Discussion relating to the past and present operations of the NYC Subway, PATH, and Staten Island Railway (SIRT).

Moderator: GirlOnTheTrain

  by andegold
Thanks for the reply andrewjw. I almost took the post down after realizing some or all of it may have actually been discussed earlier. As I said I was committing the cardinal sin of just drawing lines on a map. That map, of course, was the subway map which has always been known for it's spatial accuracy. I see what you're referring to and how my distances and alignments don't really work in the real world. I still like the idea, though, of creating a multi-pronged access to the airport as well as tying it in to access from the east.
  by Head-end View
Andegold, your ideas are interesting and commendable and in a perfect world would probably be terrific. But in the real world of NYC transit, not likely to happen. For one thing the costs would be absolutely huge and likely not affordable. And second, all this stuff has to pass environmental review and all kinds of other bureaucracy. Not to mention that all the NIMBY's will try like hell to stop any such projects. So the likelihood of any such major project happening is nil. I've watched many such good ideas and schemes come and go in the last fifty years. :(

We'll be lucky just to see the existing plan actually get done, imperfect as it is. And hopefully see the LIRR's East Side Access Project finally get finished. :wink:
  by #5 - Dyre Ave
andegold wrote: Wed Feb 05, 2020 5:36 pm Pure fantasy - Feel free to ignore, or move to a new topic if more appropriate:

Was any thought given, in whole or in part, to the following combined scenarios:

When the SAS/Q reaches 125th St have it turn right instead of left and head towards LGA. (Perhaps leave the SAS as planned heading west and create a new line from Inwood going cross-town at 125th and running out to LGA and beyond.)

Extend the N/W to LGA (I know this has been discussed extensively).

Have the M turn north at Steinway to meet up with the Q/N/W at LGA.

Rather than terminate at LGA extend the line to Willets Point, Main St, or some new yard/destination in an unserved part of Queens.

This would give better access to LGA to folks above 96th St in Manhattan, provide parallel access on two trunks in Manhattan below 59th (including a third trunk with same platform transfer between E and M), provide additional local service and LGA access through Northwest Queens, provide LGA access from the East, provide a relief valve for Flushing Main St crowds, and finally, provide the PA with access to remote parking lots which is apparently what they really want from the eastern approach.

How many tens of billions would that cost? Does the geography allow for it to be done (either above or below ground? I confess that this is basically just drawing lines on a map with no knowledge of geographical facts on the ground. I used to envision the N/W extending over the bay above ground and water but with this plan I see it all coming together underground.
Branching the M off the Queens Blvd local tracks at Steinway would leave the most of the local tracks with only one service. East of Roosevelt, ridership is heavy on the locals due to all the passengers who ride the M or R to Roosevelt for the E or F. Due to all the interlining throughout the B Division, it would be near-impossible to beef up weekday R service to compensate for the loss of the M. Now, if you branched it off at, say Woodhaven Blvd, and turned north toward Junction Blvd to LGA, the loss of the M would be at only two local stations. But even so, the path the M would have to take from LGA to Queens Blvd, before heading to Manhattan would also be taking airport riders a bit out of their way.
  by mark777
I most certainly wouldn't want to take any time to actually give credit to A.O.C for this, but she did bring up a good point about this, and reality sets in that the LGA AirTrain plan is far less sensible than what the Governor thinks. At this point, even if he were to extend the AirTrain to connect with the JFK AirTrain in Jamaica would actually make better sense as it would create a true north-south Queens line, and would distribute passengers at various locations rather than one station. But it would do far less for travel time to NYC. But here too is also a mistake being made. Focusing on LGA to NYC shouldn't be the only goal in any plans. The point would be to expand on LGA's access which technically JFK did just that by running the AirTrain to Jamaica, allowing it to tap into the market in Nassau and Suffolk counties. Sadly Geography plays a role into this, and the northern subway and LIRR lines do not connect well to the eastern portions of Queens and so on. I actually envisioned an Airtrain using the GCP to the Amtrak Hell Gate branch and head southwest and then branch off south to the Woodside station of both the LIRR and no. 7 Line. There would need to be some obsticles that need to be dealt with specifically that the Amtrak line crosses over the GCP at a rather high level and heading somewhat SE of this location, but im sure it would be practical, and considering the high price tag of the proposed AirTrain, surely we can be much more creative with the money and find a more direct route. A real dare devil politician would use money wisely and kill two birds with one stone and attempt to connect LGA with rail service but also offer more by expanding rail service into an overcrowded and underserved Borough of Queens. I find that all projects both at JFK and LGA are always focused solely on getting to and from NYC but never to Eastern Queeens or LI. Not everybody flies out of ISP on LI and destinations are not in abundance. WE have to fly out of JFK or LGA and once LGA is done, and if the prices are right, I may go there. Heck, JetBlue at the Marine Terminal has already sold me twice so, that's something that should be taken into consideration. But the fact that I can take the LIRR to Jamaica and then the Airtrain to JFK makes life easier for me, so we end up at JFK most of the times.

I too enjoy drawing lines on a map, but sometimes, what you see from your car or from the window of the train, you can see many alternatives than what is being proposed and what has been proposed. One last thing, Ferries might seem practical to some, but you also must address the part where passengers must still trek to the waterways to catch a ferry, and most subway lines don not connect well to one, making the portion of travel in NYC either via Taxi, walking, or bus. A crosstown ride on a bus or cab from the East River to the west side will take as long as a ferry from the west side to LGA directly. I am one of those people that does feel that rail service would be best for LGA, and not alternatives. my two cents.
  by Backshophoss
Just extend the N,Q line the 3 miles to LGA,a simple project. Or shut LGA down ,move traffic to JFK,EWR, and Stewart
  by Head-end View
I agree with Backshophoss; extending the existing subway line from Astoria is the most practical solution by far.

But as mark777 hinted, I would also like to see built at the same time, a northern branch of the Airtrain from Jamaica Station to LGA so Long Islanders could equally access either JFK or LGA. Then the Airtrain could also be used to travel from one airport to the other, though I'm not sure how much demand there would be for that.
  by #5 - Dyre Ave
Fully agreed. Extending the N/W is the most practical choice. Why the Governor and the Port Authority are so afraid of telling a few NIMBY’s (and it is a few, per the link to the Daily News) what to go do with themselves.

And 19th Avenue in Astoria is almost completely industrial with a fair amount of parking lots, so a concrete el above 19th really shouldn’t have a major issue with NIMBY’s. Would we even be dealing with the same stubborn NIMBY property owners that killed the N extension 25 years ago? It’s possible at least some of the property owners sold and moved on. So maybe the N/W extension is worth another look, yes?
  by MattW
Since everyone's throwing their proposals in, why not?
My idea is shift Astoria Bouldvard platforms north and branch the line at 32nd st and run along GCP to LGA. The challenge would be in ensuring access to both Astoria Blvd N and Astoria Blvd S while building a smooth enough junction.
  by lpetrich
AOC to FAA: Not Good Enough on LaGuardia AirTrain – Streetsblog New York City - Feb 19, 2020
This week, the FAA offered the same explanation it has given before regarding the rejected AirTrain alternatives — and AOC said, essentially, “Not good enough.”

“It is clear from the FAA’s response that several alternatives were ruled out for reasons inconsistent with the stated screening criteria,” she said in a statement issued Tuesday. “[Queens residents] are owed a fair and transparent evaluation of transportation alternatives to LaGuardia Airport.”
No change since last month.
Further, the AirTrain station at Willets Point seems designed more as a remote parking lot for the airport than as a full-fledged addition to the transit network.
linking to ANALYSIS: LGA AirTrain is Andrew Cuomo’s $2B Parking Lot – Streetsblog New York City - Jan 24, 2020
The dirty little not-so-secret of the LaGuardia AirTrain — the much-criticized, $2-billion Port Authority boondoggle to connect the airport to the LIRR’s less useful Port Washington line at Willets Point — is that it’s almost entirely driven by the needs of car drivers, not transit users. That’s problematic when the goal of transit projects should be to lessen car use — not enable it.
  by Backshophoss
Seems like the FAA wants that 3 mile extension for the N,Q,and W lines over the air train to willet's point.
That "Off site" parking lot for employees would as become "Overflow" lot for airline passengers.
Not cost effective,but a HUGE waste of $$$$ if air train was built. :P :P :P
  by Backshophoss
Never under stood the PA and the NYC Planners wanted to go south and east instead of heading west to N,Q,and W Subway routing
Building along the GCP would have brought in NIMBYS by the Score all the way to Flushing Meadows,even more if extended t0 JFK.
Not worth the effort or the $$$$$$ needed.
Going to Ditmars Blvd station is heading west to the city's core and access to all commuter rail options via the N,Q, and W routings
makes better sense all the way around.
  by #5 - Dyre Ave
Backshophoss wrote: Thu Feb 20, 2020 12:03 pm Seems like the FAA wants that 3 mile extension for the N,Q,and W lines over the air train to willet's point.
That "Off site" parking lot for employees would as become "Overflow" lot for airline passengers.
Not cost effective,but a HUGE waste of $$$$ if air train was built. :P :P :P
If so, then the FAA’s got way more sense than the PA and Emperor Cuomo! Run the el along 19th Avenue. It’s almost entirely parking lots and industrial buildings. Then a tunnel east of Hazen St under some more parking lots. From there, you’re on airport property and you can even have a stop at the Marine Air Terminal before you hit the three main terminals.

But if all that tunneling under LGA runways would be way too expensive, then might I suggest running the north end of the Triboro RX to LGA instead of having it dead-end in Astoria short of the Hell Gate Bridge? Then at least it will have connections to almost every subway line in Brooklyn and Queens and two connections to the LIRR in East New York and Woodside.
  by STrRedWolf
#5 - Dyre Ave wrote: Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:38 pm But if all that tunneling under LGA runways would be way too expensive, then might I suggest running the north end of the Triboro RX to LGA instead of having it dead-end in Astoria short of the Hell Gate Bridge? Then at least it will have connections to almost every subway line in Brooklyn and Queens and two connections to the LIRR in East New York and Woodside.
I like the Triburo RX idea, even if it's done by LIRR. The only construction I can think of is above various highways, starting at 65th street along the I-279 spur to Grand Central Parkway to LGA.

An alternative would be to connect to the Port Washington branch east of Woodside, run to Mets-Willets Point, then split off over the highways to LGA before connecting at Astoria-Ditmars. Go further up, and you have the opportunity to share service with the MetroNorth's Hudson line with a little bit of track construction.

Yes, forget subway or Airtrain. Commuter rail will be cheaper and has more promise.
  by Backshophoss
Since the N,Q,and W stub end at Ditmars blvd,the 3 miles to LGA would be EL type construction,with very little disruption at ground level.
Red,your "bright" idea would become the great NIMBY riot,Triboro RX is mostly fantasy would screw up freight access to the island.
  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 12