Saturday, January 21, 2017

Some Guidance For The 45th U.S. President on Transportation Infrastructure

We will build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation.....

Finally, we must think big and dream even bigger.

In America, we understand that a nation is only living as long as it is striving.

We will no longer accept politicians who are all talk and no action – constantly complaining but never doing anything about it.

The time for empty talk is over.

Now arrives the hour of action.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done.  No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America.

We will not fail. Our country will thrive and prosper again.

OK.  Let's see a start within Washington, D.C. where freeway planning has been stymied since the wake of the JFK assassination.

Let's see other starts elsewhere.

Such as in the Metropolitan New York area where our new 45th President is from.

Let's have a Cross Sound Bridge - Tunnel Crossing bringing I-287 into Long Island and continued via a re-numbering of existing Route 135.  Make it a monumental bridge with some of the approaches tunnels on land to reduce local impacts.

Let's continue I-287 west along the Sunrise Highway - Belt Corridor to a new Cross Brooklyn Expressway Tunnel that includes a fork to the north via the New York Connecting RR built as cut and cover with a new grand linear park atop.  And have new underwater tunnel connections to the north to a radically reconstructed Bruckner-Sheridan Expressway and the west to I-78.  This would be far less disruptive to existing traffic patterns than first radically reconstructing the BQE, and the tunnel to the north could and should be incorporated into an adaptation of the Re-Think NYC proposal fro expanding LaGuardia Airport.

Build at least the Cross Manhattan Expressway Tunnels duel stacked beneath 29th and 30th Streets, as well as a Cast Iron Friendly Lower Manhattan Expressway with a duel stacked cut and cover tunnel beneath Broome Street, with new development atop to the east, and acquire whatever is needed for the path.

Start the long term planning for "Big U" - the storm-barrier highway tunnel in a box park-covered landfill encircling southern Manhattan Island.

Expand capacity with all of the existing cross water tunnels, bringing the Lincoln and Mid Town to at least 8 lanes total, the Brooklyn-Battery to at least 6, and the Holland to 12.

Build at least one new Cross Hudson Bridge from Westchester County to the west, with upgrading and extending the Cross County Parkway to interstate specifications and enclosed box tunnel in places as the existing partially trenched segment in Mt. Vernon.

Be multi-model.

Expand not only the freeways, but also the rail transit system.

Design projects to accommodate the eventual addition of supplementary modes.

Plan for rail along I-287 to Port Chester and eventually Long Island.  Do not repeat the mistakes of the planning of the current Tappan Zee Bridge replacement.

Extend the Dyre Avenue line into Mt. Vernon at least as far to connect with Metro-North.  Incorporate that with context sensitive architecture, including a replica of the recently demolished N.Y., Westchester & Boston RR station along East 3rd Street as the base of a new residential tower.  Design this to allow a vehicular freeway tunnel box directly beneath the restored RR segment for an ultimate continuation northward to I-684 and Westchester County Airport.

Coordinate long term infrastructure planning with real estate development to preserve easements to ease future reconstruction projects such as needed with the Major Deegan Expressway.

Resist the trendy push to simply 'de-map' freeways, such as being done in New Haven Connecticut.

Reverse sad spectacles as that and replace with a  projects to reconstruct and expand such urban freeways in below ground level configurations designed to be covered with new real estate development and/or parkland, and made even more pedestrian friendly with adopting center loader access ramps located in the center of a service road rather than as done conventionally along one side.

Indeed, adopt a program to reconstruct various urban freeway access ramps to the 'center loader' configuration to better reconcile freeways into their urban environments.

Continue the trend of 'capping' or otherwise reconstructing various freeway segments into being covered, so long as the freeway right of way is neither impinged or overly constricted.   Thus the existing '3rd Street Tunnel' air right project on Washington, D.C.'s Center Leg freeway should be halted until the necessary modifications are made to have that project not impinge with that facility's 8-9 lane plus shoulder design capacity.   That project lacked a cost-benefit analysis regarding the cost of replicating the lost design capacity of the Center Leg and the detriments to safety as with the pinched median shoulders.

As a general rule, explore more cost effective for achieving underground, covered freeways, including re-using existing trenches, constructing lids over existing freeways to take advantage of the topography, such as a deck over of the existing eastern portion of the Washington, D.C. SE Freeway next to Barney Circle, new tunnel boxes with no new excavation, as with future freeway tunnels beneath Manhattan's Riverside Drive, as well as minimal new excavation tunnels as recently proposed for the I-84 reconstruction in Hartford, Connecticut.  Resist the silly trend of filling in existing freeway trenches as wasteful; instead cover them with new real estate development with the highway preserved below.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 9, 2016

excerpt from:

"...We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it...."

Saturday, October 29, 2016

D Willinger June 30, 1999 Comments Miller Highway Relocation

Pp 175-177 MILLER HIGHWAY PROJECT June 30, 1999 public hearing transcript

Hello.  My name is Doug Willinger. I’m a Founder of the Takoma Park Highway Design Studio. Where I’m working on a web site to show the differences between community friendly

I ask a rhetorical question of the people here: Who hear likes Grand Central Station?  Who here would have been against building Grand Central Station early in this century?  Well, Grand Central Station was built upon the site of the original grand Central Station, which was only about 30 years old and had been rehabilitated in 1898 only 6 or 7 years, before they tore it down.  This is nothing new here.  This is about change for the better.

I am very dismayed to see people here arguing in favor of an elevated highway that if it were anywhere else they’d be opposed to it.  If they had it going all the way down to the Battery Park, they would be crying to tear it down.  We need to move ahead with this.  We need to stop giving in to the type of poor planning that actually had us not build this tunnel 10 years ago and we threw away a great opportunity on the West Side to build something that could have benefited everyone with the highway tunnel and with light rail on top.

If we really want to save money today, why don’t we suspend the current 9A project and restart it up with a surface-level trolley on top and a highway tunnel beneath, because we’re going to come to the conclusion [in] about 10 years to tear it up and do it again right.  Let’s do this project right as it’s being proposed and move ahead with it.

I suggest that a lot of the opponents here will be joining on top of that thing with supporters when it is done and saying, yes, this was good.  You’d be against Riverside Park.  You’d keep it an open rail yard with the types of arguments that we are hearing today.  Let’s move ahead and let’s move beyond the hysteria.  Thank you very much.

The authorities would not go ahead with this project in 1999, largely because the elevated segment of freeway this tunnel would replace, had been refurbished only about a decade earlier.

However, segments of this replacement tunnel were subsequently constructed starting about 2006, as such would be directly beneath the new southern extension of Riverside Drive alongside the Trump development, thus saving money in so far as avoiding having to tear up that area to construct the tunnel later.

Unfortunately that general idea was not adopted with the 9A 12th Avenue/West Street project which constructed an all new roadbed, which if it could not be delayed for a tunnel, should at least been constructed with the necessary sub-supports to allow the subsequent excavation for a tunnel, to avoid the waste and disruption of having to tear it up for such.


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.