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Thread: Transit Plan for Lower Manhattan

  1. #1

    Default Transit Plan for Lower Manhattan

    Pataki Presents Washington With $5 Billion Transit Plan


    Gov. George E. Pataki outlined a long-awaited plan yesterday to spend up to $5 billion to restore and upgrade transportation in Lower Manhattan, including new above-ground hubs at the World Trade Center site and at the Fulton Street subway stations, as well as a rebuilt subway terminal at South Ferry.

    Several of the projects — which together would be one of the largest public transit efforts in city history — would require significant excavation that could disrupt commuters and downtown traffic patterns through the end of the decade.

    Mr. Pataki outlined the projects in a letter to federal officials overseeing the $21 billion in aid promised to New York to recover from the 9/11 terrorist attack. It calls for construction to begin next year and continue through at least 2007 in the case of the subway projects, and 2009 for the trade center project.

    "It's going to be a huge construction site," said Iris Weinshall, the city transportation commissioner, adding, "We're going to have to play traffic cop down there for all those competing interests."

    The projects have been the subject of weeks of contentious negotiations among officials, including Governor Pataki, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Perhaps reflecting those disagreements, the letter calls for up to $5.15 billion in projects, although only $4.55 billion in federal money is available so far.

    "Of course," said Mollie Fullington, a spokeswoman for the governor, "we also would benefit from more federal funding." She said the governor's office would continue to work with President Bush, Congress and Joe M. Allbaugh, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, to find more financing.

    Since last fall, federal officials have been seeking details about how officials plan to use the money. Mr. Pataki's letter presents the first definitive estimates of the cost and the construction schedule.

    The plan essentially calls for the improvement of existing transit lines downtown but does not propose any new commuter connections, disappointing some business leaders who have said that greater access to downtown is crucial to the revival of Lower Manhattan. Although Mr. Pataki lists a "fast, convenient" link to the region's airports as a priority, it sets aside no specific money either to study or to build that connection.

    Still, some officials praised the governor's plans. Senator Charles E. Schumer, who has criticized some of the transportation proposals floated in recent weeks, said yesterday that Mr. Pataki "is focusing on the big proposals that are most needed to make downtown a transportation center."

    The largest of the projects includes up to $2 billion for the transportation hub at the trade center site. It would include an expanded terminal for the PATH commuter line, new connections to the subway lines that stop nearby, and a new transit hall that officials have called a "downtown Grand Central."

    Little more than a block to the east, the $750 million Fulton Street Transit Center would reconfigure the stations that serve the nine different subway lines stopping there. It would also provide another above-ground building with a central entrance to all the lines.

    Joining the two stations would be an underground concourse stretching nearly half a mile from the Fulton Street center to the World Financial Center. Its cost is included in those of the two transportation hubs.

    Another $400 million would go toward a new three-track, two-platform terminal at South Ferry, for the 1 and 9 subway lines, with underground connections to the Whitehall subway station and the new Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

    An additional $1.7 billion to $2 billion would be spread among several projects, including $500 million for bus facilities and street restoration at the trade center site.

    Dollar amounts were not specified for the other projects, among them the restoration of West Street, which Mr. Pataki's letter said was likely to include "the tunneling of some portion" of the street, most likely the stretch alongside the trade center site, from Vesey Street to Liberty Street.

    Several proposals outlined last year by Mayor Bloomberg were also included in the letter but without time or cost estimates. Those include new ferry terminals around Lower Manhattan and in New Jersey and elsewhere, and decking over the entrance to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, which would "allow for the creation of a new park and residential community."

    While the letter says "a number of airport access service alternatives are currently under study," it gives no further details. It does not mention the $250 million that state and city officials previously said they planned to set aside to study those alternatives. Nor does it say anything about Mr. Bloomberg's $3.7 billion proposal to create a one-seat ride to Kennedy Airport from Lower Manhattan via a new tunnel under the East River to the Long Island Railroad.

    Ms. Fullington, the governor's spokeswoman, said that a working group of transportation officials was "reassessing the viability of that number." And both she and Jennifer Falk, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bloomberg, said the airport link "absolutely" remained a priority.

    For all the wrangling between state and city officials over the final scope of the transit plans, the governor's vision for uniting the subway and PATH lines looks remarkably like the plan originally conceived by the Port Authority shortly after the attack. That plan envisioned knitting together the area's disconnected transit lines by building an east-west underground passageway 50 feet wide and 2,500 feet long, with moving walkways and perhaps shops and stores.

    City officials and downtown community groups have looked warily on those concourse plans, fearing that the Port Authority wanted an underground mall similar to the previous trade center concourse; they prefer retail stores to be at ground level and open to the street. One city official said the part of the concourse from the trade center site to the World Financial Center would benefit too few people to justify the cost.

    The governor's letter makes clear that the projects would spread new construction zones throughout downtown for years to come. Some of the heaviest construction would be at the Fulton Street subway complex, where more than 275,000 riders pass through every weekday.

    Transit officials said yesterday that they do not foresee rerouting trains or bypassing the stations during construction, in part because there are few ways to alter service through the complex, but construction would sometimes close stairways and passages, making transfers much more difficult.

    Commissioner Weinshall also noted that a $140 million project to repair sewers, water mains and other parts of streets was under way in Lower Manhattan. That is expected to keep dozens of streets torn up for the next few years, she said.

    "It's going to be a challenge to keep everything moving down here," Ms. Weinshall said, "but the city still is open for business."

  2. #2

    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    Lower Manhattan Transit Plan Outlined
    Report: N.Y.'s Gov. Pataki Outlines $5 Billion Transit Plan for Lower Manhattan

    The Associated Press

    NEW YORK Feb. 8 —
    Gov. George Pataki sent a letter to federal officials outlining a $5 billion plan to upgrade public transportation in lower Manhattan, according to a published report.

    The proposal calls for above-ground hubs at the World Trade Center Site and at the Fulton Street subway stations and a rebuilt terminal at South Ferry, on the tip of Manhattan, The New York Times reported in Saturday editions.

    Pataki's $5.15 billion plan also says that construction should begin next year and continue through 2009.

    So far, only $4.55 billion in federal money has been made available for transportation developments in Lower Manhattan. The proposal did not say how Pataki planned to finance the shortfall.

    In the letter, Pataki said that $2 billion would be allocated for the transportation hub at the trade center site, $750 million would be spent on a Fulton Street Transit Center and $400 million would go for a new terminal at South Ferry. Another $1.7 billion to $2 billion would be allocated for various other assorted transportation projects.

    The letter does not offer specific plans for airport access services, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg has advocated. It does not propose establishing new commuter connections that some business leaders have said were essential to reviving lower Manhattan.

    Nevertheless, some officials applauded the governor's plan. Sen. Charles Schumer told the Times that Pataki "is focusing on the big proposals that are most needed to make downtown a transportation center."

  3. #3

    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    "Several of the projects — which together would be one of the largest public transit efforts in city history ..."

    Obviously the reporter has no sense of the heroic scale of past transit projects in NYC.

  4. #4

    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    Maybe the reporter wasn't born yet when these big projects were still going on. We are finally seeing big projects for the first time in many years after 3 full decades of NIMBYism.

  5. #5

    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    I think that this plan needs to be put in affect so that the fare can be worth $2. Right now it' not worth payin $1.50 with the cheap rush hour service. I also think that there should be a line running through First ave. because East Harlem really needs a reliable source of transportation.

    Think in the future. Let it be your present.

  6. #6
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    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    They won't put a line on First Ave., East Harlem will some day be served by a Second Ave. subway. That is the one with some of the work done already so that's the future line if any.

  7. #7

    Default $5 Billion Transit Plan

    From the Gotham Gazette

    Transportation And Lower Manhattan: Where Do We Go From Here?

    by Jeffrey M. Zupan
    May 05, 2003

    Rush hour in New York, 2015: At the World Trade Center Transportation Hub, a commuter gets off the PATH train from Jersey City and walks two blocks to his office in the 1776-foot-tall tower on Fulton Street. At the nearby Fulton Street Transit Center -- airy, brightly lit, and easy to navigate -- a downtown resident takes the #2 subway train uptown to her job in Times Square. At the same time, a family from Japan gets off their flight at John F. Kennedy Airport and boards a train that goes directly to the 9/11 memorial on the former site of the old World Trade Center. And a Wall Street executive from Greenwich arrives on time to work via the Second Avenue subway, using an easy connection at Grand Central Terminal.

    Those who currently live and work in lower Manhattan could easily see this scenario as science fiction.

    Today, downtown subway stations are archaic and uninviting. The streets seem to be a perpetual construction zone. Added security and barriers, such as at the New York Stock Exchange on Broad Street, create a war zone atmosphere. West Street remains a barrier to the World Financial Center and Battery Park City. Connections among subway lines are confusing or non-existent.

    The tragedy in lower Manhattan highlighted the inherent weaknesses in the transportation system serving it, particularly in contrast to Midtown. With no direct commuter rail access from New Jersey, Long Island or Westchester (Midtown has direct access from all three), lower Manhattan has been at a competitive disadvantage to attract businesses for several decades.

    Rebuilding lower Manhattan after September 11 has meant not only restoring the transportation that was damaged during the attacks, but improving many parts of the transportation system downtown.

    In October 2002, Governor George Pataki submitted a request for funding for lower Manhattan transportation projects to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Transit Administration. Early this year, they agreed to together provide $4.55 billion. The approved projects include a transit hub at the World Trade Center site, with underground connections to a new subway complex called the Fulton Street Transit Center. Pataki’s list also includes the rebuilding of the dysfunctional South Ferry 1/9 subway station and improvements to lower Manhattan streets and public places. In addition, the governor has called for tunneling part of West Street and a further study of how best to connect lower Manhattan to the airports.

    World Trade Center Transportation Hub

    The World Trade Center Transportation Hub involves the construction of a temporary and then a permanent PATH station, with pedestrian connections to the E train station, the existing N/R station, and entirely reconstructed 1/9 station. An underground walkway under Dey Street will link the hub to the Fulton Transit Center, which will incorporate four subway stations and nine subway lines. It will have another walkway under West Street that connects to Battery Park City. The cost of the project is estimated at between $1.7 and $2 billion, and it will be completed in phases by early 2009.

    One controversial element about the hub, which has still not been resolved, is how much retail space will be built underground in the hub’s passageways. While retail developers are anxious to build as many stores underground as possible to attract business from commuters walking through the station each day, building too many stores underground would create a mall that could sap the life from the surrounding streets. To build a vibrant neighborhood in lower Manhattan, as much retail space as possible should be built at street level.

    Another issue is the possibility of including a terminal under the World Trade Center site to house tourist buses. The city and local residents say the bus terminal would keep foul-smelling buses from lining up on crowded local streets, but many family members of those lost on 9/11 are offended by the thought of buses stored where their loved ones died. While some bus parking, especially for school buses, may be necessary, it can be kept to a minimum by encouraging tourists who visit the 9/11 memorial to use ferries and subways.

    Fulton Street Transit Center

    The Fulton Street Transit Center to the east is being planned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The station complex, which includes four stations and nine subway lines, the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, J, M, and Z, is a maze that challenges the savviest New Yorker. The MTA plans to open up the Lexington Avenue station entrance by razing some or possibly all of the properties on the east side of Broadway from Fulton to John Streets. The authority also plans to simplify the pathways and make it easier for people to see where to go when transferring from one line to the other. See the MTA website for more details. Many preservationists are very worried that historic buildings, most notably the Corbin Building on John Street, will be torn down or damaged to make way for the new station. This 1889 building, with its terra cotta façade, is one of the area’s first skyscrapers. The MTA should preserve the façade of the building and incorporate it into the design of the new station. The cost for the transit center is $750 million, and it is scheduled to be completed by 2007.

    New South Ferry Subway Station

    The new South Ferry subway station will overcome the many deficiencies of the existing station, such as platforms the length of just half a subway train, delays caused by slow trains forced to negotiate an almost impossibly tight curve, and a single overcrowded exit. The station, which serves as a gateway for tourists destined for Liberty and Ellis islands, is an embarrassment as it is now. The original design for the replacement would have torn up part of Battery Park, cutting down dozens of trees on the east side of the park. After the Battery Conservancy and other groups complained, the MTA decided to rethink the design. A new plan has been devised by the MTA, and it is a big improvement. The station would now be located mostly outside and east of the park. Building it will do little damage to the park, and the new plan brings the station closer to others in lower Manhattan to make transferring easier. It will also be closer to the Staten Island ferry terminal than the first plan. The earlier design was to cost $400 million and be completed by 2007, but costs and timing of the new design are not yet available.

    West Street

    West Street presents a barrier for pedestrians who want to go to and from the World Financial Center and parts of Battery Park City. Prior to 9/11, two pedestrian overpasses helped walkers cross the 200-foot-plus-wide highway. The more heavily used overpass, which went directly into the Winter Garden, was destroyed and will likely be replaced.

    Initially, there was much interest in burying West Street in a tunnel from the World Trade Center site all the way to the Battery, but cost estimates were so high that the New York State Department of Transportation is investigating less ambitious plans – either a short tunnel from Vesey to Liberty Streets, which the governor has recently called for, or a deck over West Street into the World Financial Center across the way. This deck or platform would bridge over the existing highway. Depressing the highway in a tunnel would almost certainly be more expensive, but it would improve access to the World Financial Center and the ferry services beyond on the Hudson River and would better protect the memorial site from the noise of traffic. Some downtown residents have opposed a tunnel, saying it isn’t necessary and will require a disruptive construction zone. The New York State Department of Transportation is currently making presentations about the tunneling and decking options, after which the public will be in a better position to judge which plan will work best. Costs have not been determined for either project.

    Airport Connections

    In the governor’s letter to the federal government, he indicated that local agencies would be working to provide direct access from lower Manhattan to Newark and Kennedy airports. Much of the PATH line to Newark is already in place, and the project’s viability will depend on its cost and whether it can operate without affecting existing PATH services. The Port Authority is examining this.

    For Kennedy airport, the options are more varied. New subway connections with Brooklyn could bring trains into lower Manhattan from Jamaica to serve Long Island commuters and also provide for an easy transfer to the Kennedy Airport Airtrain, to open next year. But many worry that the new trains would interfere with existing subway service and do little to cut the travel time for Long Islanders going directly to lower Manhattan. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has proposed creating a new tunnel under the East River, which would provide a one-seat ride to Kennedy Airport and could also provide a connection to the Long Island Rail Road.

    The Regional Plan Association, where I am a senior fellow for transportation, strongly supports a new East River tunnel. However, the association’s plan is for the airport connection to be linked to the planned Second Avenue subway, which is designed to allow an extension into Brooklyn. Governor Pataki has asked the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, along with the MTA and the Port Authority, to sort through the alternatives and make a recommendation by next spring. Where the funding for any airport project will come from is not yet clear.

    Second Avenue Subway

    Incredibly, overlooked in all of the discussions about lower Manhattan transportation is the project that the MTA has already committed to, the Second Avenue subway. It would add two new subway services to lower Manhattan and unclog a third, the notorious Lexington Avenue express. The MTA supports placing the new subway line in lower Manhattan underneath Water Street on the east side. If this line is extended, it could connect with Brooklyn and the Long Island Rail Road as described above. *(The portion of the line in Manhattan is the subject of MTA hearings scheduled for May 12 and 13.)

    Fixing Downtown Streets

    Lower Manhattan’s streets are barricaded for security reasons and overcrowded with pedestrians competing for limited space with many types of vehicles, all with a claim to the same space. Security needs to be provided without creating an “armed camp” atmosphere. A solution for overcrowding should allocate space according to the need to move people and goods, and recognize the important role of streets and sidewalks as part of the public realm. This can be done by creating a plan for lower Manhattan’s “public realm,” including closing some streets to traffic, and building park-like boulevards and small parks. The governor’s recent allocation of funds for streets and parks is a step in the right direction. The transportation system must be made whole again. Otherwise, the willingness of commuters and others traveling to lower Manhattan on business or to shop, will slowly, but assuredly erode. So will the resolve of the area’s residents. People will be unwilling to stand the inconvenience and lost time, when other options, whether in Midtown, the rest of New York City and suburbs or worse, other areas outside the region, are available. To overcome this potentially mortal blow to the financial district, the transportation system must entice back those who have left, overcoming the system’s weaknesses that existed before 9-11.

  8. #8


    From the Downtown Express

    M.T.A. hears pros, cons of South Ferry project

    By Albert Amateau

    The proposal to spend $400 million to rebuild the 90-year-old South Ferry subway station at the south end of the 1/9 West Side local line received a skeptical reception last week from most Manhattan-based speakers at a Metropolitan Transportation Authority forum.

    But the few Staten Islanders who attended the Sept. 24 meeting at the U.S. Custom House at Bowling Green said a larger and safer South Ferry station was clearly necessary.

    State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver said in a written statement that he does not support a new South Ferry station because the M.T.A. wants to pay for it out of the $4.55 billion in federal funds set aside for Lower Manhattan transportation disrupted by the World Trade Center attack

    “Clearly the $4.55 billion will not be sufficient to complete the vitally needed high priority projects such as the World Trade Center transportation hub, Fulton St. Transit Center, a bus storage facility and the reconstruction of West St.,” Silver said. “The South Ferry Terminal project is not high priority,” he added, suggesting that the M.T.A. use its own capital funds for the new station.

    William Wheeler, of the Transit Authority, who made a presentation of the latest plan, said the project was intended to increase passenger safety and comfort and would eliminate delays at the existing station that can affect the 2 and 3 trains. He was not specific about how much time would be saved by the new station. The M.T.A. estimates a three-year construction period and hopes to begin at the end of 2004 and finish the project at the end of 2007.

    Henry Stern, former Parks commissioner and now president of New York Civic, a private civic organization, acknowledged that the newest version of the plan, which estimates 40 trees in Battery Park would have to be destroyed and replaced, is an improvement over the previous version that would have destroyed 207 trees.

    “But the basic idea is unreasonable,” Stern said. “If you want to build it, wait until other subway improvements are built and when engineers have nothing to do. Stop spending money on it now. It has absolutely nothing to do with Sept. 11,” he said, adding, “It’s an idle conceit.”

    However, Tamara Coombs, president of the Staten Island Ferry Riders Committee, said a new South Ferry subway station was a high priority for Staten Island residents.

    “If you think it’s an ‘idle conceit,’ just stand on it at 9 o’clock in the morning. It’s hot, crowded and dangerous.” Coombs said. “I suggest you hold your next meeting near the ferry terminal in Staten Island; we have plenty of places in St. George,” she told Douglas Sussman, who conducted the meeting for the M.T.A.

    A week ago, a Downtown Express reporter stood on the platform before 9 a.m. on a weekday. The trains moved in and out quickly, the platform was not crowded and several Staten Island commuters said they were not enthusiastic about a station improvement.

    However, just before the evening rush hour Wednesday, passengers were franticly rushing through the narrow platform up the single stairs to the surface. “A few minutes means a lot if you have to wait an hour for the ferry,” Coombs said.

    The new South Ferry station proposal has found favor with Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields. Rick Muller, a Fields aide who viewed models of the project on display an hour before the Wednesday hearing, said Fields likes the latest version of the station. “The basic issue is safety,” Muller said.

    Gene Russianoff, a Brooklyn resident and president of Straphangers Campaign, a citywide advocacy group, also said the project was necessary. “As it is, it’s an unsafe station,” Russianoff said. Muller and Russianoff had to leave before the public comment session Wednesday but they indicated they would submit written testimony.

    In the 1970s, a child was killed and another was maimed when they fell between the cars while walking from the rear to the front of the train in order to exit at the short South Ferry station. Trains are now required to stop just before entering the South Ferry station to allow passengers to move safely.

    The new M.T.A. plan calls for a two-track station that would be wheelchair accessible and accommodate all ten cars of 1/9 trains. The new configuration would eliminate the sharp loop of the current single track station which allows loading and unloading only from the first five cars and has moveable platform extenders to enable passengers to get on and off.

    The new station would be a level below the old one which would remain for storing idle cars. The latest version of the plan calls for three entrance/exit stairways, one in the plaza immediately in front of the ferry terminal, one on State St. near the park and the third at Peter Minuet Plaza. An earlier plan had an entrance inside the ferry terminal but it was changed.

    The new station would also connect with the N/R station at Whitehall St. and allow a free transfer.

    Nevertheless, Jennifer Hensley, government and community affairs director of the Downtown Alliance, said it was not appropriate to spend scarce post-9/11 transportation funds on the South Ferry project. The World Trade Center Hub, the Fulton St. Transit Center and regional airport and commuter access should take precedence, she said.

    Pat Kirshner, of the Battery Conservancy, a not-for-profit group involved in Battery Park, noted that the conservancy directors on Sept. 15 reaffirmed their opposition to the South Ferry station. The M.T.A. has not yet decided whether to use the cut and fill method, which would destroy 40 trees and disrupt use of the park during construction, or to use tunnel construction which is more expensive but would not interfere with the park.

    “Until the scope of the construction plans are finalized and the extent of the destruction to the park is known, we will not consider revising our position,” Kirshner said.

    Catherine Hughes, of Community Board 1, submitted the board’s resolution, which put a low priority on the South Ferry station project. Community Board 1 puts a higher priority on providing a one-seat ride to JFK airport, Hughes said.

    George Haikalis, a public transit advocate, also low-rated the project. He questioned the M.T.A. assertion that a two-track station would have more capacity than the present loop. An Environmental Impact Statement should carefully assess the project’s relation to Downtown transportation needs, Haikalis said.

    “The M.T.A. needs to create a vision for Lower Manhattan, and it has to be a regional vision that connects Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey communities with Lower Manhattan by rail,” Haikalis said.

    Map of proposed South Ferry redesign

  9. #9


    December 4, 2003

    $2.85 Billion for 3 Transit Sites, With Strings


    Substituting discreet electronic transfers for the poster-size checks that politicians like to hand out whenever cameras are near, the federal Transportation Department sent New York State $1.15 billion yesterday for two Lower Manhattan projects.

    A third grant of $1.7 billion is to follow soon.

    Norman Y. Mineta, the transportation secretary, looked empty-handed when he arrived at the World Trade Center PATH Station to announce $2.85 billion in grants. Asked where the money was, he smiled and said, "It's in the mail." To which Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg added, "The federal government doesn't drive up a truck into the back and out pours bills."

    No, but it turned out that the Federal Transit Administration electronically transferred $750 million for the new Fulton Street Transit Center a few hours before the announcement. Later, it wired $400 million for renovating the South Ferry subway station. Today or tomorrow, $1.7 billion will arrive to help pay for the permanent PATH terminal being designed by Santiago Calatrava.

    In what the federal transit administrator, Jennifer L. Dorn, called a "unique appropriation," the government made the grants immediately for projects that are years from completion.

    This does not amount to a windfall; the accounts can be drawn down only on a schedule agreed to by the federal government. But state officials believe that having the grants up front will save time by eliminating the need to keep going back to the government for reimbursement at each phase of the development.

    Mr. Mineta called the grants a "down payment" on a commitment of $4.55 billion for transportation projects in the city.

    The Fulton Street center, on Broadway, will untangle several subway lines. The South Ferry project will replace a loop track with stub-end platforms. Both are to be finished in 2007. The permanent PATH terminal is to be completed between 2007 and 2009.

    In piercing cold, Gov. George E. Pataki and Mr. Bloomberg took Mr. Mineta on a tour of the temporary open-air PATH station, including an emergency exit platform that offers a 360-degree panorama of the surrounding foundations.

    "The towers aren't here," the governor could be overheard telling Mr. Mineta as they made their way through the station, "but this is still the site of the World Trade Center."

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  10. #10
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    "The M.T.A. needs to create a vision for Lower Manhattan, and it has to be a regional vision that connects Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey communities with Lower Manhattan by rail,” Haikalis said. "

    It would also be nice it Brooklyn was connected to Queens, and that the both of them were connected to NJ without having to slog through Manhattan!

    (And no, I do not mean through Staten Island or the TZB either).

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    Plans Approved For Renovation Of South Ferry Subway Station

    JUNE 18TH, 2004

    New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has signed off on a plan that will give the South Ferry subway terminal in Lower Manhattan a $400 million makeover.

    The Metropolitan Transportation Authority had been seeking the funds for improvements to the station since the attacks of 9/11 closed the terminal, as well as two other subway stations, for a year following the attacks.

    Silver agreed to the renovation plan after the MTA agreed to spend $15 million for the revitalization of Battery Park. That project will add bike paths and a new playground.

    The South Ferry station is a hub for commuters who travel to Lower Manhattan using the Staten Island ferry. Under the new plan, the station will get new tracks and additional exits. The MTA says the improvements will shave five minutes off the commute for straphangers.

    "The MTA funds really will make a big difference to the South Ferry station below the surface, and also above the ground," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

    The project is being paid for in part by federal 9/11 rebuilding funds.

    It's scheduled to be completed by 2007.

  12. #12
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    By David Seifman
    June 19, 2004

    A $15 million fund to improve Battery Park led Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver yesterday to withdraw his objections to the $400 million renovation of the South Ferry subway station.

    The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2007, will expand the station's single limited platform to four full platforms and cut five minutes off the commute from Midtown.

    "That's a lot," MTA executive director Katie Lapp said at a press conference with Silver and Mayor Bloomberg.

    Two Assembly Democrats from Staten Island, John Lavelle and Michael Cusick, helped convince him that "a compromise had to be achieved," said Silver.

    The $15 million put up by the MTA will go toward a new bicycle path, the replacement of 60 trees, a reconstructed playground and an expanded green area.

    Copyright 2004 NYP Holdings, Inc.

  13. #13
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    The project, which is scheduled for completion in 2007, will expand the station's single limited platform to four full platforms and cut five minutes off the commute from Midtown.
    Oh cool I was afraid this one wasn't going thru. But Sheldon Silver (whom is an anti-developer) finally realize how important this for lower manhattan.

  14. #14


    June 19, 2004

    Battery Park Given Slice of Pie in South Ferry Subway Project


    A $400 million renovation of the South Ferry subway station will move forward, city and state officials said yesterday, after an agreement was reached to use a part of the federal money for the project for improvements to Battery Park.

    The state Assembly speaker, Sheldon Silver, had been blocking the project. But yesterday, at a news conference in Battery Park along with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other elected officials, Mr. Silver said that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority had agreed to set aside $15 million for capital improvements to the park, including construction of a playground, a bicycle path and a common green area in front of Castle Clinton.

    "Throughout my tenure in the Assembly, and particularly since Sept. 11," said Mr. Silver, a Democrat who represents the Lower East Side, "I have worked tirelessly to ensure that the needs and concerns of Lower Manhattan's diverse communities were heard and attended to at every level of government."

    The South Ferry project, which is to be completed in 2007, will redesign the station to accommodate a 10-car subway train; now the station has only a five-car platform, a situation that critics say inconveniences riders and leads to longer travel times. The project will also connect the No. 1 and No. 9 lines to the subway station at Whitehall Street.

    Katherine N. Lapp, executive director of the M.T.A., said the project would improve the city's transit network. "Whether you're coming from Staten Island or from Midtown down to Lower Manhattan," she said, "we're going to have a much quicker commute, a safer commute."

    While federal, state and city officials all agreed on the need to overhaul the antiquated station, Mr. Silver had expressed concern that the project would cause major disruption in Battery Park and surrounding neighborhoods. In response to the delay, Representative Vito J. Fossella, a Republican from Staten Island, vowed to block federal financing for the Second Avenue subway line, a pet project of Mr. Silver's, until the South Ferry plan moved forward.

    Yesterday, Mr. Silver praised the cooperation among elected officials and the M.T.A. in securing the $15 million for Battery Park. "In these negotiations with the M.T.A., the concerns of my constituents were paramount," he said. "There are a great many transportation projects that must be completed for this city to be restored to full strength."

    Mayor Bloomberg also expressed support for the South Ferry renovation, saying, "It will take a long time, but at least it's going to give us a train station that we need for today's sized trains."

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime
    Oh cool I was afraid this one wasn't going thru. But Sheldon Silver (whom is an anti-developer) finally realize how important this for lower manhattan.
    Yes, he finally realized it alright. Politics politics:

    While federal, state and city officials all agreed on the need to overhaul the antiquated station, Mr. Silver had expressed concern that the project would cause major disruption in Battery Park and surrounding neighborhoods. In response to the delay, Representative Vito J. Fossella, a Republican from Staten Island, vowed to block federal financing for the Second Avenue subway line, a pet project of Mr. Silver's, until the South Ferry plan moved forward.

    Yesterday, Mr. Silver praised the cooperation among elected officials and the M.T.A. in securing the $15 million for Battery Park. "In these negotiations with the M.T.A., the concerns of my constituents were paramount," he said. "There are a great many transportation projects that must be completed for this city to be restored to full strength."
    That's good for the 2nd Avenue subway.

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