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Chapter 18: Future Rapid Transit in New York

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Rapid Transit in New York City and in the Other Great Cities ยท Chamber of Commerce, 1906

During the past five years, or since the completion of the plans for the present subway, a large part of the time of the Commission has been taken up with the consideration of rapid transit schemes for the future. The work already accomplished was only looked upon as the beginning of a system of transportation that will ultimately embrace every portion of the city of Greater New York.

New Routes. The result has been the selection of new routes that extend to all parts of the city. The choice involved long and painstaking study. Natural advantages and the natural trend of population must be weighed. The relation of one section to another, and with Manhattan as a center, must be kept in mind. The lines must be so selected as to permit of expansion in the future without disturbing the efficiency and symmetry of the system as a whole.

In the spring of 1902 Mr. Orr, the president of the Board, requested the chief engineer to prepare a comprehensive plan of rapid transit for the whole city. In giving the instruction he said:

"The public has come to recognize fully the wisdom of development of the rapid transit facilities of Greater New York and of the use of its street property for rapid transit purposes upon a general and far-seeing plan. Rapid transit franchises, it is now believed, ought to be granted with reference to a systematic treatment of the subject under the guidance or initiatory control of a single body like this Board, with a tenure sufficiently long to assure not only the adoption of a comprehensive programme, but also, at least in part, its execution. This idea was embodied in the present rapid transit act, providing, as it did, not only for municipal construction of new rapid transit railroads, but also for the grant of rapid transit franchises to companies operating existing lines...."

Complete Scheme. "It is, therefore, clear that the public now has a right to expect from this COMPLETE Board the preparation of a general and far-reaching system of rapid transit covering the whole city of New York in all its five boroughs. It was in anticipation of that work that the Board in January last asked the Mayor and Comptroller for early information as to the extent to which the debt limit and other necessities of the city would permit rapid transit extension in addition to the Manhattan-Bronx and Brooklyn-Manhattan roads. When that information shall be received the Board will be better able to decide where the next rapid transit expenditure shall be placed."

Results Expected. "The far-reaching plan I have suggested could not, of course, be carried out at once, or, perhaps, completely carried out for many years. But if such a plan be now wisely prepared, and the streets of New York be dedicated to tunnel railroad purposes with a proper regard to the long and, no doubt, splendid future of the city, two things may be reasonably expected: First, that rapid transit construction will proceed upon the lines so laid down as rapidly as the means of the city and the amount of private capital ready for rapid transit investment will permit; and, second, that relatively unimportant franchises will not be granted in such way, or special routes be so devised, as to prevent or obstruct a permanent and sufficient programme."

"It is my conclusion from all this that, in laying out the East Side line you should study the whole rapid transit situation of all five boroughs, and that your report should aid the Board to prepare and submit to the local authorities the comprehensive plan for the entire city that I have suggested, the same to be carried out in sections or installments, as financial conditions shall from time to time permit."

In February and March of the following year the chief engineer reported on comprehensive plans for rapid transit for the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. From these reports the following passages are taken:

Increase of Passenger Travel. "Tremendous increase in passenger travel on all lines during the past year clearly indicates that when the present subway system, now under construction from Brooklyn to the Bronx, is completed, it will almost be immediately congested, so that no great amount of permanent relief can be counted on. In order to meet the growing and imperative demands for increased facilities, arising from the natural growth of our city, it is evident that new lines should be laid down now and put under construction as soon as possible, and that steps should be taken to improve the existing facilities so as to permit them to carry the increased burden during the time when the new lines are being constructed."

Routes Recommended. The report recommended that the present subway be extended south from Forty-second street along the general line of Broadway, or parallel thereto on the west; and by extending it north from Forty-second street, at Park avenue, along Lexington avenue to One-hundred-and-forty-ninth street. It was also proposed that branches should be constructed from Broadway to the Pennsylvania Railroad station at Seventh avenue; along One-hundred-and-tenth street to Lenox avenue; from West Farms in the Bronx to Wakefield; and along the Southern Boulevard and One-hundred-and-eightieth street. A connection between the Bronx Park line and the Manhattan elevated was recommended from Brook avenue along Westchester avenue to Third avenue.

It was proposed to increase the number of tracks on the Second and Third avenue elevated roads; to extend the Sixth avenue road along Christopher street to Greenwich street; to add another track to the Ninth avenue road, and to connect the elevated system with a subway to be built along Tenth avenue to a connection with the present subway at Seventy-second street; and to arrange connection with the railroads terminating at the Grand Central Station.

It was suggested to provide an extension of the New York Central tracks south from Fifty-ninth street and Eleventh avenue by an elevated structure along their present right of way or possibly along West street to the Battery. To construct a branch of the Second avenue elevated along Sixty-fourth street and over the Blackwell's Island Bridge, with provision for future extension of the line.

Brooklyn Routes. In Brooklyn it was proposed to build a subway under Nassau and Orange streets and the East River to Maiden Lane in Manhattan; thence along William, Center, and Grand streets to the end of the Williamsburg Bridge. This was intended to provide a loop for the elevated roads of Brooklyn by way of the Williamsburg Bridge and this second tunnel.

The elevated trains were to be removed entirely from the Brooklyn Bridge, and the trolley cars transferred from the roadway to the original bridge tracks, thereby restoring the roadways to the exclusive use of vehicles. To connect the Second avenue elevated with the elevated structure of the Williamsburg Bridge. To build an extension of the present subway from Flatbush and Atlantic avenues to Prospect Park and Plaza, and ultimately further. Also another extension from the same point along Fourth avenue to Fort Hamilton. A tunnel from Atlantic avenue to Whitehall street in Manhattan. Also extension of the Brooklyn elevated system in various directions.

The report of Mr. Parsons made no provision to connect the Borough of Richmond with Manhattan; the reason for this was that the great expense involved was entirely out of proportion to the population to be served.

The plans, as finally decided upon by the Rapid Transit Commission and transmitted for approval to the Board of Aldermen, until that Board was superseded by the Board of Estimate and Apportionment, were as follows:

Third Avenue Route. This route begins in the Bronx near Lincoln avenue and the Southern Boulevard. A double track line running from there under the East River reaches Third avenue at One-hundred-and-twenty-eighth street. From that point it runs as a four-track road southerly under Third avenue and the Bowery to Chatham Square. At Chatham Square the narrowness of the streets compels a division of tracks. Two tracks will run southerly through the New Bowery and Pearl street to Broad street, and thence under South street to the Battery. Two tracks, diverging at Chatham square, will pass down Park Row, Nassau and Broad streets, joining the other tracks in Broad street near Pearl. Two single-track spurs are provided to connect the main line, through Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth streets, with the Seventh or Eighth avenue subway described below. These spurs, between Lexington and Fifth avenues, will be parallel to the other tracks forming a part of the Lexington avenue system; but they will be for the most part at different levels.

In the Bronx, two double-track lines will diverge from the point of beginning mentioned above. One of these lines will run northerly, terminating in a loop near One-hundred-and-forty-second street, and connecting with a proposed line to run under One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth street. The other line in the Bronx will run easterly under the Southern Boulevard to a terminus in the New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad yards.

Lexington Avenue Route. This route begins near Forty-third street and Lexington avenue, with a short connection westerly to the existing subway in Park avenue. From Forty-third street, the line will run northerly under Lexington avenue as a four-track road to about One-hundred-and-twenty-ninth street, where it will divide and form two double-track extensions.

One of the extensions will pass under the Harlem River and along Third and Morris avenues in the Bronx to One-hundred-and-forty-ninth street, where it will connect with the existing subway near Cortlandt avenue. From about One-hundred-and-thirty-seventh to One-hundred-and-forty-second streets, this line will occupy the same streets as the Third avenue line above described; but these streets-- Third and Morris avenues-- are wide enough to contain four tracks in two separate tunnels.

The second extension in the Bronx will diverge with two tracks, as mentioned above, near One-hundred-and-twenty-ninth street and Lexington avenue, in Manhattan. It will cross from there under the Harlem River to Park avenue, and continue northerly under Park avenue to One-hundred-and-fifty-sixth street, from which point a further extension may be made northerly if required. At One-hundred-and-forty-ninth street and Park avenue another divergence is proposed, carrying two tracks under the New York Central yards, with a loop in the yards, and then parallel with the Harlem River along One-hundred-and-fifty-third street and under Cromwell Creek into Sedgwick avenue to about One-hundred-and-sixty-fourth street. This route has a triple branching in the Bronx.

From Forty-third street and Lexington avenue southerly, there will be four tracks as far as Thirty-sixth street. The two south-bound tracks will there turn west through Thirty-sixth street to Fifth avenue and then south. The two northbound tracks will continue down Lexington avenue to Thirty-fifth street, and rejoin the other tracks in Fifth avenue. The four tracks will then continue southerly along Fifth avenue to Madison Square. There they will turn into Broadway and run south, passing under Union Square, to the City Hall Park. At that point a single-track loop will allow part of the trains to be turned back, while two tracks will continue down to Vesey street, and then through Vesey and Church streets to the Battery.

Seventh and Eighth Avenue Route. Beginning at the southerly end of this route, in the Battery Park, the line will run northerly under Greenwich street and West Broadway to Chambers street. From this point northerly, two alternate routes are planned. The most direct runs under Hudson street and Eighth avenue to about One-hundred-and-fifty-fourth street, where a northerly extension can be built hereafter. The other line continues northerly from Chambers street under West Broadway to Washington Square, where the line again diverges into two alternative routes. One of these runs under Washington Square, private property, and Greenwich avenue to Seventh avenue, and then northerly under Seventh avenue to a connection with the present subway under Times Square. The other alternative route runs under Washington Square and Fifth avenue to Twenty-third street, and then under Broadway to Twenty-fifth street, where it diverges again-- two tracks running westerly under Twenty-fifth street to join the Seventh avenue subway, and so northerly to Times Square-- and the main line running straight under Broadway to join the present subway near the same place.

A separate section of this proposed route is designed to run northerly from Seventh avenue and Forty-third street to Central Park, curving under the park so as to connect with the line under Eighth avenue at about Fifty-second street.

In regard to the above routes the Board said:

"The three routes referred to in this communication are all designed to be substantially of the same type as that which the present subway has made familiar. From end to end these lines will be below the surface. Not a foot of elevated structure is here included."

"It has been the effort of this Board to arrange the routes now submitted for the consideration of your honorable body, so that each of them should first be capable of separate operation; second, be capable of advantageous operation in connection with some existing means of passenger transportation within the city; third, be practicable to build at once, both from the engineering, transportation, and financial standpoints. In this way the largest measure of effective rapid transit will be secured, while at the same time an opportunity is afforded for active competition among strong rival bidders."

Thirty-Fourth Street Route. This route runs through Thirty-fourth street, in Manhattan, from the East to the Hudson rivers, passing under the present subway in Fourth avenue and at a sufficient depth under the several north and south avenues to permit other subways to be constructed over it. It will have no track connections with any rapid transit lines in Manhattan, but it is expected that joint stations will be placed at the intersections of the principal avenues so as to facilitate transfers of passengers.

A separate section diverges from the main stem of this route between Second and Third avenues and runs on a descending grade to pass under the East River to Long Island City. The terminus in Queens will be in Jackson avenue near Borden avenue. At this point the various trolley lines converge, thus making transfers easy to and from the proposed subway. A physical connection can also be arranged, if found to be desirable, with the subway uniting the Williamsburg Bridge with the Blackwell's Island Bridge.

This route is entirely in subway, the rails averaging about 40 feet below the surface.

The Board said in regard to this route:

"So far as this route is concerned, its advantages appear to be too obvious to call for argument. It will reach and serve such important points in Manhattan as the new Pennsylvania Railroad station, Herald Square with its neighboring shops and theatres, the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, and the East Thirty-fourth street ferry. In Queens it will enable passengers by any of the steam or trolley lines now coming to the ferry to get quickly, and with only one change, to Manhattan; and it will carry them without change to points in Manhattan where they can transfer to any of the north and south railroads, and thus reach rapidly and conveniently any part of the city."

Route to Van Cortlandt Park. This addition consists of an extension running along Broadway from its intersection with Two-hundred-and-thirtieth street to a point just north of Two-hundred-and-forty-second street, opposite Van Cortlandt Park. It will be an elevated structure throughout. The portion of Broadway in question is at present very little built upon, and the elevated road proposed would merely be a continuation of the one that already exists in the same street.

First Avenue Route. This route begins in the Bronx at the intersection of One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth Street and Alexander Avenue. At or near this point connections can readily be made with various rapid transit routes in the Bronx. From this point the line runs southerly along Alexander Avenue, or just west of it, so as to avoid the Willis Avenue bridge approaches; and then passing under the Harlem River it turns into First Avenue near One-hundred-and-twenty-fourth Street. From this point it runs southerly under First Avenue to First Street, then curves easterly and runs under Essex, Rutgers and Madison streets to the New Bowery. It then runs southerly under the New Bowery and Pearl Street, by the side of the proposed Third Avenue line, to a point near Dover Street. From there it curves easterly under private property to Water Street, and runs south under Water Street to Pine Street. It then passes under private property in the block bounded by Water, Pine, Wall and Pearl streets, and then runs under Beaver Street, Bowling Green, and Battery Place to Greenwich Street.

From the northerly end of the line at One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth Street a separate section is added which runs northerly under Alexander Avenue, Melrose Avenue, Webster Avenue and Claremont Park, with a loop under the park. This line will afford a very direct connection between the more thickly settled parts of the Bronx and the lower east side of the city.

Ninth Avenue Route. This route is, in effect, a continuation of the one just described. It begins at the southern terminus of that line in Battery Place, and thence runs under Battery Place and under West Street to Gansevoort Street, where it curves into Ninth Avenue to Morningside Park, and thence under Manhattan Avenue, St. Nicholas Avenue, Kingsbridge Road, Broadway and Sherman Avenue to Amsterdam Avenue at about Two-hundred-and-eleventh street.

Concerning the two last mentioned routes the Board said:

"Together with the Third avenue, Lexington avenue, and Seventh and Eighth avenue routes, they form the additional north and south lines in the Borough of Manhattan which this Board now contemplates, and which are all that it believes can wisely be planned for the present time.... It is only necessary to add that the routes herewith submitted are all in subway, and that, if they are approved, it is proposed to provide, in the contracts for construction, such modifications and improvements as the valuable experience already gained in such work may suggest."

Jerome Avenue Subway. This route consists of a four-track subway running through Jerome avenue from about One-hundred-and-sixty-fourth street near its southerly end to the junction with Woodlawn Cemetery. From the southerly end of this line, two connections are provided with railways in Manhattan. The first is a three-track connection leading to the bridge over the Harlem belonging to the Putnam Division of the New York Central Railroad. The other is a two-track subway passing under the East River to a point in Eighth avenue near One-hundred-and-fifty-fourth street, so as to connect with a subway to be hereafter constructed under that avenue. A third spur is planned to connect with One-hundred-and-fifty-third street near Cromwell avenue, so as to afford a means of junction with the proposed Lexington avenue subway.

Jerome Avenue Elevated Road. This line consists of a three-track elevated structure running northerly from Jerome avenue near its intersection with Clarke place, to the junction of Jerome avenue with Woodlawn road. It is provided that connections may be made with the Jerome avenue subway and the Gerard avenue subway.

Gerard Avenue Subway. This is a subway beginning at One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth street and Third avenue, at which point connections can be made with several other lines planned by the Board, and running thence west through One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth street and Gerard avenue to Jerome avenue near its intersection with Clarke place. At this point a connection can be made either with the Jerome avenue subway or the Jerome avenue elevated.

White Plains Road Route. This route is practically an extension of the present rapid transit elevated viaduct. It is to begin at One-hundred-and-seventy-seventh street and West Farms road near Bronx Park, and thence a three-track elevated structure is planned to run along West Farms road, Morris Park avenue, and White Plains road, to the former village of Wakefield.

Westchester Avenue Route. This route begins at Third avenue and One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth street, at which point connections may be made either with subways coming from Manhattan or with the Gerard avenue subway. From this point a subway is to run east under One-hundred-and-thirty-eighth street to the Southern Boulevard. At that point the road is planned to emerge from the ground and continue as a three track elevated structure on the Southern Boulevard and Westchester avenue to the former village of Westchester.

The following remarks by the Board cover the five last mentioned routes:

"The three main lines which these routes cover are Jerome avenue, White Plains road, and Westchester avenue. These three divergent lines would not alone be practicable from an operating or financial point of view. They are of value chiefly as extensions of routes now or hereafter to be built in the Borough of Manhattan. With the exception of the White Plains road, these lines may form an extension of two or more systems, and it is believed that competition between bidders would exist as to these several lines."

"The Board recommends that elevated structures be authorized along part of Jerome avenue and along the White Plains road and Westchester avenue. It has done so with hesitation, but it is satisfied that its action in this regard is approved by a large majority of the residents of the Borough of the Bronx. The construction of subways in the Bronx, owing to the irregular and rocky character of the soil, would be extremely expensive-much more so, for example, than in the Borough of Brooklyn, where subway construction is comparatively cheap. It is thought, therefore, that while bids for elevated structures might be obtained, it would probably prove very difficult at the present time and probably for several years to come, to obtain bids for rapid transit subways. So far as the White Plains road is concerned, that would be merely an extension of an elevated structure already existing. And so far as the Westchester avenue road is concerned, it may be said that this road will be in appearance and effect simply an extension of the rapid transit viaduct already existing in other adjacent parts of both the Southern Boulevard and Westchester avenue."

Brooklyn and Manhattan Loop Lines. The loop lines consist of a railroad beginning in East New York at the eastern extremity of Broadway, and running through Broadway across the Williamsburg Bridge to Manhattan; and then running south in Manhattan to a series of tunnels between the Brooklyn Bridge and the Battery, which lead the line back to the Brooklyn Borough Hall Park; and from there easterly along Lafayette and Gates avenues back to Broadway. In addition, a line running north and south through Bedford avenue from the Williamsburg Bridge plaza to the Eastern Parkway serves the purpose of an interior loop.

The route in Manhattan from the Williamsburg Bridge passes underground in Delancey street near Norfolk; and then runs west under Delancey street to the Bowery, and under the proposed extension of Delancey street to the corner of Center and Grand streets. The line then continues southerly through Center and Williams streets.

Three East River Tunnels. Provision is made for three tunnels, which may be described as the Old Slip tunnel, the Maiden Lane tunnel, and the Beekman street tunnel.

The route of the first is under William street, Exchange place, and Beaver street in Manhattan, and under Montague street in Brooklyn.

The second begins at the corner of William and Liberty streets, and then passes under Maiden Lane in Manhattan, and Pineapple street in Brooklyn.

The third passes under Beekman street in Manhattan, and Cranberry street in Brooklyn.

As stated, all three tunnels come together at City Hall Park, Brooklyn. From there a route runs under Willoughby street, the Flatbush avenue extension, Fulton street, and Lafayette avenue to its intersection with Bedford avenue. From this point one line continues by Lafayette to Stuyvesant avenue. Another line runs through Bedford avenue and Gates to Broadway.

There are several spurs forming a part of this route. The longest begins at Grand and Center streets in Manhattan and runs West under Grand and Desbrosses streets to the Desbrosses street ferry, and intersects all the north and south lines of travel in Manhattan. Another spur forms a connection, by means of a line under Canal street, with the Manhattan end of the Manhattan Bridge. A third connects with the City Hall loop of the present subway by means of a line under Beekman street. In Brooklyn, connections may be made with the subway now building in the neighborhood of Borough Hall Park and at the corner of Lafayette and Flatbush avenues.

This system will relieve the pressure upon the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as utilize the possibilities of the Williamsburg Bridge. It will bring almost all parts of the Borough of Manhattan south of Houston street within easy reach of those parts of Brooklyn that may be described as East New York, Williamsburg, the Lafayette avenue district, and the Bedford avenue district.

Fourth Avenue Route. This line extends from Fort Hamilton by Fourth avenue to Flatbush avenue, where connections may be made with the subway now constructing and with the Prospect Park extension. Connections are also provided for the Brooklyn and Manhattan loop lines above described, either directly by a line under Ashland place, or by a line curving from Fourth avenue and running under Atlantic avenue and Court street to the Borough Hall Park.

Manhattan Bridge Route. This route is designed to occupy chiefly the Manhattan Bridge and its approaches. Provision is made for a direct connection under the Flatbush avenue extension with the subway now being constructed, at the junction of Flatbush avenue and Fulton street. Provision is also made for a connection with the loop line running easterly under Fulton street and Lafayette avenue. As stated above, a spur in Manhattan will run from the proposed loop line under Center street to the Manhattan Bridge terminus in that borough.

By making the Manhattan Bridge an independent rapid transit route the Board, in negotiating a contract for its construction and operation, will be enabled to utilize it in connection either with the subway now under construction or with the Fourth avenue line, or with the Lafayette avenue line, or other lines, as may prove to be most desirable hereafter.

Eastern Parkway Route. This line is planned to extend from the Prospect Park plaza under the Eastern Parkway to East New York avenue. Near that point a loop begins, running out from Howard avenue, Hunterfly road, Blake and Georgia avenues, and returning by Pitkin avenue. A spur is planned to run along Georgia avenue to the intersection of East New York avenue and Broadway, where the line running to the Williamsburg Bridge will begin. An extension is also provided to run from the Prospect Park plaza along Flatbush avenue to Atlantic avenue, there connecting with the route to Court street and Borough Hall Park.

The Eastern Parkway route, in connection with the Broadway line, forms still another or exterior loop in Brooklyn, reaching a rapidly growing section of the city.

Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Long Island City Route. This system consists essentially of two lines: One running from the Williansburgh Bridge plaza to the Blackwell's Island Bridge through the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens; and the other running from Williamsburg under the East River to Fourteenth street in the Borough of Manhattan.

The first of these two lines, beginning at the Williamsburg Bridge plaza, runs through Driggs and Manhattan avenues, and under Newtown creek; and then under Jackson avenue in Long Island City.

The other line begins at the corner of Lafayette and Stuyvesant avenues, which is a point on the Lafayette avenue line above described. From there it runs through Stuyvesant, Bushwick, and Metropolitan avenues and North Seventh street in Greenpoint, and by a tunnel under the East River to the foot of Fourteenth street in Manhattan. Physical connection will be provided at the corner of Driggs avenue and North Seventh street, so that cars may be run from either Long Island City or the Williamsburg Bridge plaza direct to Manhattan. The route also includes two spurs; one running from the corner of Stuyvesant and Lafayette avenues under Lafayette avenue, Stanhope street, and Cypress avenue to Palmetto street. Another from the junction of Metropolitan avenue and North Seventh street along Union avenue to Broadway.

Fourteenth Street, University Place, Greenwich Street, etc. (Manhattan).This route is intended to be operated in connection with that just described. It crosses from Greenpoint to the foot of East Fourteenth street. The line now proposed runs along Fourteenth street as far as Ninth avenue. Two branches run southerly. One runs under Ninth avenue, Greenwich street, and Liberty street to connect with what has been called above the Maiden Lane tunnel. The other branch from Fourteenth street runs through University place, Wooster, and Canal streets to a connection at Canal and Center streets with the Brooklyn and Manhattan loop lines above described.

It will be seen that these two routes form still another loop (taken in connection with the Lafayette avenue line), by which cars could be run in either direction between the Boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan-- not only reaching all points in Manhattan at least as far north as Fourteenth street, but also intersecting every north and south line of travel in that borough.

Jamaica Route. This line is planned to start at the intersection of East New York avenue and Broadway-- which is the beginning of the loop first mentioned above and is to run out under Jamaica avenue to Grand street in the former village of Jamaica. When built it will, in connection with the Broadway and Delancey street line, afford a very direct means of communication between Jamaica and the lower part of the Borough of Manhattan, by means of either the Broadway or the Eastern Parkway lines in Brooklyn, and will also enable passengers to reach almost any part of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Required Different Treatment. Commenting upon these routes the Board said:

"The geographical conditions of Brooklyn necessitate a different solution of the rapid transit problem from that which has been attempted in Manhattan. Instead of a series of independent straight lines running north and south, Brooklyn rapid transit railways must have as their most important feature a series of large loops. In several cases like the Fourth avenue line to Fort Hamilton, the Flatbush and Ocean avenue line, the Jamaica and East New York line, and the line connecting the Williamsburg and Blackwell's Island bridges, railways radiating out into the more suburban neighborhoods are desirable; but the controlling and essential feature of any Brooklyn system must inevitably consist of loop lines embracing large areas in Brooklyn and comparatively small areas in Manhattan. In Manhattan these loops should be so far extended as to connect with as many as possible of the main north and south lines of travel."

Bridges to be Used. "The bridges across the East River should be utilized for rapid transit purposes. For this purpose the consent of the Department of Bridges is essential. The general plans now transmitted provide that all work of construction upon either the Williamsburg Bridge or the Manhattan Bridge must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Commissioner of Bridges."

"In addition, the plans hereto annexed provide for four tunnels under the East River, with a total capacity of ten tracks. There are, besides these, the proposed Thirty-fourth street two-track tunnel, and the two-track tunnels already contracted for and in course of construction. If all these plans are carried out there will be fourteen rapid transit railway tracks in tunnel under the East River, and at least four such tracks over it on the bridges."

"It is believed that the plans now submitted for consideration will, when fully constructed, afford a complete and adequate solution of the difficult rapid transit problem in Brooklyn."

Rapid Transit in Queens. "The time has not yet come for dealing fully with rapid transit in the Borough of Queens. All that can be done at the present moment is to provide, as has been done in some of the routes transmitted this day to your honorable body, for lines connecting Queens with Manhattan and Brooklyn. Such connecting lines are three in number, namely: First, a tunnel under the East River running from East Thirty-fourth street to Long Island City; second, a subway running from the Williamsburg Bridge plaza in Brooklyn to the end of the Blackwell's Island Bridge in Queens; and, third, a subway running from East New York to Jamaica."

"The extensive scheme of railroad construction contemplated by the various plans adopted by this Board, and now* [* This communication to the Board of Estimate and Apportionment was dated June 5, 19O5.] submitted to the city authorities for approval, could not be constructed at once, even if it were desirable to do so. But a general and comprehensive scheme is almost essential in dealing with such a situation as exists in Brooklyn, so that every route, or part of a route, that may hereafter be built, shall fit into a symmetrical system to be ultimately developed."

"If the seven routes [this refers to the Brooklyn plans] submitted herewith shall be approved by the city authorities and by the property owners or the courts, this Board intends to make contracts for routes or parts of routes as rapidly as the means at the disposal of the city will permit, and as fast as satisfactory contractors can be found; and all such contracts in accordance with the law as it now stands, must be submitted to your honorable body for its approval and consent."

"The policy which this Board recommends is, in its essential features, the policy very successfully pursued by the city of Paris, where a series of loop lines have been planned, and are being built by the city in sections."

Detailed Plans to be Provided Hereafter. "Many details as to the mode of construction of the lines proposed, the location of stations and station entrances, the character of rolling stock, the method of operation, and other important matters, must be left to be settled hereafter in the contracts to be submitted for approval. It need only be said, at present, that it is the intention of the Board to avail itself fully of the valuable experience gained in the subways now constructed or constructing, and of the better knowledge that prospective bidders possess as to the possibilities of subsurface passenger railways."









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