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Re: Taking a cue from Jersey City and Portland, Manhattan group wants light rail
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2004/12/29 17:58
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2012/4/30 16:20
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This is the most moronic proposal I have ever heard about 42nd Street.

First and foremost, there are 2 subways llying under the street , the #7 and the S-train (Shuttle.)
Secondly, New Yorkers like to walk and ride bikes...make half the street for pedestrians and the other half a clearly demarcated East and West bike lane.
There is NO conceibable need for an above ground train in Manhattan...the century long goal has been to remove them not add more.

My plan would turn a nightmare of cabs into NIRVANA instead of a horror of train traffic.

"Vision 42 " with "dozens of supporters" must consist of a 5 financiers who make their money building trains.


Posted on: 2009/10/15 18:05

Re: Taking a cue from Jersey City and Portland, Manhattan group wants light rail
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This is an old proposal. They could probably get the same effect closing the street to traffic except for crosstown buses.

Posted on: 2009/10/14 13:50

Taking a cue from Jersey City and Portland, Manhattan group wants light rail
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2004/9/15 19:03
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Without Cars, a Different Sort of 42nd St.

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Illustration: Mathieu Delorme

A citizens? group has proposed building a light rail line to run the length of 42nd Street, which would be closed to car traffic.

New York Times
October 13, 2009

With parts of Times Square converted into a pedestrian mall, at least temporarily, some people say they believe the city should take an even more radical step: close 42nd Street to car traffic and build a light rail system to run the width of Manhattan.

The main proponent of this far-reaching proposal is an organization called Vision 42, a citizens? group with dozens of supporters. It was formed in 1999 by the Institute for Rational Urban Mobility, a nonprofit corporation that finances its initiative with grants from the New York Community Trust/Community Funds Inc. and the John Todd McDowell Environmental Fund.

Vision 42 would like to turn the full length of 42nd Street into a pedestrian mall, while adding a light rail line that would connect the 39th Street ferry terminal on the Hudson River, near the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the West Side Highway, with the 36th Street ferry terminal on the East River, near the undeveloped Con Edison sites on the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.

The light rail system, which would cost an estimated $500 million, would run from terminal to terminal in about 20 minutes, half the time that the current bus system takes, said George Haikalis, an engineer who serves as a co-chairman of Vision 42. He is one of three board members of the Institute for Rational Mobility. Through October, Clear Channel/Spectracolor is running a free public service announcement for Vision 42 on its Times Square billboard at 1567 Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets.

?The real gain here is you could handle three times as many people with roughly the same cost,? Mr. Haikalis said. ?A lot of people have expressed interest in this, but have not signed on, because they?re awaiting interest from Mayor Bloomberg.?

While three large owners of real estate on 42nd Street and a real estate company that manages office buildings there have signed on to support the proposal, advocates for Vision 42 said they had not been able to engage the city in a discussion.

?We think the mayor considers this competitive with his No. 7 subway line extension,? said Roxanne Warren, an architect who is co-chairwoman of Vision 42.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg?s office said it was not inclined to support the proposal and deferred to the city?s Department of Transportation for comment. Scott Gastel, a spokesman for the department, said in an e-mail message, ?While there are no plans for a project like this at this time, we are working closely with the M.T.A./N.Y.C. Transit to extend the 7 line, which will greatly improve commuter access throughout the corridor.?

The extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue would connect Times Square to the Javits Convention Center and the Hudson Yards area, which has been rezoned for development. That development, through taxes and financing mechanisms, will largely support the cost of the subway project, which as far back as 2005 was projected to cost $2.1 billion.

Advocates of light rail, which would stop at every intersection along 42nd Street, said that there was still a need for better surface transportation, since the No. 7 line has no stops east of Grand Central Terminal at Lexington Avenue.

Douglas Durst, the chairman of the Durst Organization, which owns five office buildings on 42nd Street, including One Bryant Park and 4 Times Square, said it made sense to build light rail, which is faster and creates less pollution than buses.

?Real estate people should take a look at what?s happened with real estate values in other cities where there are these walking streets,? said Mr. Durst, who visits pedestrian-friendly Copenhagen frequently, as his wife is Danish. ?They?ve increased tremendously.?

Vision 42 advocates said light rail lines in Dallas had stimulated more than $1 billion worth of development. In Portland, Ore., light rail has catalyzed about $1.2 billion worth of development. In Jersey City, about 33.3 million square feet of development is under way, Mr. Haikalis said.

An economic study commissioned by Vision 42 with grant money and done by the consulting firm Urbanomics of New York, projected that about 398 office properties along 42nd Street would have an average increase in lot value of $188 a square foot because of the time saved with a light rail line, a combined increase in value of 4 percent. Jeffrey Gural, the chairman of Newmark Knight Frank, a real estate company that manages office buildings along 42nd Street, said it would make sense to connect the Javits Center to the United Nations, which currently has no subway stop.

?I think light rail would be a great tourist attraction, and I?ve never understood why it never got any support by the local government,? Mr. Gural said.

In fact, a proposal to put a trolley line along the south side of 42nd Street, keeping the north side open to car traffic, has been around for decades. The City Council voted to support the idea in 1994, but Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani let the proposal languish, and it lost steam, Vision 42 advocates said.

Tim Tompkins, the president of the Times Square Alliance, a group that represents local businesses, said that while some board members had signed on as supporters of Vision 42, the alliance as a group had not taken a stance. ?There?s two ways to do light rail: one is where you completely close the street, and one is partial,? he said. ?If we were ever to take a position, we would want to look at both those options and understand the pros and cons.?

According to Urbanomics? study, completely closing 42nd Street to cars and adding light rail would increase the pedestrian volume by about 35 percent, producing a proportional annual increase in sales of about $380 million for the street?s 126 retail outlets, Mr. Haikalis said.

Jeffrey Katz, the chief executive of Sherwood Equities, which owns One Times Square as well as the building housing the Renaissance Hotel in Times Square, said he supported the light rail concept, but he would like to see further study of the effect of closing 42nd Street to car traffic.

?I?m skeptical about it,? Mr. Katz said. ?We?ve just tried to close down a major artery in Times Square, on the Broadway mall, and the jury hasn?t come back on that yet.?

Posted on: 2009/10/14 11:39

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