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How can the old NYC Elevated Lines be rebuilt & connected to the existing System?


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10 hours ago, Benny Kanner said:

I would like to see many elevated lines built, as it was a waste to get rid of such vital infrastructure. Any ideas or comments on whether this could work? 

Which elevated line(s) would you like to see a comeback of? 

Maybe certain areas are probably possible to rebuild the old ELs, but I highly doubt that it would ever happen in this day and age. There are a few reasons as to why they were demolished in the first place, not enough demand, bad infrastructure (especially with some of them falling apart), or meant to be replaced with a subway. Unfortunately, that last bit never happened with a couple of the old demolished ELs such as the Webster Ave replacement for the Bronx 3 Av EL as well as a complete SAS replacement for the 3 Av EL in Manhattan. A lot of people were combatting against ELs, especially in Manhattan since they were seeing subway replacements. Even though the SAS is coming along, it's still taking quite a long time for it to be built, especially with corners being cut even with going for the more expensive option.

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5 hours ago, Vulturious said:

Maybe certain areas are probably possible to rebuild the old ELs, but I highly doubt that it would ever happen in this day and age. There are a few reasons as to why they were demolished in the first place, not enough demand, bad infrastructure (especially with some of them falling apart), or meant to be replaced with a subway. Unfortunately, that last bit never happened with a couple of the old demolished ELs such as the Webster Ave replacement for the Bronx 3 Av EL as well as a complete SAS replacement for the 3 Av EL in Manhattan. A lot of people were combatting against ELs, especially in Manhattan since they were seeing subway replacements. Even though the SAS is coming along, it's still taking quite a long time for it to be built, especially with corners being cut even with going for the more expensive option.

The elevated lines were demolished because they were too loud, while nowadays there is technology to avoid such issues. The trains are quieter & there are ingenious costruction methods constantly evolving the ways things are built. I believe that all elevated lines including additional new ones should be built. Is that possible? 

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23 hours ago, Benny Kanner said:

The elevated lines were demolished because they were too loud, while nowadays there is technology to avoid such issues. The trains are quieter & there are ingenious costruction methods constantly evolving the ways things are built. I believe that all elevated lines including additional new ones should be built. Is that possible? 

The elevated lines were demolished because of structural issues and the promise of subway replacements. No one back then wanted elevated trains to be replaced by the same things. Even when they thought about rail lines along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, IRT or IND, the idea was to build subway, not elevated. The City of New York definitely didn’t want to build any more elevated lines and neither did the residents. Even when the LIRR replaced its existing Atlantic Avenue tracks east of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn that trackage was buried underground. The mantra was elevated demolition. Offhand the only new elevated structure I recall is the JFK tracks to the airport. Trackage built over a Federal road, and not blocking homeowner’s views. The City never advocated for it. I think that a rail line along the median of a highway is the only acceptable path for any elevated construction these days. My opinion. You’re free to disagree. Carry on.

Edited by Trainmaster5
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Even if they were less noisy, and I can believe that, most NYC roads are too narrow to host an el without doing at least some of the following

  • blocking most of the sunlight from the road
  • requiring ripping out street trees. This would get people really mad. People love trees (for good reasons!)

You'd basically be left with the highways and highway like roads.

The highways are mostly DOA because they were not initially designed to host rail lines courtesy of Robert Moses. The Van Wyck only really happened because the highway was simultaneously being widened for the better part of two decades, but anyone dumb enough to suggest highway widening in 2022 for, say, the LIE or BQE would be committing political suicide. Not even because of the recent green and bike pushes but because it would be physically impossible to do without displacing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and businesses.

There are highway like roads (Ocean Parkway, Conduit Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd, Pelham Pkwy, Queens Blvd etc. to name a few) but it would mostly be pointless;

  • Queens Blvd already has subway lines for nearly its entire length
  • Few people live near Conduit Blvd
  • Ocean Parkway has two parallel subway lines not very far away.
  • Woodhaven just rejected a rail line near it

Which, more or less, leaves pretty much just the western section of Pelham Pkwy as the road wide enough to have an el, that wouldn't piss off anybody, that has actual unmet transit demand. And I think the proposal to get the (6) to Co-op that has always floated around would have to be a el in the highway median.

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1 hour ago, bobtehpanda said:

Even if they were less noisy, and I can believe that, most NYC roads are too narrow to host an el without doing at least some of the following

  • blocking most of the sunlight from the road
  • requiring ripping out street trees. This would get people really mad. People love trees (for good reasons!)

You'd basically be left with the highways and highway like roads.

The highways are mostly DOA because they were not initially designed to host rail lines courtesy of Robert Moses. The Van Wyck only really happened because the highway was simultaneously being widened for the better part of two decades, but anyone dumb enough to suggest highway widening in 2022 for, say, the LIE or BQE would be committing political suicide. Not even because of the recent green and bike pushes but because it would be physically impossible to do without displacing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and businesses.

There are highway like roads (Ocean Parkway, Conduit Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd, Pelham Pkwy, Queens Blvd etc. to name a few) but it would mostly be pointless;

  • Queens Blvd already has subway lines for nearly its entire length
  • Few people live near Conduit Blvd
  • Ocean Parkway has two parallel subway lines not very far away.
  • Woodhaven just rejected a rail line near it

Which, more or less, leaves pretty much just the western section of Pelham Pkwy as the road wide enough to have an el, that wouldn't piss off anybody, that has actual unmet transit demand. And I think the proposal to get the (6)to Co-op that has always floated around would have to be a el in the highway median.

Given that the entire development was built on still-settling landfill, anything going there would really need to be elevated, anyway.

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13 hours ago, bobtehpanda said:

Even if they were less noisy, and I can believe that, most NYC roads are too narrow to host an el without doing at least some of the following

  • blocking most of the sunlight from the road
  • requiring ripping out street trees. This would get people really mad. People love trees (for good reasons!)

You'd basically be left with the highways and highway like roads.

The highways are mostly DOA because they were not initially designed to host rail lines courtesy of Robert Moses. The Van Wyck only really happened because the highway was simultaneously being widened for the better part of two decades, but anyone dumb enough to suggest highway widening in 2022 for, say, the LIE or BQE would be committing political suicide. Not even because of the recent green and bike pushes but because it would be physically impossible to do without displacing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and businesses.

There are highway like roads (Ocean Parkway, Conduit Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd, Pelham Pkwy, Queens Blvd etc. to name a few) but it would mostly be pointless;

  • Queens Blvd already has subway lines for nearly its entire length
  • Few people live near Conduit Blvd
  • Ocean Parkway has two parallel subway lines not very far away.
  • Woodhaven just rejected a rail line near it

Which, more or less, leaves pretty much just the western section of Pelham Pkwy as the road wide enough to have an el, that wouldn't piss off anybody, that has actual unmet transit demand. And I think the proposal to get the (6) to Co-op that has always floated around would have to be a el in the highway median.

I also love trees & growing seedlings. I wouldn't recommend ripping them out unless they're invasive such as the black locust tree. I enjoy working with nature & also want to remove many trees. I propose many to be replaced by natives along with additional tree spots proposed by me! I hope that certain areas in the city have expanded parklands/forestry. I would only recommend trimming some trees & letting them grow above the elevated tracks. I wouldn't like to go around bulldozing everything & am very conservative. There are many options for building infrastructure, so parkland, forestry, & transit options are my priorities. 

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On 11/13/2022 at 10:10 PM, Trainmaster5 said:

The elevated lines were demolished because of structural issues and the promise of subway replacements. No one back then wanted elevated trains to be replaced by the same things. Even when they thought about rail lines along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, IRT or IND, the idea was to build subway, not elevated. The City of New York definitely didn’t want to build any more elevated lines and neither did the residents. Even when the LIRR replaced its existing Atlantic Avenue tracks east of Pennsylvania Avenue in Brooklyn that trackage was buried underground. The mantra was elevated demolition. Offhand the only new elevated structure I recall is the JFK tracks to the airport. Trackage built over a federal road, and not blocking homeowner’s views. The city never advocated for it. I think that a rail line along the median of a highway is the only acceptable path for any elevated construction these days. My opinion. You’re free to disagree. Carry on.

I totally agree, as many additional subway lines I propose such as the IND Northern Boulevard Line should be underground. I also want some to be elevated, as they tend to be cheaper to build. I sure hope MTA & the NYC Parks Department accepts my proposals! 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/14/2022 at 2:08 PM, bobtehpanda said:

Even if they were less noisy, and I can believe that, most NYC roads are too narrow to host an el without doing at least some of the following

  • blocking most of the sunlight from the road
  • requiring ripping out street trees. This would get people really mad. People love trees (for good reasons!)

You'd basically be left with the highways and highway like roads.

The highways are mostly DOA because they were not initially designed to host rail lines courtesy of Robert Moses. The Van Wyck only really happened because the highway was simultaneously being widened for the better part of two decades, but anyone dumb enough to suggest highway widening in 2022 for, say, the LIE or BQE would be committing political suicide. Not even because of the recent green and bike pushes but because it would be physically impossible to do without displacing tens or hundreds of thousands of people and businesses.

There are highway like roads (Ocean Parkway, Conduit Blvd, Woodhaven Blvd, Pelham Pkwy, Queens Blvd etc. to name a few) but it would mostly be pointless;

  • Queens Blvd already has subway lines for nearly its entire length
  • Few people live near Conduit Blvd
  • Ocean Parkway has two parallel subway lines not very far away.
  • Woodhaven just rejected a rail line near it

Which, more or less, leaves pretty much just the western section of Pelham Pkwy as the road wide enough to have an el, that wouldn't piss off anybody, that has actual unmet transit demand. And I think the proposal to get the (6) to Co-op that has always floated around would have to be a el in the highway median.

For the most part, that is all true, but for example my idea of rebuilding the Myrtle Avenue EL (to Navy Street and then having it go underground to connect to the Montague Street line, possibly as a new (W) train to Astoria) would be to do it where much of the rebuild would be two levels of single track (mainly to account for wider trains that would be used in this incarnation as opposed to the IRT-sized cars used in the original version) and could be done with two levels of platforms on single tracks as well if need be (with a few areas where the tracks are on the same level to allow for crossovers).  That might be a way to at least reduce the width of the footprint, allowing trees and so forth to stay in place. 

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