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Union Tpke

Staten Island West Shore Alternatives Analysis Starts; Meeting held on 9/25

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Give me a bus connection to Perth Amboy. It is ridiculous that we have four bridges and only one gets regular non-express bus transit going on it. Right now, only way for me to go to New Jersey would be to either take the limited service S89 or go through Manhattan which is a huge detour. I live in Princes Bay and it's stupid that I have to make a huge circle through the city, spend more than 3 hours commuting, and spend nearly $20 just to get to somewhere that's only 5 miles away. Even a bus or light rail connection to Elizabeth over the Goethals Bridge would be better than the current state of a transit desert that Staten Island is.

Besides this, I think heavy rail would be the best option because the west shore has plenty of unused space for building a right-of-way, the west shore currently doesn't have access to the SIR, and heavy rail is faster, greater capacity, and would even merge with the existing SIR branch to allow people to transfer to it with connection to St. George and the ferry to Manhattan.

 

Or even better, how about finishing that tunnel under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and finally connecting Staten Island to the subway as it's currently the only borough without it?

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L6K3MSx.png

Here is a mock-up of a light rail that could run along the west shore. I made it using Enmodal and a paint application. I chose light rail because parts of the right-of-way are on busy urban roads and there wasn't much room to create a new path for heavy rail to pass through. The line starts in Tottenville and shares rail tracks with the SIR until Richmond Valley where it will now have new tracks laid out for it to run on. It follows the West Shore Expressway up until it reaches Arden Ave and goes east towards Richmond Ave. Then for a while it goes on it's own reserved road on Richmond Ave until it turns left on Forest Ave and goes on the Bayonne Bridge. The line terminates on 8th St in the same place as the HBLR starts.

I think this proposal is solid because it crosses over most major shopping centers and business areas on the west shore, it provides connections to multiple other transit options such as the SIR, many local and express buses, and even the HBLR to continue your commute into New Jersey and Manhattan. Looking at the map, both the WSLR and the SIR cover a large portion of Staten Island and final give residents in the west shore some better and faster transit options. I would like some opinions on this mock-up if anyone thinks a better path could be chosen.

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On 9/29/2019 at 8:43 PM, Elloss said:

Give me a bus connection to Perth Amboy. It is ridiculous that we have four bridges and only one gets regular non-express bus transit going on it. Right now, only way for me to go to New Jersey would be to either take the limited service S89 or go through Manhattan which is a huge detour. I live in Princes Bay and it's stupid that I have to make a huge circle through the city, spend more than 3 hours commuting, and spend nearly $20 just to get to somewhere that's only 5 miles away. Even a bus or light rail connection to Elizabeth over the Goethals Bridge would be better than the current state of a transit desert that Staten Island is.

Besides this, I think heavy rail would be the best option because the west shore has plenty of unused space for building a right-of-way, the west shore currently doesn't have access to the SIR, and heavy rail is faster, greater capacity, and would even merge with the existing SIR branch to allow people to transfer to it with connection to St. George and the ferry to Manhattan.

 

Or even better, how about finishing that tunnel under the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and finally connecting Staten Island to the subway as it's currently the only borough without it?

Thank you! As @checkmatechamp13 has stated, a bus should run to Newark. It is insane that there is no bus connection from Staten Island to the closest airport, Newark.

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7 minutes ago, Union Tpke said:

Thank you! As @checkmatechamp13 has stated, a bus should run to Newark. It is insane that there is no bus connection from Staten Island to the closest airport, Newark.

Ridiculous! Why is there no bus to Elizabeth? Newark? Perth Amboy? These neighborhoods are right across the Arthur Kill and we have NO ACCESS TO THEM! And the closest airport to Staten Island is EWR and we can't even get there without a 2 and a half hour commute. It might actually take less time to get to JFK with the current subway than to the airport that's a couple miles away from Staten Island.

 

Anyway, I want to share an updated map for my idea for new transit connections for the west shore. srFMmlT.png

The red line is the existing Staten Island Railway, a heavy rail line. The blue line is a light rail line called the West Shore Light Rail which runs primarily along the West Shore Expressway and Richmond Ave and terminates at 8th right by the HBLR station. The green line is a new heavy rail line called the Arthur Kill Railway and covers the remaining parts of the west shore not covered by WSLR and runs along the west shore expressway before crossing the Goethals Bridge and terminating by Elizabeth NJ Transit commuter rail station.

With this new expanded Staten Island rail system, most of the popular destinations on Staten Island are covered along with access to New Jersey to allow easier commutes to Manhattan for Staten Island and New Jersey residents. Thoughts?

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I don't know about interstate aspect of it, but without a separate ROW, that light rail between Richmond Valley and Tottenville is a nonstarter. That would either require the light rail to be classified as a railroad or have some FRA waivers akin to what helped to kill North Shore LRT.

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15 minutes ago, Lex said:

I don't know about interstate aspect of it, but without a separate ROW, that light rail between Richmond Valley and Tottenville is a nonstarter. That would either require the light rail to be classified as a railroad or have some FRA waivers akin to what helped to kill North Shore LRT.

They can't just reserve a rail for it to run on separately from the SIR? I know passenger and freight rail can run together so I don't see why light and heavy rail can't do the same.

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17 minutes ago, Elloss said:

They can't just reserve a rail for it to run on separately from the SIR?

It's a two-track line.

51 minutes ago, Elloss said:

I know passenger and freight rail can run together so I don't see why light and heavy rail can't do the same.

It all comes down to regulations (among other things, crashworthiness standards and PTC) and jurisdiction (FRA can regulate railroads, but if a rail line not classified as one, it goes to the FTA, and this can get rather messy when there's an overlap). This is why passenger rail and freight rail can fairly often be seen together fairly often (also worth mentioning that the tracks are typically owned by one of the involved railroads), but not, say a Class I railroad and light rail (one of the only examples of "mixing" is the River Line, and that's a messy situation, given how everything had to be structured to appease the FRA).

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22 hours ago, N6 Limited said:

How long does HBLR take to get from 8th St to Exchange Place?

17-20 minutes depending on if it is express or local

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7 hours ago, checkmatechamp13 said:

17-20 minutes depending on if it is express or local

I guess that's not too bad

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