Changing from a foamer to more of a pragmatist

In school, because it takes my very little time to do my work, I have time left in class. As a result, on my left over pieces of looseleaf I would make small fantasy subway maps, or plans for the New York City Subway. Looking back at them, even the ones from the beginning of the school year, makes me feel silly. How could I have thought this was a priority? What stupid idea was that? And so on. I thought that the 7 train should be converted to the B division, I thought that the 7 should be extended down 11th Avenue to 14th Street, I thought the N should be extended to Flushing, and I thought that PATH should be connected with the 6 via a track connection. In an ideal world, where there was infinite money to spend, yes, maybe some of these ideas would be good. However, we do not live in that world. There is a limit to how much money is allocated to transit, and the political reality in which the MTA does not get the money it needs, there is not room for many new lines. Even looking back to my plans from a month or so ago, there are many extensions or lines that should not be prioritized.

For instance, a line running via the Bushwick Branch of the LIRR, Flushing Avenue, and the Long Island Expressway. I had thought of that line on my own, and Andrew Lynch happened to think of the same idea. It seems good on paper. However, because not many people want to travel from Northeast Queens to Central Queens and Williamsburg, and because of the high cost, it does not see like the best use of taxpayer dollars and farebox revenue. Also, another line that I thought should be built, but I have taken out of my plans is the Tenth Avenue Line in Manhattan. It would have extended the L train up the Far West Side up Tenth Avenue, with a transfer to the 7 and it would have terminated at 72nd Street with a transfer to the 1, 2, and 3. The 7 train extension should be able to serve the area for some time, and even more so with an infill station at 10th Avenue, which I still support. Also, the outer boroughs should have more of a focus than Manhattan. Other than the Second Avenue Subway, with a branch on 125th Street, there is not too much else in Manhattan needed. Tail tracks at Eighth Avenue would be nice, allowing for additional capacity on the ever growing popular L train. Money should be focused on the outer boroughs, where commutes are long, and people with lower incomes often reside. These people have to toil day after day with hour long commutes, often involving multiple buses and the subway. By reducing their travel times, these people can spend less on transportation, they could spend more time with their families, and they can contribute to the economy. This is just a post introducing some of what the purpose of transportation is and which communities it should serve.

Finally, before I finish this post, I would like to describe what would be cost effective and what would be more realistic. In the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn, there are all underutilized or abandoned railroad right-of-ways (ROWs) that could be used. In Brooklyn, there is the Atlantic Branch. It provides a quick ride from Atlantic Terminal to Jamaica (only 20 minutes), but the fare is high ($7.25 off peak, and $10.00 during peak). One possible option, which has been considered for some time, is to take the line in as part of the subway system, as an express line. The Second Avenue Subway could be extended into Brooklyn and could be connected to the line. I don’t think that this is the best use of the line, and in a later post I will explain what I will want done with this line. In the mean time, an additional stop should be added in Woodhaven, where one is abandoned, and the fare should be lowered to $6.50.

In Queens, there is the Port Washington Branch. The branch parallels the IRT Flushing Line for most of its length, and it has the potential to provide much needed relief to the 7 train. The branch is the only branch of the LIRR that does not serve Jamaica, as it branches off further west at Winfield Junction. The branch, for much of its length, serves communities in Northeast Queens, and it also serves the Nassau County communities of Great Neck and Port Washington. I think that the line should be converted into a subway line. This would allow more trains to run to points further east on Long Island. While people from Great Neck and beyond won’t want to mingle with the subway passengers, and they want to keep their premium service, they will get superior service, with more destinations in Manhattan, and more frequent service than every 30 minutes.

Before I ramble on for too long, I need to mention the Triboro Rx. I think that the idea is great. It would be relatively cheap compared to the boondoggle that is the Fulton Center, the WTC station, or the 7 train extension. It would allow for new trips to trx_copybe possible between Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx. New service would be available in Canarsie and Ridgewood, among other areas, and new transfer opportunities would be available. If the line were a light rail line, the line could then have the potential to be extended over the Verazanno Bridge. I disagree with the current plan laid out by the Regional Plan Association. Their plan has too few stops and it doesn’t make sense to go to Co-Op City. Instead it should utilize the Port Morris Branch before going under 161st Street to Yankee Stadium. For more details look at This is all for now. I will post more on my plan later on. Toodles.


1 thought on “Changing from a foamer to more of a pragmatist”

  1. I just turned 16 years old. I think that there should be subway construction. I think that the Second Avenue Subway, a Utica Avenue Line, a Hillside Avenue Extension, and a Fordham Road – Pelham Parkway Line should all be constructed. I really love your regional rail plan, and I have modeled my plan based on yours. I will make a post on it at some point. There would be tunneling in Manhattan, with a line from Pavonia to Lower Manhattan, a line going down Madison Avenue, and an extension of the Atlantic Branch into Lower Manhattan. Also a station at Madison Avenue/34th Street.


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