Home 7 Line Extension Without a TIGER grant, 7 line supporters look to ARC funds

Without a TIGER grant, 7 line supporters look to ARC funds

by Benjamin Kabak

In a last-gasp effort to save the 7 line extension’s 41st St. and 10th Ave. station, the city in June applied for a $3 million TIGER II grant. With that money, the MTA would have studied the feasibility of building a non-island shell station, but the federal government has denied that request. Once again, the absolutely necessary part of this expensive project is in jeopardy.

Today, the Real Estate Board of New York, which had pledged $250,000 in matching funds to qualify for the TIGER II grant, has issued another call for funds for this station. As Crain’s New York reports, REBNY will now work to secure some of the money from the ARC Tunnel to fund the 10th Ave. station. “That money should be deployed in New York,” Mary Ann Tighe, REBNY’s chair, said of the stop that she believes would serve 100,000 commuters a day. On Monday, I issued a similar call, and it’s worth noting that because of the late date and the ongoing work, any station at 41st St. and 10th Ave. would now have to be constructed after the 7 line extension opens. Still, it isn’t too late, and the ARC money would do wonders for this flawed project.

Yet, I can’t help but think, as I did in June, that REBNY is trying to shut the barn door after the horse has escaped. The planned 7 line stop at 10th Ave. and 41st St. needed their considerable support before the city and the MTA had to kill. Three years later, it’s a scramble for money that even the real estate lobby might not be able to win.

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Chris G November 11, 2010 - 11:56 am

Can I ask a serious question here. Who in their right mind thinks its a good idea not to have this station? Are our politicians that stupid?

Benjamin Kabak November 11, 2010 - 12:34 pm

I don’t believe our politicians are that stupid, but I think it’s a matter of both cost and political expediency for them. The extension to 34th St./11th Ave. has been such an integral part of Bloomberg’s vision for nearly all of his time as mayor. It was part of his Olympics plan that crashed and burned in 2005, and it’s been the major drawing card for any developer willing to invest in the Hudson Yards area.

The political calculation is simple: The apartments near and around 41st and 10th Ave. have been built and are already sold. The area was developed without a subway. Thus, why should the city extend its budget by $500-$800 million to accomodate that area? Real estate interests only get value out of that in the long run while the Hudson Yards subway stop delivers true value immediately.

Maybe that’s too cynical, but this is a prime example of real estate interests who have political access dominating the planning scheme.

SEAN November 11, 2010 - 2:09 pm

I don’t believe our politicians are that stupid, but I think it’s a matter of both cost and political expediency for them.

Perhaps that’s true, but the results of some dessisions do make me wonder if they are really that stupid.

Alon Levy November 11, 2010 - 2:40 pm

I’m all for building this station, but 100,000 daily boardings is a pipedream. The Union Square stop gets about 100,000, and Hell’s Kitchen is no Union Square.

To pull a number ex recto, I’d guess about 35,000, on a par with the local stops on the 6 and with the projections for the three new SAS stops.

kvnbklyn November 11, 2010 - 5:00 pm

Not to get too much into semantics, but by station ridership I think she’s talking about the number of people getting on and off at this station, while subway ridership statistics report only the number of boardings at a particular station. Union Square has about 100,000 boardings per weekday but you could easily say it has a ridership of 200,000 since 200,000 people go into or out of the system there. I think it could therefore be possible that the 10th Avenue station would get about 50,000 boardings per day (a total ridership of 100,000), although that might still be a stretch.

Alon Levy November 11, 2010 - 10:03 pm

Even 50,000’s a stretch – it’d be higher than any UES or UWS station other than 86th and Lex.

When calculating new boardings for the purpose of cost per rider computations, you’re right that the proper number is entries and exits, not just entries. But she explicitly said “100,000 commuters,” which is wrong since the entries and exits are done by the same set of people.

John November 11, 2010 - 2:54 pm

There have been after-the-fact stations constructed before — Lawrence Street on the R, 23rd-Ely on the E/M and lower 59th on the 4/5, so building one here after the 7 extension is already in operation wouldn’t be unprecedented. But they will have to show the feds a better economic impact rationale than just making it easier for the people living in the area apartments to access the subway in order to get part of the ARC funds (i.e. — it’s going to have to boost the economy of the area to the north of 42nd and 10th in the same way the 34th and 11th stop is designed to make Hudson Yards far more attractive to businesses).

Marc Shepherd November 11, 2010 - 3:30 pm

The reality is that this station is exceedingly unlikely to be constructed after-the-fact, unless it is provided for in advance.

Justin Samuels November 11, 2010 - 8:33 pm

I agree, the real estate interests should have lobbied for the funds to do a second station or shell in 2007 or 2008. The 7 line extension opens in 2013, and its almost 2011.

Jerrold November 11, 2010 - 8:48 pm

Are they STILL expecting it to open in 2013?
I mean, I hope that it DOES, but I wonder if that date is stil realistic.

New Jersey’s ARC loss should be New York’s gain :: Second Ave. Sagas November 16, 2010 - 11:31 am

[…] I’ve said. Ensuring that the 7 line extension stops at 10th Ave. and 41st St. should be the top priority, and any additional funds New York can secure should go toward the Second Ave. Subway and East Side […]

Scott E May 3, 2011 - 2:07 pm

I’m so confused…. is the “shell” being constructed, or is it not? If not, I can’t see how they can build one while the trains are in operation — perhaps they could operate single-track from Times Square to 34th St, but that would likely have some safety concerns.


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