capabilities at Lenox Yard, then the northernmost Lenox stations will also fly out the window just to cut down on awkward moves and storage losses.) The Nostrand Avenue Line is also dead on weekends, hence why we only have three routes on Eastern Parkway. (If it hadn't been for the need to make sure (4) trains can go back to the Bronx fairly quickly while still covering a substantial part of Brooklyn, we wouldn't have the (3), either, as the only other thing really propping up that route is the (2) carrying decent loads from the Bronx, but hardly anyone in Brooklyn.)

For that matter, the bottleneck was built into the line a century ago because it was deemed better to preserve some surface element than to make something functional. Making the Eastern Parkway Line under its namesake functional is how you address that issue, as well as issues further east.

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25 minutes ago, RR503 said:

stuff

I'm well aware that it kills capacity as-is. What I take issue with is the idea that a quick "fix" will magically make everything better, even though the line's design is the whole reason for it killing capacity in the first place. Improving the design will allow for real improvements in throughput without leading to service actually decreasing to levels lower than we currently have.

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6 minutes ago, Lex said:

Directly, it doesn't. The problem is that it comes with certain other issues that will cause a reduction in service. For one, the (3) loses direct access to a maintenance facility (again), and would need to rely on pooling with the (2) in order to retain some semblance of reliability, but with its current headways and stock, that becomes a chore for no good reason. (We'd probably end up retaining some amount of weekday service, but you can say goodbye to evening, weekend, and overnight service in order to give the cars a chance to go to a maintenance facility or rest at Lenox just to cut down on wear and reduce merging conflicts in Manhattan at a different flat junction. Naturally, that would be a giant middle finger to those in Harlem, particularly those in the 140s. If they somehow decide to restore maintenance capabilities at Lenox Yard, then the northernmost Lenox stations will also fly out the window just to cut down on awkward moves and storage losses.) The Nostrand Avenue Line is also dead on weekends, hence why we only have three routes on Eastern Parkway. (If it hadn't been for the need to make sure (4) trains can go back to the Bronx fairly quickly while still covering a substantial part of Brooklyn, we wouldn't have the (3), either, as the only other thing really propping up that route is the (2) carrying decent loads from the Bronx, but hardly anyone in Brooklyn.)

 For that matter, the bottleneck was built into the line a century ago because it was deemed better to preserve some surface element than to make something functional. Making the Eastern Parkway Line under its namesake functional is how you address that issue, as well as issues further east.

Flatbush cannot turn more than 18 trains per hour, which means that to run any throughput above that figure you'd need to pull from New Lots. Given that Broadway needs more than 18tph of service, you're going to have to have NL runs, which then allows you to continue put ins from Livonia. Between that and Lenox Yard, you'd be set. The maintenance requirements of the (3)'s fleet are, fwiw, not all that different than those of the rest of the system's car fleet -- the notion that they'd need more downtime is questionable. 

Just now, Lex said:

I'm well aware that it kills capacity as-is. What I take issue with is the idea that a quick "fix" will magically make everything better, even though the line's design is the whole reason for it killing capacity in the first place. Improving the design will allow for real improvements in throughput without leading to service actually decreasing to levels lower than we currently have.

The line's design isn't even the issue though. For years, we just operated all Lex trains (of which there were 32 during the peaks) to Utica, and split locals (which ran a combined 30tph back in the day) between New Lots and Flatbush. The issue began when we started running Lex trains onto Nostrand, which brought service patterns out of alignment with the infrastructure. I'd be quite happy to make service match infrastructure once again in resuscitating that service pattern, but for the long term provision of quality service and flexibility, adding the switch before Nostrand is pretty justified. Now, you're right, we could Dekalb-ifiy that area, but that'd be a billion-plus dollar investment to...eliminate a cross platform transfer? I'd rather that money be spent on Utica. 

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37 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Now, you're right, we could Dekalb-ify that area, but that'd be a billion-plus dollar investment to...eliminate a cross platform transfer? I'd rather that money be spent on Utica. 

Except the idea is to make running trains along the entire line easier, not just at that one spot. Given the other issues surrounding Eastern Parkway's routes (most of which are removed from there),

 

55 minutes ago, RR503 said:

Flatbush cannot turn more than 18 trains per hour, which means that to run any throughput above that figure you'd need to pull from New Lots.

Perhaps not, but there's an obvious solution that also allows for more coverage and a more capable terminus. It would be better than trying to connect Eastern Parkway down Utica Avenue (for what it's worth, I wouldn't do it with Fulton Street, either, though we'd still have service down the corridor).

To make a long story short, trying to limit all stations east of Franklin Avenue to one trunk will only lead to a slight boost (at best) during rush periods and a sharp decline outside of the AM rush-early evening periods in service. Sure, the (2) might see some small increases in weekend service to offset the issue, but even then, the (3) was bound to be little more than relief after Lenox Yard was downsized (the decision to make them all express happened shortly after they announced that the shops would be abandoned, thus exacerbating the issue), and at this point, nothing will change that. The best thing to do at this point is to make the infrastructure more conducive to running the existing routes in order to avoid those losses and make more practical extensions that would make those routes more attractive without placing a larger burden at an awkward point.

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7 hours ago, T to Dyre Avenue said:

Why can’t it still be a (4) extension? The second diagram which shows the (4) running on the local side and the (5) on the express at the Utica Avenue station sounds to me like a plausible option for extending the (4) down Utica. 

It can only be the (4) if the (3) is sent down Flatbush and two crossovers are built as part of the rebuilding of Nostrand Junction.

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