Proposed revisit of long ill-fated Utica ave subway line - Brooklynian

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Proposed revisit of long ill-fated Utica ave subway line

i guess there's no East Flatbush board so i'm just putting this in Crown Heights since it would in theory affect Crown Heights too (and presumably Bed Stuy).



Pretty interesting! I guess we sort of know it's not going to happen but i had been wondering if anyone was ever going to talk about this subject again. it's been brought up numerous times over the last century and always struck down because of some economic strife of ages past. and i personally think it would be a boon to a neighborhood like Bed Stuy, which is growing rapidly and has large pockets completely underserved by trains (East Flatbush is similar, but, in contrast, has a much more car-centric culture already in place). this would also conceivably take a lot of pressure off the 2, 5, 4, 3, and A and C lines if the people all along Utica had another way of getting into manhattan. as it is, i know the 2/5 branch on Nostrand is flooded by people who take buses/cars to it from East Flatbush 

what do you guys think? maybe within the next century, barring a catastrophic weather event that destroys the eastern seaboard or something? i have the feeling it won't be happening within my lifetime

Comments

  • I think a dedicated bus way could work along Utica.

    IE no cars allowed.

    ...the present SBS-BRT stuff seems as if it is designed to fail.

    Perhaps the MTA is following a Fail First model?
    http://www.floridahouseexperience.com/blog/the-fail-first-model-of-insurance-companies/


  • If the mayor's request for a study of a Utica Ave subway line had come out on April 1st, I would have understood it. But seriously??? The likelihood of the MTA even considering such a project when the 2nd Ave subway is very very far from being finished and the MTA is seriously lacking the funds to complete that line ... well, ain't going to happen. 
  • yeah sometimes i wonder if deblasio knows he's not getting reelected so he just says shit to make himself sound good? hm
  • Didn't the MTA announce that they might not have the funds to fully build the 2nd AVE line? So where are they going to scrape the money for this together? 
  • yeah sometimes i wonder if deblasio knows he's not getting reelected so he just says shit to make himself sound good? hm
    He seems to be trolling. Even if money were no object (ha), I suspect there'd be some NIMBY opposition.

    I agree that there should be a transfer created between the Livonia Ave/Junius St stations between the L and the 3 lines. The MTA finally made a transfer between Lawrence Street and Jay Street happen; this seems like a no-brainer.
  • Agreed on the Livonia/Junius transfer.  It's an absolute joke that they aren't connected.  You literally stand on one platform, turn your head slightly and look down/up onto the other station's platform.
  • maybe more money should be spent on transfers like that. you know, small, bit sized reachable goals. for instance, making the G train transfer to...anything.

    maybe a long tunnel from the Fulton st G to Atlantic ave. it couldn't be any longer than the tunnel from 6th to 7th aves on 14th st.
  • maybe more money should be spent on transfers like that. you know, small, bit sized reachable goals. for instance, making the G train transfer to...anything.

    maybe a long tunnel from the Fulton st G to Atlantic ave. it couldn't be any longer than the tunnel from 6th to 7th aves on 14th st.
    Along those lines, how about connecting Lafayette Avenue on the C line to Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center? The MTA already has signs at Lafayette directing people to Barclays. 
  • edited April 2015
    I've long dreamed connecting the Shuttle to the G.
    In my plan, a tunnel would be created between the G's Bedford-Nostrand stop and the C/Shuttle's Franklin Ave stop.

    I'd then add additional tracks to the shuttle, so it could accomodate the traffic.

    http://web.mta.info/maps/submap.html

    Presto!
  • maybe more money should be spent on transfers like that. you know, small, bit sized reachable goals. for instance, making the G train transfer to...anything.

    maybe a long tunnel from the Fulton st G to Atlantic ave. it couldn't be any longer than the tunnel from 6th to 7th aves on 14th st.
    Broadway G and Hewes St J is absolutely another no brainer. 
  • yesss! but i wish the shuttle tracks would have just connected to it from the start, sigh. it's juuuust long enough to be an annoying walk. does anyone know if the shuttle ever connected to the elevated line along lafayette or something? 


  • Broadway G and Hewes St J is absolutely another no brainer.  
    i wonder if there are ever any issues between connecting elevated tracks and underground tracks like that? i suppose that's worked in the Franklin ave A/C/S stop..
  • The Court Sq station in LIC is another example where they took disconnected elevated station (7) and subterranean station (G/E/M) and connected them.  At least in that case, they allowed a free out-of-station transfer before the stations were connected.  The G/J and L/3 adjacent stations don't even allow this...
  • What was the reason for the Shuttle to begin with?  It seems so random.  When they created this, what made them spend money on this rather than anything else?  Was it simply so people on Franklin would have a convenient way to the park?
  • What was the reason for the Shuttle to begin with?  It seems so random.  When they created this, what made them spend money on this rather than anything else?  Was it simply so people on Franklin would have a convenient way to the park?
    that's a good theory, but i think i saw a timeline of oldest train tracks in the five boroughs that had the shuttle tracks predating most of the subway system. I'll have to find more info on it...after all, the residents of clinton hill and bedford were super wealthy at the time so park access might have been the reason for it. 

    ironically i live on the Prospect Park end of the shuttle and i yearn for an easier way to reach all my friends who refuse to leave north brooklyn. i've learned to love the B48, and the B43
  • Agreed on the Livonia/Junius transfer.  It's an absolute joke that they aren't connected.  You literally stand on one platform, turn your head slightly and look down/up onto the other station's platform.
    I wish they did this.  I need a better way for friends and family to get to and from the airport when they come to visit.   It's getting really inconvenient having to go pick them up.  

    To get to/from Utica now, it takes over an hour with quite a bit of walking, which is obviously difficult with luggage.  I presume this connection can knock off almost all the walking and likely 15 to 30 minutes time.
  • More info re: Franklin Avenue Shuttle from Forgotten NY.

    I also remember that years ago the shuttle used to continue southbound past Prospect Park.
  • wish they did this.  I need a better way for friends and family to get to and from the airport when they come to visit.   It's getting really inconvenient having to go pick them up.  

    To get to/from Utica now, it takes over an hour with quite a bit of walking, which is obviously difficult with luggage.  I presume this connection can knock off almost all the walking and likely 15 to 30 minutes time.
    I generally take the #3 to New Lots Ave and then walk downstairs to take the B15 bus to the airport. The only problem is that only every 3rd (?) B15 actually goes to the airport and it is almost always crowded because of local users as well as the fact that there are many people who take it to get to their jobs at the airport. If I'm not in a rush, I take the B20 to Ralph and EP and take the B15 from there; longer ride, but no problem finding a seat. 

    For the trip back, I take the B15 from Terminal 5 or 6 (I forgot -- it used to be Terminal 4) all the way to Ralph and EP and transfer to the B20 to get to EP and Schenectady. It's slow, but but easier than carrying luggage up 4 flights of stairs at New Lots Ave -- and then upstairs again at Utica or Kingston.

    Not sure, though, where you are located that a Livonia/Junius transfer would help you.
  • edited April 2015
    @morralkan - I was thinking that with the Livonia/Junius transfer, one can take the 4 from Utica to Junius, the L to Broadway Junction, the A to Howard Beach/JFK, and then the Airtrain. 

    If this can be done within 45 minutes, I have a viable excuse not to do JFK pickups, particularly for visitors under 50.
  • edited April 2015
    My parents are in their early 70s. When they fly into JFK, then take airtrain to Jamaica, then LIRR to Atlantic, then the 2/3 to me.

    It is a little convoluted, but they prefer it to a cab, which costs about the same price.
  • My parents are in their early 70s. When they fly into JFK, the take airtrain to Jamaica, then LIRR to Atlantic, then the 2/3 to me.

    It is a little convoluted, but they prefer it to a cab, which costs about the same price.
    Interesting.  How long does that usually take?
  • edited April 2015
    I love the Airtrain. I'm near Nostrand so it's really convenient - 13-18 minutes to Jamaica on the LIRR and another 10-15 minutes or so on Airtrain to the terminal depending on which one you're going to. Other than the schlep up and down those stairs, its actually really convenient.
  • edited April 2015
    The various connections take them about 45 min.

    I think the fare is around $15 ($5 Airtain + $7.50 LIRR + $2.75 MTA). So, $30 for the two of them.

    I think they like it because they don't have to wait in the taxi line, or be knowledgable enough to give directions to a driver who only knows Manhattan.

  • I love the Airtrain. I'm near Nostrand so it's really convenient - 13-18 minutes to Jamaica on the LIRR and another 10-15 minutes or so on Airtrain to the terminal depending on which one you're going to. Other than the schlep up and down those stairs, its actually really convenient.
    Taking the A to the Airtrain is so easy! Best way to get to the airport. I really wish I could fly out of JFK more often alas Southwest flies out of LGA. What a horrible airline and what a horrible hard to get to airport. 
  • Perhaps I'm flying at different times, but I have almost never waited very long for a taxi at JFK and have not found a problem explaining how to a cab driver how to get here, especially in the era of GPS. Mostly, the only thing I need to explain is if the GPS is telling the driver to take a southern route along the Belt out to Flatbush Ave.
    The only time I take a cab is if it late at night/very early in the AM or if there are several pieces of baggage. A cab is MUCH more convenient than the AirTrain/LIRR/MTA combination, IMO. The time estimates given for that combination does not include waiting for trains, which can almost double the length.
    In any event, I guess I am spoiled by being only 2 minutes walk from the Kingston #3 train. The ride on the #3/B15 combination always brings back memories for me since I grew up around there, my cousins lived in ENY, and I worked in the area for many years until my retirement. In any case, while the Livonia IRT/L combination is OK, the area is still one of the diciest in Brooklyn, so I prefer to avoid it.
  • Long ago, I concluded I would never fully understand my parents and they would never fully understand me.

    If they are motivated by frugality, I am glad that they are not so frugal that they take the B15 to the 3.
  • I love the Airtrain. I'm near Nostrand so it's really convenient - 13-18 minutes to Jamaica on the LIRR and another 10-15 minutes or so on Airtrain to the terminal depending on which one you're going to. Other than the schlep up and down those stairs, its actually really convenient.
    ~30 minutes from Nostrand to JFK; this sounds like a good option.  

    Are there steps between the LIRR and the Airtrain or is it just at Nostrand?  Also, is the LIRR frequent?
  • edited April 2015
    The only stop between Nostrand and Jamaica is ENY.

    It is every 20 min during peak. Off peak is every 30 min.

    http://web.mta.info/lirr/Timetable/Branch/CityTerminalBranch.pdf
  • edited April 2015
    Thanks @whynot_31.  I was asking about stairs (not steps, per se) between the LIRR and the Airtrain.  I just want to know how much schlepping there is.  Apologies for not making myself clear.
  • There is a huge flight of stairs at Nostrand to get to LIRR, and then one flight from the platform to the top of the LIRR station in Jamaica. Once you get to the street level, the entrance to the Airtrain doesn't require any additional stair steps.
  • edited July 2015
    yeah sometimes i wonder if deblasio knows he's not getting reelected so he just says shit to make himself sound good? hm
    He seems to be trolling. Even if money were no object (ha), I suspect there'd be some NIMBY opposition.

    I agree that there should be a transfer created between the Livonia Ave/Junius St stations between the L and the 3 lines. The MTA finally made a transfer between Lawrence Street and Jay Street happen; this seems like a no-brainer.
    DN: Brooklyn official wants transfer at 2 nearby subway stations in East New York http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/brooklyn/brooklyn-pol-transfer-east-new-york-subway-stations-article-1.2283534
  • A car service like Monaco usually costs around $35 to JFK. Not sure if it's the same for them to pick you up from there. Cheaper than hailing a cab and probably Uber.

    When I'm going on a short trip with light luggage and feel like taking public transport, I take the S shuttle to the C. Then transfer to the A at either Nostrand (have to go downstairs) or Utica where it's on the same platform. Then Air Train. It's not that bad. Only the first transfer from the S to the C is annoying. Takes roughly an hour and costs $5 Airtain and an extra metrocard ride if you dont already have an unlimited to use.
  • Never tried the bus though I guess I could take the 3 then the B15. Does the B15 drive by all of these terminals or only certain ones?
  • If you are cheap you can also take the A to the Q10, which I believe only goes to Terminal 4.

    It's just as fast if you would have needed to let a Lefferts A pass to get a Far Rockaway one.
  • To get back to the original subject line, MTA just launched SBS service on the B46 route, i.e., up and down Utica Av:


    As noted in the WSJ headline, this is Brooklyn's most heavily-used bus route (#3 in the city in 2015, according to MTA:
    http://web.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffbus.htm#routes), and as noted above, this is a route a lot of people in East Flatbush use to get to the subway.

    Contrary to why_not's comment above, I don't think SBS is destined to fail. I ride the B44-SBS fairly regularly, and it seems to be working. Drivers mostly respect the bus lane (I believe they're camera-enforced? I'm not sure exactly how that works--cameras on the front of the buses?); the pre-payment & all-door boarding greatly reduces "dwell times" (how long a bus sits at a stop), and the limited stops means the buses really cover ground (e.g., one stop from Empire Blvd to St John's Pl)

    Also they've started installing countdown displays at the stops (see photo here: )--even with MTA's BusTime app, this is really handy for knowing if you have time to grab a coffee, etc before the next bus.

    Anyways, hopefully the B46-SBS service is similarly successful. I drove along the route earlier this week, and there were definitely a lot of bus lane scofflaws (partly due to the industrial/commercial nature of a lot of Utica), but hopefully that will improve with enforcement. 

    And hopefully all this will build momentum for more SBS-type service across the city.
  • To get back to the original subject line, MTA just launched SBS service on the B46 route, i.e., up and down Utica Av:


    As noted in the WSJ headline, this is Brooklyn's most heavily-used bus route (#3 in the city in 2015, according to MTA:
    http://web.mta.info/nyct/facts/ffbus.htm#routes), and as noted above, this is a route a lot of people in East Flatbush use to get to the subway.

    Contrary to why_not's comment above, I don't think SBS is destined to fail. I ride the B44-SBS fairly regularly, and it seems to be working. Drivers mostly respect the bus lane (I believe they're camera-enforced? I'm not sure exactly how that works--cameras on the front of the buses?); the pre-payment & all-door boarding greatly reduces "dwell times" (how long a bus sits at a stop), and the limited stops means the buses really cover ground (e.g., one stop from Empire Blvd to St John's Pl)

    Also they've started installing countdown displays at the stops (see photo here: )--even with MTA's BusTime app, this is really handy for knowing if you have time to grab a coffee, etc before the next bus.

    Anyways, hopefully the B46-SBS service is similarly successful. I drove along the route earlier this week, and there were definitely a lot of bus lane scofflaws (partly due to the industrial/commercial nature of a lot of Utica), but hopefully that will improve with enforcement. 

    And hopefully all this will build momentum for more SBS-type service across the city.
    While I am very happy that the B46 is going the SBS route, the main issue with it is going to be all of the dollar vans along Utica as well as the immense amount of double parked cars once you go farther down to where a lot of the mechanics and car repair shops are. Police may have to crack down more on those to make the V46 SBS as efficient as possible.

    Like you I take the B44-SBS pretty frequently but some areas like Fulton Street often prove to be a bottleneck for the service with the constant traffic there.
  • Yes, you're right regarding the bus lane double-parkers obstructing SBS, along both Nostrand and Utica (perhaps less of an issue NB along Rogers since there's less commercial?)

    My understanding is that camera enforcement is coming--all the SBS buses are equipped with cameras that will take photos of said violators and automatically issue parking violations, but a driver told me they're not operational yet.

    (Which contradicts this DOT press release from Jan 2016: 

    Camera enforcement is also already in effect for the following routes:

      • Bx12, along the Fordham Road SBS corridor
      • M15, along the First Avenue and Second Avenue SBS corridors
      • M34, along the 34th Street SBS corridor
      • B44, along the Nostrand Avenue and Rogers Avenue SBS corridor
      • S79, along the Hylan Boulevard-Richmond Avenue SBS corridor
    bNot surprisingly, there is political resistance from local drivers and hence politicians about camera enforcement, loss of a driving lane, and loss of parking spots: 

    Cf this re Sheepshead Bay City Councilman Chaim Deutsch (and includes a quote from our State Senator Jesse Hamilton:





  • The traffic cops are enforcing this new SBS line pretty heavily. As I drove down Utica on Friday, I ran into at least 3 traffic cop vehicles driving down the bus lane and making every car double parked either move or face getting ticketed.

    Traffic seems to be moving way better than ever before with the clearly marked turning lanes, etc. It's doing much better than I initially thought it would.
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