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Although the proposed Second Avenue Subway has been designed to follow the public right-of-way of city streets, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) has identified numerous parcels or portion of parcels of land that will need to be acquired for the project. Although many of the acquisitions will be on a temporary basis, there is need to acquire over 65 whole buildings, portions of buildings or vacant land for the construction of above ground ventilation structures, station entrances, emergency exits, ancillary facilities, ect. Because this project serves a public purpose, the MTA will have the authority to use eminent domain to acquire property if a sale can not be reached amicably.  Property owners who are undergoing eminent domain in New York have rights that can not be taken from them if they assert them.
This means that in some cases, a property owner can hire a New York eminent domain attorney to assist them with obtaining just compensation without having to pay attorneys fees.  Also, under this same statute, the costs that the property owner incurs will be reimbursed as well.
If you are a property owner affected by eminent domain, the first thing you should do is learn about your rights and the process.  Learn more about Eminent Domain in New York. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. MTA releases Second Avenue subway images, says project on track Photos show construction on stops at 86th St.
The new images, taken 160 feet below street level, show construction on future subway stops at 86th St. In addition, the photos revealed the delivery of the first rails that will be laid for the subway line. Officials said construction is on pace to meet the target completion date of December 2016.
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The Second Avenue Subway is New York City’s biggest mass transit project, and its second biggest infrastructure project, just a little less expensive than the massive Water Tunnel Number 3, which has been under construction since 1970 and will not be completed until 2020.
Phase IV: An extension of the T line downtown, with new stations at Grand St (connection to D and B), Chatham Sq, South Street Seaport, and Hanover Square.
There are excellent reasons to begin with what is called Phase I because it takes advantage of an easy extension of the Q line, giving people on the Upper East Side of Manhattan a direct route to the Times Square business district, as well as the core of the 34th Street retail corridor.
We would like to posit here that a more worthwhile use of limited funds could be made in extending the new line west down 125th Street, rather than further downtown.
But we advance this idea specifically: Phase III of the Second Avenue Subway should be 125th Street, not the downtown line.
Why is it less important for people below 63rd Street to get a new subway line than for those above? On the other hand, the T line below 63rd Street would parallel the Lexington Avenue lines and therefore not provide a new service, since it would simply allow a slightly shorter walk to the subway for those who live on the far East Side. On the other hand, a 125th Street route would provide superior connectivity throughout the subway system and dramatically improve service between the East and West Sides. So a 125th Street extension would provide dramatically enhanced subway mobility for the large number of inhabitants of Upper Manhattan, Harlem, and the Bronx; this cannot be said for people to be served under the currently planned Phases III and IV. All this is not to ignore the importance of the rest of the Second Avenue Subway; in no way should the section south of 63rd Street be cancelled, especially if a connection from Queens is provided (on the future U train).
During the planning phase, the Central Harlem community was rather negative on a westward extension down 125th Street which would at least reach the No.
Extending the proposed second avenue T line west across 125th street is a good idea, and clearly is in the (very) long-range MTA plans. This routing would provide easy connections from the 1, A-B-C-D lines, and allow the T trains to easily lay up at the yards north of 168th. The only major new contruction would involve the westward portion of the tunnel from the currently projected T terminus at 125-Park Ave to St.
The Second Avenue Subway will allow a lot of white people from the Upper East Side to take less crowded trains.
Back when I voted in favor of a bond issue to build the SAS (in the late 60s iirc), the plan was to push it under the Harlem River into the Bronx.
When the currently-under-construction version was approved a few years ago, the City Council decided to go for the truncated all-Manhattan line. With only two tracks, the SAS would be very limited in its capacity if it ever did reach the Bronx, and so maybe not worth it. Even in the 1960s, it was planned to run on BMT and IND tracks, since they provide greater capacity than IRT tracks. I support the idea of building a crosstown subway at 125th st, and I would actually recommend extending the scope of the project slightly.

Ask an old time New Yorker about the many great myths about the city and you’ll hear the standard ones about alligators in the sewers, rats the size of cats, and up until a few years ago even a subway that the city built under 2nd Ave but boarded up. The most famous, or infamous, part of the Second System was a 4 to 6 track trunk subway running from the Harlem River to Pine St in downtown. Because plans for the Second Ave line have been around for so long they have been subject to much change. The line was first proposed back in 1929, weeks before the stock market crashed and sent the nation into the Great Depression.
The need for a subway under 2nd Ave seems obvious today but one of main reasons that subways under 8th and 6th Aves were constructed first was due to the fact that at the time (1920-30s) mass transit in Manhattan was lopsided in favor of the East Side. The original proposal called for a subway with four tracks (express and local) from the Harlem River to 125th St, six tracks from 125th St to 61st St (for super-express service), four tracks from 61st St to Chambers St, and finally two tracks from Chambers St to Wall St. Due to the Great Depression the line was shelved but ten years later the plans were dusted off and reproposed. With the nation coming out of the Great Depression and World War II winding down, New York City was, arguably, at the zenith of its might and prestige. The primary reason that after World War II that the United States built so many highways throughout the nation was that in 1956 President Eisenhower signed the National Defense Highway Act which promised states that the Federal government would pay the states 90 cents on the dollar for the cost of building them, which were normally high and through cities especially high.
New York saw an opportunity to finally find financing for the Second Ave subway and in 1967 voters passed a $2.5B bond measure with $600M allotted for the Second Ave subway. In 1972 ground was broken and construction began on small sections at 99th and 105th, 110th and 120th Sts, and between Chatham Sq and Canal St (this section was supposedly destroyed with the construction of Confucius Plaza.) Three years later yet another financial crisis, this time of the city of New York, stopped progress. Shut off from the world, the only section eventually opened was that of the 63rd St tunnel to Queens. Construction began again in 2007, months before yet ANOTHER financial crisis hit the nation.
Due to financial reasons (costs have skyrocketed over the years) the current version of the Second Ave subway will only be two track, local service the entire route. Given the pace at which the Second Ave subway has progressed it is no wonder that the city and MTA are not planning expanding the system into the Bronx or Brooklyn anytime soon. This entry was posted in Blog, Cities & Urban Life, futureNYCSubway, Maps, New York, Transportation and tagged city, futureNYCSubway, Governor Rockefeller, Great Society, map, mass transit, Mayor Lindsay, new york city, second ave subway, Transportation, urban, Urban Mass Transit Act.
R16 R27 R32 R43 R56 R79 R142 R142A R160A R160 ???????????? I promised my grandson that I will take him for a ride on the brand new Second Avenue subway for his bar-mitzvah.
Of Seattle’s many, many unsuccessful attempts to build a rapid transit system, none sting more than the century-old Bogue Plan. Among the long list of specific routes (viewable here on The Internet Archive) was a subway under Third Avenue whose stations would have had entrances inside of mercantile establishments (familiar to users of Westlake Station). The subway has a long history, dating back for almost a century, since the IND Second Subway Plan of 1929. It also relieves the busiest sections of the overcrowded Lexington Avenue lines by providing a second route downtown.
The idea of a 125th Street line is implicit in the design of Phase II, which will include track sections designed specifically so that they can be extended west (there will also be a turn off for the Bronx). Any line serving the East Side of Manhattan would play an important role in relieving stress on the Lexington Avenue lines.
And because the Second Avenue Subway’s route in Lower Manhattan is peripheral, further away from the core business district, the Lexington Avenue lines will continue to provide superior access to jobs for those who have the option to choose between the two lines.
The image above provides descriptions of which areas of the city would benefit directly from a 125th Street expansion (download the PDF here).
Therefore, the 125th Street, again acting as an extension of the Broadway Q train, should be prioritized.
It would dramatically decrease crowding in the southern Manhattan sections of the Lexington Avenue lines and increase the number of trains that could be sent in from Queens. Interestingly, track configurtions on the westside ABCD lines allow for a connection with this proposed 125th street extension that would make it much easier to use, and much less expensive, than building new stations at Broadway and St. This means that the T (125th st extension) could turn north and run along with the ABCD lines with very little additional construction cost. But the black and brown people still using the Lexington line will still ride crowded trains.
By connecting to the 2, 5, and 6 far upstream, it was going to divert a lot of riders before they even got to the South Bronx stations.

A friend who lives in Coop City tells me that the downtown 6 only becomes standing room only at 125th.
It will include a two-track line along Second Avenue from 125th Street to the Financial District in Lower Manhattan. A mixture of color temperatures and intensities, it is filtered further from the ever- present moisture inherent when one is working below the water table. It may seem obvious for the need for a second subway line through the east side of Manhattan today but at the time there were actually 3 lines, the Lexington Ave subway and two elevated trains running up 3rd and 2nd Aves. Originally the line was to be a two track subway from Downtown until Houston St where a second set of tracks joined until 61st St where a planned connection to the 6th Ave line was to come in on another set of tracks, bringing the total tracks through to Harlem to six. Patterson used most of the $500M bond issue for improvements to the current system, leaving only $112M for the Second Ave. Rejected by a landslide of 10,000 votes (out of 40,000 total cast) on March 5, 1912, Virgil Bogue’s ambitious comprehensive plan to convert the regraded remains of Denny Hill into a Beaux-Arts civic center reminiscent of European city centers would have been well served by 91 miles of rapid transit lines from as far away as Tukwila, Edmonds and Bothell. Other proposed corridors, such as the Ballard-U District and West Seattle lines, are now under consideration for the next expansion of Sound Transit’s Link Light Rail system, expected to be put to public vote in 2016. NYCSubway.org has an excellent overview of the plan and its components, as well as a description of what parts of the project were begun in the 1970s. The same basic argument could be made for Phase II, since it too would be an extension of the Q, providing West Side access and relief to currently overcrowded stations.
And 125th Street is the focus of most transit planners’ ideas about what streets deserve crosstown subway services. The fundamental difference is that the line serving the Upper East Side in Phases I and II will operate as a Broadway Q train and therefore provide access to the West Side business district, a service not currently provided directly for East Siders.
The principal advantage of the system is that it would allow riders to go crosstown without going downtown.
But the MTA should seriously consider whether or not these improvements are worth more than the significant advances made possible with a line under 125th Street. Only one new station would be required, at Malcolm X Blvd, providing a connection with the 2-3 trains.
Both of these options offer a less circuitous route than what would be offered by this extension. This SAS, Phase I, is being planned for trains to run on BMT and IND tracks in Midtown, and I’m told that the IRT lines are incompatible.
It’s the white Upper East Siders who have to stand on trains with, gasp, 75% as many riders as they have the capacity for.
The reason that the Second Ave subway was put off for so long was because the east side was already well served until the 1940s and 1950s when the elevated lines were torn down. Bogue was not satisfied with the existing streetcar system, commenting that its frequent stops would not adequately serve future surburban riders; the streetcar network would be scrapped in favor of electric trolleybuses thirty years later. It is to be noted here how many of the rapid transit lines were to be underground or elevated, with such lines spreading far out into the suburbs. This would reduce passenger loads on the Times Square-Grand Central Shuttle as well as decrease the number of people transferring from the Lexington Avenue 6 to the E and F at 53rd Street, the most crushed of all subway stations. Stations will have a combination of escalators, stairs, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, elevator connections from street-level to station mezzanine and from mezzanine to platforms. Many of the general transit corridors seem very familiar even now, although a lot of that has to do with Seattle’s constricting geography.
Riders in Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx on the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, A, B, C, and D lines north of 110th Street. It is interesting to note that in the original plans there were no connections from Queens.
I’m intrigued by the split in line 5 around Green Lake (northbound to the east, southbound to the west?), while the routing of line 4 through Queen Anne just seems like the work of a madman. Riders on the Lexington Avenue (4, 5, and 6) lines in the Bronx would be able to transfer to West Side trains, again, without going downtown. Finally, a 125th Street line would mean far easier movement between the Upper East Side and Upper West Side, currently a difficult proposition not helped by the extremely slow bus service across Central Park. President Johnson proposed a wave a new progressive legislation aimed at fighting poverty and building up education, health, and cultural infrastructure, known as the Great Society.

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