Rendering via Perkins Eastman
As a solution to Manhattan’s growing gridlock, planning and design firm Perkins Eastman is proposing a physical redesign of New York City’s street grid. In a CityLab article penned by Jonathan Cohn, who leads the firm’s transportation and public infrastructure studio, and Yunyue Chen, the recipient of Perkin Eastman’s 2017 Architectural Fellowship for the Public Realm, they argue the city should “transform the streets radically, dedicating them to pedestrians.” This includes grouping blocks into larger neighborhoods and organizing them into either thoroughfares and local streets.
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The West 35th Street/Hudson Blvd entrance under construction. Image via Wiki Commons.
The Manhattan 7 subway extension makes it the only line south of 59th Street to offer service west of Ninth Avenue, providing a long-awaited public transit option–with a station at 34th Street and Eleventh Avenue–for the Jacob Javits Convention Center, the High Line, and Hudson River Park and serving as a selling point for Hudson Yards and the many new developments rising on the far west side. Delays plagued the extension overall, with its opening in September of 2015 happening two years behind its original scheduled date. It was announced at the time that the station’s second entrance on 35th Street would take longer to complete. Now, two years later, the second entrance is open.
More ways to hit the west side
Rendering via NYCEDC
The long-delayed plan to bring a light-rail trolley between Brooklyn and Queens has been revived, following the completion of a two-year feasibility study, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday. But the proposal differs from the original idea for the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) the mayor had first released in 2016. The cost of the revised project has jumped to $2.7 billion from $2.5 billion, the number of miles on the route has dropped from 16 miles to 11 miles and the city expects the cars to run by 2029, instead of the original projection of 2024.
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Boynton’s Bicycle Railroad, via Wiki Commons
As Labor Day draws near and New Yorkers run to squeeze a few more beach days into the end of the summer, packed trains and ferries carry crowds to the city’s sandy shores. But, beachgoers of yore weren’t simply piling onto the Q train to get out to Coney Island. They reached the southern tip of Brooklyn via a much more zany (or visionary?) mode of conveyance: Boynton’s Bicycle Railroad. In the summer of 1890, Boynton’s Bicycle, so named because it featured two rails, one beneath the train and one above it, shuttled passengers between Gravesend and Coney Island via an abandoned section of the Sea Beach and Brighton Railroad.
The Story Rolls on This Way
Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed a package of bills to limit for-hire vehicles, like Uber and Lyft, by placing a one-year cap on new licenses. And this week the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved a pilot program for a new ride-hailing app for yellow taxis, according to Curbed NY. Calling itself the “next generation taxi app,” Waave promises to give New Yorkers upfront fares, surge-free pricing and estimated time of arrival before the car arrives, all features currently offered by Uber.
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Image © 6sqft
Instead of airing grievances about the subway on Twitter, you will soon be able to complain to the boss of the system face-to-face. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced on Sunday that Andy Byford, president of NYC Transit, will host a series of town hall public meetings about the Fast Forward plan, the ambitious proposal to modernize the subway over the next decade. The first meeting will take place at York College in Queens on Tuesday, Aug. 21 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
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Via NYC Ferry
A new ferry route connecting the South Bronx and Wall Street launched on Wednesday, the first-ever ferry service between the two boroughs in the 21st century. The new route starts at Clason Point Park in Soundview and makes stops at East 90th Street, East 34th Street and ends at Wall Street’s Pier 11. The entire trip takes about 45 minutes. “The new Soundview ferry will cut commute times in half for thousands of Bronxites,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. “Our all-of-the-above approach to transit gives New Yorkers reliable options to get where they need to go.”
Via jason smith on Flicker
Bad news for bus riders. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will not expand select bus service over the next few years as originally planned in order to cut costs amid a looming financial crisis for the agency, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Mayor Bill de Blasio first announced last year a plan to expand the select, or express, bus routes by upgrading 21 new routes over the next decade. But the MTA said it can save $28 million through 2022 by postponing the program temporarily.
Are subway platforms really as hot as the inside of a rotisserie, or does it just seem that way? On Thursday, August 9, 2018, the Regional Plan Association (RPA) sent out an intrepid task force of staff and interns to measure the temperature in the city’s ten busiest subway stations. The temperature outside was 86 degrees. The data they collected helped to inform a report titled, “Save Our Subways: A Plan To Transform New York City’s Rapid Transit System.”
Image courtesy of the NY Transit Museum Collections.
Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, New York City struggled with infrastructure failure, poverty, crime and garbage. One front in what seemed like a constant battle against total chaos was the attempt to keep subway cars graffiti-free. Inspired by a single white car sitting in a train yard in Corona, Queens that somehow managed to remain tag-free for two months (behind a security system that included a chain-link fence, barbed wire and guard dogs, but never mind that) in September 1981, the MTA rolled out one dozen all-white 7 trains–7,000 cars in all. The new program was dubbed “The Great White Fleet,” and officials hoped the bright white cars would do their part to keep graffiti at bay.
A rolling canvas