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Old October 1st, 2007, 06:03 AM   #401
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in the bronx you can still see pieces of the el in certain places, like the ghost station beneath the 2 on gun hill
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Old October 7th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #402
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Welcoming the Access, Bracing for Change.


A long-delayed Second Avenue subway may open up what has been a modest enclave of mom-and-pop stores and restaurants in Manhattan.

By ANNE BARNARD
Published: October 7, 2007
nytimes.com

To entice buyers to spend $1 million for one-bedroom apartments on the less glossy eastern edge of the Upper East Side, the builders of a shimmering glass tower going up at 91st Street and First Avenue advertise customized stone countertops, a private fitness center, “expansive sunrise and sunset views” — and the Second Avenue subway.

Now that construction crews have started work on the Second Avenue line after decades of delays, bullish real estate brokers and nervous neighborhood tenants alike expect New York’s first new subway in 50 years to join the market forces that are driving Park Avenue-style prices farther east and replacing quirky Hungarian shops with high-end chain stores.

Ending commuters’ long walk west to the Lexington Avenue subway will bring new cachet to addresses on Second Avenue and eastward — or at least that’s what developers and real estate brokers are betting. Among them are the builders at 91st and First, who point to the subway’s expected opening in 2014 and boldly declare that their tower, christened the Azure, stands at “the heart of the Upper East Side.”

“That’s really been the aversion to that area, that it was so far from transportation,” said Chris Poore, a real estate agent with the Corcoran Group who uses the subway as a favorite talking point when he shows apartment hunters the Cielo, another high-rise of million-dollar condos, at 83rd Street and York Avenue. “People now see the value of moving further east, and what a good investment it is.”

But for many residents and business owners, the neighborhood’s reputation as a bit of a backwater has been one of its attractions: harder to get to, but cheaper and more intimate. Their attitudes veer between the optimistic and the elegiac: They are excited about the subway, but apprehensive about what the neighborhood could lose.

The subway is not the reason that high rents and high-rises have encroached; that has been going on since the 1980s. But some residents suspect the train line’s arrival could be the final step in the transformation of Yorkville and the rest of the eastern Upper East Side from a relatively modest enclave of mom-and-pop stores and restaurants to just another grid of luxury towers and national retailers.

Today, four- and five-story tenements, many rent-regulated, line avenues that show vestiges of Eastern European and German immigration. Many corner lots have sprouted glass towers. But along Second Avenue, old-fashioned businesses like the Heidelberg restaurant, a family-owned hardware store and sellers of Hungarian sausages and pastries jostle with shinier spots like Justin Timberlake’s new barbecue joint.

Next year, some local businesses and lower-income tenants will be forced to move to make way for new subway stations. They fear they will have to leave the neighborhood for good. Construction, which could take years, will strain many more businesses, including sidewalk cafes and restaurants that have given Second Avenue its vibrant streetscape and made it the heart of affordable night life on the Upper East Side.



“There’s going to be more banks and more chain stores and more high-rises with $2 million condos. There’s no more neighborhood,” said Carol Crnobori, who has run Mustang, a Southwestern-style restaurant on 85th and Second, for 14 years.

Sally Ardrey, 69, is one of the tenants the Metropolitan Transportation Authority must relocate because of the subway project. Even though she will be forced to move from her rent-stabilized apartment at 72nd and Second, she supports the subway. But she worries it will kill what little economic diversity remains. When she arrived in 1986, she said, for fancier Upper East Siders west of Third Avenue, “First Avenue might as well have been on Cape Cod.”

Many residents say they will believe in the subway when they see it. City officials first proposed it in the 1920s, to replace the elevated trains on Second and Third Avenues. Twice voters approved it. But funds earmarked in 1951 went instead to improve existing lines; a second bond issue in 1967 led to construction that halted during the city’s financial crisis in the 1970s.

Last year, voters approved a bond issue partly financing the first leg of the line, and the federal government has also committed money. Projected to cost $4 billion and open in 2014, it will run down Second Avenue from 96th Street, stopping at 86th and 72nd Streets and then at 63rd Street and Lexington Avenue, where it will join existing tracks. Someday, the line is to stretch down Second Avenue to the financial district. Transit officials will not venture to guess when.
/
Building crews will mostly tunnel underground, out of view. But to build the stations, they will dig up parts of the street. That means restaurants along swaths of Second Avenue, including from 82nd to 88th Streets and 70th to 74th Streets, will temporarily lose permits for cafes that jut onto the sidewalk. Authority officials do not yet know how long that will last.
/
Earlier, the area was not as prosperous as the rest of the East Side, but that is changing, Ms. Gutoff said. She expects the subway to further raise the value of retail and residential properties, like the four buildings on 71st and Second, a row of modest old tenements, that she is offering to investors in an estate sale.

And the fate of those buildings, with their rent-regulated tenants and shops like the cheap and beloved Afghan Kebab House? Within a decade, Ms. Gutoff said, a buyer could put up an 80,000-square-foot apartment tower, adding to the Upper East Side’s population boom.

That growth, which began long ago, is one reason the area needs a new train line despite the even higher rents it will bring, said State Senator Liz Krueger, who represents the district: “It’s a chicken-and-egg thing.”

(entire article at nytimes.com)
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Old October 7th, 2007, 02:55 AM   #403
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Old October 15th, 2007, 05:19 PM   #404
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Have they considered a double-deck station to minimize space and the need for expropriation. Given how wide the street is, a double-deck station shouldn't take up more than the width of the street.
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Old October 15th, 2007, 06:38 PM   #405
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After 45 Years, New York's Subway Chief Has Reached His Stop
13 October 2007
New York Times

When he retires next month, Michael A. Lombardi will have spent 45 years working in the subway, rising from a $2.43-an-hour job as a machinist's helper to the top job in the system, as the senior vice president for subways at New York City Transit.

He did a lot of things during those four and a half decades, but his most important contribution, in the eyes of many of his peers, is the role he played in wrenching the subway system out of the abyss that it had fallen into in the 1970s and early 1980s.

''We went through this terrible, terrible period where nothing worked,'' said Mr. Lombardi, 63, a broad-shouldered man with a ready laugh and a silvery pompadour. ''Nothing worked. The trains didn't work, the doors didn't work. They were always smoking, they were always on fire, they were always late. It was incredible. It was the worst subway in the world.''

The solution that Mr. Lombardi championed seems like an obvious one today, but at the time it was revolutionary. Why not, he said, replace the key components of subway cars before they break down?

The idea had originated in the 1960s with a mechanical engineer named Doug Tilton, who was, Mr. Lombardi said, ''our local in-house genius on subway cars.''

Mr. Tilton had cataloged dozens of subway car parts and calculated their useful life. But at the time there was neither the will nor the way for a complete rethinking of how subway cars were maintained. There was money, now and again, to buy new cars, but not for upkeep.

''We just bought new cars and let them disintegrate,'' Mr. Lombardi said. ''Imagine that.''

In 1970, Mr. Lombardi was an instructor, training electricians and mechanics in subway car repair. He was in his late 20s and already he was something of a rising star. Mr. Tilton saw a kindred spirit.

''He said to me, take this program,'' Mr. Lombardi recalled, ''put it in your desk drawer. You may make it to the top.''

Mr. Lombardi said that in those days most managers at the transit agency were not interested in new ideas from their employees. But Mr. Lombardi saw his chance in the late 1970s when he was assigned to work with an engineering consultant hired to tackle the problem of subway breakdowns. ''He had an attache case,'' Mr. Lombardi said. ''He was an outsider. They were going to listen to him.''

Together they promoted Mr. Tilton's idea and won the support of high-level transit officials. Mr. Lombardi said the city put up some seed money to get the program started. Then, in 1981, the state authorized a multibillion-dollar plan to improve the condition of the city's transit system, and the program received another boost. Today it is known as the Scheduled Maintenance System and has been extended to the bus fleet and copied by other transit agencies. Combined with the purchase of thousands of new subway cars, the impact has been remarkable.

In 1979, Mr. Lombardi said, subway cars broke down, on average, every 4,800 miles traveled. Today, they average a breakdown every 149,000 miles.

''It was the worst system on earth, and we're the leaders of the pack now,'' Mr. Lombardi said.

Howard H. Roberts Jr., the president of New York City Transit, called the maintenance program Mr. Lombardi helped create ''maybe the greatest transit achievement of which I know.''

''What most people do is, they do what they've been taught,'' Mr. Roberts said. ''For Mike and a couple of his colleagues to literally transcend the established wisdom and hit upon the idea of starting to replace major components before they have caused mechanical problems, that really, from my point of view, makes his career extraordinary.''

There seem to be few aspects of the subway system that Mr. Lombardi has not touched. He helped develop a special kind of paint for subway cars that made it easier to wash off graffiti. He spurred changes in the way subway cars are designed. And he helped manage the evacuation of subway riders during blackouts and after the World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001.

Mr. Lombardi was born in 1943 and grew up in East New York, Brooklyn. His father, John, worked in the subways for 31 years, starting as a conductor and eventually becoming a tower operator. His father retired in 1972. That was 10 years after Mr. Lombardi, at the age of 18, got his first subway job.

In 2002, Mr. Lombardi was promoted to his current job, which gives him responsibility for the entire subway system.

Two of Mr. Lombardi's children now work for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority as well. Mr. Lombardi is known for his wit (''I'm a wisecracker,'' he said), and when talking of his children's careers, he jokes that he believes in keeping nepotism in the family.

His son Gregory, 46, has worked in the subway system for 27 years and is now the general superintendent of the Coney Island overhaul shop, a job Mr. Lombardi held in the mid-1980s. ''He's sitting in my old seat,'' Mr. Lombardi said. (''He's also stolen my joke book,'' he said.) His daughter Laurie, 36, is an assistant budget director for the transportation authority's capital construction corporation. Another daughter, Tracey, 33, is a nurse in a coronary care unit at a hospital in Southern California.

Mr. Lombardi said he was retiring, in part, to spend more time with his wife, Alicia. For most of his career he has been on call 24 hours a day, and there were many times when the phone rang in the middle of the night. All these years, he said, the phone has been on his wife's side of the bed, so she has been awakened countless times.

Sitting in his office at New York City Transit headquarters on lower Broadway, Mr. Lombardi projects an enthusiasm that brings to mind the teenager thrilled to get his first job in the subway and the youthful manager searching for ways to fix a broken system. He recounted a conversation with a younger colleague who was unhappy with his job and was looking forward to an early retirement. It was an attitude that Mr. Lombardi could not understand.

''I'm saying to myself, I'll swap with you today,'' he said. ''I'll do it all over again.''
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Old October 15th, 2007, 07:55 PM   #406
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Yeah Viand cafe closed down already luckily theyre is one more on madison
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Old October 16th, 2007, 07:24 PM   #407
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Have other cities sunk subway vehicles as well?
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Old October 17th, 2007, 02:50 AM   #408
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Very timely article - Last week CSI: NY had a storyline that involved the sunken subway car reef.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 06:45 AM   #409
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Subway "surfer" killed in New York
Tue Oct 16, 10:53 AM ET
AFP

A 21-year-old man was killed playing the dangerous game of "surfing" atop a moving subway train, from which he was thrown to his death, local media reported Tuesday.

After his feat of daring, the man slipped and fell onto the tracks where he was killed Monday, media said quoting police.

In 2003, three people including a 14-year-old were killed trying similar stunts.

Authorities had launched a campaign aimed at deterring youths from taking such risks on the subway, urging them to surf the Internet instead.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 01:31 PM   #410
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Subway "surfer" killed in New York
Tue Oct 16, 10:53 AM ET
AFP

A 21-year-old man was killed playing the dangerous game of "surfing" atop a moving subway train, from which he was thrown to his death, local media reported Tuesday.

After his feat of daring, the man slipped and fell onto the tracks where he was killed Monday, media said quoting police.

In 2003, three people including a 14-year-old were killed trying similar stunts.

Authorities had launched a campaign aimed at deterring youths from taking such risks on the subway, urging them to surf the Internet instead.
if he was that stupid, he deserves it, one retard less on this planet
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Old October 17th, 2007, 07:18 PM   #411
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Disoriented subway riders get direction
October 17, 2007
AP

After emerging from the labyrinth of New York City's subway system, riders often feel they could use a compass to navigate the world above.

Now transit officials are providing one, in the form of large stickers pointing out north, south, east and west and the nearest streets in each direction. The city is testing the decals at four midtown stations, with the idea of installing permanent ones in various places if the response is good.

Subway stations often have multiple exits, with signs specifying the cross streets at which a given exit is located. But even experienced riders sometimes have trouble figuring out which way they're facing once they get to the street.

"Not a single person, native New Yorker or visitor, can truthfully claim that they have not, at least once, been confused as to which direction to walk when emerging from a subway station," city Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said as officials showcased the new stickers Tuesday.

The Grand Central Partnership, a business group dedicated to improving and promoting the area near Grand Central Terminal, is paying $15,000 for the compass-sticker tryout, President Alfred C. Cerullo III said.

Meanwhile, transit officials are working on another effort to make the subway system more inviting. About 250 additional workers have been hired to clean it, and plans call for adding 100 more, NYC Transit President Howard Roberts Jr. said. The $7.6 million initiative comes after many riders gave the system bad grades for cleanliness in recent surveys.

Almost 5 million passengers ride the subways on an average weekday. The 660-mile system has 468 stations under and above city streets.
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Old October 17th, 2007, 07:38 PM   #412
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Go to the Subways page at www.forgotten-ny.com. They have information about the abandon tunnels, and abandon Els, including pictures.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #413
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2 NYC subway lines to get boosts in service
18 October 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - A busy subway line is slated to get what transit officials say is one of the biggest boosts to service in recent years.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority chief executive Elliot Sander says the agency is adding 23 new round-trip runs per weekday on the L line. Some 30 or more round trips are being added on weekends.

Meanwhile, the 7 line is getting 10 more round trip each weekday.

The additional service is set to start in December. Together, the increases will cost about $2.6 million a year.

The L travels between parts of Brooklyn and Manhattan, and the 7 between areas in Queens and Manhattan. Ridership on both lines has surged in recent years, and passengers have complained about crowding on recent surveys.
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Old October 18th, 2007, 11:11 PM   #414
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if he was that stupid, he deserves it, one retard less on this planet
In a way, yes, but a subway's purpose is not to filter out the retards. Every single subway accident is bad news.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 07:27 AM   #415
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I'm sad about one thing from the Second Avenue Subway, it'll force relocation of my favourite restaurant, Tony's. Otherwise, I'll be able to take rail transport literally from the door of my house in suburban NJ to the door of Tony's when it's done.
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Old October 19th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #416
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NY lawmakers urge transit agency to scrap plans for fare hike
17 October 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - Lawmakers and transit advocates want to take a proposed fare hike in New York City off the table.

Four state senators wrote the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Wednesday asking to scrap the plan to raise subway fares and tolls next year. They joined transit advocates at a news conference to urge the MTA to take the proposal off its board agenda for December.

The MTA is looking at two ways to raise fares; both proposals raise bus and subway fares from $2 to $2.25, but one would add a new pay-per-ride MetroCard that lowers fares if riders travel during off-peak periods. Toll increases are also planned for the city's bridges and tunnels.

The agency is holding public forums next month on the proposed hikes.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 06:17 PM   #417
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West Side subway extension plan shrinks, but may be set to start
20 October 2007

NEW YORK (AP) - Transit officials say they're ready to roll on a subway line extension designed to catalyze a major redevelopment on Manhattan's West Side. But they are scrubbing plans for one of the two new stations in order to save money.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority's board is expected to vote next week on spending $1.1 million to start digging a tunnel to stretch the 7 subway line west from Times Square. The project was thrown into question earlier this year over concern about cost overruns.

The current plan calls for a new station at West 34th Street and 11th Avenue. But it no longer includes a "shell" of another station at West 41st Street.

The city has agreed to pay up to $2.1 billion for the project. It is a key component of a plan to transform an expanse of MTA-owned rail yards into business and residential hub.
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Old October 20th, 2007, 06:19 PM   #418
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NY midtown subway link may cost $1.4 bln too much

NEW YORK, Oct 19 (Reuters) - The cost of New York City's new No. 7 midtown subway link may run as much as $1.4 billion over budget, imperiling the biggest U.S. mass transit agency's other important projects, a state Assemblyman said on Friday.

New York City pledged only $2.1 billion for the subway extension, which will push the line west from Times Square to 11th Ave. and then south to 34th St.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg says the link is vital to open Manhattan's West Side to development. But he and the agency that will build it are sparring over its spiraling cost.

Democratic Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, who oversees the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said in a statement that its leaders again told the city on Thursday that "any costs or cost overruns associated with the No. 7 line extension are exclusively the responsibility of New York City."

A city spokesman was not immediately available to comment. In the past, New York City officials have said the Metropolitan Transportation Authority would have little incentive to clamp down on costs if it knows the city will reimburse it.

The authority, which runs the city's subway, bus and commuting lines and several bridges and tunnels, says it is so cash-strapped that by next year it must raise fares and tolls enough to boost its revenues 6.5 percent.

Next week the MTA, which has nearly 8 million daily riders, is expected to approve the first big contract for the Times Square subway link. A consortium of companies, the same ones the authority chose to build a new Second Ave. subway for Manhattan's Upper East side, are among the top contenders.

Transit advocates say a 10th Ave. station is critical for the line's success.

Jeremy Soffin, an MTA spokesman, said: "We're on track to meet the $2.1 billion budget, but it does not currently include a station at 10th Avenue."

Assemblyman Brodsky noted that even the authority says delays could add $250 million to the station's cost.

The MTA also believes the new subway link "is critical to development of the Far West Side, including our own rail yards," Soffin added.

The authority is in the midst of picking a developer for the rail yards, which could get a top price because it is so hard to put together big tracts of land in Manhattan.

The No. 7 link's cost could soar by as much as one-third, partly because the authority "now concedes" that the first contract, mainly for tunneling, will cost $1.15 billion to $1.35 billion, the Assemblyman said.

In addition, he said, the MTA has not revised four-year-old estimates for inflation, citing its $600 million forecast for track, electrical and signaling systems, and air conditioning, and a $250 million estimate for engineering and insurance.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 07:40 PM   #419
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Have they considered a double-deck station to minimize space and the need for expropriation. Given how wide the street is, a double-deck station shouldn't take up more than the width of the street.
Double-decker stations don't work (except for Rosslyn and Pentagon on the Washington Metro) because they are in actuality much more expensive and they just don't look good. It's much easier and quicker to build an island platform and two tracks flanking it on either side rather than building two platforms but having one track for each, not to mention it's twice as deep.
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Old October 21st, 2007, 08:47 PM   #420
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Disoriented subway riders get direction
Wow, and this coming from grid-orientated dwellers? Too funny. Maybe those signify some kind of commuter who forget the sun's traveling the sky left to right up where they live....looking upward must be a pain in the neck there.

Be thankful for, e.g., their mass of one-way streets there. I'm sure that docket could be spent better.
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