I’ve said it before, at least once, and I’ll surely say it again: It’s incredibly expensive to do anything in NYC, and especially, it seems, if it’s transportation related.
Here, The Powers That Be plan to spend $1,000,000,000 turning the old main post office (adjacent to NYC’s Pennsylvania Station for what should be obvious reasons) into what Mr Kabak (author of the story above) calls a new waiting room for Amtrak. Like the PATH station at the World Trade Center, this project adds no new capacity to the transportation system. None.
I usually scoff when I see a statement like that because it has rarely been true. At best, new transit “bends the curve” meaning that while the new facility doesn’t cut congestion along corridor, it may well slow the rate of growth in congestion. And that’s a fine thing.
But as I started to post this, I realized that this may now be true. Why? It’s in the article itself – VMT has at least leveled and may well be dropping. The chart below shows what’s going on.
I really need to find or make a chart like this that goes back to 1945, because this is the first time there has been a sustained leveling of growth since WW2. And many, many, many facets of urban and transportation planning are predicated on that growth continuing indefinitely.
Good news. Phase II would take the line from 96th to 125th, where there would be a connection to the Lexington Ave Line. At (roughly) 29 blocks vs Phase I’s 33 blocks Phase II is a little shorter but will make the line more useful given the new connection. Plus, there are already tunnel segments from the aborted 1970s project. Phases III and IV, far off in the distant future, would take it all the way down to Lower Manhattan.
All the project needs now is money. Metric tons of money.