Feb
28

On the Utica Ave. subway, a half-baked idea with no champion

By
The Utica Ave. subway extension, a proposal from New York City's history, has reappeared in the OneNY document.

The Utica Ave. subway extension has once again disappeared into the ether of New York City politics.

Half a political lifetime ago, Bill de Blasio seemed interested in extending transit to under-served neighborhoods on his own. He didn’t require a giant push from real estate interests looking to boost property values in already-gentrified neighborhoods, and he seemed on the verge of following through on Mayor Bloomberg’s realization that the city could bypass Albany by funding its own subway expansion plans. That moment involved the OneNYC proposal and the Mayor’s call for a study to assess a Utica Ave. subway.

Perhaps we — the general transit-lovin’ community of New Yorkers who pay close attention to this kind of stuff — got too excited by it. After all, when I went back tonight to re-read my post from April of 2015, it seems clear that de Blasio wasn’t asking for much. He wanted a study of Utica Ave. and committed the bare minimum of dollars to the project. But as we sit here in 2017, the year in which the MTA was expected to spend the dollars for the study, nothing has happened.

As a refresher, the Utica Ave. request was open-ended. The mayor’s proposal called for “a study to explore the expansion of the subway system south along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn, one of the densest areas of the city without direct access to the subway. ” The MTA’s 2015-2019 capital plan took up the call and morphed this request into a study of an “extension of the Eastern Parkway line to provide service on the 3 and 4 lines along Utica Avenue in Brooklyn. The study will be coordinated with the City of New York and may examine extension options, supporting land use changes, and financing strategies.” The MTA allocated the $5 million as a 2017 line item, but nothing has happened.

Recently, two pieces explored just what is going on with the Utica Ave. study. In November, writing for The Village Voice, Stephen Miller found a bunch of nothing happening, and a few weeks ago, writing for Gotham Gazette, Elena Burger found a bunch of nothing happening. I’m sensing a theme. The relevant pieces seem to tell the same story. From Miller:

The MTA told the Voice that before work gets going, it is talking with the city to get a better idea of what the de Blasio administration is looking to get out of the study, before hiring a consultant to prepare the report next year. “DOT is actively working with the MTA and the Department of City Planning on a study of the extension of the Utica Avenue subway line,” a transportation department spokesperson said.

The city might claim it’s “actively working,” but elected officials along the route have yet to hear anything. “It’s really been quiet,” said Assembly Member N. Nick Perry. “Our office hasn’t been included in any of the planning meetings for the Utica Avenue subway, if there have been any,” said a spokesperson for State Senator Kevin S. Parker. “As of yet, there has not been outreach by the MTA or DOT to my office regarding the Utica Avenue subway extension study,” State Senator Jesse Hamilton said in a statement.

Councilmember Jumaane Williams said his office checked in with the MTA after the Voice started asking questions. “We haven’t had much conversation,” he said. “There’s money there for a study. We do want to find out when it’s going to start and get more information about it.”

Three months later, the same people had much the same to say to Burger:

But elected officials and residents have heard little about the planned study — which was scheduled to be conducted in the current fiscal year ending June 30 — and are beginning to voice their complaints about a lack of communication from the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the New York City Department of Transportation.

“I definitely wasn’t consulted, I do know about the study, but I wasn’t told about it.” said Council Member Jumaane Williams, who represents the East Flatbush district where the line would be built. Williams said he had to contact the DOT directly after he learned about the study in 2015, and ask for an update himself. “My hope is that maybe with this new study, they’re trying to get us more involved…but the reality is I don’t think many of us are aware,” he said.

…State Assemblymember N. Nick Perry, whose district includes Williams’ constituency, said he has been given scant information on the proposed study. “I know there’s been a little noise about this, but I haven’t heard anything more,” Perry said. “So far it’s still something in the pipeline and it may be quite a long pipeline.”

An MTA spokesperson told Berger that the agency, along with NYC DOT “launched the study process last year.” It’s not entirely clear what that means as no one really wants to talk about it and politicians have not been involved in the process. We’ll see if anything comes of it.

But just because nothing is happening doesn’t mean there isn’t a lesson here. Setting aside the question as to whether a Utica Ave. subway extension is a better use of dollars than, say, the BQX (spoiler alert: it is), this type of transit planning limbo is what happens when dollars and a champion don’t materialize. Bill de Blasio never really cared about the Utica Ave. subway. Likely, some staffer inserted a paragraph into the OneNYC report and billed as a way to draw attention to increased mobility in a middle income area without particularly robust transit options. The mayor didn’t object, but he allocated the bare minimum of dollars for the project. It seems you can’t even buy a study for $5 million, let alone plans for a subway line.

For a project of this nature — or really any transit project in 2017 — to become a reality, it needs a champion. It needs someone who will make the case for the project start to finish, and more important, it needs someone who deliver all of the dollars for the project and not just a token amount of pocket change to burnish those bona fides. Even more than the BQX, the Utica Ave. subway was a nice bit of vaporware. At some point, there may be a study, but don’t hold your breath for a subway. No one in power seems to care enough.



Categories : Brooklyn

53 Responses to “On the Utica Ave. subway, a half-baked idea with no champion”

  1. Rick says:

    For a fraction of the price, the LIRR Bay Ridge line track can be used to create three stations serving this transit-starved part of southeast Brooklyn. The line would leave the 4th Av line at 59th St, follow the unused Sea Beach express tracks east and then pick up the LIRR Bay Ridge tracks out to Ralph Avenue. You’d be able to get to Utica Avenue from Canal Street in just four stops.

    • Yan says:

      yeah, except those lines are at capacity, besides, how would you bypass the local tracks? that would be a costly thing to do

      • mister says:

        It would certainly be cheaper than building a whole new subway down Utica Avenue.

        • John-2 says:

          They could come at it from the other direction, and split some of the L trains headed to Rockaway Parkway off and send them southwest down the LIRR branch.

          The new route (call it the K train or whatever) would take advantage of the fact that the current L needs far more trains per hour west of Myrtle-Wyckoff than it needs from there to Rockaway Parkway. The fact that it’s heading away from Manhattan at the outset would be a little annoying, but it would allow for express connections to the A and the skip stop J/Z at Broadway Junction, along with a possible link to the 3 where it and the LIRR meet the Livonia Ave. line.

          • name (required) says:

            I don’t think splitting the L like that would be a good idea; you will essentially be sending people in the wrong direction.

            • Rick says:

              Using the 4th Av line and the Bay Ridge LIRR tracks out to Ralph Av is entirely feasible, and is the inexpensive way to serve southeast Brooklyn without overcrowding existing lines. Going north from 36th Street and 4th Av, the West End train can be moved to the local track, freeing up the express track for this new Ralph Av train as well as the N train. In Manhattan, the Ralph Avenue train would become the D train; and the West End train would take over the route of the W train in Manhattan and Queens. A connection could easily be built from the Sea Beach express tracks to the LIRR Bay Ridge tracks. And all this would cost a pittance compared to a new Utica Avenue line and achieve much of the same coverage.

    • TransitUser says:

      There are no connections from the Sea Beach exp tracks to the LIRR Bay Ridge tracks, so try again.

      • Rick says:

        A connection between the Sea Beach express tracks and they LIRR Bay Ridge tracks can easily be constructed at one-zillionth the cost of a new Utica Avenue line.

    • Eric says:

      This is basically the southern section of TriboroRX. It should certainly have passenger transit at some point, but it’s a very indirect way of getting to Manhattan, and does not replace the need for a Utica line.

    • Dan says:

      Rick is correct on the fact that this would work. On capacity: extend the W train into Brooklyn. Getting the train from Sea Beach to the LIRR ROW is very easy even if there’s not currently a physical connection. Just look at a map, it’s all open cut.

      • Brooklynite says:

        A Triboro RX/4th Avenue local via the Montague tunnel, as the W would be, is unlikely to attract many riders from the Utica area. The route would just be too slow.

        Before you suggest it, West End or Sea Beach wouldn’t be thrilled with getting full time W service either.

    • Duke says:

      Folks, there’s not going to be any subway service along the Bay Ridge Branch ever because it is in active use by FRA-compliant freight trains and there is not sufficient room in the ROW to add a separate pair of tracks for subway service.

      Now, there can and should be passenger service along it, but it will have to share tracks with freight trains which means it will have to be FRA compliant. So we’re talking LIRR service. Which, with rational fares, would allow for free transfers to the subway. But there won’t be any one seat rides to Manhattan without a major federal policy shift.

      • Adirondacker12800 says:

        Plenty-o-room. Probably wouldn’t want to do this for a lot of reasons, put the freight trains over the subway line. Or put the subway over the freight line. Sink it all into a tunnel. which would cost a lot for not a whole lot of benefit. Leave the freight where it is and put the subway in a tunnel. Kicking the freight isn’t a good idea… you can put both of them there.

      • wiseinfrastructure says:

        yes……….a federal policy change is needed and just maybe – Trump – a new yorker could/would do it given:

        -his contempt for existing (or any) rules
        -his desire to take credit for an improvement while reducing the cost to zero or near zero.

        Any ideas of what could/would work – what ideas can be take Europe and elsewhere?

      • Eric says:

        If I remember correctly, the vast majority of TriboroRX ROW does have sufficient room for 4 tracks, 2 subway and 1-2 freight. That includes of course the segments that already have subways running in parallel (M, L, N), and also much of the remaining length.

  2. TransitUser says:

    A Utica Avenue subway is more necessary for this area, especially with the crowds on the B46. Yes, SBS might be helping, but you can run so many buses and no more. And the 3/4 need to be left alone at Utica and Eastern Parkway, because those trains are more narrower than the lettered lines. If they can, start the line from the abandoned station shell at Fulton St on the A/C, and run a 4-track line out to Ave H. At Ave H, there will be a yard south of the station. If necessary, the express tracks can portal (going from underground to elevated) and run above ground to Kings Plaza. For yard access, either build a new one next to Floyd Bennett Field, or have a track connect from the Utica Line to the Fulton Line to take trains to Pitkin Yards. Yes, there will not be direct Manhattan access, you will need to transfer, but that can be solved if the IND Second System is being built. This line needs a champion badly

    • mister says:

      I’d argue that the Triboro RX proposal could help to alleviate the burden on the B46 while also serving the purpose of better connectivity throughout the city.

  3. Larry Littlefield says:

    I don’t consider subway extensions dumb, and this is a highly populated area.

    If the Second Avenue Subway is ever (mostly) mostly finished and money is available for additional extensions, a quick look at the map shows the borough that needs and deserves them most is Queens. We just have to wait for a bunch of politicians to die and the population to turn over enough that their replacements are someone other than their relatives and cronies.

    As for Brooklyn, it has long been reputed to have the worst public schools, on average, in NYC. And the worst hospitals, mostly because doctors want to live in the suburbs and Brooklyn is the place where the suburbs are farthest away. And it has the least parkland as a share of its area and relative to population. And the worst traffic.

    And the best subway coverage of any borough other than Manhattan.

    So even with any funds available to expand services in Brooklyn, which there are unlikely to be any, subway extensions would be down the list.

  4. George says:

    Is there any support for an extension of the Nostrand Avenue line to Kings Highway? I like that idea over the BQX plan and would relieve traffic in the area.

    • JJJ says:

      Why did the Nostrand line stop at Brooklyn College?

      • Larry Littlefield says:

        It was supposed to be extended down to Marine Park. When Marine Park was developed, and the houses were sold, the future subway extension was in the brochures.

        But the LIRR is in a trench past the end of the Nostrand Avenue line, and there is a critical pipeline below that. The only way south is elevated. Plus note that all the Brooklyn subways go elevated when they get down to the filled in marshes, for good reason. They’d be inundated with water otherwise.

        When the residents found out it would be an elevated they objected. And with capital construction shifting to roads the extension was never built.

        • Larry Littlefield says:

          BTW I recommend the books “Under the Sidewalks of New York” and “How We Got To Coney Island” for those curious about Brooklyn transit history.

        • Phantom says:

          Very interesting thank you

        • John-2 says:

          Topography and NIMBYism could be the other reasons why a Utica Avenue plan is dormant. Not only is a new el in 21st Century New York City out of the question (which has pretty much been the case since about 1920), even if you could put a Utica Avenue line underground, odds are it would have to be very close to the surface, to limit the need for pumping out the high water table as much as possible. That would mean cut-and-cover, and far more than the 4-5 blocks that Phase II of the Second Avenue Subway might require.

          The MTA has been risk-adverse on that since the epic Battle of Heckscher Playground in 1971, which pitted the MTA against a gaggle of people with access to both high-priced lawyers and the letters column of The New York Times. Media access for people with less money or clout is a lot easier 46 years down the line, and deep bore through South Brooklyn and then waterproofing everything and installing pumps to the levels of the IRT Contract 1 line, in order to avoid a NIMBY battle on the project, would be prohibitively expense.

          • Larry Littlefield says:

            When serious proposals have been made, it has been acknowledged that there won’t be both an Utica Avenue line and an Nostrand Avenue extension. There have been proposals to split the difference and build the extension of the Nostrand Avenue Line on an elevated structure down Flatbush, but these have gone nowhere.

            Aside from the SAS, all the transit improvements since 1948 have been in Queens.

            • John-2 says:

              Modern elevated extension (see WMATA) aren’t the same as the ones New Yorkers are used to and which are based on 100-year-old construction techniques. But it’s almost impossible to imagine any new elevated line inside the city limits being built, other than in one of the remaining purely industrial areas or some place with virtually no population, such as Gov. Cuomo’s proposed AirTrain to LGA via the Grand Central Parkway (which is the only way the Jamaica extension of the AirTrain barely got by, by being in the Van Wyck median).

              So elevated = NIMBY opposition; cut-and-cover (with 3-4 years of boards on Utica or Flatbush Aves) = NIMBY opposition and deep tunnel would = some NIMBY opposition around the station boxes and massive maintenance costs to keep the water table out of the tubes. The need’s there, but the obstacles are too, until the MTA can figure out how to magically make a three-mile long subway tunnel appear in southeast Brooklyn.

              • Alon Levy says:

                Old els that were built out of concrete rather than steel, like the 7 over QB, are pretty good too. The problem is that it imposes a minimum street width, since the concrete supports take up a lane. Utica’s wide enough for it south of Empire, but it’s still a potential NIMBY fight.

              • Adirondacker12800 says:

                When they wanted to put one over the traffic sewer of the Van Wyck Expressway for the very quiet Airtrain, the neighborhood fought it tooth and nail.

                • BruceNY says:

                  But has anyone been complaining lately? I haven’t heard anything about it. That could be a key selling point for any new project; new, modern el’s don’t cause the same clattering thunder that old el’s from the 1900’s do.

  5. Brooklynite says:

    Connecting the Utica line to either the IRT Brooklyn or IND Fulton lines would be foolish IMHO. The IRT is already at capacity, even if the mythical Rogers Junction overhaul goes through, and the IND is similarly constrained by the lack of a second river tube connecting to Hoyt-Schermerhorn. The Utica line should instead head north along the originally planned Second System route, probably with the alignment in Williamsburg shifted to connect with the L*, and then cross the river to Manhattan. At that point it would either connect to the 6 Av express tracks (with the Manhattan bridge north tracks rerouted to SAS Phase III) or continue uptown along some other alignment.

    *Otherwise we’d be using both of the station shells in Brooklyn, which would please the foamers but might not be best for today’s ridership given that the original idea was to replace the Jamaica el entirely.

    • mister says:

      In theory, the Utica Subway doesn’t need much additional capacity on the IRT. At present, people are riding the B46 on a slow haul along Utica and then disembarking at Eastern Parkway to board either the 3 or the 4 train (or one of the many 5 trains that also serve the station). So all that happens is that the 4 trains that presently terminate at Utica are extended down Utica to pick up these passengers.

      The reality is that building the subway would likely spur development and there would be additional riders. Also, it’s probable that some B35 and B6 riders would switch to the Utica Subway (although if they are commuting to Manhattan, they are likely using the 2/5 IRT anyway). However, that growth is likely handled by fixing Rogers junction and operating a few more 4 trains.

      • Brooklynite says:

        I disagree that Brooklyn subway ridership is a zero-sum game. If the UES is anything to go by, where the SAS gained significantly more riders than the Lex lost, many people will be attracted to the subway from other modes of transportation or other lines that are not the IRT. The additional development you mention could also be an enormous factor, especially in a neighborhood like that surrounding Utica Avenue where there is significant potential for upzoning. Besides, a Utica-Williamsburg-Midtown line would be a useful “hypotenuse of the triangle” that would allow people to bypass Lower Manhattan, instead of having to pass through it as is today on the 2/3/4/5 and A/C. This might also spur additional development in the Brooklyn IRT’s catchment area.

        That said, if construction started from the south end of the line then the first phase could easily be tied into the IRT line. It would have to be built to B Div specs, of course, to allow future conversion, but the platforms could be temporarily widened until the line north of Eastern Parkway opens.

        • mister says:

          I agree with you that it’s not a zero-sum game, but it’s hard to draw an accurate parallel to the UES. Up on the UES, because the only existing subway option was inconvenient for a number of reasons, and the UES is relatively close to the place where most people want to go (Midtown), there were plenty of other feasible options there (M15 bus, vanpool services, cabs) that had potential to lose riders to a new subway. On the other hand, anyone headed to Manhattan from the Utica Corridor is highly likely to already be riding the subway. There is no bus or Van option that gets you to Manhattan in an amount of time that is approximate to a subway trip, and a Taxi trip is more expensive from an area that has a lower average income level. This is one of the reasons I like the Triboro RX proposal: it would attract riders who are either using private vehicles or who have really long commutes to areas outside of the CBD.

          As far as the idea of a Utica-Williamsburg-Midtown line, I doubt we’ll see anything like that any time soon, and the proposal to have it share tracks with the L train is probably a non-starter for a number of reasons, not the least because the L is already overcrowded, to an extent even greater than the 4/5 through the Joralemon tube.

          • Brooklynite says:

            I suppose the UES is indeed a poor parallel for the reasons you mentioned, but not having points of comparison is one of the problems of no major subways having opened in NYC in the last 50 years or so. You’re right, a large number of riders alight at Eastern Parkway for the subway (7500 in the AM rush, compared to half of that amount at Fulton Street, as seen here:)

            http://www.nyc.gov/html/brt/do.....tation.pdf

            The destinations of these passengers once they get on the subway would be the subject of a more involved study, which the MTA has the data for but probably hasn’t performed yet. A spur from the Eastern Parkway line would serve the riders no worse than the current bus; however, it runs the risk of overcrowding the IRT by attracting riders from the BMT and IND and by encouraging development/gentrification along the corridor. That’s the whole idea behind continuing the Utica line north – it would give extra capacity, relieve the J/M/Z/L in Williamsburg, and let New Lots and Utica line riders avoid Lower Manhattan, just as the Manhattan Bridge does for Southern BMT passengers.

            As for your other points – I believe the Triboro RX is also necessary, but it would provide orbital instead of radial travel, and I was just thinking of having a transfer station to the L instead of track sharing.

  6. wiseinfrastructure says:

    just a thought: I am trying to figure out how future technology should play into our current construction decisions:

    Driverless cars/buses are but years away
    this will allow for fully managed ground transportation with optimized routing etc.

    Is it all that hard to imagine that we will be able to acheive a real 30mph street speed with our existing pavement? Massive investment will have go into the software and vehicles.

    Given this (if i am on track – pun intended) should we not be super careful before investing in projects that will pay off over decades?

    If I sound like I am in dreamland, consider how we would feel if we had spent money widening the now former toll plazas at the midtown and battery tunnels.

    • Larry Littlefield says:

      Grade separated rights of way will always be extremely valuable in intensely developed areas. They may not be used as not conceived, but they will be used.

      If we never tore down the old Els, they could be in use as bikeways now.

      I was at a meeting in the early 1990s when federal transportation planners had a wise thought. Should we really be reinvesting in NYC transit at all when it is very unlikely future economic activity will be in downtowns?

      • Adirondacker12800 says:

        …. not too very long ago the city was considering abandoning the Carnarsie Line/L for lack of interest – few riders. Things change.

  7. Frank B says:

    That’s because de Blasio couldn’t champion a line of Toaster Ovens, let alone a major infrastructure project that would benefit tens of thousands of people.

    Cuomo, the surprise savior of transit, could perhaps get such a project off the ground, but as always, I tout much more pressing areas of need in Queens and Staten Island, as well as that crucial East Side trunk line that’s been in the planning stages since the Hoover Administration… though I have ridden it recently, and it is well worth the wait. 🙂

  8. Justin Samuels says:

    Basically when there is serious political support for getting the project done, they already know how much it cost.

    Example, the Trump administration says it will fund the remaining phases of the Second Avenue Subway are 14 billion dollars. The fact de Blasio made no projections or estimates on the Utica Avenue subway to me was a suggestion he had no intention of funding it.

    Trump is from NYC, and he has promised to be generous to the MTA. So with the federal funds coming in for the Second Avenue Subway and possibly an one seat ride to JFK, there’s no reason for de Blasio to use city money to expand transit. The city is now spending considerable sums on dealing with homelessness.

    • Michael549 says:

      There is a very serious argument for NOT BELIEVING a single thing that President Trump says. President Trump LIES ABOUT EVERYTHING – from whether it was raining on the day of his swearing in ceremony (where his wife had her umbrella open above her head, and other folks with panchos, etc), to whether he is in fact friends with Russian’s Putin – video tapes have him talking out of all sides of his mouth of this issue.

      President Trump may indeed have an affinity for New York City and its transportation issues, and having a friend in the White House can be helpful.

      At the same time this billionaire is costing NYC millions to daily keep his wife/child safe because they do not want to live in the White House (as most other first families did). Plus – he’s racking up money while this action takes place. Donald Trump does things which makes him and his family money! That’s where his real interest lies.

      “The Trump administration says it will fund the remaining phases of the Second Avenue Subway are 14 billion dollars.” Do you really think that Trump will approve the funds when it is realized that the project would be completed when Trump is out of office? He can’t get through six weeks in office without a major scandal. President Trump is in no hurry to appoint the under-secretaries and deputy directors of the cabinet agencies that actually get stuff done.

      President Trump LIES ABOUT EVERYTHING! He has presented no reason that he will follow through on anything that he says – if it does not advance his own personal interests. Do not get your hopes up.

      Mike

      • Adirondacker12800 says:

        People who want to believe that the money is going to start flowing on the thing they like, not only are they ignoring that man lies about almost everything, even things like whether or not it was raining. It’s not that he lies because he’s trying to support some idelogical goal, whatever it is. The man just likes to lie. Or even stupider than he appears to be. Or obth.
        Even if it turns out to be one of the few thing he does actually do, him and the Republicans in the House are cooking up a really strong batch of supply side economics garnished the Holy Laffer Curve that they got from Saint Ronnie. They want to slash taxes. They aren’t going to have the money. They aren’t going to have the money to do anything except pay for Social Security, Medicare and Defense – at current levels. The magic of the Laffer Curve is going to let them increase defense spending… they aren’t going to have the money.

        • Justin Samuels says:

          Trump is the self proclaimed king of debt. So he’ll sell out some bonds and use that to fund his major infrastructure program.

          The US government, if it needs to, can print money so the debt issue isn’t quite the problem people make it out to be. Does printing money cause major problems? Yes, but do you think Trump would care?

          Trump will be very good to public transportation. And no, I did not vote for him.

          • Adirondacker12800 says:

            It’s worse. He thinks we can sell 10 trillion dollars worth of bonds, tell the bond holders “Whoopsee we can’t pay it” and give them pennies on the dollar. Without putting the world economy into the deepest depression ever that causes a nuclear war. He’s essentially said that. And when people tell him, no the U.S. is never ever going not pay it’s debt. Ever. Never. Ever. He says it again. The man is beyond uninformed or inexperienced, he’s just plain stupid. Or thinks his supporters are even stupider. Or both. …there are video tapes of him suggesting it again. After someone told him it will never happen….

      • Justin Samuels says:

        President Trump is a real estate developer. So doing a massive infrastructure program benefits not only him, it would benefit his children for decades. Trump knows how to benefit himself.

        All the government programs that he has slashed, we knew he would slash if he got elected.

        I’m sure he’ll do it for the benefit of his business interest.

        • Adirondacker12800 says:

          Trump voters live in an alternate reality. Even though they have been voting for cutting everything everywhere consistently for a long time, each one of has this fantasy that the stuff they like everybody else likes and there’s going to lots of cutting to lots things. Except for the one or two things they like. Once you put a few things into a few broad categories – Medicare for instance – to satisfy one group of their base supporters and to satisfy another group of their base supporters…. they aren’t cut much or they are going to get thrown out of office. And they will blame Democrats for it. They aren’t going to slash taxes, increase defense spending by gazillions and a trillion on infrastructure. A sixth grader could figure that out. The conservative think tanks them that. Nope Dear Leader is going to keep my program and do everything by waving his magic wand. . . they live in an alternate reality. … and they are going to blame Democrats for it. . . when they find it that it doesn’t come with a free unicorn.

  9. paulb says:

    It seems to me that to be fully baked, any proposed extension of the subway in Brooklyn or Queens has to come with assurance that a lot of new apartment buildings can and will be built along the line.

  10. John O says:

    Wow I had no idea this was even a possibility. I just moved to Bed Stuy a couple months ago and this subway would literally pass 1 block from my house, so I am totally in favor. Personally this extension is not critical for me given that I’m already a 5 minute walk from the A/C Utica stop, but Bed Stuy generally is very much in need of more subway access. There are some absolutely beautiful parts of the neighborhood where you are a 15 minute walk from the nearest subway (which might be the fairly crappy J/Z depending on where you live). Relatedly, there is probably no neighborhood that I’m aware of that is more in need of expanded Citibike access than Bed Stuy given how large the neighborhood is and how limited the subways are.

    • BrooklynBus says:

      Don’t let the old map mislead you. No one is now considering a subway in Bed Stuy. De Blasio was talking about a branch off the IRT Eastern Parkway line which was built with that provision. The line was supposed to become an el at Carroll Street which is why the street becomes wider at that point.

      Of course no one is considering an el today. When the idea was resurrected around 1970, a study was done. I rescued one of the few copies when it was tossed, but I believe I lost it as a result of Hurricane Sandy. I do remember seeing drawings of each proposed station and mezzanine along with all proposed entrances and exits. Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the engineering firm that did the study. All I remember was that the Empire Blvd stop was to have its southern exit at Rutland Road which was a hundred feet from my house.

      The line wil never be built, but it seems a shame to redo work that was already done since the stations would probably be in the same locations anyway.

      • Adirondacker12800 says:

        Any information in the report is an interesting historical artifact. The people doing the more complex environmental work that is required today may find it enlightening. And anything in there that has to be redone has to be redone to confirm that conditions haven’t changed. Or discover that they have. It’s an interesting historical artifact. And if you were to try to use it, without confirming that it is indeed still the same …. the lawsuits would be filed almost immediately, decided quickly and you’d just be wasting money on lawsuits that confirm that yes a judge thinks two seconds about this and comes to the conclusion that yes all the work needs to be done again.

      • sonicboy678 says:

        Well, no one in power, anyway.

        I have my own idea, but I realize that there are certain factors that rail against it, like a bunch of water and existing tunnels crossing underneath it. Still, the idea takes Bed-Stuy and Utica Avenue into consideration and would likely render B46 SBS obsolete, assuming that bus ridership drops considerably.

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