Track work (Source: MTAPhotos/Flickr)
Southern Brooklynites are set to have their commutes bungled for the next two weeks, as the B, Q and F lines all see major service suspensions in the area while the MTA replaces a critical track switch at West 8th Street.
For two consecutive weeks, beginning at 11:00pm tonight and lasting until 5:00am Monday, December 1, the following changes will be in effect.
- B trains will operate between Kings Highway and Bedford Park Boulevard only. For service between Kings Highway and Brighton Beach, riders will have to swap to a Q train at Kings Highway.
- Q trains will not operate between Brighton Beach and Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service at Stillwell Avenue, West 8th Street, Ocean Parkway and Brighton Beach stations.
- F trains will not operate south of Avenue X in either direction. Free shuttle buses will provide alternate service, stopping at Avenue X, West 8th Street, Neptune Avenue and Stillwell Avenue stations.
The suspension are in effect s.o that the MTA can replace a critical track switch just south of the West 8th Street station, necessary for the safe operation of trains along the Sea Beach (F line) corridor. The switch was installed in 1987. There will also be maintenance work that includes new track panels along the elevated structure, all as part of New York City Transit’s Capital Rebuilding Program.
“We appreciate the community’s patience as we complete this important switch replacement project, and necessary track maintenance work. Our goal is to complete this work as quickly and efficiently as possible,.” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco in a release.
Just like this series, the above Boynton Bicycle, at its terminus of Avenue X and Ocean Parkway, has hit the end of the line. (Source: arrts-arrchives.com)
THE COMMUTE: So far we discussed the railroads and elevated lines that preceded and later became part of the subway system, the original three subway divisions – IRT, BMT and IND, the last two being merged with the opening of the Chrystie Street connection in 1967 – the Dual Contracts, the decline of the elevated system as a separate transportation mode, the rise, decline and renaissance of the subways, and, finally, a little about subway comfort and subway nomenclature and how florescent lighting brightened the system.
In this final part we ask some crucial questions relating to the future of the subway system, mention subjects we did not discuss, and provide sources for additional information.
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A Budd R-11 car stops at Grand Street on the Chrystie Street connection on November 18, 1967, a week before service was to begin. Source: David Pirmann collection / NYCSubway.org
THE COMMUTE: In Part 4 of my “A Brief History Of The Subway System” series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), we discussed the decline of the subways and its renaissance. Today we discuss the merger of the BMT and IND, the history of subway nomenclature and the dawn of florescent lighting.
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Photo courtesy of the U.S. National Archives.
THE COMMUTE: In Part 1, we discussed the rail and elevated lines which preceded the first subway. In Part 2, we started discussing the Dual Contracts. Yesterday, we discussed decline of the elevated system and the rise of the subway system. Today, we continue discussing the subways’ decline and its renaissance.
The Decline of the Subways
What if the automobile had not become so popular and highways were not built to accommodate them? Surely rapid transit would have continued to flourish. Instead, you can count on your fingers the number of new subway stations constructed and opened since the end of World War II. When you consider all the Els that were demolished and not replaced, there are less rapid transit miles in service today than there were right before World War II.
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Artist John Sloan’s “Sixth Avenue Elevated at Third Street,” circa 1928.
THE COMMUTE: Last week (Part 1, Part 2) we started discussing the Dual Contracts. We continue with the rest of the discussion and also discuss the IND line, the decline of the elevated system (“The El”) and the rise of the subways.
The Dual Contracts, Continued…
After completion of the Fourth Avenue subway in Brooklyn, the former railroad lines that connected to the Fifth Avenue and Third Avenue Els in Brooklyn were reconnected to the Fourth Avenue subway instead. Also, as part of the Dual Contracts, the IRT and BMT were both extended in a six-track tunnel beneath Flatbush Avenue. The IRT was further extended eastward along Eastern Parkway to Utica Avenue (and via el to New Lots Avenue) and to Flatbush Avenue and Nostrand Avenue with plans for further extensions. The BMT continued further south along Flatbush Avenue to Prospect Park. There it connected to the Brighton line where the line had to be expanded to four tracks between Prospect Park and Church Avenue.
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IRT East Side Line at City Hall. (Source: John-Paul Palescandolo via NYCSubway.org)
THE COMMUTE: On Tuesday, we discussed the railroads and elevated lines that preceded the building of the first subway that still are in use today, and are now part of the subway system. Today we continue with the invention of electricity.
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An eight-car train gets ready for a trial run on the Sea Beach line. Source: NYCSubwayChat
THE COMMUTE: Three weeks ago I mentioned how the bus transfer system confused me as a youngster. I also had difficulty understanding the original porcelain IRT subway signs stating “Subway To All Trains,” which were still in use in the 1970s. As I grew up, I realized that the original meaning of the word “subway” referred to the underground passageway, not to the trains themselves and that “all trains” meant you could travel in both directions since that is not possible at some station entrances.
In October 2004, what we call the subway system celebrated its 100th birthday, but portions that are not underground are actually much older. In Sheepshead Bay we do not even have a subway — only outdoor segments, which connect to the subway within the inner neighborhoods of Brooklyn. There is a wealth of information on the internet regarding the history of the system and plans for expansion that were never realized. The premier subway site is nycsubway.org, which can answer most questions about the subway system. If not, you can always post your question on a transit forum such as subchat.com and a knowledgeable person will probably respond to you within minutes.
What I intend to do in this series is to concentrate on the history of the parts of the system directly affecting our area, give a general overview of the rest of the system, and point you to sites where you can find more detailed information.
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The new tiled mural at the Avenue U train station on the Q line has been named one of the top public artworks in the United States by the 2012 Americans for the Arts Convention held in San Antonio, Texas.
Brooklyn Seeds, created by Jason Middlebrook in 2011, is a large mosaic of flowers that runs along the wall inside the station. It was created using glass mosaic and ceramic tile, and the plants are based on wildflowers that grow in urban areas, through cracks in the sidewalks, in alleys, and along walls.
“He addresses our often ambivalent relationship toward nature in contemporary life, where the beauty of nature can be roped off or overlooked in our highly developed cities,” according to the MTA press release.
The work of art was commissioned by MTA Arts for Transit as part of a rehabilitation project for the Brighton line.
Now if only we can keep those doors from breaking…
Track replacement along the Brighton line within our coverage area wraps up this weekend, meaning it’s the last weekend in which underpasses at Avenue Y, Avenue Z and elsewhere between East 15th Street and East 16th Street will be closed due to the work.
Crews will be on Avenue Y only this weekend for the last time (at least in relation to this project), and then they will move up to Avenue J and Avenue K, an MTA spokesperson told Sheepshead Bites.
There will be no parking on Avenue Y between East 15th Street and East 16th Street, beginning at 4:00 p.m. today until 6:00 a.m. Monday.
CORRECTION (5/30/2012 @ 11:14 a.m.): Looks like our source was flat out wrong on this one. We just got a call from Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, who told us that this is not part of the MTA track work as we originally stated, but rather a staging area for construction on the Belt Parkway.
The project is overseen by the Department of Design and Construction, and will be a rehabilitation of the Belt Parkway from Coney Island Avenue to Knapp Street. At a cost of $8.3 million, it includes the milling and repaving of the road in two sections – Coney Island Avenue to East 26th Street, and Brown Street to Knapp Street. They will also be replacing or making repairs to catch basins, storm sewers and landscaping, according to a city notice.
Construction is currently slated to finish by November 2012.nue and East 26th Street, and Brown and Knapp Streets.
MTA workers have spent the last week or two preparing a new staging site for construction along the Brighton Line, underneath the tracks adjacent to the westbound Belt Parkway.
Trucks and other equipment will enter the site from Shore Parkway at East 14th Street, a congested stretch of roadway prone to speeders, nestled in between an exit ramp and an entrance ramp to the highway.
The authority set up a similar staging area in March two blocks away, on East 15th Street between Avenue Y and Avenue Z, and work on that section appears to be wrapping up.