Politicians promised a long time ago gives East Harlem a new subway line that will provide this forgotten community in history better public transit access to the rest of New York and moving passengers away from some of the country’s busiest train lines.
The idea appears to have gained new impetus, with Governor Kathy Hochul vowing to complete the project within a decade and transportation officials say the $1,000 federal infrastructure bill The billions of dollars passed last year could help cover half of the estimated $6.3 billion in costs of some of the world’s most expensive shipping projects.
Funds from the bill could help fund a request for more than $3 billion in funding from the Metropolitan Transit Authority, the metro operator, that the Federal Transit Administration is getting closer to approval. Transit officials hope to break ground later this year.
Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic majority leader, said: “Things have never looked better than taking the 2nd Avenue subway to East Harlem.
However, with many starts and stops of the long-awaited project, the latest The announcement was met with skepticism in a working-class neighborhood where 71% of residents use public transport to get to work, compared with the citywide average is 56 percent, according to Census Bureau data.
Princess Jenkins, who owns The Brownstone, a clothing store on 125th East Street, a few blocks from the planned line of the metro line, said: “I think it’s sad that it’s taken so long. . “We want everyone to be able to access this community.”
The 2nd Avenue subway line is envisioned to extend north along the Upper East Side of Manhattan to East Harlem, and south to Lower Manhattan. So far only part of the plan, along the Upper East Side, has been completed. Here is a look at the location of the project.
Why do supporters want this subway line?
While much of Manhattan is well served by subway, some neighborhoods along the East River, like East Harlem, can be a long walk from the nearest station.
The expansion will add three new subway stops along the Q line between 96th Street and 125th Street, and is expected to serve about 123,000 passengers daily, according to the transit agency.
Mitchell Moss, a professor of urban planning at New York University, said the new installment will be notable because “the first major project not to serve Manhattan’s elite.”
New York City Subway
Besides making the metro more accessible, community leaders believe the new line could bring more walking traffic to some of the area’s small businesses and boost the local economy.
“I think you have a lot of people wanting the neighborhood to be prosperous, vibrant and full of positive energy,” said Carey King, director of Uptown Grand Central, a nonprofit organization.
In 2019, median household income in East Harlem was $32,960, less than half median household income citywide is $70,590, According to data analysis by the Census Bureau of NYU researchers. Approximately 43% of East Harlem’s population with approximately 111,000 people identify as Hispanic and 36% as Black.
Representative Adriano D. Espaillat, whose county includes East Harlem, said.
Why does it take so long?
Proposal to build 2nd Avenue subway introduced in 1929. The Great Recession caused the first delay, and for years, officials repeatedly channeled funds to competing interests.
Representative Carolyn Maloney, a Democrat, said: “If the state needs money, they will get money from the subway on Second Avenue, said: built.
For decades, price increases, political jokes and international crises got in the way. During the 1940s, World War II drained resources and manpower. The Korean War caused the cost of raw materials to skyrocket. During a push in the 1970s, several breakthroughs were organized, But the work stopped when the city almost went bankrupt. The most recent incarnation is started in the 1990s.
The first phase of the subway project took about ten years to build and opened on January 1, 2017, connecting Lexington Avenue station with Second Avenue and adding new stations at 72nd, 86th, and 96th Streets. Before the pandemic, about 200,000 people rode it daily. Ridership has crept to about 58 percent of that level.
MTA officials say it has reduced crowding along the Lexington Avenue line – which used to be busiest subway line in the country – reduce ridership during the morning rush by about 40%, from 18,400 to 10,800.
The expansion will create new terminals at Lines 106, 116 and 125.
The last two phases of the subway line will extend it south to Lower Manhattan, though for now, they’re largely just schematics on top of a plan.
How much it costs?
In total that portion is worth more than $4.4 billion. Pushing the route north is expected to cost close to $6.3 billion, and major infrastructure projects almost always cost more than initially estimated.
The Times review – which includes interviews with more than 50 contractors and nearly 100 current and former MTA employees – found that transit projects in New York cost more than in the cities. This is different because trade unions, construction companies and consulting firms all make bigger profits here. than other places.
The MTA will pay half of the cost with the expectation that the federal government will cover the rest.
What are the challenges?
One big problem, not surprisingly, is money.
During a tour of the proposed construction site late last year, Ms. Hochul said she wanted to break ground later this year and complete the project within six to eight years.
But the MTA’s struggle to attract riders back and the possibility of mixed work schedules linger even after the pandemic has left the agency. in a precarious financial situation – in November, it forecast a $1.4 billion deficit in 2025. There is no guarantee that funds for the new line will not be diverted.
Some local leaders and residents are also worried that the 2nd Avenue subway could lead to new development in the vicinity and push long-time residents and small businesses out of it.
By the end of the first phase of the project, the upper East areas had changed. Many mom-and-pop stores closed, replaced by chain stores and luxury high-rises in an area with a mix of relatively well-to-do and middle-income residents. The median rent in buildings around Second Avenue increased 27% between 2011 and 2016, according to Street Easy.
And construction has also caused significant disruption with neighbors and local businesses complaining about noise and obstacles making it difficult to get to shops.
Jimmy Levantis, manager of Nick’s Restaurant & Pizzeria, near Station 96th Street, said the decade of construction “like a hell.” Customer unable to walk or drive to his restaurant.
“They came, destroyed everything,” he said. However, once the new section opened, it increased business, at least until the pandemic hit.
City Councilwoman Diana Ayala, whose county includes East Harlem, is worried about the “undesired consequences of this additional infrastructure” and added that the focus should be on “protecting small businesses and looking into it.” mobility of residents.”
She worries about the likes of Hector Quiroz, whose restaurant Lechonera La Isla has spent decades serving pernil and pig’s feet, and is steps away from what will be the new 125th Street Terminal.
Mr. Quiroz, who owns the restaurant with his wife, said he has no plans to leave.
“Not even a crane can take me,” Mr. Quiroz said in Spanish.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/nyregion/second-avenue-subway-harlem.html Will East Harlem ever get the long-delayed subway?