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Thread: Second Avenue Subway Project

  1. #16
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    Adding to that, those additional stops should be for a local trains while the original proposed stops are for express. Also, I really think it would be money well spent to start the line on the west side of 125th. And have the train travel cross town along 125 first, then go down 2nd ave. Currently everyone north of the park must travel over 60 blocks south on the subway before they can head east or west, kinda silly. And if they are serious about the success of Harlem's resurgence, this would seem like a no-brainer.

  2. #17
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    The big stretch between the 86th Street and 72nd Street stations has to do with community activism. My family live on 78th Street and would have easily been served by the proposed 79th Street station, but the intersection is too heavily-developed. There are large apartment buildings at both northern corners and a major synagogue, Temple Sharaay-Tefila, on the southwest corner. A stop at 79th Street would have been extremely convenient, but now that the closest stop is six blocks away we'd be better off taking the Lex. At the very least it'll be a lot less crowded, though...80th or 81st Street would have been a better bet.

    P.S.: I learned from an old NYT article that the Second Avenue Subway will become the 'T' train.

  3. #18

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    NIMBYs again. Don't they ever get tired of making places worse? Don't they ride the subway? They can thank themselves for the chance to exercise each time they make their longish trek to the subway. Or do they mostly ride around in taxis?

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    A second shortcoming of the proposed Second Avenue subway design is that it leaves the East Village with most of its presently-desperate subway service situation largely unaddressed. No new subway entrances are proposed over the two that presently exist. Having the additional option of riding the Second Avenue Line uptown will certainly be preferable to today's opportunities, but the walk to the subway will be exactly the same.

    South of 14th Street, the Second Avenue Line should loop broadly into the East Village with maybe two stops. Can you imagine being able to hop a subway at Tompkins Square?

    If all this money is going to be spent, it might as well be done right.
    I agree, I live in the East Village and it would be a waste to not bring the line east below 14th. To get to a subway now, you either walk southwest to F/V, west to 6/N/R/Q/W or north to L.

  5. #20
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    You're right, they should have a stop somewhere between 14th and Houston.

    http://www.mta.info/capconstr/sas/

    Map

  6. #21

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    October 21, 2003

    TUNNEL VISION

    Tunnel to Nowhere, Except Maybe the Future

    By RANDY KENNEDY


    The Second Avenue subway tunnel, looking north. The money to continue to expand it ran dry in 1975.

    Frank Jezycki has seen the future of the subway.

    In fact, he saw it again yesterday morning, and it was just as dark as he remembered it.

    "Here's a flashlight," he said to a visitor, "in case you get lost."

    And with no further formalities, he clamped a hard hat on his head, tucked a map under his arm and led the way down into one of the most expensive monuments to thwarted ambition in all of New York City.

    To the thousands of people who walk over it every day, the little rusty metal hatch in the sidewalk next to the bodega in East Harlem looks like just another door to another old basement. But this hatch, about as big as the top of a coffee table, is actually one of the only remaining entrances to a forgotten world.

    "People who've lived up on the street around here for 20 years, they have no idea this is down here," Mr. Jezycki said.

    What is down there, 45 feet below the asphalt, is the Second Avenue subway, or almost 10 blocks of what was to be the Second Avenue subway before the money ran dry in 1975, the digging stopped and the vast, echoing tunnel to nowhere was sealed up like the Cask of Amontillado.

    It is the job of Mr. Jezycki and his men to remember that this hole is still there, to keep it company from time to time and to make sure that it is more or less ready to join the rest of the line when it is finally built, which could be any year now, according to state and federal officials. (Of course, that is basically what state and federal officials said in 1993, 1968, 1944, 1931 and 1920, the year a subway under Second Avenue was first proposed.)

    But this time, they promise, it really is going to happen. In fact, jackhammers could be in the ground by the end of next year to start building a line from 125th Street to the southern tip of Manhattan, 8.5 miles of brand new subway at a cost of $16 billion, the first major expansion of the system since the 1940's.

    One way or another, that new subway will have to rumble through the dim, musty cavern in which Mr. Jezycki stood yesterday, after descending a treacherous metal staircase that was rapidly losing a battle with rust.

    At the bottom is what appears to be a seemingly endless unfinished movie set for a subway. The track bed is there, but with no tracks, ties or ballast.

    The steel columns are there, set five feet apart, as they have been since the building of the first subway lines. Yellowish incandescent lights are strung from wires, giving the tunnel the strange feel of a nighttime deck party after all the guests have left.

    But there is also something else down there, found nowhere in the real subway: absolute silence. The tunnel is lower than many Manhattan lines, and even its sidewalk grates have been plugged with concrete, so in many portions it is impossible even to hear the sounds of trucks roaring overhead. Instead, somewhere in the far distance the metronomic sound of water dripping into a pool can be heard.

    Mr. Jezycki, a hydraulics supervisor, remembers going down into the tunnel in the 1980's, before a huge fan was installed to pump out the humid air. "You'd look into the distance, down the tunnel, and all you could see was fog," he said.

    In the early 1980's, lacking money, the city — at Mayor Edward I. Koch's urging — considered renting out the tunnel and another completed stretch between 99th and 105th Streets. Among the ideas for putting the $65 million tunnels to use was a disco, a wine cellar, even a mushroom farm.

    The tunnel might not be humid enough to grow porcini these days, but along some stretches, in the long concrete corridors that lead to dead ends, there are stalactites and even baby stalagmites that look like scoops of vanilla ice cream rising from the tunnel floor.

    As a visitor heads south toward 110th Street, trying to feel out the way ahead in the darkness, he finally comes up against hard evidence of the fiscal crisis: a featureless concrete wall, past which there is only dirt and solid rock.

    As if to underscore the dwindling promise of the tunnel at that end, the floor rises, making the ceiling appear much lower. This is so that ground water will drain to the middle of the tunnel, but it creates the disconcerting illusion that the tunnel is shrinking around you.

    "It's like Alice in Wonderland or something," said Donald Dowler, a hydraulics maintainer, who had joined Mr. Jezycki in the tunnel yesterday. "Either this thing is getting smaller, or we're getting bigger."

    On the way back to daylight, past a crumpled newspaper from the spring of 1999 and an empty bottle of Smirnoff vodka — practically the only signs of any past human presence — Mr. Jezycki pronounced the tunnel to be in pretty good shape, considering its age. Now all it needs to make it feel like home are trains, riders and of, course, rats.

    "Trains bring the people, people bring the food, the food brings the rats," he said. "That's how it works."


    Frank Jezycki, a hydraulics supervisor who watches over the condition of the Second Avenue subway tunnel, entering it in East Harlem.

    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc
    South of 14th Street, the Second Avenue Line should loop broadly into the East Village with maybe two stops. Can you imagine being able to hop a subway at Tompkins Square?

    If all this money is going to be spent, it might as well be done right.
    You're right on both accounts. They should make an effort to space the upper east side stop closer to 10 blocks apart as that area is densely populated (besides, isn't the point of this multi-million expansion to give these people's feet a break?)

    And again, I'm not sure why, if they're going to build this subway, they don't use it as an opportunity to give the East Village and Lower East side a break? It should turn East at 14th and follow the contour of the shore to service the alphabet avenues?

  8. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zoe
    Adding to that, those additional stops should be for a local trains while the original proposed stops are for express. Also, I really think it would be money well spent to start the line on the west side of 125th. And have the train travel cross town along 125 first, then go down 2nd ave. Currently everyone north of the park must travel over 60 blocks south on the subway before they can head east or west, kinda silly. And if they are serious about the success of Harlem's resurgence, this would seem like a no-brainer.
    Amen to that. I have to go into the Bronx whenever I want to get to the East Side. (Or take the bus, but that's no fun.)

  9. #24

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    A trolley might be more indicated (and probable).

  10. #25

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    If they built the line on 1st Ave to begin with, you wouldn't have to worry about following Manhattan's coast. Would have made those in Alphabet City and Yorkvile happier too.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDodger
    If they built the line on 1st Ave to begin with, you wouldn't have to worry about following Manhattan's coast. Would have made those in Alphabet City and Yorkvile happier too.
    well as there are already tunnels built beneath 2nd avenue in the upper east side it's unlikely they'll reroute it from 2nd on the UES. there's still hope for the LES.

    then again, trains running through the far east village could be the end of the downtown drag/performance artist/starving artist scene down there, as it would inevitably become more attractive to those damn yuppies. it's one of the few remaining areas of Manhattan that is by any stretch of the imagination affordable.

  12. #27
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    Why? Is the stretch of the V and F lines that runs through the East Village/LES gentrified?

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by TLOZ Link5
    Why? Is the stretch of the V and F lines that runs through the East Village/LES gentrified?
    Sort of, I mean it follows houston for a while and little italy and the village about Houston and coming along.

    My point just being poor access to the subway can keep property values down and lead to more affordable housing. Running a subway through alphabet city would definately lead to higher property values. (what do real estate ads always say? Sunny & near subways.)

  14. #29

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    There are more reasons than poor planning and community opposition for the lack of stops on the latest proposal for the 2nd ave line. Remember that this line was origninally planned as a 6 track, then 4 track and now 2 track line, (meaning no express service). It will be the only major north south line in Manhattan which is only 2 tracks for the length of it's route.

    The only reason that the line will not connect to the Bronx yet is because the MTA does not have the funds to build the connection. 16 billion for the proposed portion is already as much as it would be able to take on. However the long term plans for the 2nd ave subway are to take pressure and riders off the Lex and maybe other lines by giving direct connections to the Bronx. The most likely connection would be to go north and east from 125th street to connect in the south Bronx.

    The long term connection may not be built for 20 to 40 years depending on future priorities. Once it is built however, in order to get passengers from the Bronx to take the train down 2nd avenue to Manhattan, instead of taking the express trains down Lexington, there will need to be a limited amount of stops along 2nd avenue.

    In a better world the 2nd avenue line would live up to its full potential as a 4 track express line with plenty of local stops, (it is very tough to upgrade a line once it is built). Of course in a better world the federal government would be as interested in building transit infrastructure as it was in building the interstate network for cars or in military spending for fuel.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by green22
    There are more reasons than poor planning and community opposition for the lack of stops on the latest proposal for the 2nd ave line. Remember that this line was origninally planned as a 6 track, then 4 track and now 2 track line, (meaning no express service). It will be the only major north south line in Manhattan which is only 2 tracks for the length of it's route.

    The only reason that the line will not connect to the Bronx yet is because the MTA does not have the funds to build the connection. 16 billion for the proposed portion is already as much as it would be able to take on. However the long term plans for the 2nd ave subway are to take pressure and riders off the Lex and maybe other lines by giving direct connections to the Bronx. The most likely connection would be to go north and east from 125th street to connect in the south Bronx.

    In a better world the 2nd avenue line would live up to its full potential as a 4 track express line with plenty of local stops, (it is very tough to upgrade a line once it is built). Of course in a better world the federal government would be as interested in building transit infrastructure as it was in building the interstate network for cars or in military spending for fuel.
    But even a 2 track subway would go a low way to relieving congestion on the 4/5/6 line, which is really the point of the 2nd ave. subway, yes?

    I work freelance, but always dread when I take a job that requires me to take the 4 train. It's just so crowded as to be uncivilized. Somtimes I have to step back and let a train or two go by before one come in that I can actually get into.

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