Though we may already know there are places in NYC that we can’t easily get to, transit data junkie Chris Whong lays it all out on a map that points out the city’s lesser-served regions, at least by underground means. The interactive map shows all NYC land areas more than 500 meters (about .3 miles) from one of the city’s 468 subway stations–that’s about two avenue blocks or six or seven shorter street blocks (around a seven-minute walk) according to Google maps. A big blue dot blots out this radius surrounding the station; everything outside the dot, well, you’re hoofing it (or taking a bus, car or rickshaw).
In the ongoing discussion of expanding the city’s mass transit options to underserved areas, we may be a step closer to addressing the need for transit along the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront–between Astoria, Red Hook and Sunset Park, according to CapitalNY. While many of those areas have transit to and from Manhattan covered, a north-west connection is needed (and relying on the G train doesn’t help much). An advisory committee comprised of developers, transportation experts and civic organizers has formed to address this need.
Recently, the consulting firm of HR&A Advisors (former employers of city planning commissioner Carl Weisbrod) was hired by the committee to study the feasibility of a streetcar service or a light rail line to connect Sunset Park to Astoria, connecting rapidly growing neighborhoods like Red Hook, Williamsburg and Downtown Brooklyn, as well as burgeoning business and industry hubs like Long Island City and the Brookyn Navy Yard.
For those of you still flying high over yesterday’s news that LaGuardia Airport would soon be getting a major revamp, here comes some unfortunate news that might bring you back down to earth. As Crain’s reports, Governor Cuomo appears to have grossly underestimated his vision for the upgraded air hub. “According to several sources with direct knowledge of the project,” the paper says, “a new LaGuardia could take more than 10 years to build and cost close to $8 billion”—a price that’s double the Cuomo administration estimates of $4 billion, with at least another five years tacked on to the schedule.
Yesterday, we learned of Governor Cuomo’s plans for a major, $4 billion overhaul of LaGuardia Airport. The project includes consolidating the four terminals, moving the entire facility south, introducing a 24-hour ferry service, and launching AirTrain service that’ll connect travelers to the 7 line in Willet’s Point. Today, however, the revelry took a turn when it was reported that the revamp would actually take ten years and $10 billion. If this is, in fact, the case, that’s a huge chunk of money coming out of the state budget–money that the MTA has long been gunning for in order to update its antiquated system (it’s been running on the same technology since the 1930s) and to close its $15 billion 2015-2019 Capital Plan funding gap, which is still only less than half of the agency’s $34 billion in total debt.
After much anticipation, Governor Cuomo unveiled his plan yesterday to overhaul LaGuardia Airport, which he called “un-New York” in its current state. The $4 billion project includes consolidating the four terminals into one hub and moving the entire facility south the length of two football fields, according to Crain’s. Additionally, Cuomo’s controversial AirTrain, which will connect travelers to the 7 line in Willet’s Point, will be put into effect, as will a 24-hour ferry service that will operate out of the landmarked Art Deco Marine Air Terminal. The development will be handled by LaGuardia Gateway Partners, a new public-private partnership formed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who will oversee the construction, financing, and operation of the new terminal under a 35-year lease.
For the last 14 years, JFK’s most beloved structure has mostly languished vacant, reopened intermittently for public tours or to serve as the backdrop of some Jet Age fashion shoot. While there has been plenty of talk surrounding the TWA Flight Center’s transformation into a hotel, details have remained sparse until now. As Curbed has it, the city has finally revealed that MCR Development will be taking the reigns alongside JetBlue and the NYNJ Port Authority, bringing the iconic terminal back to life as a 505-room LEED-certified hotel with restaurants, 40,000 square feet of meeting space and a 10,000-square-foot observation deck. The project will aptly be called “The TWA Flight Center Hotel.”
The MTA is showing its age in a new video put forth by the public benefit corporation. “People know the system is old,” the narrator of MTA’s video opens, “but I don’t think they realize just how old it is.” The New York City subway system has been running since 1904, and as we previously reported in December, it’s been running on the same technology used in the 1930s.
In the video, computers are noticeably absent from the West 4th Street Supervisory Tower, which is in control of all of the train movements around the area. Instead there are plenty of pens and papers, as well as old, lever-operated machinery that the railroad industry has long stopped manufacturing. It’s no wonder that the MTA has put out this video promoting their Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system, a project that aims to modernize the subway.
Between March 2014 and April 2015, the city reported 223,141 motor vehicle accidents, almost 25 percent of which resulted in injury or death. The Auto Insurance Center used this open-source data, which includes geographical coordinates for the accidents, to create maps and graphs examining where and when the collisions happened (h/t Brokelyn). Queens accounted for 29.5 percent of the total collisions, with Brooklyn coming in right behind at 28 percent. In terms of neighborhoods (broken down by police precincts), Flushing, Queens takes the top spot, followed by Queens Village, the Upper East Side, Cypress Hills, Brooklyn, and Long Island City, respectively.
On the corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street in Downtown Brooklyn is what looks like a regular subway entrance. But upon further inspection, it becomes clear that there’s no uptown and downtown platforms here. This is the New York Transit Museum, the largest museum dedicated to urban public transportation in the country. It’s fittingly located inside a decommissioned–but still working–subway station. And over the last 40 years, it has told one of New York’s most important stories–how mass transit and city development are intricately connected and how public transportation is one of the city’s crowning achievements, in spite of its delays and crowded rides.
Gabrielle Shubert has served as the museum’s director for the past 24 years. She transformed a young institution into a go-to destination for learning about and engaging with urban history. From vintage cars to subway fares, Gabrielle has offered visitors a chance to go behind the scenes and marvel at the wonders of New York City’s incredible public transportation system.
On the eve of her retirement, we sat down with Gabrielle in one of the museum’s vintage cars and found out about her early days as director, the range of exhibits and programming she has overseen, and the institution’s bright future.
It’s easy to tell if you’re dealing with a Queens address–there’s the hyphenated street number and the variety of numbered thoroughfare names (Street, Place, Road, Avenue, Lane, Terrace). The really hard part, however, is actually getting to that address in Queens, especially if you’re a resident from another borough to whom it feels like trying to maneuver your way in another country where you don’t know the language. But instead of continuing to find ourselves lost, we decided to get to the bottom of this complicated system.
Prior to the consolidation of New York City in 1898, what is now known as the borough of Queens was only a hodgepodge of unconnected towns, each of which had its own road system and addresses. Once the towns were combined into one borough, having multiple road systems was becoming a hindrance to fast-growing Queens. So by 1911, the borough hired engineer Charles U. Powell to replace the old systems with a carefully planned grid system.