Push for Second Avenue Subway
BY DON HEISEL
At a meeting she chaired on January 15, Representative Carolyn
Maloney said that an important lesson to be learned from the September
11 attack was that subways are essential for routine everyday life,
but even more so in time of a serious crisis. New efforts to build
the long-delayed Second Avenue subway are more urgent than ever.
Planning for a Second Avenue subway began some 20 years before
the Second Avenue el was demolished in 1942. Though nothing came
of the extensive planning, there is action once again. Construction
is now scheduled to begin in 2004.
Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields and City Council Member
Eva Moskowitz, who represents the southern segment of Turtle Bay
and Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields attended the meeting
and underscored the broad support the Second Avenue line enjoys.
In its 2000-2004 Capital Plan, the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority has allocated $1.05 billion for the line's design and
environmental analysis. Plans are for it to run from 125th Street
to the southern tip of Manhattan, running under Second Avenue all
the way to Houston Street. Current thinking calls for stations at
the northern and southern boundaries of Turtle Bay, around 54th
and 42nd Streets.
Peter Cafiero, MTA Director of Rail Service Design, told the meeting
that as much of the construction as possible would be done by boring
the tunnel beneath the street, using technology similar to that
used for Manhattan's new Water Tunnel Number Three. That would minimize
disruption at the street level.
Nevertheless, as might be expected for a project with its long
melancholy history of non-achievement, the road ahead is far from
smooth. The program calls for much of the funding to come from Washington.
Both Rep. Maloney and Mr. Cafiero stressed that in Washington there
is fierce competition with other cities for mass transit funding.
New York City will have to work hard to get the funds for the new
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Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community
224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
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