Home Second Avenue Subway For Second Ave., a Friday sneak peek at 96th Street

For Second Ave., a Friday sneak peek at 96th Street

by Benjamin Kabak

Hello from the inside. #2ndAveSubway #nyc #mta #qtrain #subway #MetropolitanTransportationAuthority #hellfreezesover

A photo posted by Second Ave. Sagas (@secondavesagas) on

As part of a lengthy rollout of the Second Ave. Subway ahead of its passenger debut on January 1, 2017, the MTA and Gov. Andrew Cuomo are hosting a series of open houses over the next few days. These sessions will allow members of the public to visit the new stations without trains or commuters and check out the work that has plagued the East Side for the better part of the past decade. The 96th Street station opened on Thursday, with cookies, commemorative Metorcards and Vignelli-inspired maps, and on Friday, New Yorkers can journey underground to wander through the new station between 8-10 a.m. and 5-7 p.m.

I had a chance to stop by on Thursday, shortly after Gov. Cuomo’s introductory remarks. He again pledged to open the new subway on Jan. 1, even if it meant “pushing it” from 57th St. This is reminiscent of Michael Bloomberg’s promise in late 2013 to do the same with the 7 train, but this time, the stations and new tracks are ready for a train. The photos I took show a station very reminiscent of the Hudson Yards stop, and this clinical approach seems to be the MTA’s design ethos. There are long platforms and vast mezzanines. The art adds color, but the track walls look blindingly, boringly white.

If you would like to see more, you can check out my Periscope video from the station. I added some commentary while strolling through the new stop. I’ll post more photos here over the next few days as other stations open. If you would like to see more now, check out Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. I’ll have more on the reaction to Phase 1, the costs of Phase 2, and the future of the Second Ave. Subway soon. It’s OK to be cynical about the cost, the time it took to build this part of the line and its modest scope, but don’t forget to celebrate it too. It’s been a long, long, long time coming.

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Jon December 23, 2016 - 3:14 am

The sad thing is no one will ride this phase of the subway because it’s in the only dying (slowly) neighborhood in the city, it doesn’t go all the way to the Bronx, and the headways are long.

That could mean they end up not building other phases sadly that are more necessary. This subway line NEEDS to go to crosstown 125th st and the Bronx AND downtown. FORGET BUILD IN PHASES… build it all now!


Caelestor December 23, 2016 - 5:30 am

I actually think Phase 1 will hit and overachieve its projections within a couple of months. For starters, it serves 3 of the top 5 stations in the entire system (Times Square, Herald Square, and Union Square), and another stop, 57 St, is close to the #9 station, Columbus Circle. In fact, the Q is probably going to be overcrowded at its current headways, and some more N trains will have to be sent up to SAS to deal with the crowding.

Phase 2 needs to be built ASAP, since longer construction is correlated to even more cost overruns.

BruceNY December 23, 2016 - 1:15 pm

Indeed, if they could only figure out how to cut construction costs down to around the same levels as some bargain-basement cities like London and Paris, they could go forward with the entire remainder of the line: 125th down to the Battery. Phase 3 will open up a direct route to Midtown East (recently re-zoned for massive new office development) as well as offer a connection to the Queens Blvd. Line via 63rd St.

Adam December 23, 2016 - 7:07 am

Even if the UES is “dying” (it’s not), it’s still the most densely populated neighborhood in the whole city. It’ll be a success if even 10% of Lex riders switch to the Q.

JEG December 23, 2016 - 8:45 am

The Upper East Side is dying? What does that even mean? It is the most built up residential area in New York City and accordingly the neighborhood with the highest population density in the City. By population the Upper East Side alone would break into the top 100 cities in the U.S. Naturally, the Upper East Side cannot grow as quickly as other neighborhoods, but slower growth and dying are two different concepts.

Tim December 23, 2016 - 8:48 am

The growth is continuing, it’s just moved to recycling the housing stock, i.e., remove the rows of 4-6 story walk ups on the ave and throw up 40 story rental/condo buildings.

Tim December 23, 2016 - 8:46 am

As a resident of said dying neighborhood, it’s only because the old biddies harangue our council members because they don’t like the scaffolding popping up.

As to the “dying” part, we have constant construction going on, and densification all up and down 2nd and 1st at the moment, so I have no clue what you’re spouting off about.

millerm277 December 23, 2016 - 12:20 pm

What? 86th & Lex is the busiest non-transfer station in the entire MTA (and 10th busiest in general), and 68th/Hunter, 77th and 96th aren’t ridership slouches either.

You really don’t think people are going to be riding it? Especially since they’ll be able to get to Times Square and Herald Square without a transfer now if they do. I think if anything they’re going to exceed their ridership expectations.

SEAN December 23, 2016 - 8:03 pm


what is this UES is dying business.

Guest December 26, 2016 - 4:39 am

The UES is not dying, though I do agree with Bronx expansion before 125th St.

Phantom December 23, 2016 - 7:16 am

Yes, the stub way will be a smash hit – take it to the bank

And yes yes yes; can you use this success as momentum to extended north and south

Tim December 23, 2016 - 8:46 am

You call it a “stubway”, yet it is an extension of an already existing and heavily used line.

The Sheppard line in Toronto is a stubway. This is more than that, it actually goes places people need to.

Phantom December 23, 2016 - 8:39 pm

I only referred to it as a stub way here because it while it will be called the 2nd Ave., Subway, it is only a very tiny fraction of the island long Second Avenue line that was promised 100 years ago or so

It’s three new subway stations, after all this

Tim December 31, 2016 - 8:12 pm

Fair. I hope they find a way to get the next two stations north online very quickly, given the tunnels already existing.

Rob December 23, 2016 - 8:23 am

I recall that light trains were operating over the line to test / prep for opening. When did that stop?

No doubt the first case of something 80 or 90 years late being proudly and repeatedly proclaimed as ‘on-time’!

John A. Noble December 23, 2016 - 10:21 am

I’m probably missing something extremely obvious, but I’m not understanding the long, overdesigned mezzanine in the picture. I kind of wish we got additional stations instead of mezzanines.

That said, I’m really looking forward to riding a train to 96th St-2nd Avenue.

JEG December 23, 2016 - 12:56 pm

This seems to be a common complaint, but these stations are far deeper underground than those on say the IRT Lines, whose tracks are visible through grates on the sidewalk. You have to envision how people are going to get underground and along the platform. The ingress and egress of people at the nearby 68th Street / Hunter College station should be reason enough to understand why having a mezzanine for people to move along is beneficial for the movement of large numbers of people.

Michael549 December 24, 2016 - 6:20 pm

From a previous message:

“I’m probably missing something extremely obvious, but I’m not understanding the long, overdesigned mezzanine in the picture. I kind of wish we got additional stations instead of mezzanines.”

Yes, you are.

This is an interesting complaint! The Independent Subway which opened in the 1930’s, and comprise the main (Bronx, Manhattan, Brooklyn & Queens) underground sections (excluding the original BRT/BMT sections on B, D & F lines) of the A, B, C, D, E, F and G subway lines for the most part were built with long, over-designed mezzanines.

Yes, over time much of that space has been converted into police, transit office and maintenance facilities – but plenty of purely local stations had long wide mezzanines.

The one station that did not have a long over-designed mezzanines was the A-train Fulton Street station between Broadway and Nassau Streets. Transit folks and others bitterly complained over the decades of having to use the lowest level A-train platform as the means to transfer among the various other subway lines because there was no mezzanine the full length of the station to enable the transfers. (The J-train platforms & tracks were built BEFORE the IND subway station was built. The IND station there unified what were four separate distinct stations into one large station complex.)

So the rant about long, over-designed mezzanines is a really interesting complaint!


Tower18 December 28, 2016 - 5:22 pm

There still isn’t. But anyway, mezzanines used for transfers are different than mezzanines for the sake of mezzanines as simply an intermediate level, serving no other purpose.

I believe these stations have mezzanines for 2 purposes: 1) separate fare control from platform level, because the MTA likes this, and 2) anticipating out of service escalators, mezzanines can help prevent people from passing out on the long climb.

Eric January 1, 2017 - 6:06 pm

Whatever the itty bitty purposes they might have, the fact that billions of dollars were spent on them is outrageous.

pigeon December 23, 2016 - 11:56 am

It seems ironic to write “excelsior” there because 1. You are descending down the stairs vesus going “ever upward; 2. It is a very basic looking station; and 3. It does not anticipate how dirty the station may become over time.

Joby December 23, 2016 - 9:29 pm

I had the same thought. When I checked out the station today, I noticed they had an EXCELSIOR on the way up too.

smotri December 24, 2016 - 1:01 pm

Excelsior is the motto of the State of New York. It’s on the New York State flag, the seal, etc.

C December 23, 2016 - 12:10 pm

Why are the track designations necessary? Descending down stairs, I’d rather see direction like downtown/uptown, rather than track 1 and 2. Any idea why those are there?

EN December 23, 2016 - 12:25 pm

96th Street is the terminal, so everything goes downtown.

C December 23, 2016 - 12:57 pm

I knew I was missing something obvious!

Michael549 December 24, 2016 - 6:28 pm

Any idea why those are there?


Since all of the trains upon leaving the 96th Street-Second Avenue station will be headed “downtown”, just how does the station dispatcher tell riders and train staff which train will be leaving first?

Saying, “The Q-train on Track 1 will be leaving in ten minutes” is a rather clear statement.

When the extension of the Second Avenue subway is built to 125th Street-Lexington Avenue those signs about “Track 1” and “Track 2” will be removed. This is similar to what happened at the Times Square station for the #7 train, when the new extension to 34th Street/Hudson Yards opened up.


BruceNY December 27, 2016 - 3:39 pm

The Times Sq. station had signs that lit up indicating which train would be departing next. Do these exist at 96th?

John January 9, 2017 - 7:40 pm

Yes there are signs indicating which train is leaving next

JJJ December 23, 2016 - 1:15 pm

Only 2 escalators to surface? No redundancy?

Noe escalators to platforms? is this 1852?

Why does the 96 on the walls look like black electrical tape?

BronxSteve December 23, 2016 - 3:13 pm

No escalators to platform?

Craig December 23, 2016 - 7:45 pm

When Gov Cuomo announced the station renovations a few months back, there were promises (and renderings) of LCD screens everywhere showing service information, even before entering the station. This station only has simple dot matrix screens. Are they going to refit the station in the coming months with the more modern technology? Also, it seems, ironically given the ridiculous price tag for this project, very cheap that there are mainly stairs to the platforms and not exclusively escalators. Modern stations in the London Underground (i.e. 1996 Jubilee Line extension) have zero steps.

SEAN December 23, 2016 - 8:10 pm

At least stairs never break down unlike escalators or worse elevators, but point taken.

BruceNY December 24, 2016 - 11:22 am

At least there are a couple escalators to the platform level. How is it at Hudson Yards they forgot those altogether???

SEAN December 26, 2016 - 2:14 pm

I’m uncertain why, but lets not forget that one main attraction is Javits & it’s necessary to have as many access points as possible. Plus the inclinators despite there slowness can carry a good number of people at one time.

BruceNY December 27, 2016 - 3:34 pm

Not sure why Javits would have anything to do with the MTA’s boneheaded decision not to have any escalators from the platform level, but you bring up another pet peeve of mine about that station. I have to believe that if this station were to have been built anywhere else, it would have also included a direct underground level entrance to the Javits Center. Why passengers are forced to go up to the street and cross 11th Avenue in the rain and snow to get into Javits is yet another symptom of planning cluelessness at the MTA and a lack of planning between state agencies.

tacony December 29, 2016 - 10:53 am

One of MTA capital construction’s biggest issues is its refusal to work with other agencies/entities and the impact this has on decisions as far as station design. It’s the primary reason the stations are so deep. The MTA refuses to work on utility relocation and instead seems to always assume that it must simply tunnel deeper so as to be below everything else in the ground. This is nuts. The idea that human beings must travel deep into the earth every day so that we may not disturb Verizon and Time Warner cables near the surface is nuts when you think about it, but seems to be the preferred outcome for the MTA. It needs reform.

When the pre-MTA era stations were built there were tons of direct connections to office buildings, stores, hotels, attractions, etc. (Many were closed during NYC’s bad old days, and should be reopened.) Today the MTA is seemingly incapable of doing this even when it seems overwhelmingly obvious, as is the case for Javits.

Spendmore Wastemor December 29, 2016 - 1:29 pm

The MTA is not a transit agency: it’s a crony $$ and vote-buying scheme that grudgingly manages NYC’s transit system.

BronxSteve December 29, 2016 - 4:51 pm

This seems like a bum rap against the MTA based on all of ONE example – Javits. What other new stations – few and far between as they are – were built that should have had an indoor connection to some landmark and did not?

tacony December 30, 2016 - 1:08 pm

The MTA hasn’t built that many new stations, but there are tons of examples where they should have built indoor connections. Taking the E to the Jamaica AirTrain? Everybody’s confused, schlepping luggage through the many grade changes, with the mix of (often-broken) escalators and elevators. The station was built in 1988 yet looks terrible. A great first impression for visitors from JFK. And having to go outside in a non-climate controlled space between the AirTrain and the subway should have been mitigated. It should have been an actual indoor connection. Great for traveling to or from a warm weather destination in New York’s winter…

New South Ferry: Great idea, let’s build a direct connection to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Wait, there’s no direct connection? You have to walk outside between them? Again, c’mon. They’re so close it’s a no-brainer. The only reason they don’t connect is that the MTA has their fiefdom and the ferry is DOT’s baby and they want to clearly delineate who controls what and don’t want to work together. They care less about passenger convenience and comfort.

In these two examples I’m just thinking about connecting public transportation facilities to each other. There are tons of private entities than in an earlier era would have had underground connections to the subway. Now we get very few, large entrances that take up lots of space on the sidewalks and require takings to develop independent MTA-owned properties.

Michael549 January 3, 2017 - 1:36 am

The New Whitehall Ferry Terminal was built and opened in 2005 with an inside the ferry terminal building direct connection to the #1 South Ferry subway loop station. Right now the space that was used for the subway booth area has been taken over by the Haagen Das and Pizza shop. There were even Metro-Card machines inside the ferry terminal building! Passengers headed to the #1 train or leaving the #1 did not have to exit the ferry building to enter or exit the #1 subway train station. I was there and used that station hundreds of times in that form.

On the NYCSubway.Org website check out images – #80825, #61820, #53379, and there other images that I could cite. Simply look at the information and pictures under the #1 South Ferry station.

The building of a new Whitehall Ferry terminal was a great concern for ferry riders since the 1991 fire that destroyed the 1955 edition of the terminal, resulting in about 14 years of using a “Temporary Whitehall Terminal” from the un-damaged sections of the 1955 building. While the new ferry terminal was being constructed, the old terminal was still in usage, until enough of the new terminal was built to for a change over. By the time of the official opening of the new Whitehall Ferry Terminal Building, ferry riders had been using the basic structure for 2-3 years.

The new Whitehall Ferry Terminal Building officially opened in 2005, and this internal entrance was used until 2009. This internal entrance would have remained in operation except some terrorists decided to fly two damned airplanes into the World Trade Center buildings in 2001.

It was only with the destruction of the World Trade Center in 2001 that the plan was hatched to build a new two-track stub terminal for the #1 train with the federal money to re-build downtown Manhattan. This federal money also provided the funds for the building of the Fulton Transit Center, and the new Freedom Tower and World Trade Center complex. The plans for these new facilities would take some time to gel and become actual physical facilities that could be used.

The Peter Minuit Plaza was not completed, and with the destruction of the WTC provided the oppurtunity to create a much larger transit complex for buses, subways, taxis, etc.

The building of the new 2-track stub-end terminal for the #1 train involved taking into context the #4 and #5 Joralemon Subway Tunnel to Brooklyn, the N & R subway tunnel to Brooklyn, the entire South Ferry loop station complex and its track connections to the Bowling Green station which is literally UNDER the ferry terminal building itself, and the literally UNDER the ferry terminal building Battery Park Highway that connects the eastside FDR Drive to the Westside Highway.

Considering that since 1905 when the municipal ferry system was started, and the South Ferry Station opened in 1905 – ferry riders have had to “walk outside” to connect between the two complexes. Riders from the current original 1920’s BMT station at Whitehall/South Ferry (now R & W) have ALWAYS had to walk outside to transfer both to and from the ferries. Except for the above mentioned direct connection – the only other direct transit to ferry connection existed between the 2nd, 3rd, 6th and 9th Avenue Elevated train lines and their South Ferry elevated terminal station. Check the municipal photo archives of the pictures of the terminal station and the municipal ferry buildings. Ever wonder why there are doors on the second level of the still existing Battery Maritime Buidling, as well as the original 1905 ferry building?

The MTA did not exist prior to 1968, while the great majority of the subway systems were largely built well before the 1940’s. So it is really interesting to “blame” the MTA for activities that occurred well before its creation.

Tim January 3, 2017 - 3:48 pm

Uh, AirTrain wasn’t open until at least 2002. I’m pretty sure it was built by the PA, not the MTA (speaking of not working well with others), and used Federal dollars that couldn’t be put to use in improving existing infrastructure.

BruceNY January 5, 2017 - 1:40 pm

And let’s just see what happens if the Port Authority actually builds a new bus terminal between 9th & 10th Ave’s. Several of the pretty architectural renderings appear to show open plazas and walkways heading towards 8th Ave. Never mind that the walk to the subway will be that much longer, will it have to be outdoors too? Will the MTA build the 10th Avenue Station for the #7 train, and would there be direct access to the new bus terminal? Why am I so doubtful?

Miles Bader December 27, 2016 - 9:21 am

I don’t think they’ll have to “refit them with the more modern technology”, because you generally want both sorts of displays; it isn’t “either or.”

Lower-res LED displays, because they’re usually very bright and have very high contrast, can be easily readable at much greater distances, tend to come in a wider variety of form-factors (e.g. very long and narrow, allowing very large text in cramped locations), can be super robust, and lower-cost than big LCD displays.

LCD displays, on the other hand, are of course more suitable for displaying detailed information (which by its very nature is often not something that will be visible at a distance).

So for the most critical, but simple, info, like “train X is arriving at time Y” it can be better to stick with wide dot-matrix displays, and reserve the more expensive LCD displays for secondary info like system hazard maps, problem info, etc.

Eric January 1, 2017 - 6:07 pm

Stairs have higher capacity than escalators.

eo December 27, 2016 - 7:19 am

Are they running empty trains to 96th this week? This morning the boards were showing the trains as going to 96th/2nd Ave. 57th street was full of MTA employees telling people that this was the last stop and that they had to get off the train.

BronxSteve December 27, 2016 - 12:21 pm

From a poster on SubChat:

Non revenue moves to 96th Street will begin Tuesday Morning at 0600.

In service to 57/7 and run lite to 96th St and turn; return to 57th St for service. NO PASSENGERS on the 2nd Av Corridor!

Jay December 27, 2016 - 11:27 am

Quick question guys. Why doesn’t the Second Ave line have a 68th and a 77th station?

Benjamin Kabak December 27, 2016 - 11:39 am

Many reasons. Those aren’t major crosstown streets, and the platforms are much longer than the 6 train platforms with station entrances at northern and southern ends of the stations. So the 72nd St. stop will have entrances at 69th St., and the 86th St. station has an entrance at 83rd.

tacony December 28, 2016 - 1:11 pm

The designation of the wider “major crosstown streets” dates to the Commissioners Plan of 1811, which obviously predates all existing subway stations and also predates the earlier elevated stations that many of them replaced or may have been designed to facilitate transfers with. It didn’t stop them from building stations at more frequent stop spacing than the major crosstown streets and in some cases with seemingly no regard for aligning them. At what point did we suddenly decide that this was a rule? The reasoning for the stop spacing choices are in many cases probably lost to obscure or obsolete demands — why 33rd Street for the 6 instead of the “major crosstown” a block north? There used to be a huge hill there (“Murray Hill”) that has been graded more smoothly over the years but possibly once presented a more serious challenge to construct a level station at that point? And the 6th Ave el station was at 33rd Street anyway? And 33rd Street was, despite not being designated as a “major” crosstown, lined with commercial establishments that lobbied for a stop at their doorstep? Who knows. But today we’d likely just call it “34th” despite the location of the platform, and put it so far underground that the escalators would stretch to 34th anyway… I think the distance between the Hudson Yards platforms under 11th Ave and the station entrance between 11th and 12th is greater than a standard Manhattan street block.

The design preferences for extra large stations so deep below the surface lend themselves to longer stop spacing. The time to enter and exit stations preclude convenience for shorter trips. The original IRT station designs were beautifully compact and efficient while the new stations are a reaction to those who find them, as Cuomo mentions when discussing the stations, too claustrophobic and not designed to inspire awe. The stations are now judged on how much they wow at ribbon cuttings, not to be logical and efficient facilities for daily use.

BruceNY December 29, 2016 - 12:09 pm

If you look at old photos of the original IRT stations, they were designed to include a lot of artwork (mosaics), and many had daylight pouring in through glass rondels in the ceiling. Over the years those rondels got paved over, and inside the stations more and more pipes, ductwork, fixtures, etc. got added, creating a more cluttered, less open feeling. But you can’t beat the convenience of your train being just one flight of stairs vs. a five or six minute ride on multiple escalators to the platform.

Spendmore Wastemor December 29, 2016 - 1:33 pm

Yep. It started going downhill with Hylan, who was enough of a jerk that after getting fired from the IRT he held a grudge and insisted on running the private subway operators out of business. Ever since, costs (adjusted for inflation) have grown ever higher while the actual usefulness of the system gets smaller. In 1 word:

John-2 December 27, 2016 - 2:52 pm

Ironically, while the Q will come into the new stations from 57th St. and Seventh Avenue, the stations themselves (along with lower South Ferry and Hudson Yards) seem to have taken the TA’s 1968-vintage 57th Street and Sixth Avenue station as the prototype for their design — the F traveling from 57th-7th to 63rd-Lex now has two stations that look far more similar than they did a few years ago, now that the 1980s orange tile at 63rd-Lex is gone.

On the plus side, 57th-6th has held up very well for a 48-year-old station. On the minus side, it does have some of the most boring walls in terms of design of any station on the system (a look the city began going towards as early as the Grant Avenue station on the A in the mid-1950s).

Tower18 December 28, 2016 - 7:58 pm

When will NYC join the civilized world and use the acres and acres of wasted mezzanine space littering the IND and some of the other parts of the system for indoor bicycle storage inside fare control?

Brooklynite December 29, 2016 - 12:32 pm

Any such racks will turn into bike graveyards quickly. There’s no easy way to guarantee safety of bikes parked there, either. While that might be slightly acceptable on the street, it’s more of a pain to deal with underground.

Tower18 December 29, 2016 - 1:22 pm

Why is New York assumed to be special in this regard? Bikes are occasionally stolen all over the world. The city already provides racks, and you can’t sue the city if your bike is stolen off the racks. This seems an entirely invalid reason not to provide bike storage at key stations.

Brooklynite December 29, 2016 - 6:43 pm

You’re right, NY isn’t alone with those issues. However, the MTA doesn’t want to deal with bike graveyards, while the city has people responsible for that sort of thing. Also – why should I drag my bike down several flights of stairs, or hog an escalator with it, only to store it when I could have just stored it aboveground?

Tower18 December 29, 2016 - 6:54 pm

I’m actually confused I’m in this argument. Why WOULDN’T you want to store your bike off the street, out of the elements, inside a paid area, where there’s room for lots of racks instead of 4-5, etc., instead of on the street?

This is one of those things that is done all over the world, and I really don’t feel as though I need to argue why it should be done here as if it were something new.

eo December 30, 2016 - 7:59 am

The simple reason why this would not happen is that providing bike storage underground is not cashflow positive for the MTA. If you think that it is, why don’t you write a business plan, get some investors, rent one or two spaces from the MTA, modify them to work as bike storage and then charge people a few bucks for the luxury of storing their bikes underground. You will quickly discover that your client base is too small to break even, not to talk about making profit. That would be the case even if the MTA rented the space to you for $1. You will never be able to pay back your capital cost of modifying the spaces. The main problem is that you have a free competitor up at the street level and people rationally or irrationally strongly tend towards the free solution even if it is grossly inferior to the paid one. It is simple behavioral economics.

Tower18 January 3, 2017 - 1:41 pm

I’m sure nobody’s responding to this thread anymore, but either you’ve all misunderstood me, or you’re thinking about this all wrong. I don’t mean “storage” as in the laughable way NYC parking garages expect bicycles to “rent” space LOL. I mean bike racks, indoors, allowing riders to ride to the station, lock their bike away from the elements, parking vehicles, etc., ride the subway to their destination, and then pick their bikes up upon their return. The MTA should provide these racks for free. This is done by transit agencies all over the world, and elsewhere in the United States, and is a big step to solving the “last mile” problem.

Sure this probably isn’t that useful on Second Avenue (though it doesn’t hurt anyone at all, and puts ridiculous empty space to some use), but could be extremely useful in parts of the city underserved by rail transit.

Paul Berk January 4, 2017 - 8:48 am

The basic idea isn’t bad at all, even though someone will have to cut out abandoned bikes. More work for that someone. But I doubt much bike/subway last-mile travel at these new stations. Other places, for sure. Consider bikes parked at the NJT terminal in Hoboken (many, many bikes).

Bolwerk January 6, 2017 - 10:29 am

Is that really a problem? All but the shittiest bikes are already worth three figures. Could probably just make a deal with a bike shop to take them for scrap.

Eric January 1, 2017 - 6:13 pm

Maybe the bike-carriers would clog the entrances to the stations?

Tim January 1, 2017 - 12:24 pm

I got on the first train at 86th, we made it to 72nd, and we’ve been stuck here for “train traffic ahead” for over ten mins. All is normal.

Paul Berk January 2, 2017 - 8:11 am

I was on the same train and had exactly the same thought!

pigeon January 2, 2017 - 1:09 pm

I made my UES trip to and from Astoria by changing at 57th st/7th ave which adds 3 extra stops to the trip versus the Lexington Ave line. It obviously takes longer, but it seems more direct and logical in a way. I don’t know which connection I will use regularly. I think I read somewhere that the old 2nd avenue El made one-seat-ride trips to and from the UES and Astoria. F train riders from queens are served well at least by the transfer at 63rd st.

Options are good, but it seems the best travel plan for me was taken away when they removed the M15 LIMITED and brought in the Select+ Bus Service. There is no longer a convenient stop at 60th St where I would walk over to the 3rd ave entrance of the Lextington Ave-59th St Station.

In good weather, when I have the motivation, a bicycle would get me the most direct trip, though I would take the East river esplanade down to 60th st to avoid dangerous traffic. I see that a bike lane has appeared down Second avenue, but only reaches to 68th st.

BronxSteve January 2, 2017 - 2:29 pm

You can also walk the 3 blocks from 60 and 3rd to 63 and 3rd, in good weather.

Tim January 3, 2017 - 3:52 pm Reply
pigeon January 2, 2017 - 3:26 pm

Steve, that’s an interesting idea. The Lexington avenue-60th st to Lextington Ave-63rd st out-of-system transfer is difficult, LexAve-63rd st station is a deep underground station. Making the transfer over at 3rd ave 60th to 3rd ave – 63rd could be different. I would be assisted by the escalator at the 3rd ave end of the Lex-59th st station.

BoerumBum January 3, 2017 - 9:59 am

Was anyone else there at the right time Sunday evening to get glad-handed by the governor?

I asked him about Phase 2; he walked away without answering.

pigeon January 3, 2017 - 10:38 am

It may be more reasonable to change one’s job or neighborhood than hope and wait for phase 2.

Astoria rider January 4, 2017 - 11:30 am

I think phase 2 should cancel the 106 and 116 stations, and include the 55 and 42 st stations instead (given the midtown east rezoning).

That way we can get a T shuttle running from 42/2nd to 125.
And maybe bring back the V as a qns blvd local from 42/2nd to forest hills.

Guest January 5, 2017 - 12:03 am

East Harlem is also getting rezoned. The stations north of E 96th are going to get more crowded, and that doesn’t even count the increases already and expected from the Bronx.

I wouldn’t cut those stations, but I would prioritize a Bronx extension before E 125th/Lex. There will be a new Metro North stop at Hunts Point Ave in a couple years.

SEAN January 4, 2017 - 7:54 pm

Took a ride up to 96th street today & I must say that the new stations look pretty slick with the artwork & all. Even the street elevator at 96th was nice & roomy. But the constant messages on the escalators were down right annoying.

I did notice that the prerecorded station announcements were a little off time, but that is easily correctable.

BruceNY January 5, 2017 - 1:34 pm

Well, after three working days I have to say that I’m loving the 2nd Avenue Subway! It really makes a HUGE difference for anyone who lives all the way on York Ave. or East End for that matter. I’m actually between the 63rd/Third entrance and the 69th St. entrance at 72nd Street so I actually get a choice. At 63rd, I’m lucky in that I can take either the F or Q to my job near 34th Street. I’m just surprised that they designed the 63rd & 3rd entrance to have four elevators down to the platform ONLY. I know that the cavern for this entrance existed ever since they built the original station; I took a Transit Museum tour once and we walked up the bare concrete stairs which were adjacent to the ramps that were clearly meant to have escalators installed one day. Why no escalators now?
My only concern is that there always seem to be delays heading downtown due to the N switching over to the Express below 42nd, and the N always gets preference so as not to back up R and W trains behind it.

Isaac January 7, 2017 - 4:39 pm

Amen on the escalator announcements. I fully expect that chatter to get sampled and make it into some hip-hop.

And where’s Ben? Isn’t this “Second Avenue Sagas”?

BronxSteve January 7, 2017 - 4:42 pm

Ben’s on a vacation in Paris, as he ruefully indicated in one of his posts.

Ryan January 8, 2017 - 12:04 pm

“Please, no materials on the escalators!” What does this even MEAN?


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