The Routes Not Taken
A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Fordham University Press
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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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...“Th is is the D train to Curtiss Airport. Next stop, Gun Hill Road.”My desire to tell the story of the New York City’s unbuilt subway lines and the eff orts to bring subway ser vice to the areas not now served by rapid transit began by accident At that time, I was working in the Queens borough president’s offi ce, handling tran-sit issues. Th e Archer Avenue line was opening, and would use old track ramps running ...
Building (and Not Building)New York City’s Subway System
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Robert A. Van Wyck, the fi rst mayor of the Greater City of New York, broke ground for the fi rst subway line, near City Hall, on March 24, 1900. George B. McClellan, the third mayor of the fi ve boroughs, offi ciated at its opening on October 27, 1904. It took four years, seven months, and three days to build the line from City Hall to West 145th Th ings rarely went that quickly again. Th e New York Times article about the ground-...
Sound to Shore
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Th e Brooklyn– Queens Crosstown line was part of the IND’s fi rst phase. Its fi rst seg-ment, between the Queens Plaza and Nassau Avenue stations, opened on August 19, 1933; the second, connecting with the Smith Street line at the Bergen Street station, A much diff erent route was originally planned. Th e Crosstown line was fi rst pro-posed in 1878, aft er Brooklyn Mayor James Howell appointed a Rapid Transit Commis-...
Why the No. 7 Line Stops in Flushing
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Th e neighborhoods in Queens served by the Flushing line show the impact that rapid transit can have on residential, commercial, and industrial development. Bracketed by Hunters Point and Flushing, two of the oldest neighborhoods in Queens, the Flushing line, known to most riders as the No. 7 line,1 went through largely undeveloped land when its fi rst segment was built to 103rd Street and Roo se velt Avenue in Corona in 1917. ...
Th e Battle of the Northeast Bronx, Part 1
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Th e expansion of the subway system helped to bring social and economic change to the Bronx. As IRT lines extended to the northern reaches of the borough and the New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway (W&B) from Hunts Point to past the city line, developers of large properties recognized the land’s potential. “Th e faster the Inter-borough puts through ser vice in operation on the White Plains [Road] line the quicker ...
Buy Land Now, Ride the Subway Later
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In the early de cades of the twentieth century, real estate developers saw the benefi ts of buying land along the route of subway lines that were proposed, planned, or built. One William E. Harmon, his brother, Cliff ord B. Harmon, and their uncle, Charles E. Wood, founded Wood, Harmon in Cincinnati in the 1880s. Th ey each invested a thou-sand dollars in land in the Cincinnati area. William had a plan for marketing the land: ...
Ashland Place and the Mysteries of 76th Street
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When talking about the New York City subway system’s unbuilt lines, someone will inevitably bring up the existence of the 76th Street station on what would have been the IND Fulton Street line’s extension into eastern Queens. Supposedly located in Ozone Park, the station and line segment are alleged to have been built during the 1940s.Th e plan to extend the Fulton Street line into Queens as a subway was approved by ...
To the City Limits and Beyond
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Th e Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s East Side Access (ESA) program is the most substantial expansion of New York’s commuter rail system since the Long Island Rail Road extended into Pennsylvania Station a century ago. Using the 63rd Street Tun-nel’s lower level, trains will run from the Sunnyside Yards in Queens to a new station built at Grand Central Terminal. Th is is a new version of a route proposed in the MTA’s ...
Th e Battle of the Northeast Bronx, Part 2
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Th e New York, Westchester, and Boston Railway’s last trip arrived in White Plains at 12:40 a.m. on January 1, 1938. One hundred fi ft y members of the Allied Civic Associa-tions and other community groups met with John H. Delaney and Charles V. Halley, Jr., on January 12. Th ey wanted the Board of Transportation to obtain the W&B’s Bronx tracks and resume operations. Delaney said he didn’t think it would be profi table....
Building the Line Th at Almost Never Was
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It’s impossible not to write about New York’s unbuilt subway lines without discussing the 2nd Avenue subway. Th e question of when it would be built has been asked for more than eighty years. It’s being partially answered with the construction of a segment east and north from the Lexington Avenue station on the 63rd Street line to 96th Street and 2nd Avenue, one step in a pro cess that has lasted the entire twentieth century and into ...
Other Plans, Other Lines,10 Other Issues in the Postwar Years
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General Charles P. Gross began his tenure as Board of Transportation chairman on January 7, 1946, by announcing his plans to modernize the system. Lengthening plat-forms, buying new trains, installing escalators, improving lighting, and paying down debt took priority. Without fi nancial resources, greater emphasis was being placed on upgrading the existing system. No commitment was given to raising the fare....
What Happened to the Rest of the System?
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One of my colleagues once pondered the question of what happened to all the ambi-tious plans to expand the subway system. She explained it this way: “Bad transit karma.”Terrible events always seemed to coincide with announcements of expansion plans— the Great Depression and other economic crises, both world wars, and terrorist attacks. Funds or resources that could have been used for capital programs were used to fi ll ...
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Appendix A: Th e 1944 Ser vice P
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Appendix B: Th e 1947 2nd Avenue Ser vice Plan
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Appendix C: Th e Cast of Characters
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Th is book is the result of a labor of love that took many years to achieve fruition. I am It would be wrong for me to not mention fi rst Robert Olmsted and Stephen Dobrow. Th ey both knew far more about the New York City transit system than I could ever as-pire to learn. I wish that they were both still here for me to personally express my grati-I owe a great deal of thanks to the faculty of York College and Queens College of ...
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Page Count: 256
Illustrations: 100 b/w
Publication Year: 2013