Saturday, September 24, 2016

Brooklyn-Queens RX

- Gowanus Tunnel Deferred for A Few Decades- existing viaduct being reconstructed

- Feds Deny BQE Tunnel that would provide useful extra capacity

- Proposals for IRT expansion languish

Best Bang For the Buck-

Construct Linear Park Covered Cut & Cover Tunnel Interboro-Cross Brooklyn Expressway/Cross Harbor  With IRT X Line via the New York Connecting RR Corridor

Reconstruction of underutilized RR 
into linear park atop multi purpose cut and cover transportation facility 
to better serve and connect the boroughs and the region

- Reconstructs existing under-utilized New York Connecting Railroad

- Constructs New Linear Park Atop Multi-Purpose/Railway-Expressway Cut and Cover Transportation facility

- Provides modernized-expanded freight rail, plus new IRT X Line from northern Queens southward to east-west through Brooklyn

- Provides an all new parallel vehicular route to the Brooklyn-Queens and Gowanus Expressways, avoiding construction disturbances to traffic upon those roads, and ultimately ease their future reconstruction, as well as better serve JFK Airport.

- Provide a much needed vehicular expressway route and IRT subway line across central Brooklyn

- Provides options for extensions:
-- westward via an all new Cross Harbor Tunnel,

-- northward via new tunnel connections to the Bronx,

-- eastward via IRT spur to JFK Airport.

Interboro Expressway was planned during the 1960s, included modernizing the existing IRT Carnesie line.

Cross Brooklyn Expressway was planned during the 1950s and 1960s to be routed by the Bay Ridge LIRR corridor, with different ideas for fitting it within the corridor's 80 foot wide middle segment, by the mid 1960s as a multi-level elevated facility, and by the late 1960s with multi-level cut and cover tunnels with new IRT line and new development atop, known as the 'Linear City' proposal.

IRT X Line is being promoted by the Regional Planning Association. It would run via the combined corridors of those previously planned for the Interboro Expressway and the western portion of the Cross Brooklyn Expressway, thus including the IRT line that had previously been planned as part of the proposed Cross Brooklyn Expressway-Linear City Project.

Both the Interboro and the Linear City Cross Brooklyn Expressway proposals were cancelled over 4 decades ago: the Interboro in 1973, and the Cross Brooklyn/Linear City in 1969 as part of then NYC Mayor Lindsey's mass cancellations of the city's yet to be built freeways.

This proposal would combine a revived Interboro and Cross Brooklyn Expressways with an IRT X line conceivably expanded to include a spur to JFK Airport, in a design building upon what was developed with the previous 'Linear City' proposal, with the concept of enclosing the Expressways and the Railroads within box tunnels, but with a continuous linear park.

It would start the Interboro at the New York Connecting Railroad junction with the I-278 approach to the Triborough Bridge, reconstructing that segment to create the new junction.

The Cross Brooklyn Expressway would be built to accommodate extensions to the west and to the east, respectively: a Cross Harbor Tunnel to I-78 in New Jersey, featuring vehicular expressway and rail lines (freight and IRT); and a Expressway and IRT continuation to JFK Airport, and beyond via the east-west portion of the Belt Parkway with added carriageways and decking, to the Sunrise Highway Corridor.

Provides new enhanced transport corridor facility via existing underutilized corridor roughly paralleling the existing BQE-Gowanus, without requiring any disruptions to that existing corridor-facility; and ultimately could accept traffic diverted from that existing corridor-facility to make the later reconstruction of such more practical.  It would be easier to eventually construct a tunneled replacement for the BQE-Gowanus when there is a parallel facility to divert much of the traffic.  Would likewise provide such a benefit to the VanWyck Expressway, facilitating the latter's eventual reconstruction with greater capacity and undergrounding.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Freeway Removal Ideology to Influence GREATER Displacement?

Combined with idea of maintaining existing capacity levels.

New plan for Houston, Texas, to remove freeway link and replace with extra capacity along another via widening to INCREASE eminent domain use- property displacement!

Would eliminate the southern portion of the Pierce Freeway - an elevated segment of I-45 -- and reroute such along I-10 and I-69 respectively along the northern and eastern sides of the central business district, requiring their widening..

The article makes much ado about the removal of the southern portion of the Pierce Freeway, the elevated viaduct just to the west of the Houstan CBD.

Currently,  I-45 comes down from the north, crossing to the south of east-west running I-10, before turning south-easterly to cross to the east of I-69.

The new plan would have I-45 instead turn to the east along I-10, before then turning to the south/south-west along I-69, before then turning to its existing path to the south-east.

The northern portion of the Pierce would remain as a 'downtown connector'.

"On the bright side, TxDOT is proposing to tear down the Pierce Elevated Freeway, which could open up 20 to 50 blocks of downtown for walkable development. The plan also calls for aligning I-45 with U.S. 59 to the east of the city, burying the roads in a trench capped with a park.

“The impacts on walkability and urbanism are real and are a big deal,” said Jay Crossley, former director of the smart growth advocacy group Houston Tomorrow. “If they could only do those parts of the plan it would be an amazing plan.”

The idea of reconstructing U.S. 59 (which is co-signed as I-69) and currently an 8 lane elevated viaduct into a new trench beneath a new cap is a good one.

But what about that of doing that as a significantly wider Route 59/I-45/I-69 freeway, thus requiring substantial property acquisitions in order to replace the capacity lost with the removal of the Pierce Freeway?

The other portions of the downtown freeway system to be reconstructed would retain their existing basic configurations- aka surface and elevated, while gaining capacity.

Should not freeway reconstruction aim to not only maintain or increase capacity but also to change the configurations - aka reconstructing below ground - to improve local connectivity and otherwise mitigate local environmental impacts?

What consideration has been given to doing so by lowering and eventual covering of the Pierec Freeway?

Saturday, July 30, 2016

America on the Move - RNC Platform 2016

pp 4-5

America on the Move Our country’s investments in transportation and other public construction have traditionally been non-partisan. Everyone agrees on the need for clean water and safe roads, rail, bridges, ports, and airports. President Eisenhower established a tradition of Republican leadership in this regard by championing the creation of the interstate highway system.

In recent years, bipartisan cooperation led to major legislation improving the nation’s ports and waterways. Our Republican majority ended the practice of earmarks, which often diverted transportation • REPUBLICAN PLATFORM 2016 • 5 spending to politically favored projects.

In the current Congress, Republicans have secured the longest reauthorization of the Highway Trust Fund in a decade and are advancing a comprehensive reform of the Federal Aviation Administration to make flying easier and more secure.

The current Administration has a different approach. It subordinates civil engineering to social engineering as it pursues an exclusively urban vision of dense housing and government transit. Its ill-named Livability Initiative is meant to “coerce people out of their cars.” This is the same mentality that once led Congress to impose by fiat a single maximum speed limit for the entire nation, from Manhattan to Montana. Our 1980 Republican Platform pledged to repeal that edict. After the election of Ronald Reagan, we did. Now we make the same pledge regarding the current problems in transportation policy.

We propose to remove from the Highway Trust Fund pro - grams that should not be the business of the federal government. More than a quarter of the Fund’s spending is diverted from its original purpose. One fifth of its funds are spent on mass transit, an inherently local affair that serves only a small portion of the population, concentrated in six big cities. Additional funds are used for bike-share programs, sidewalks, recreational trails, landscaping, and historical renovations. Other beneficiaries of highway money are ferry boats, the federal lands access program, scenic byways, and education initiatives. These worthwhile enterprises should be funded through other sources. We propose to phase out the federal transit program and reform provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act which can delay and drive up costs for transportation projects.

We renew our call for repeal of the Davis-Bacon law, which limits employment and drives up construction and maintenance costs for the benefit of unions. Recognizing that, over time, additional revenue will be needed to expand the carrying capacity of roads and bridges, we will remove legal roadblocks to public-private partnership agreements that can save the taxpayers’ money and bring outside investment to meet a community’s needs. With most of the states increasing their own funding for transportation, we oppose a further increase in the federal gas tax. Although unionization has never been permitted in any government agency concerned with national security, the current Administration has reversed that policy for the Transportation Security Administration. We will correct that mistake. Americans understand that, with the threat of terrorism, their travel may encounter delays, but unacceptably long lines at security checks can have the same impact as a collapsed bridge or washed out highway. TSA employees should always be seen as guardians of the public’s safety, not as just another part of the federal workforce. Amtrak is an extremely expensive railroad for the American taxpayers, who must subsidize every ticket. The federal government should allow private ventures to provide passenger service in the northeast corridor.  The same holds true with regard to high-speed and intercity rail across the country. We reaffirm our intention to end federal support for boondoggles like California’s high-speed train to nowhere [sic- San Francisco and LA are hardly "nowhere"s].

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Roman Catholic Neo Medievalism vs Protestant Sprawl

Two contrasting examples of development style in early America history are Williamsburg, Virginia and St. Augustine Florida. The latter founded and designed by the Spanish in traditional city style, narrow streets, plazas and such, while the former founded and layed out by the English with wide streets, wide lots with lawns, etc. You can guess which was adopted. I've been to both and much prefer St. Augustine. I suppose the ready availability of cheap plentiful land around Williamsburg versus the swampy land around St. Augustine is one reason for the difference in design adopted.

Williamsburg- founded by Protestants.

St. Augustine- founded by Roman Catholics.