Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by SystemsConsciousness
Hello all!

Another Big Idea from sC, if you like. I am sure some of you are sick of these, but others perhaps aren't. Subways are expensive to build, so my ideas have tended to be focused on small dollars for maximum benefit. The G to Manhattan idea is one of these. Another is the R train sharing a freight tunnel to Staten Island (2 levels). And the most ambitious was the extension of the L train up 10 ave to 59 street and across to the Q (I have since heard that 10th is impossible and 11th is necessary), but this idea was an alternative to the extension of the 7 down to 34 and 11th, so at least it was somewhat practical.


Manhattan is ideally suited to have a light rail network that serves two main difficulties:
- Getting across town quickly
- Getting to the extremities of Manhattan (the UN and Javitts are examples).

Here are the main routes I envision:

West Side Highway (Bike lane is moved off to the water and tram vehicle can be free to move outside of traffic, but waterfront may not be ideal compared to 10 or 11 avenue--this is up for debate). The line would extend up to 59 and down to South Ferry.

ALLEN STREET in center median
UP AND DOWN 1st Avenue (section separated from car traffic)

125 Street
110 Street
86 Street (east) - 96 Street (west)
72 Street
59 Street
42 Street
34 Street
23 Street
14 Street (with service down along M14 route)
Houston Street (with service looping down to Whitehall Ferry along Allen)
Interchange at Broadway Nassau transit up

Crosstown Routes would loop along east and west routes (34 + 42 loop would take people from Penn Station to Central or from Penn Station to Javitts) These obviously can be adjusted.

Big issues.

>>Dedicated tramways and what that does to Parking (NIMBY issue) and the loading of goods. Where will the space be on two way crosstown routes? Change these streets to one way to accommodate light rail? What will this to do vehicular traffic? Put the LRT lanes in the center and get rid of parking? Is there space? Not great options here.

>>Fare collection. Transit works very well in Geneva where they have an honor system with inspectors. All of the buses have 4 doors to enter and exit. The MTA is trying something similar to this, but without the many doors. Prepayment will be crucial.

>>Disable access. How can this be sped up? Platform for disabled entry onto low floor LRV?

The pros of this idea is that it is relatively cheap to build an entire system of light rail compared with the cost of creating a mile of new subway and it could completely change the face of Manhattan.

The con is the complexity of implementing it. Previous ideas were for a single line. This is doomed to fail. The strength in transit networks come from the network.

  by Kamen Rider
overhead wire is illegel in manhattan, just to let you know.
  by SystemsConsciousness
I should have put the overhead wire on my list of things that need to be dealt with. Obviously that law has to be overturned as well. It shouldn't be that big a deal--the law is over 100 years old.

All of the original streetcars in manhattan supplied power from inbetween the two tracks under a protective cover. I don't think this type of extravagance will be necessary.

Thanks Kamen for reminding me of this.

  by RearOfSignal
We had a whole big discussion on this board before about light rail in Manhattan, please search for it. It had many interesting points I'm sure would intrigue you. Not only that but links to a website supporting Light Rail in Manhattan.

So please, look it up(it's a few pages back on this board) and get back to us with anything new you have to add.
  by SystemsConsciousness
Hmmm.. I went pretty deep and didn't see anything like that. Obviously I overlooked it. Thanks for letting me know.

  by Hebrewman9
While your input isn't necessarily bad, systemsconsciousness, why don't you put it in a blog? One lengthly proposal is okay, but they're starting to get a bit tedious for this board, in my opinion. A blog would be much more fitting for your proposals.
  by SystemsConsciousness
My goal in bringing up the idea was to get others involved in the idea, not to be on a soap box about it. I have thought about it a lot, yes, but others have thought of these things and I was hoping to stimulate something productive. I look forward to substantive discourse on the idea because I am quite boring.

  by RearOfSignal
SystemsConsciousness wrote:Hmmm.. I went pretty deep and didn't see anything like that. Obviously I overlooked it. Thanks for letting me know.

http://www.railroad.net/forums/viewtopi ... 68&t=34484

Here it is, found on page 3.
  by SystemsConsciousness
That was the 42nd Street Light Rail idea.

This is a dumb idea that is doomed to failure. It is like having a single subway line without a network. Imagine if there was just an AC train in Manhattan, who would take the subway? Same with 42nd Street LRT idea. Crosstown has to marry up and down town networks. Look at a trolley map of Center City Philadelphia from the 1940s before National City Lines destroyed it.

I am glad you clarified this though, because what I am saying is completely different from a 42nd Street Tram.

  by Kamen Rider
SystemsConsciousness wrote:That was the 42nd Street Light Rail idea.

This is a dumb idea that is doomed to failure. It is like having a single subway line without a network.
not true, some times starting small can lead to big gains. the subway started out only 9 miles long, and now look at it.

"The instant this line is finished, there will arise a demand for other lines"-William Barclay Parsons
  by SystemsConsciousness
Agreed, but the idea has to be there to make it larger. If it exists on its own, it withers on the vine.