The Tale of Mr. TOD

Once upon a time, Mr. Tod arrived in New York. And the rest was not yet history. The tale is still, obviously, unfolding. Will Mr. Tod be able to create mobile, accessible, and affordable neighborhoods? Or will Mr. Tod only support luxury?

Mr. Tod, of course, is Mr. Transit-Oriented Development. He’s more and more popular these days, even though he used to be rejected almost everywhere. In fact, many wealthy (white) areas in the latter 20th century didn’t want public transit access, because they didn’t want to be, well, accessible. They didn’t want density. They wanted sprawl.



Who wants a working train station in the Berkshires?

But now, some non-shrinking cities are bouncing back. These certain cities are no longer as crime-ridden and no longer as dirty with industry. Many young people are marrying later (or not at all), and they don’t want to get a suburban house far away from the excitement of urban life. They also don’t want to get a car — at least, not yet.

Mr. Tod is here for them, but he should also be here for longtime residents, too. People shouldn’t fear improvements in their area — such as healthy food access, renewed public spaces, or exciting bike lanes — which would make the area more attractive. They should embrace improvements. But they’re not going to, so long as “growth” generally means condominiums.

T.O.D. is definitely environmentally sustainable (check out Mr. Sprawl), but is it socioeconomically sustainable? It should be. Unfortunately, transportation infrastructure tends to be distributed to those with power, while it’s dismantled elsewhere.


Fulton Center Advertisement on Subway

Just think about the Fulton Center, or the Calatrasaurus. Why are we spending so much money on these wasteful legacy projects, while so many other stations haven’t been renovated since the early 1900s? I suppose that’s a rhetorical question: Mr. Tod loves when he’s building famous structures.
Then, there’s new luxury housing that’s built on top of existing subway stations. Luckily, many of these developers are forced by the City to renovate and maintain subway entrances on their property. But I think that they should also be paying — at least partly — for the renovation of the actual stations. After all, an entire park is being funded by condominiums.
New Subway Entrance…
New Entrance Under Construction (Background: Parking Lot)
20140812_125449  20140812_125431
Old Subway Station Below Condominiums…
If we’re serious about transit-oriented development, then we should be developing the actual transportation infrastructure, too. The NYC Municipal Building is now 100 years old, and I’m pretty sure that the T.O.D. station beneath the City Beautiful movement structure is also around the same age. Can Mr. Tod bring some make-up?
 20140801_163359 20140801_163802
20140811_123732 20140811_123849
…Excuse me?
Mr. Tod has not only arrived in NYC. China‘s caught him, and so has the UAE and Arlington, VA. And let’s not forget Bud Light’s Whatever, USA, the capital city of a corporation, Anheuser-Busch, at least for a few days. Will this city be accessible by public transportation? Let me know if you know!
Of course, Mr. Tod has been with NYC for a while; we’ve just ignored him for decades. But he used to build grand hubs here, and even the Hotel Pennsylvania. That hotel wasn’t affordable housing, but we mustn’t forget the Dual Contracts and all of the T.O.D. towards the Outer Boroughs, spurring development oftentimes alongside farms and forests. Back then, the City built infrastructure in order to plan for growth, not in order to catch up with growth.


(Above) Condos in Harlem



(Above) This is Downtown Brooklyn?


(Above) Bike Lanes in Affluent Neighborhoods…


(Above) Repaint Bike Lane?


(Above) Gentrification Graffiti Above Train Station!


(Above) Subway Advertisement… 

Make no mistake: T.O.D. is great for NYC. New York City is growing, and the city needs more dense housing in order to house all of the newest New Yorkers. Hopefully, an increased supply of housing will help to lower the cost of housing in the city. But nevertheless, T.O.D. cannot ignore affordable housing. And either way, with more New Yorkers, our transportation infrastructure also needs to be improved. The MTA’s been improving the subway, attracting more and more people back to public transit with interactive maps and countdown clocks…


Schedules, ADA Access, Directions, +++…  


Don’t guess where to wait, plan where to wait!

But instead of a “pretty” MTA Fulton Center, we should have demanded a smart Fulton Center, built towards the sky with commercial space, retail space, and affordable housing. After all, if it’s state-owned property, it should be “relatively” “easy” to build affordable housing. Right on top of a transportation hub in Lower Manhattan. Why didn’t they do that? Who knows. But they should start doing it! Wouldn’t that be a much better legacy project than the Calatrasaurus?

Here are some other ideas…



(Above) How about more affordable housing in the Gowanus, alongside a ferry service?






(Above) How do we fix housing and transportation quagmires in the Rockaways?


How about more place-making community space in train stations? Local artists can share their artwork on murals, neighbors can post on billboards, vertical farms can provide produce… (Above, a school is located within MTA property)

Brighton Beach A 20140730_123829

3 Train Brooklyn A20140730_121038Best Density Example Ever


New Settlement 4 Train A

(Above) More housing and community space alongside elevated structures in Brooklyn and the Bronx?

Like here…



(Above) Rebuilt transportation infrastructure next to new housing?


(Above) Fewer trucks getting stuck on fire hydrants? (See under truck)

20140819_144546 20140819_144629

(Above) Lastly, can this makeshift antenna be improved…?

Of course, there’s an army of New Yorkers working on these issues. Downtown Brooklyn does have affordable units in these new condominiums, NYC has Inclusionary Housing, and Bill de Blasio has made housing a top priority. We’ll see what Mr. Tod does next…

In the end, the American Dream of socioeconomic mobility has had a lot to do with physical mobility, which has a lot to do with politics. Think about the romanticized Manifest Destiny as the country expanded with the Transcontinental Railroad, while “removing” any Native Americans that stood opposed.

Today’s version, of course, is America’s affinity for the “open road”, alongside romanticized road trips and motorcycle gangs. Even though these roads are mobilizing and “open”, they’re also equally immobilizing and “closed”. Akin to the Transcontinental Railroad, many communities that opposed these roads were simply bulldozed. Plus, the open and “free” road is full of rules and limits, and many are falling apart and clogged with traffic, sub-urbanization, and sprawl. Perhaps, our collective imagination needs to rethink and re-romanticize a 21st century version of T.O.D., with 21st century transportation technology.


The American Dream of the 19th Century (Now, a closed RR station)


The American Dream of WW2 (Brooklyn Army Terminal)


The American Dream of the 20th Century (Motorcycle freedom!)


Looming climate change, partly a result of the American Dream…


21st Century: Second Avenue Subway T.O.D. (photo ironically taken from a car…)

Rest assured, cars are useful, but they’re not always the solution. There’s quite a few alternatives, according to Mr. Tod!

Rayn Riel is a student at Tufts University studying international urban development, his self-crafted major. Interested in transportation, he is the founder of Tufts’ only undergraduate urban development student organization and was an intern at the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) in Brooklyn in order to work on transportation accessibility and mobility in East New York. Now an intern in the DCP Transportation Division, Rayn is interested in how smart transportation planning (and in particular, in how powers, identities, ideologies, and transportation hubs) can transform cities and communities socially, economically, politically, environmentally, and of course, physically. He’s also interested in how it all depends on a city’s comparative context, and on whether or not we’re “transporting transportation“, or translating (in)formal best practices.
(All photographs taken by Rayn, except, of course, Mr. Tod)

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27 Comments on “Mr. TOD”

  1. Eugene M. Riel III August 13, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    I remember when Robert DeNiro moved into tribeca (before it was called that) and soon the Franklin St subway stop became the most beautiful stop in the system, with nice benches and all the trimmings, while thousands of stations in the outer boroughs with millions more riders remained trashy and dangerous and dark, and that’s how it goes in the Big City.

    (not the same as franklin subway shuttle)


  2. Rayn Riel August 20, 2014 at 3:52 pm #

    Post updated! 8/20/14


    • nectod December 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm #

      And of course there is a “large” reason as to why arenas are often built atop rail assets. These are big parcels and they do not need their air rights. TD Garden in Boston (MBTA North Station), MSG in Midtown Manhattan (Penn), Barclays in Brooklyn, over the LIRR. (And they paid to renovate that subway station and build a nice new entrance to Barclays, which has a green roof).

      Heading to barclays on LIRR, goes above ground here on atlantic because atlantic goes into a valley and LIRR stays straight so it does not have to deal with incline

      Renovated terminal, with nice signage, materials

      Tracks removed and reconfigured

      Developer paid for entrance

      Here are old photos!


  3. Mark July 30, 2016 at 7:41 am #

    all a massive feat of engineering. i really appreciate just how complex it is to get something built. the engineering diagrams, science, physics, materials, budget, finance, machines, weather, demographics, economy, employment, hr, laws regulations, geology, environment, politics, art culture, software programs, procurement, contracts, lawyers, architects… so much going on! world so complex these days. and to keep it working more than ever with so many parts requires teamwork, communication, organization, multitasking attitude…


  4. Friedrich July 31, 2016 at 8:26 pm #

    TOD is hard because it involves so many stakeholders. Without one, the project will fail, costs will rise, etc. And, every area has overlapping jurisdictions. City Council, Community Board, police district, school district, federal districts… Amazing anything gets done at all! Especially with all these property taxes, though NJ is worse.

    But, given the state of the MTA’s budget, any little real estate dent surely helps. And good luck figuring out the MTA budget… lirr, mnr, b&t, subways, buses, capital construction, hq… and then so many divisions, budgets within budgets…

    Still, people put up a fight, try to get everyone to the table, together, for the region:

    it’s all about the money and politics, limited resources… delays, delays. sick customers, emergency brakes pulled… train malfunction… one nail in the machine busted, and it all falls apart. for instance, if shops/yards aren’t doing their job, with effective/efficient maintenance, and putting out a good quantity of safe, reliable, clean cars, then convenience, reliability, all falls due to delays. but do they have the manpower for all they need to do, and the money for all the inspections for preventative/routine maintenance, training, etc? or for procurements?

    this is why they need to be more creative! TOD! real estate! ads, gift shop at transit museum, film, special events… the MTA should also lease out extra buses for parties.


    • Mark August 1, 2016 at 10:02 pm #

      As long as they keep to the schedule, they will be fine. Schedule decentralizes the bureaucracy, and empowers the operators to maintain even headway, have good wait assessment, etc.


  5. Alex August 2, 2016 at 6:59 pm #

    Sometimes it is best to not build tall, and preserve! Makes the area a bit more welcoming, calm, inclusive. Like Stone St in Lower Manhattan


  6. NONIMBY August 7, 2016 at 4:20 pm #

    There will always be NIMBYs.

    Hempstead Town Supervisor Anthony Santino says he’s worried that the Long Island Rail Road’s third-track project could bring “danger” to Floral Park’s pool and recreation complex and the playground of an elementary school.

    It’s surprising then that he’s never complained about the existing two tracks of the Main Line, which are in pretty much the same place and present the same hazards and inconveniences.

    There’s no way to add a third track in the existing right of way, along 10 miles of the LIRR’s Main Line, without some concerns and complaints. But the pool and school were built long after the LIRR first laid tracks, indicating little worry about the issue in the past.

    And Santino has presented little evidence that the existing two tracks are dangerous.
    But the benefits of improving the track bed from Floral Park to Hicksville are huge compared with the inconvenience its construction will likely cause. Adding a third track will improve commutes for both riders and for drivers because the project will eliminate seven grade crossings that endanger local residents and clog traffic. The expansion will improve the economy and future of the entire region by meeting the transportation needs of employers and workers.

    The real problem, we suspect, isn’t a few months of noise or dust. No, it’s the resurrection of a particularly cynical brand of politics that preys on the fears of local residents to garner votes. Does it suprise you that there are state legislative elections this November?
    The project’s environmental report is in the works. The plan ought to include building sound barriers and avoiding construction near the pool in the summer. But it’s ignoring the benefits of an additonal track and inflating the hassles that are worrisome and dangerous.


    The Long Island Rail Road third-track project will not only benefit travelers, but also communities along the route [“More concerns over 3rd track,” News, July 27]. The project will eliminate seven noisy grade crossings that jam traffic.

    Yet, some local politicians seem more concerned with protecting the status quo than improving quality of life. Surely, some residents along the track have legitimate concerns, but local leaders seem more concerned with the superficial and short-term desires of a few constituents without taking into account their impact on the greater community. Should the long-term economic and environmental health of Long Island take a backseat to a swimming complex in Floral Park? I think not.

    It seems to me that these “Main Line mayors” are taking a stand against the future for the sake of their next elections. However, their shortsighted approach risks depriving constituents of the benefits grade-crossing elimination can yield: less traffic, quieter trains, fewer delays from gates and no more grade-crossing collisions.


  7. justicity August 17, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

    THIS AFTERNOON, PEDESTRIANS and cyclists will take over a 60-block swath of downtown Manhattan. Where cars usually rule, street musicians will perform in bustling intersections. A bike valet will offer services free of charge. An art studio will pop up on Bowling Green. And cars, most likely, will flee like aristocrats amidst a revolution, spooked by an intentionally inconvenient 5 mph speed limit.

    The Great Lower Manhattan Car Experiment—happening east of Broadway, between City Hall and the Battery—will last just five hours, but it marks New York City’s largest test in pedestrianization of the decade, and is part of a global trend. Urban centers like Madrid, Paris, London, and Shanghai—to name a few—are increasingly favoring walking over driving. It’s easy to see why: Scientists have linked doing just that with better physical health, more opportunities for spontaneous (maybe fun?) social interactions, and decreased air pollution.

    New York’s getting into the game cautiously. Demoting cars in lower Manhattan, through what the city’s DOT gently calls the “Shared Streets” initiative, is an experiment in the true sense of the word. City employees will track the movement of people, bicycles, and motor vehicles through the area, filming time lapses of key corridors. They will survey folks in the area on their thoughts. They’ll talk to local businesses too, who stand to be especially inconvenienced, since they rely on cars and trucks to make bulk deliveries.

    Then, city officials will determine the feasibility of shooing vehicles from the area, maybe in a permanent sense, or at least more often. “Is this something we could repeat again and grow?” says Emily Weidenhof, NYC DOT’s director of public space. “It’s definitely something we’re looking into.”

    Walking in New York
    New York City is no stranger to pedestrianization—the fancy term for making streets more welcoming to bipeds (and usually cyclists, too). In 2008, then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg and ambitious Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan launched “Summer Streets,” a now-annual event that transforms car-dominated thoroughfares—think Park Avenue and Broadway—into activity-filled street fairs for a few weekends. Engines out, ziplines in. Last year, 300,000 people took advantage of the vehicle-free spaces. The city’s taken permanent action too, banning cars for life from areas like Times Square.

    Lower Manhattan’s Financial District—with its pre-car, pre-grid layout of twisting narrow streets—is the natural next frontier for walkers. Data from traffic analytics firm Inrix shows that even on the area’s main routes, traffic on normal Saturdays moves at roughly 8 mph. These streets aren’t really working for cars, anyway.

    Large-scale pedestrianization has worked out in other cities. Madrid redesigned some of its busiest streets to favor pedestrians, and fines non-residents caught driving in downtown neighborhoods.

    Copenhagen has been slowly surrendering its center city to walkers and cyclists since the 60s. San Francisco temporarily nixed vehicles in part of its downtown shopping area to accommodate subway construction, and some businesses want to keep it that way. (Others definitely do not.)

    Where Car-Free Streets Work
    So there’s reason to think that putting Lower Manhattan on a low-car diet would work great. But not all city streets can be pedestrianized. In fact, the vast majority of American attempts to transform urban business districts to “pedestrian malls” have outright failed. Chicago tried to convert part of its downtown Loop into an open air mall in the 1970s, but shoppers grew uncomfortable when the wide, car-friendly streets were suddenly devoid of, you know, cars.

    New York City itself tried to launch an aggressive car-free “red zone” in 1971—it even printed up signs!—before politics got in the way. “Macy’s said, ‘Over our dead bodies,’” then-NYC traffic engineer Sam Schwartz told The Guardian. With the crime rates at record highs, New Yorkers did not want to spend time (or money) outside.

    A few decades and a crime rate dive later, dense American cities seem ready for another crack at walking. So what makes a great candidate for a pedestrianized street? A 2013 study out of Fresno, California, documents the failure of 80 percent of the pedestrian malls built in the US since the 1950s and 60s, and argues success comes down to a few factors. Be close to a major community anchor, like a university or a beach. Offer alternate forms of transit. Limit your efforts to just a few blocks, since most cities can’t handle taking a bunch of places off the dominant mode of transportation, the vehicle. And be really small—100,000 people or fewer—or really big. Like New York.

    The future of cities—and particularly American ones—will probably have cars. But some won’t. It’s up to smart designers, armed with smart data, to figure out which ones work.


  8. Yokoinu September 9, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

    Do all of these have TOD?


  9. Jinxor September 11, 2016 at 6:25 pm #

    Now that the UK has left the EU, New York is certainly more competitive for finance. Many firms will be moving employees out of the UK, which means tens of thousands of wealthy people and their families will be moving elsewhere. After all, there is now a strong geographic barrier, which will soon make it more difficult for EU citizens to work in London. What other city in the EU has strong English-language infrastructure, which is essential for attracting a global work force, as well as favorable regulations, transportation and communications infrastructure, prime office space and luxury housing, good schools, restaurants, and cultural offerings? This city will soon get more jobs across the board, investment, and tax revenue.


  10. Albom September 12, 2016 at 5:48 pm #

    think about everything that needs to be changed for a service change — the new W, for instance. new maps, signage, bulletins, schedules, connection info, announcements on trains, budget, reporting documents… it is a real headache for a bureaucracy to change. but it is great at doing processes fairly.


    • Iona September 20, 2016 at 10:56 am #

      True. And language translation for neighborhood clusters.

      All that documenting, verifying when it’s done, logging it, the grunt work, etc


  11. Albequek September 13, 2016 at 7:46 pm #

    Yes, they should up-zone! These corridors don’t have any housing because they cannot build it. And stop with single-family zoning, keeping out apartments and other tenants. We should be building up our backyards.

    “Right now, the only new development that can happen along Jerome is commercial—retail, hotels, office space, or industrial buildings like auto shops and warehouses. The city wants to encourage the construction of large, mixed-use residential buildings, which will bring new retail, community services, and thousands of affordable apartments. DCP predicts that the rezoning will inject 3,250 new apartments into the area, 72,273 square feet of community facility space, and 35,575 square feet of commercial/retail space.

    The rezoning would impose the mayor’s new Mandatory Inclusionary Housing policy on all 73 blocks, which means that any developer who builds there will have to rent at least a quarter of their apartments at below-market rates. While City Planning doesn’t specify how many affordable units could be built, the proposal estimates that a “substantial portion” of the new apartments will be below-market. In the last decade, more than 80 percent of the new housing units in Bronx community districts 4 and 5 (which cover much of the soon-to-be-rezoned area) were subsidized affordable units, according to DCP.

    The new zoning would limit the heights of new buildings to 80 or 100 feet along much of Jerome Avenue, but new construction would be able to reach up to 120 feet around Burnside and Tremont avenues (at the north end of the corridor) and at the southern edge between West 167th and 170th streets. The densest development would be able to rise up to 145 feet at the south end of the rezoned strip, around McClellan Street.

    And as YIMBY noted last summer, officials have also promised to upgrade the public spaces, parks, and streets in these neighborhoods. Neighbors worry about walking home at night under the elevated 4 train tracks on Jerome, which darken the streets even on blocks with street lights. The new zoning would also require setbacks along Jerome, to ensure light and air gets through between the new buildings and the tracks.

    Auto shops line much of Jerome Avenue, and they employ hundreds of workers. Many of those auto shop employees are recent immigrants who speak limited English, and they’re not sure where they’d go if the shops were sold to developers and closed. The city estimates that the rezoning will displace roughly 100,000 square feet of auto shops and 100 employees, but the planning documents promise that another study will analyze the potential displacement in greater depth.

    Next, the rezoning will have to move through each layer of the public approval process, clearing public meetings with the local community boards, the City Planning Commission, the Borough President, and the City Council. City Planning will kick off the process by hosting a public scoping meeting at 4 p.m. on Thursday, September 29th, 2016 at the Gould Memorial Library Auditorium in Bronx Community College, which is at 2155 University Avenue. Typically during a scoping meeting, DCP officials will present the plan and then allow the public to ask questions.”

    And it is not a taking.

    Also, these elevated steel structures are so LOUD, unlike newer ones like the automatic AirTrain… If the mta extends the Astoria line to LGA, presumably the structure would not be as noisy!!!

    The city should add more retail within NYCHA properties. They are nice because there are no streets inside these tower in a park complexes, there are trees and playgrounds, but it is also isolating…

    Over all, this will saturate the market and bring prices down! Supply and demand!


  12. Rex September 15, 2016 at 5:54 pm #

    so much more than TOD.
    there’s the TA committee, budget data, headcount, ytd variance, org charts, lost time accidents, injuries, federal and nys requirements, contracts, goals, trainings, operations, fire, budget for car equipment, elevators escalators, stations, infrastructure, maintenance of way, operations support, power, operations, signals, stations, track, … mdbf projection, incidents, hvac failures, work trains, security events, shops, car class, yards, wash reports, inspections, switches, merges, schedules, third rail, engineering, weather, cleaning, real estate, p3s, contracts, climate change, enterprise asset management, resilience, safety, capital programs, running time, dispatchers, typists, directions, throughputs, headways, 12-month rolling values, schedules, signals, etc…

    Closer headways, means OTP and WA can be more easily affected. But, we must remain “careful” with our assessments of the subway, I’m sure it is quite complex, political, with all the ATS, I-TRAC, PLC, divisions, capital work… but honestly, the system may be 100+ years old, not an excuse. It gets replaced. The second avenue subway is brand new, will still have problems, and 63rd street entrance doesn’t seem to have been renovated, lol.

    Then we have, from MTA:

    • In 2017, the Second Avenue Subway, Phase 1, opened for service on January 1, marking the largest expansion of the New York City subway system in over 50 years. The new extension is forecast to serve some 200,000 riders daily and decreases overcrowding on the Lexington Avenue Line by 23,500 riders per average weekday, or about 13 percent. In addition to relieving crowding and delays on the 4, 5, and 6 trains, it provides the far East Side of Manhattan with better access to mass transit, reduces travel time for many Upper East Siders by 10 minutes or more, and improves commuting options for both city and suburban residents.
    • New real-time service management tools at its Rail Control Center (RCC) to assist dispatchers in providing and restoring service following incidents through the development of the Service Intervention Recommendation Engine (SIRE), which provides real-time hold and skip recommendations to dispatchers in the A-division. The recommendations are based on real-time information on the spacing of trains, as well as historical ridership patterns which help reveal which holds & skips would be beneficial. The effort has been highly collaborative, with analysts sitting with dispatchers and managers to learn the nuances of their service control strategies. With veteran dispatchers retiring, this pilot project is well timed to act as a means of transitioning knowledge to the next generation. Insights from outside of NYCT, such as academic research, is also being utilized.
    • Improved wayfinding on the platform through color coding on station platforms for use by platform controllers to guide customers to the least crowded areas of the train; and markings in subway cars to guide passengers toward the center of subway cars.
    • We are adding more platform staff and will enhance their role as Service Ambassadors along the corridor through a new training program, digital tools, and improved coordination with the public address system in stations to better inform passengers about station-specific issues. This will be supplemented with improved announcements in subway cars that will inform and aid riders exiting the trains. Revising door announcements will speed door closing.


  13. Hobart September 18, 2016 at 5:40 pm #

    Streets so congested. Even separate ROW underground congested. Lol


  14. Binok September 22, 2016 at 10:19 am #

    The number one thing we can do for TOD is to get rid of parking lot requirements.

    But that means more people will take mass transit. Which is already bursting at the seams because people are returning to transit from their cars, returning to the city from the suburbs, more immigrants, a cleaner/safer city and economic rebound, gentrification…

    by direction, otp, wait assessment, journey time, abandonments… all getting worse. new crews are more cautious, and if the operator and conductor are slower, it’s even worse. everything is now on the computer so auditing is easy, people are more careful, data is more accurate, delays going up. cbt can allow trains to go closer together, but only the L has it, and we’re just over capacity as a railroad.

    And we don’t even have countdown clocks on the B Division yet, but Beacon tech is working on it. And PLC is on some information kiosks. but the RCC can’t control it like on A div. (and RCC doesn’t control terminals either on A Div, need someone there to check out the crew, except if a loop like South ferry.) If only the IRT and BMT/IND were able to fit in the same tunnels. but IRT too narrow for B Div.

    The trains of the BMT and IND lines are longer and wider than those of the IRT lines. Therefore an BMT/IND style train cannot fit into an IRT tunnel (the numbered lines and the 42nd Street Shuttle). An IRT train CAN fit into a BMT/IND tunnel but since it is narrower the distance from car to platform is unsafe. Cars from the IRT division are moved using BMT/IND tracks to Coney Island Overhaul Shops for major maintenance on a regular basis.

    Until 1954 and 1955, when the Culver Ramp and 60th Street Tunnel Connection opened, the BMT and IND trackage was not connected. The early joint services using these connections operated similarly to trackage rights; it was not until the Chrystie Street Connection opened in 1967 that the ex-BMT and IND systems were consolidated operationally.

    Beginning in 1924,[citation needed] BMT services were designated by number. The city assigned letters (J and up) – generally following the IND pattern of double letters for local services – in the early 1960s to prepare for the 1967 Chrystie Street Connection. Only Southern Division routes (1-4 or N-T) were labeled on maps, but all services except remnants of the old els were assigned letters:[4][5]
    Taking over operations, or “recapturing,” the BMT Culver Line elevated structure in order to institute IND service to Coney Island was a high priority of New York City planners. Recapture proved unnecessary since the Culver Line and the rest of the BMT and IRT passed into City hands in 1940 as a fruit of Unification, the takeover of the privately owned BMT and IRT by the City, which built and owned theIND.[11][65] The new connection would create a one-fare ride for IND passengers to Coney Island, and eliminate congestion on the BMT’sFourth Avenue Subway.[62][65]

    Groundbreaking on the Culver Ramp, also referred to as the Culver Line Connection, between the Church Avenue and Ditmas Avenuestations began in June 1941, and was expected to be completed by the ended of the year.[82] The ramp was expected to cost $2 million, and along with new signals, and rehabilitation of the Culver elevated and lengthening of its stations to IND standards, the total cost of the project was estimated at over $11 million.[62][65][84] 170 subway cars were purchased for $8,500,000 or the extension of IND service. Two substations, a signal tower, afourth track at Ditmas Avenue, and an additional stairway at Ditmas Avenue were all completed as part of the project.[63] McDonald Avenue was also widened between Avenue C and Cortelyou Road to facilitate the ramp. Though the ramp was nearly complete, including rails and signal work, construction was halted later that year because of America’s entrance into World War II.[84][85][86] When the project was restarted in 1946, completion was delayed further due to continued material shortages and a lack of rolling stock to facilitate the new service.[83] On October 30, 1954,[53][87] the connection between the IND Brooklyn Line at Church Avenue and the BMT Culver Line at Ditmas Avenue opened. This allowed IND trains to operate all the way to the Coney Island – Stillwell Avenueterminal.[88]

    In November 1967, the Chrystie Street Connection opened and D trains were rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge and the BMT Brighton Line to Coney Island. F trains were extended once again via the Culver Line.[84][97] From June 1968[98] to 1987, the Culver Line featured express service during rush hours. F trains ran express in both directions between Bergen Street and Church Avenue, while G trains were extended from Smith–Ninth Streets to Church Avenue to provide local service. Express service on the elevated portion of the line to Kings Highway operated in the peak direction (to Manhattan AM; to Brooklyn PM), with some F trains running local and some running express.[1][5] Express service between Bergen and Church ended in 1976, and between Church and Kings Highway in 1987, largely due to budget constraints and complaints from passengers at local stations. Express service on the elevated Culver Line was ended due to necessary structural work, but never restored.[1][5][99][100] With the end of express service, Bergen Street’s lower level was taken out of service. Following renovations to the station in the 1990s, the lower level was converted into storage space and is not usable for passenger service in its current state.[1][5][99][101]


  15. Gettz September 27, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    MetroTech in Brooklyn is a good TOD example, but it is enclosed, they made an enclosed private street (no cars though) since it was built back when Downtown BK was full of crime… but it is inward-facing…


  16. Yio October 4, 2016 at 6:35 pm #

    the subway requires more than TOD. it needs rolling stock, pumps to keep out the water, accessibility… many systems have difficult transfers; it takes a long walk to go from line to line. here, they’re right across the platform a lot of the time


  17. Eugenie October 18, 2016 at 11:11 am #

    We need better access to downtown cores — with TOD planning, complete streets, etc. We need to ADVOCATE for TOD! With events, news, certifications!

    Unfortunately, many of our rail stations are designed like airports, far from the city, isolated, with a sea of parking lots. But that discourages sustainability and creates more carbon pollution. We need people to walk or bike or take mass transit to intermodal hubs. To do this, we need more than just feeder routes. We need more than just policy and value capture and up-zoning to finance transit. We need good design. Trees, cafes, place-making, art, complete streets to invite walking within that last mile. This is inherently interdisciplinary, involving operations, architects, etc. For retail, public spaces, human scaled areas, mixed-uses, synergy, civic institutions, residences, offices… trees, which shade, provide oxygen, cool the air, filter toxins, protect from winds and absorb rain water… This is sustainable, it brings together people, creates a sense of space and an image, increases capacity… all through this vibrant livable sustainable compact walkable typology, for regional growth, revitalization, renewal. There’ll be less congestion, better lifestyle, and it’s great for families or singles. It’s healthier, for us and for the world, because we’ll need less foreign oil. It just all makes sense – increases access to jobs and opportunity, so on and so forth.


  18. Alex October 25, 2016 at 10:13 pm #

    Many towns in America were built by TOD. But then they sprawled, and started forcing massive parking lots. Change the zoning, change the design rules, bring in car sharing and HOV and bike lanes, increase the density and reduce car ownership, fight the suburban politicians, for HUMAN planning and livability.

    Why? Businesses are flocking to livable places to live, work, and play, for millenials, who continue to appreciate access to transit. And of course, access to jobs, schools, family, friends, entertainment. If you have a station surrounded by a parking lot, it’s not accessible. It may be good for commuters, but not for frequent users, not for sustainable transit use. All those fixed costs can be managed better with high ridership throughout the day, which is possible with TOD and density.

    People will walk to stations if they are not in a parking lot, even if it is a long walk, as long as it is pleasant, with trees, shops. Or, they can take a bus. Bus stations need to be seen as assets, not liabilities. Improve them with WiFi, better traffic signals, payment options, but most importantly, frequency, speed, and real-time information. This is a great way to grow an economy, reduce congestion, improve health and environment.

    And stop with the “sexy” branding, if it is not going to improve service in a walkable area. NJ used to be at the forefront of TOD but Christie stalled it, which is sad for a state so reliant on mass transit. People in dense, mixed-use areas use various modes of transit. Not just one. People are bicyclists, motorists, transit users. Across all sexes, incomes, races, ethnicities.

    We won’t need parking lots in the future with autonomous vehicles. We will need mass transit. Let’s keep the pressure on our region. Be in the room when decisions are made. Improve buses, trains, fix the schedules, connect the services.



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