Image via Office of Gov. Cuomo depicting the Javits’ upcoming expansion
As the “summer of hell” days of emergency repairs to Penn Station’s rail system roll by, the Regional Plan Association, a nonprofit transportation advocacy group, is intent on tackling the transit system’s biggest messes; specifically, the association warned that “public transportation across the Hudson River is in crisis,” and is in the process of updating its regional plan to address that issue and other transportation snarls. Among the group’s suggestions: building a terminal for intercity buses underneath the Jacob K. Javits center on Manhattan’s West Side, the New York Times reports.
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As the nation’s largest transit system, the New York City subway helps connect millions of people to its five far-reaching boroughs each day. While it has helped shaped the city’s indisputable wealth, density and culture, the cost of subway construction remains incredibly expensive, with the time of projects taking much longer than they should. According to a study, “Building Big for Less,” by the Regional Plan Association Lab (RPA), with the exception of a few minor projects, New York’s subway system peak performance was in 1937. Since the 1930s, there has been little increase in system capacity and today there are fewer miles of track and commuter rail than in 1937. RPA’s study focused on NYC and other world capitals in order to compare transit data on a large scale.
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A new report from the Regional Plan Association finds that residents of the Bronx are at highest risk of being pushed out due to gentrification compared to other New Yorkers, according to DNAinfo. The report, titled “Pushed Out: Housing Displacement in an Unaffordable Region,” looks at the effect of rising housing costs in New York City and addresses what it names “A Crisis of Affordability.” The report found the threat of being pushed out due to lack of affordable housing was a threat in 71 percent of census tracts in the Bronx. Following in displacement risk was Brooklyn at 55 percent, Manhattan and Queens at 31 percent each and Staten Island at 15 percent.
People moving out, people moving in
Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo unveiled his latest nine-figure infrastructure proposal, a $10 billion overhaul of JFK Airport. As 6sqft explained, the plan address three main issues: “unifying all the terminals with an interconnected layout so the airport is more easily navigable; improving road access to the airport; and expanding rail mass transit to meet projected passenger growth.” This final point included a direct rail link so that passengers traveling to and from Manhattan wouldn’t need to ride the subway to connect to the AirTrain. The Regional Plan Association decided to explore this idea further, and in a report out today they’ve detailed five different approaches for a “one-seat ride” to JFK, which includes an extension of the Second Avenue Subway and a new underground tunnel.
All the possibilities right this way
Commuting in and around NYC can at times be a daunting task, and with the all of the pending subway closures, things are about to get a bit more complicated. However, all hope is not lost, and a trouble-free ride to work right be in the near future. From a city-wide ferry system to cell-phone friendly subway cars, both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio have several new initiatives in play to improve the city’s infrastructure. In addition to these ambitious government-backed measures, there are also a slew of motivated residents looking to make some changes, including a 32-Mile Greenway in Brooklyn and Queens and a High Line-esque bridge spanning the Hudson River, just to name a few. To keep your spirits high when subway lines are down, we’ve put together this list of top 10 transportation proposals for NYC.
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People are getting fed up with the century-old, crumbling Hudson River tunnels. One Jersey resident even went so far as to hire an architecture firm to design a sky bridge connecting Jersey City to Battery Park City. But grand visions aside, the state of the infrastructure is serious. To illustrate this point, but make it a bit more simple to digest, the Regional Plan Association has released a three-minute animated video called “Tunnel Trouble” that, as Crain’s puts it, “shows a hellish commute for New Jersey Transit and Amtrak riders if new tunnels are not built.” The narrator states, “they are the biggest bottleneck in the metro region’s transit network, causing delays that ripple up and down the northeast corridor.”
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Map of the Triboro RX via RPA
The problem with moving to many affordable neighborhoods in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx is the lack of transportation options, but a new report from the Regional Plan Association calls for a Triboro RX subway line, which would weave together existing subway stops in far-reaching spots, as well as provide additional locations. And forget toll hikes to fund the line; it would run mostly above ground on existing freight train tracks, making implementation easy and cost effective.
More on the transportation proposal and see the full Triboro RX map
If there’s one thing that all New Yorkers can agree on it’s that Penn Station is pretty awful. And if we’re ever going to get a new home for NJ Transit, Amtrak, and the LIRR, Madison Square Garden will have to move (just don’t tell any die-hard Rangers fans that).
The Alliance for a New Penn Station, a coalition of the Municipal Art Society and the Regional Plan Association, is proposing in a new report (revealed at this morning’s MAS Summit) that the world-famous venue take up residency in the Morgan Post Office and Annex, occupying the block bound by 9th and 10th avenues and 28th and 30th streets. The mail sorting facility site is large enough to accommodate a new state-of-the-art arena and is just a quick walk to Penn Station. The coalition told Capital New York: “Relocating the Garden to this site will provide the city with a new arena and allow for the reconstruction and expansion of Penn Station, each of which can be designed to vastly improve the conditions of the district.”
More on the proposal and renderings of what the new site could look like