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ardecila Oct 7, 2021 5:06 PM

Senator Gianaris indicated he might support an N/W branch (not extension) down Grand Central Parkway into the airport, which is big since he led the opposition the last time a subway extension was proposed. Branching the line is not ideal operationally and will constrain the frequency to LGA or Ditmars, but it's better than the AirTrain plan. Maybe it can operate on shuttle mode during rush hours from Astoria Blvd to the airport, and off-peak it could function as a one-seat ride to Manhattan/Brooklyn.

I assume it would be a concrete viaduct down the median of Grand Central Parkway like the JFK Airtrain on the Van Wyck, but it would have to dive underground or squeeze in at-grade near the Bulova building because of the RPZ on Runway 04/22.

k1052 Oct 7, 2021 6:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9418260)
Senator Gianaris indicated he might support an N/W branch (not extension) down Grand Central Parkway into the airport, which is big since he led the opposition the last time a subway extension was proposed. Branching the line is not ideal operationally and will constrain the frequency to LGA or Ditmars, but it's better than the AirTrain plan. Maybe it can operate on shuttle mode during rush hours from Astoria Blvd to the airport, and off-peak it could function as a one-seat ride to Manhattan/Brooklyn.

I assume it would be a concrete viaduct down the median of Grand Central Parkway like the JFK Airtrain on the Van Wyck, but it would have to dive underground or squeeze in at-grade near the Bulova building because of the RPZ on Runway 04/22.

I believe this was a considered routing of the AirTrain and the "community" had concerns about it impacting the "scenic nature" of the GCP...and I wish that was a joke. Though the terminal configuration at Ditmars constrains capacity already on the N/W so you might not actually loose any service if you did this depending on what kind of headways are desired out of the LGA branch. The Broadway line should be able to absorb the service, especially if CBTC is installed.

ardecila Oct 8, 2021 2:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 9418384)
I believe this was a considered routing of the AirTrain and the "community" had concerns about it impacting the "scenic nature" of the GCP...and I wish that was a joke. Though the terminal configuration at Ditmars constrains capacity already on the N/W so you might not actually loose any service if you did this depending on what kind of headways are desired out of the LGA branch. The Broadway line should be able to absorb the service, especially if CBTC is installed.

I am sympathetic to the idea that many of Robert Moses' parkways were intended to be scenic, and many in fact remain scenic and should be kept that way (Henry Hudson, etc)... but GCP ain't one of them, at least not west of the airport. The part that is arguably scenic is the part with views of Flushing Bay, but the AirTrain plan would have ruined those views!

It is not even functionally a parkway anymore, as trucks are allowed on the Triboro Bridge approach. It's basically the same as the Van Wyck through Jamaica, even the trench is the same width (~180ft).

Regardless, Gianaris is one of the leaders of said "community" so if he is truly open to an el above the GCP than that should go a long way toward quieting the opposition.

k1052 Oct 8, 2021 5:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9418877)
I am sympathetic to the idea that many of Robert Moses' parkways were intended to be scenic, and many in fact remain scenic and should be kept that way (Henry Hudson, etc)... but GCP ain't one of them, at least not west of the airport. The part that is arguably scenic is the part with views of Flushing Bay, but the AirTrain plan would have ruined those views!

It is not even functionally a parkway anymore, as trucks are allowed on the Triboro Bridge approach. It's basically the same as the Van Wyck through Jamaica, even the trench is the same width (~180ft).

Regardless, Gianaris is one of the leaders of said "community" so if he is truly open to an el above the GCP than that should go a long way toward quieting the opposition.

Ultimately we have to see what Hochul gets behind. Left to their own devices the MTA wouldn't want to do this and will sandbag the cost saying it will be $11B or something.

ardecila Oct 9, 2021 5:01 PM

Even the sandbagged number for the GCP subway extension was $2.7B, not including any intermediate stations:

http://ricondoprojects.com/LGAAccess...s_20200817.pdf
(page 2-55)

The reason given for killing it was construction impacts to Amtrak's Hell Gate Line (lazy argument, this is really no different than any other bridge replacement on the NEC) and the reduction in service to Astoria Blvd and Ditmars stations as a result of the branching, which is a decent argument.

However, I think the new branch could be constructed with a 2nd set of platforms at Astoria Blvd alongside the existing ones, which softens the blow to existing service quite a bit.

k1052 Oct 9, 2021 5:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9419723)
Even the sandbagged number for the GCP subway extension was $2.7B, not including any intermediate stations:

http://ricondoprojects.com/LGAAccess...s_20200817.pdf
(page 2-55)

The reason given for killing it was construction impacts to Amtrak's Hell Gate Line (lazy argument, this is really no different than any other bridge replacement on the NEC) and the reduction in service to Astoria Blvd and Ditmars stations as a result of the branching, which is a decent argument.

However, I think the new branch could be constructed with a 2nd set of platforms at Astoria Blvd alongside the existing ones, which softens the blow to existing service quite a bit.

Once they actually ask the MTA to come up with a figure that's going to double because they don't want to do it. Like how they say reactivating the Rockaway LIRR branch would cost 7-8 billion dollars. Somebody, certainly the governor, will need the will to call BS.

Ditmars tops out at about 14-15 trains per hour because of the terminal's configuration so there's plenty of room on the line to accommodate the branch to LGA. Pre-pandemic there was a push to redo the terminal because frequency on the N/W was too low and it was hitting crush load far to often at Queensboro Plaza, especially with the continued growth in LIC likely to make things worse. So in theory you could send a train to/from LGA every 10 minutes and not really impact Astoria or Ditmars present service levels. More once CBTC is installed on the Astoria line as the MTA plans to do.

dchan Oct 9, 2021 10:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9418877)
I am sympathetic to the idea that many of Robert Moses' parkways were intended to be scenic, and many in fact remain scenic and should be kept that way (Henry Hudson, etc)... but GCP ain't one of them, at least not west of the airport. The part that is arguably scenic is the part with views of Flushing Bay, but the AirTrain plan would have ruined those views!

I'm not sure that was what Robert Moses intended, even if it did produce that outcome at the Henry Hudson Pkwy and others. Simply put, he needed to build higher-capacity highways to connect his bridges to his various parks and beaches. As the chair of various state and local parks commissions, his way to build these highways was was as "parkways" built and maintained under his commissions' control.

ardecila Oct 11, 2021 4:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dchan (Post 9419945)
I'm not sure that was what Robert Moses intended, even if it did produce that outcome at the Henry Hudson Pkwy and others. Simply put, he needed to build higher-capacity highways to connect his bridges to his various parks and beaches. As the chair of various state and local parks commissions, his way to build these highways was was as "parkways" built and maintained under his commissions' control.

Yes and no... a few parkways were really just disguised bridge approaches, but the scenic aspects were intentional from the start on many of the parkways and were key to Moses' vision. The parkways were just linear parks that extended the greenspace up to the edge of the city. Landscape designers (Gilmore Clarke, Michael Rapuano, etc) were integral to the planning and design process with engineers taking a backseat in many cases. You can see the care and attention to detail in everything from bridges to lampposts to rest/fuel stops.

I agree that some "parkways" or segments were parkways in name only, GCP being one of them, or the Gowanus Parkway. Even if the goal had been a proper scenic parkway, it just wasn't politically possible or cost-effective at that time, even for Robert Moses, to cut a wider green swath through built-up areas of Queens or Brooklyn.

Moses' later "expressway" projects dropped the landscape aspect, but they had to in order to meet Federal requirements and unlock funding. Unfortunately it was the expressway projects that spread like weeds across the American landscape outside NYC, and not the more sensitively-designed parkways. The Feds paid out huge sums of money for land acquisition, but they paid almost nothing for landscaping or decorative treatments so the expressways ended up huge in footprint, hugely disruptive and pretty ugly to boot.

mrnyc Oct 13, 2021 9:50 AM

good news for today — the pa finally comes around, indefinitely pauses cuomo’s airtrain and will review for a better option:


https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york...jkq-story.html

Busy Bee Oct 13, 2021 2:13 PM

Beautiful

mrnyc Oct 14, 2021 10:22 AM

more:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2021...-airtrain.html

M II A II R II K Oct 18, 2021 6:39 PM

New Subway Map Just Dropped

https://gizmodo.com/new-subway-map-j...ped-1847865349

https://i.kinja-img.com/gawker-media...718f6a4dcb.png

mrnyc Oct 18, 2021 7:11 PM

^ yes, its back to the future 1970s style!

it's a lot more graphically clear than the current map, although the station names maybe seem too light?

it will take a little bit of getting used to for us locals, but i am glad they did this.

manchester united Oct 19, 2021 12:22 AM

https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs...inutes-or-less

Busy Bee Oct 19, 2021 12:41 AM

^ well its not a bad idea.

k1052 Oct 19, 2021 11:43 AM

There is no way NYCT can maintain that kind of frequency with their staffing issues. Even pre-covid they couldn't do it. The only way would probably be to move to OPTO which the union has fought tooth and nail. Eventually though might not be a choice since they are really struggling to run adequate service for 3M ridership. If ridership returns to near pre-pandemic levels the crew shortage will be a full blown crisis.

dchan Oct 19, 2021 3:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ardecila (Post 9420799)
Yes and no... a few parkways were really just disguised bridge approaches, but the scenic aspects were intentional from the start on many of the parkways and were key to Moses' vision. The parkways were just linear parks that extended the greenspace up to the edge of the city. Landscape designers (Gilmore Clarke, Michael Rapuano, etc) were integral to the planning and design process with engineers taking a backseat in many cases. You can see the care and attention to detail in everything from bridges to lampposts to rest/fuel stops.

I agree that some "parkways" or segments were parkways in name only, GCP being one of them, or the Gowanus Parkway. Even if the goal had been a proper scenic parkway, it just wasn't politically possible or cost-effective at that time, even for Robert Moses, to cut a wider green swath through built-up areas of Queens or Brooklyn.

Moses' later "expressway" projects dropped the landscape aspect, but they had to in order to meet Federal requirements and unlock funding. Unfortunately it was the expressway projects that spread like weeds across the American landscape outside NYC, and not the more sensitively-designed parkways. The Feds paid out huge sums of money for land acquisition, but they paid almost nothing for landscaping or decorative treatments so the expressways ended up huge in footprint, hugely disruptive and pretty ugly to boot.

Thanks for the insights! Appreciated

dchan Oct 19, 2021 3:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by k1052 (Post 9427372)
There is no way NYCT can maintain that kind of frequency with their staffing issues. Even pre-covid they couldn't do it. The only way would probably be to move to OPTO which the union has fought tooth and nail. Eventually though might not be a choice since they are really struggling to run adequate service for 3M ridership. If ridership returns to near pre-pandemic levels the crew shortage will be a full blown crisis.

Yep, I've already seen a couple of scheduled trains cancelled during the morning rush, likely due to staffing issues. At the moment, ridership is still fairly light compared with pre-pandemic levels, but heavier than levels during the summer due to in-person schools being in session.

My wish list goals for the subway:
- Modernize all signals ASAP. That should take precedence over everything else IMO. Doing this will allow more trains to run at any time at a reasonable speed (i.e. fewer trains crawling along from signal to signal during rush hours).

- Reduce existing bottlenecks through train tunnel geometry revisions. I doubt that this would be done due to many reasons (mostly financial).
> One example is the R/W trains running through the Financial District. Those modern train cars are crawling through those tight tunnel curves. Removing such bottlenecks would drastically increase potential service along the entire line. Perhaps making the train cars shorter can help?
> Another example is the Manhattan Bridge crossings. The F train cuts from BK to Manhattan quickly & seamlessly through a tunnel. The N/R/W/B/D trains crawl from Barclay's Center to the start of the Manhattan Bridge due to a clusterf*ck combination of bad track geometry and too many lines sharing two tracks.

- Improve outer-borough access without needing to go through Manhattan. There should be no reason for riders to go through Manhattan, when they are just looking to go from BK to Queens to Bronx.

Busy Bee Oct 19, 2021 5:46 PM

^ $$$$

Money is the issue. Contrary to popular belief, the MTA mostly isn't as incompetent as people think. There's a plethora of industry professionals and planners employed that are mostly aware of what the system needs. They understand where the system lags behind in regards to global standards and best practices, especially with newer systems and legacy networks that never fell into disrepair like the NYCTA saw in the 1970s. In short, the culture of an overwhelmed agency has never really fully recovered from that of the latter half of the 20th century where the objective was just to maintain an old system that was falling apart in a city going bankrupt as middle class residents fled the outer boroughs for the burbs and warmer states. Capital improvements, whether through rehabilitation(signals, tunnel rebuilds, track modernization and the kind of geometry bottlenecks you speak of, station remodeling, handicap access, other modernizations,etc.) and system expansion which the MTA, with the exception of ESA and SAS, seems to have resigned to impossibility for the last 50+ years takes $$$$ and lots of it. Essentially if the goal was to match the ambition of oversees systems and meet latent ridership demand in the city, the MTA should get serious about completing the vision of the IND Second System and the later Program For Action. What's the NYC metropolitan area's GDP again? 1.5 Trillion? Can you imagine what 10% of that over 20 years would make possible for the network. I won't get into the expansion/extension wish lists but it leaves you starry eyed what that kind of investment could deliver.

mrnyc Oct 26, 2021 4:23 PM

oh boy, hold tight, here we go:



Port Authority to consult ‘outside experts’ for LaGuardia AirTrain; Cotton mum on review plan

By Kevin Duggan
Posted on October 21, 2021


Bigwigs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced plans to tap “outside experts” to review the in limbo $2.1 billion AirTrain proposal for LaGuardia Airport Thursday after Governor Kathy Hochul asked the agency to pause the project last week.

“We will consult with outside experts and stakeholders as we carry out this review,” Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton told reporters following the agency’s monthly board meeting on Oct. 21. “Our plan is to carry out this review as expeditiously as possible, consistent with our commitment to carry it out at the absolutely highest level of quality.”

The head of the bi-state entity remained tightlipped about any details of the review — such as who the consultants would be, a timeline for the study, or whether the rail project pushed by disgraced ex-Governor Andrew Cuomo still had any chance of survival.


more:
https://www.amny.com/transit/port-au...erts-airtrain/


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