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20.01.2015
The map to the right is from the MTAs website showing the current phased plan for 2nd Ave subway construction. I advocate that the only way for the 2nd Ave subway to really put a dent into curbing congestion along the east side of Manhattan AND to allow for expanded service into the other boroughs that a second set of tracks be constructed for express service from 125th St to Houston St.
As it is designed now the 2nd Ave subway will only carry 2 local trains from 125th St to 63rd St.
In addition to not having an express track, the stations along the line are spaced further apart than many of the other subways in Manhattan.
The first extension alternative is one proposed by the TransportPolitic which would serve one of the few areas of Manhattan that would still not have rapid transit even after the 2nd Ave subway is completed. One of the original proposals for the 2nd Ave subway back in the 1920s was, when reaching downtown, to have the line loop back north via a connection with the 8th Ave subway. 1951 plans for the Second Ave subway showing connections to the Williamsburg and Manhattan Bridges and the Centre St subway. Taking a proposal from the 1950s, this would effectively terminate the 2nd Ave subway at Houston St (where Phase 3 is planned to end anyway) and connect it directly to existing subway tracks to Williamsburg via the Chystie St Cut. Ending the 2nd Ave subway at Houston St would also allow connection to the Manhattan Bridge via Grand St.
Manhattan was once lined north to south with elevated trains and the east side had two, the 3rd Ave el and the 2nd Ave el. The 3rd Ave alignment would build a 4 track subway from the Harlem River up under 3rd Ave to 161st street in Melrose.
Part of both the original IND Second System from 1929 and the updated plans a decade later was a line to Throgs Neck though Hunts Point and Unionport. Because of the direct connection between the 2nd Ave subway and the Queens Blvd line via the 63rd St tunnel, 2nd Ave service can easily be routed along the Queens Blvd line.
An alternative to balancing headways would be to revive the 1960s plan of building a super-express line parallel to the Queens Blvd line along the LIRR Main line.


Early plans for expanded Queens service from the 1920s and 1930s called for service along Horace Harding Blvd, a wide and important road that ran through the heart of eastern Queens. The AirTrain which runs from Jamaica Center to JFK Airport runs on a smaller version of an elevated structure along the median of the Van Wyck Expressway (click here for a Streetview Google Map of what this elevated train looks like). Subway service to the Rockaways had been a priority for the city from the early days of the Independent subway of the 1920s. Built as the main Brooklyn trunk line as part of the IND system in the 1930s, the Fulton St subway replaced the Fulton St elevated line which ran from downtown Brooklyn to Broadway Junction. To better serve areas of southern Queens that have developed after World War II, the Fulton St subway should be extended from Euclid Ave along Pitkin Ave to Linden Blvd as a 4 track subway.
The Far Rockaway Branch of the LIRR (not to be confused with the abandoned Rockaways branch I wrote about above) has been proposed to be converted from LIRR service to subway service as far back as the 1960s. The final option for expanded 2nd Ave service would be to run the 2nd Ave-Queens Blvd Line out along Hillside Ave, currently where the F train terminates.
The Second Ave subway is not just a subway built to relieve congestion along the east side of Manhattan but it is the ground work for a much bolder vision; it is a new backbone for subway service throughout New York City. This entry was posted in Blog, Cities & Urban Life, Featured, futureNYCSubway, Maps, New York, Transportation and tagged 3rd Ave, bronx, brooklyn, co-op city, Eatchester, Fulton St, Harlem, Hillside Ave, Hunts Point, Jamaica, manhattan, Maps, mass transit, mta, new york city, queens, Queens Blvd, Rockaways, second ave subway, subway, Throgs Neck, Transportation, Unionport.
Not a bad idea though building the subway adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge might pose some problems.
I think another possibility that you miss a little bit on the proposal is the opportunity to use the Lower East Side coverage to also cover Bedford-Stuyvesant. Granted, that requires a lot of extra tunneling, but it vastly improves transit connections in the transit-deprived LES and Bed-Stuy.
Perhaps with this connection made (and 2nd Ave south of 14th St unfinished), the T can use the outer tracks to get to Broad St and the Montague tunnel – taking over the former M route in Brooklyn.
I’m really liking this plan and I would love to see more- especially for more of Queens and Staten Island- but please, one modification- I read your plans and they call for ripping down the Liberty Avenue Elevated- and the proposal calls for a new subway line to be built not where it stands now, but four avenues south, on Linden Boulevard.


I took screen shots of Google Maps and stitched them together, then I drew the lines in using Adobe Illustrator and finally added a few things in Photoshop.
They provide great, affordable rates for on time and safe ground transportation services throughout New York City and the NYC Airports, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) is the largest of the New York City area's three airports, handling most of the area's international flights, as well as much of its domestic airline service. Broadway & Worth), and the rest of 2nd Ave line (south of 14th St to Whitehall) are under construction (or on hold awaiting financing). If they hadn’t had ripped down the 3rd Avenue El in the Bronx, and half of the Myrtle Avenue El in Brooklyn, wouldn’t those areas be a lot better off today? JFK is located in Southeast Queens, and is not as close to Manhattan as fellow Queens-based airport LaGuardia. I was curious if the Bronx lines were going to be elevated like they were originally planned for the IND second system. Ripping down el’s is highly counterproductive- especially since subways are seldom built in their place. It seems to me like it would be a lot cheaper, easier and faster to build an elevated than dig through the Bronx. Imagine if Staten Island never shut down the North Shore or South Beach Branches and those could’ve been integrated into the subway system. Trading off something for nothing is a gamble that normally doesn’t pay off- especially trading streetcars for bumpy, loud buses.



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