Glimpse: Fulton Center

“Glimpse” is a new PYC series for on-the-go readers interested in concise, image-laden posts…

The well-lit Fulton Center will be completely opened within the next few months, but I was granted access to the construction site in late August, in the company of Daniel Peterson, PE, who came up with the floor plan for the Fulton Center. The design is meticulous; indeed, every nook and cranny in the complex has been carefully (and artfully) interconnected. It was a pleasure to explore the facility, and I’m sure it’ll be even more pleasurable once it opens with civic and commercial spaces, as well as with connections to the nearby PATH hub…

Daniel Peterson writes:

While the Fulton Street Transit Center oculus, and in particular its curved form, might seem inspired by Norman Foster’s work, I can tell you that the plan for the station definitely was not. In my role as Senior Transportation Engineer for Arup, I developed the plan for the station in a sketch I worked up on my train home, in response to a large ‘design objectives’ meeting with the MTA held earlier in the day (5/30/2002). Grimshaw was hired by Arup about a year later and was obliged to adopt our plan.

This original plan was modified by MTA’s decision to retain the Corbin Building, but only by being made smaller. The circular elements (the promenade ground floor and depressed “pod”), and the angled main staircases were retained. The upper floors were added later and retained the circular motif.  In the initial sketch, fare control turnstiles were on the ground floor inside the entrances.  We soon realized we could relocate the -1 to -2 stairs to the 4/5 uptown platform and move fare control between the pod and the platform.


Courtesy of Daniel Peterson, PE (5/30/02)



Courtesy of Daniel Peterson, PE (5/30/02)


Daniel Peterson continues:

Grand Central Terminal and its east and west staircases influenced my thinking regarding the FSTC design, including its vertical space and clearstory daylight above, and the actions of “descending into”, and “watching others”. While these GCT elements in no way resemble in plan the FSTC elements, in psychological intent, they do.  The circular forms have their antecedents in the Smithsonian’s Museum of History and Technology, designed by McKim Mead & White, and today called the National Museum of American History; a building in which I spent countless hours as a young lad, courtesy of my inspired parents.

The ground floor and the pod were designed as circular spaces to provide an attractive promenade for circulation within the station and to drive my expectation that there ought to be an open dome above (I was thinking Pantheon, Monticello, not a hyperboloid, though I knew that whoever designed the opening would have to “reach for” the natural light). James Carpenter, who sought me out when he got the commission, got it exactly right. The circular plan also worked to bring the pedestrians into the pod at perpendicular angles. I felt this was a key design element because I wanted users to be able to naturally witness the movement of other travelers as each moved up and down the stairs and escalators (I had to fight to keep Grimshaw from turning the escalators parallel and the circular promenade into an orthogonal box). I also wanted users to emerge from the building into its corners, which is natural for circulation (direct to the street corner), but is also visually interesting through the perspectival changes encountered and from the greater light present in the open intersections beyond the doors and visible through the glass above them.

20140821_135014 20140821_134835-e1411953516179 20140821_141548 20140821_140334 20140821_135137 20140821_135004



Courtesy of Daniel Peterson, PE


As one can see from my photos and Dan’s sketches…

The inbound pedestrian flows from the four corners of the station (originally extending to John St.) were drawn to a central area, which was then to lead to the 4/5 and other trains. This “central area,” which became known as the “pod” was depressed (-1) to lead directly into the uptown 4/5 platform. Once inside the relocated fare control, additional vertical circulation led down to the (-2) large concourse area (the open pool-like “basement” that the pod overlooks) which provided through connectivity between Dey St. the A/C mezzanine and J/M/Z and 2/3 lines, and the downtown 4/5 platform.

There very much was an intent on MTA’s part (from Peter Kalikow, MTA chairman at the time, and who interestingly owned the Telegraph Building, the 1923 HQ for AT&T, across Broadway) to bring natural light all the way into Fulton Center, down to the A mezzanine if possible. There was on my part also a very intentional user experience of moving into, emerging into the light as one left the station and went to one’s day in the city. The promenade was circular, and the pod below, naturally enough was as well, as I felt the curved edges more approachable for looking over and watching people on the escalators, down below or across the opening as they move through the station. I also felt the circular overlooks more conducive to creating self-defined spaces for waiting for a rendezvous. Curved edges seem to have a different, more approachable, attraction for people than orthogonal square edges, and looking into a circle, a different experience from looking into a square.

It is my sincere hope that users will enjoy a transformative experience as they leave and enter what is now called Fulton Center, an experience that keeps working for them, day after day; that fills them with a little bit of the energy and wonder of the city.

Daniel Peterson, PE




…. Yet ….

While the MTA will soon be “releasing” the Fulton Center, the MTA has already “released” the 2015-2019 Capital Plan. As always, funding will be scarce

I think that the MTA’s budget should be partly incentivized by real estate revenues. The agency owns plenty of land that hasn’t yet been capitalized upon, including the Fulton Center. Whilst being a beautiful public space, the Fulton Center is nevertheless a low-rise building located in the heart of Lower Manhattan, arguably without an adequate amount of commercial space. What happened to selling air rights? Or, instead of spending a large sum of money relocating HQ to 2 Broadway, why not relocate above MTA-owned land?

Born and bred in Brooklyn, I am quite interested in how smart transportation planning — and in particular, in how transportation hubs — can transform cities and communities socially, economically, politically, environmentally, and of course, physically. I also am interested in the juxtaposition between international development and transportation, and in understanding comparative contexts so as not to “transport transportation“, but to translate (in)formal best practices.

However, my primary interest concerns transportation hubs, which I consider to be “transformation hubs“. When properly contextualized, I think that these transit-oriented cathedrals of powers, identities, and ideologies are paramount in order to achieve inclusive international urban development plans and policies, as well as in order to achieve financial sustainability for transportation agencies vis-à-vis ample civic and commercial real estate spaces.

Why do few projects seem to understand the importance of transit-oriented transformation hubs? Why is transportation ‘transported’ – instead of ‘translated’ contextually – from one area to another? Why are some (in)formal transportation agencies better than others? Do they have healthier public-private partnerships? More importantly, are their market-led incentives more catalyzing? Perhaps, yes.

These (in)formal, public-private partnership hubs must integrate commercial space in order to qualify as smart planning for the 21st century. Here’s an idealistic vision: How about a transportation hub with office space, retail space, affordable housing, rooftop farming, and solar panels? And community space for local meetings in order to assist with place-making efforts?

There are so many opportunities for the MTA to become a profitable agency, but the incentives are lacking, and MTA real estate throughout the five boroughs (and beyond) remains arguably underutilized, if not entirely unutilized…

(All photographs taken by Rayn Riel and Daniel Peterson)

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23 Comments on “Glimpse: Fulton Center”

  1. David-Kevin September 30, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Glad you’re writing about this. I posted a small blurb about the Fulton Center on my own blog at Would you have any objections to be updating my page by providing a link to your story (with full credit provided to you, of course) ?


    • Rayn Riel September 30, 2014 at 9:21 am #

      Please feel free to share on your blog! Thanks. Also, your blog looks quite nice.


  2. Alex August 2, 2016 at 7:10 pm #

    What if the city never banned steam RRs below 42nd, and Grand Central was built in Lower Manhattan, with a stop at 42nd? Then it could connect to this Fulton Center, and maybe the LIRR could have connected to it, by building a tunnel from Atlantic Terminal to Fulton. Great thru-running!
    The Long Island Rail Road is the busiest commuter railroad in North America, carrying an average of 301,000 customers each weekday on 735 daily trains. Chartered on April 24, 1834, it is also the oldest railroad still operating under its original name. Throughout that time, the LIRR has been an essential component of the region’s transportation infrastructure, leading to the development of the Long Island communities it serves and providing a gateway to the economic growth of the region. A subsidiary of New York State’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Long Island Rail Road marked its
    175th Anniversary in 2009.
    The LIRR system is comprised of over 700 miles of track on 11 different branches, stretching from Montauk — on the eastern tip of Long Island — to the refurbished Penn Station in the heart of Manhattan, approximately 120 miles away. Along the way, the
    LIRR serves 124 stations in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan, providing service for over 80 million customers each year, taking them to and from jobs, homes, schools, sporting events, concerts, beaches, Broadway shows, and the multitude of other attractions around the New York metropolitan region.
    Nearly 500 of the LIRR’s daily trains originate or terminate at Penn Station in Manhattan. Most of the remainder originate or terminate at the newly renovated Atlantic Terminal (formerly Flatbush Avenue) in Brooklyn, with a number of others originating or terminating at Hunterspoint Avenue and Long Island City in Queens. All of these terminals provide convenient connections to MTA New York City Transit subway service. All but one of the LIRR’s 11 branches pass through the important Jamaica hub, where customers may change trains to connect for other branches or terminals. Third-rail electric service is offered on the lines to Port Washington, Ronkonkoma, Babylon, Hempstead, Huntington, West Hempstead, Long Beach and Far Rockaway, and diesel service is provided on the lines to Oyster Bay, Port Jefferson, Montauk and Greenport.
    A number of recent investments in the Railroad’s infrastructure have brought improved service and added convenience to the Railroad’s customers. All of the Railroad’s new state-of-the-art M-7 electric cars have arrived, providing customers with improved levels of comfort and convenience. In addition, more than 65 LIRR stations throughout the system have been rehabilitated in recent years.
    The Port Authority’s AirTrain JFK provides a convenient light rail link between the LIRR’s Jamaica hub and JFK International Airport. As part of this project, Jamaica Station underwent an extensive rebuilding, turning this important hub into a first-class transportation facility allowing fast, easy connections between LIRR trains, AirTrain JFK, and NYC Transit subway and bus service.
    The Railroad is also preparing for the future: The East Side Access Project will eventually bring LIRR trains to Grand Central Terminal, allowing direct LIRR service to the east side of Manhattan.
    The LIRR operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week, including all holidays, with service intervals varying by destination and time of day.
    Questions? Useful Phone Numbers
    For travel information, call 718-217-5477.
    MTA is committed to providing non-discriminatory service to ensure that no person is excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or subjected to discrimination in the receipt of its services on the basis of race, color or national origin as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (“Title VI”). To request more information about Title VI or to submit a written complaint if you believe that you have been subjected to discrimination, you may contact the MTA Long Island Rail Road Diversity Management Department, 93-02 Sutphin Boulevard, 4th Floor, Jamaica, NY 11435.

    In addition to your right to file a complaint with MTA Long Island Rail Road, you have the right to file a Title VI complaint with the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Transit Administration, Office of Civil Rights. The regional office is located at One Bowling Green, Room 429, New York, 10004-1415.


  3. Ralpe August 12, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    As clean as Fulton Center is, tracks are dirty!

    MTA has begun a focused effort that involves stepped up track cleaning, a major investment in the purchase of new, specialized track cleaning equipment and a major deployment of personnel. With the recent launch of Operation Track Sweep, the MTA is doing more than just tidying up stations and giving customers a cleaner transit environment – as important as those are! The new initiative is also a way to squeeze even more efficiency out of a subway system taxed by record ridership.

    “There’s no question that a concerted, sustained effort to limit trash on subways tracks will have a significant impact on the efficiency of subway service,” noted Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast in the official announcement. “Getting rid of trash on the tracks helps us decrease the number of track fires, and that means fewer delays.”

    This past May, for example, nearly 700 weekday train delays were attributed to track fires. And with the increased ridership and more lines running at, or near capacity, even minor delays can produce a domino effect.

    The four-phase Operation Track Sweep is rolling out like this.

    First, a more aggressive schedule, already underway, ups the frequency of regular cleanings from 34 to 94 station tracks every two weeks. Second, a two-week, off-hours cleaning blitz, beginning September 12, will deploy over 500 workers to eliminate trash from 10 miles of subway track at all 469 stations.

    Third, the MTA is working with vendors on the development of super-strength vacuum cleaners, with prototypes expected towards the end of the year. Powerful but readily portable, the vacuums are designed to suck up track litter directly from station platforms.

    Finally, the MTA has ordered 27 new refuse collection cars for hauling away garbage, as well as three powerful new vacuum trains, each capable of inhaling 14 cubic yards of trash per day.


    • Joe Salman August 12, 2016 at 8:44 pm #

      At the MTA, it is all politics. No incentives for good service. They don’t make money based on how clean their platforms are. They should outsource cleaning and lower costs. The unions make it so costly to clean the stations and they are still so dirty. I see them drag garbage bags with leaking stuff and it just makes more stains and grime on the platform. They tried removing cans and sure enough, “less garbage was removed” from the system. If they fire station cleaners, “less garbage” will also be “removed”… see how they play politics with facts? Try to cherry pick numbers and bring down standards? They say track fires cause 700 delays every year. Wow! That is like, 1 afternoon of delays every year. Cleaning the tracks will cause MORE delays for all the flagging and crews… especially now with more safety requirements. So cleaning tracks and reducing track fires will do nothing to reduce delays but it is still important obviously.


      • Yokoinu September 9, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

        More safety requirements, more HR requirements, more rules rules rules slows down everything


  4. justicity August 17, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    form and function.

    function as a transit center, capacity, capacity.

    a playground on the other hand, can be more playful… while making sure it is safe, but still fun… (careful with the sand boxes, could become animal litter box!)


  5. performta August 23, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

    There is a We Works at the Fulton Center!


  6. Kalino August 24, 2016 at 12:08 pm #

    Now fix the bus terminal. That is basically like entering a coal mine. So dirty, run down…

    I know, it’s hard to fix, runs 24/7. But most of it is shut down during nights, operations are consolidated, so that people aren’t thinned out along the complex, to prevent robbery/rape… and be more efficient with operations


  7. Albequek September 15, 2016 at 10:01 pm #

    nearby fulton center, wall street irt station still has very LOW fences!

    and check out how they keep the third rail secure

    and, nice recycle bins, solar compactors, good old IRT station entrance…


  8. Iona September 20, 2016 at 10:52 am #

    I love railroads and maps. Here’s a good Amtrak map:

    There used to be so many more RRs, now NYCT can only connect to the South Brooklyn through the D in Brooklyn and also at Linden Yard (3 and L). But our system remains so flexible, so complex, with so many storage tracks, extra tracks, switches, ability to have terminals everywhere… And we planned for extensions. Each station has its own history. How the 6 avenue Line goes bilevel to not disrupt the PATH, or how along Flatbush, BMT and IRT, built at the same time, do the same thing… Or Chambers Street, former BMT hub, back when the Manhattan Bridge brought trains there along BMT Nassau. Subway was built for SPEED, they tried to keep it fast, minimize the curves, go straight down the grid (also built for SPEED)

    So much history.

    back when LIRR was at grade along atlantic avenue…
    The Brooklyn, Flatbush, and Coney Island Railway, or Brighton Line, was incorporated in 1877 in order to connect Downtown Brooklyn with the hotels and resorts at Coney Island, Manhattan Beach, and Brighton Beach. The line opened on June 2, 1878, originally running from the entrance of Prospect Park to the Brighton Beach Hotel. However, the railroad desired to get the line closer to downtown Brooklyn. There was a problem–the line could not pass through Prospect Park as this was before subway started to be built in New York, and therefore the line was to be built in a trench through the hill at Crown Heights, connecting with the Long Island Rail Road tracks at Atlantic Avenue. The route, was built on the surface between Atlantic Avenue (Bedford Terminal) and Park Place. The line was then built in an open cut to the rest of the line at Prospect Park in order to avoid grade crossings and anger from the local community.[1] This portion of the Brooklyn, Flatbush and Coney Island Railway’s mainline would become the Franklin Avenue Line.[2][3][4] Later on, in order to accommodate larger locomotives for LIRR through service, the open cut had to be dug deeper.[1]

    East of the station, the center tracks also continue disused along Houston, but rise to an upper level and stub-end nearAvenue A at bumper blocks. Near the end, these tail tracks begin to separate to create a provision for a center track which only extends about 10 or 15 feet and stops at the bulkhead at the end of the tunnel. It was planned that these tracks would continue under the East River to the South Fourth Street Line, part of a never-built system expansion.[3] These tracks east of the station were previously used for train storage but became an oft-frequented spot for the homeless due to its location near local missions and soup kitchens.[3][4] The area was cleared out in 1990, and corrugated metal walls with bumper blocks were installed just past the east end of the platforms to seal the tunnels.[citation needed]
    Second Avenue Subway service[edit]
    As part of the 1929 plans for the Second Avenue Subway—which would have run directly above the existing Second Avenue station—room was left for the anticipated right-of-way above the Sixth Avenue trackways and between the two mezzanines. A large, open space is still visible over the tracks and platforms.[5]
    The current plans for the Second Avenue Subway, made in the 2000s, will not use this space; the new Houston Street station will instead be built below the existing one, with a free transfer between them.[6][7] The decision to use a deeper alignment under Chrystie Street was made to simplify construction and lessen impact to the community; see Grand Street for more information. Second Avenue service will be tentatively provided by the T train once Phase 3 of construction is complete. When this happens, the station will become a terminal station for southbound service. However, Phase 4 of construction will extend the line south, below Houston Street, in the direction of Hanover Square.[8][9]
    In addition to the current entrances, the Second Avenue Subway station will utilize a new entrance to be constructed at Second Avenue and Third Street.[10] In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Second Avenue Subway platform will be wheelchair-accessible; however, it is unknown if the Sixth Avenue Line platforms will also become accessible.


  9. Genome October 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm #

    You try decking over this yard. Good luck..


  10. Irene November 3, 2016 at 3:02 pm #

    And the subway, to stay running, is a feat. Ultrasound detects rail defects, pumps pump out water, relays wrapped in cloth wire the signals, then there’s power, police, contractors, smoke alarms…


    • Irene November 3, 2016 at 3:20 pm #

      ATS programs the switches automatically based on the schedule and brought all the towers to the RCC for consolidated management. Now they can see from one area by block where they are. On B div they still radio the towers and punch for switch changes. Like today my F had to terminate at Church for a GO, all the station rehabs on the structure and the Kings Hwy ones need that express track for turn around so some stop earlier.
      The New York City Subway uses a system known as Automatic Train Supervision (ATS) for dispatching and train routing on the A Division[10] (the IRT Flushing Line, and the trains used on the 7 services, do not have ATS for two reasons: they are isolated from the main-line A Division, and they were already planned to get communications-based train control (CBTC) before the ATS on the A Division, or ATS-A, project had started).[10] ATS allows dispatchers in the Operations Control Center (OCC) to see where trains are in real time, and whether each individual train is running early or late.[10] Dispatchers can hold trains for connections, re-route trains, or short-turn trains to provide better service when a disruption causes delays.[10] ATS is used to facilitate the installation of train arrival displays, which count down the number of minutes until a train arrives, on the A Division and on the BMT Canarsie Line.[5] ATS was first proposed for the BMT Canarsie Line and the A division in 1992,[11] after a 1991 derailment killed five people on a 4 train that derailed near the 14th Street – Union Square station.[5] CBTC for the Canarsie Line was proposed two years later.[5]
      The deployment of ATS-A involved upgrading signals to be compatible for future CBTC retrofitting, as well as consolidating operations from 23 different master towers into the Power Control Center.[5][11] Parsons Corporation helped the MTA install the system on the 175 miles (282 km) of A Division track, as well as did some preliminary planning for ATS on the B Division.[11] The project, valued at $450 million,[11] cost $200 million.[12] The project’s completion was delayed by five years, and it ultimately took 14 years to implement ATS-A.[12] The long duration of ATS-A’s deployment was attributed to bad communication between workers and contractors; because of the uniqueness of the New York City Subway’s interlocking equipment, which necessitated extra workarounds; because of the MTA’s use of its own workers rather than of contractors’ workers; because of the poor training that contractors had; and because of bad communication interfaces. In addition, the MTA kept missing deadlines for testing ATS. The single biggest issue during the project, however, was that MTA and the contractors did not cooperate well.[5][12]
      In 2006, 2008, and 2010, the MTA considered upgrading the B Division to ATS, but dismissed the proposal because it was too complex and would take too long. However, the MTA stated that due to high customer demand for train arrival displays, it would use a combination of CBTC and a new system, named the “Integrated Service Information and Management” (abbreviated ISIM-B). The simpler ISIM-B system, started in 2011 would essentially combine all of the data from track circuits and unify them into digital databases; the only upgrades that were needed were to be performed on signal towers.[5] Originally slated to be completed by 2017, ISIM-B was later delayed to 2020
      ATS is better than PLC on B Division since it can see and schedule the signals automatically for every train. It knows what it is, not just that it is there, and it is all centralized control.
      Also, the subway is modernizing its radio. It is encrypted to a high frequency and they have repeaters and antennas, and only recently they have NYPD and FDNY frequencies underground.


  11. Honestalb November 23, 2016 at 1:36 pm #

    Only one of many terminals in NJ survives, Hoboken terminal, because it connects to the PATH, ferries, light rail, etc.

    All of the regulations destroyed freight and passenger railroads, USPS left the trains…
    Amtrak is revenue positive along the NEC but it is not like Germany’s DB, which is also a privatized company with 100% government shareholdings…

    In Germany, all rail is nationalized and DB does all freight and logistics too! So they make MONEY! And they OWN all tracks, unlike Amtrak.

    Here, we are lucky not all tracks were destroyed and removed from passenger service.


  12. SLG November 23, 2016 at 4:30 pm #

    SL Green starts construction on ambitious new spire, west of Grand Central Terminal

    One Vanderbilt, which will be 1,400 feet tall and cost more than $3 billion to build, is hailed by the city as a model for projects that can benefit public infrastructure

    The city’s largest office landlord broke ground on one of Manhattan’s most ambitious new developments, a 1,400-foot-tall office tower next to Grand Central Terminal.

    The building, One Vanderbilt, will rise on a full city block just west of the terminal where owner SL Green Realty Corp. has spent recent months demolishing existing properties to make way for the $3 billion-plus project, which will be finished in 2020.

    At a ground-breaking ceremony Tuesday morning, city officials, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, hailed the spire for the public benefits that SL Green will provide in exchange for having received the permissions to construct the tower.

    Last year, the city rezoned Vanderbilt Avenue, boosting the size of what SL Green could build on its site to 1.6 million square feet. To get the green light, SL Green agreed to pay $220 million in improvements to the subway station at Grand Central Terminal, build a new transit hall and convert a stretch of Vanderbilt Avenue from East 42nd to East 43rd streets into a car-free pedestrian plaza. The deal pushed not only the cost of that work but also the risk of any overruns—which have plagued government-managed infrastructure projects—onto the developer.

    “The new office building, transit upgrades at Grand Central and expanded pedestrian space are what I call smart growth,” said de Blasio Tuesday at the event. “We demanded and secured private investments into important city infrastructure that put hundreds of thousands of straphangers first.”

    The city’s deal with SL Green specifies that it must complete the public improvement work before tenants can move into its new office tower.

    One Vanderbilt is a bold bet by one of the country’s largest public real estate companies, which despite being among the city’s most successful landlords has little experience in ground-up construction. According to several real estate executives familiar with the tower, SL Green likely needs to secure average rents of $150 per square foot or higher across the entire building for the project to be a success—an exorbitant price that no office building of its size has ever achieved in the city.

    SL Green executives are confident that the tower’s state-of-the-art features and connection to one of the city’s key transit hubs will entice tenants, even as many have decamped from midtown east to competing projects like Hudson Yards.

    “We offer a very different value proposition than older building in terms of the quality of space, the amenities in this building and what we feel is the best location in the city,” Andrew Mathias, SL Green’s president, told Crain’s in a recent interview. “We feel good about the future of the city and private-sector job growth, and we believe we’ll find customers for this project.”

    So far, SL Green has secured a roughly 200,000-square-foot commitment from TD Bank to take both office and retail space in the building.

    The project offers an example of the kind of bigger-scale commercial development that could come as a result of a larger planned rezoning of midtown east. That 78-block rezoning, first envisioned by the Bloomberg administration—but has since been retooled—is expected to enter into a public review process by the end of the year.

    “This is an exciting new day for east midtown, where our rules are not only promoting growth but also matching it with extraordinary transit improvements,” said City Councilman Dan Garodnick, whose district includes midtown east and who has been a key figure in the rezoning plan. “The result will be class A office buildings, and just as importantly, a class A office district. We expect that One Vanderbilt is going to set an important precedent for the rest of east midtown.”


  13. Xeno November 30, 2016 at 9:49 pm #

    second avenue subway!
    63rd entrance doesn’t seem to have been renovated, lol… leaky ceiling.
    i hope the pols don’t enter through this station.

    they should enter through the new entrance
    trump can stay away.
    this country is not exceptional – we have failing schools, rising seas, racism, genocide, and no democracy. we’re controlled by the lobbyists and even when clinton wins by 2+ million, she is not elected.

    All these protests will mean a lot of crowding on the subway…

    From trevor noah:

    America, I’ve found, doesn’t like nuance. Either black people are criminals, or cops are racist — pick one. It’s us versus them. You’re with us, or you’re against us. This national mentality is fueled by the hysteria of a 24-hour news cycle, by the ideological silos of social media and by the structure of the country’s politics. The two-party system seems to actively encourage division where none needs to exist.

    This has never been more apparent than during Donald J. Trump’s campaign for the presidency. With his flagrant misogyny and racist appeals to fearful voters, Mr. Trump succeeded in dividing an electorate already primed to turn against itself. His embittering candidacy obscured the fact that the vast majority of Americans, both Republican and Democrat, wanted many of the same things: good jobs, decent homes, access to opportunity and, above all, respect.

    The past year has been so polarizing and noxious that even I find myself getting caught up in the extreme grandstanding and vitriol. But with extremes come deadlock and the death of progress. Instead of speaking in measured tones about what unites us, we are screaming at each other about what divides us — which is exactly what authoritarian figures like Mr. Trump want: Divided people are easier to rule. That was, after all, the whole point of apartheid.

    To the extremists and true believers of any cause, there is an idea that moderation and compromise are simply a prelude to selling out and giving up, when in fact the opposite is true — moderation brings radical ideas to the center to make them possible. Nelson Mandela never wavered in his demand for “one man, one vote”; indeed, he endured 27 years in prison to make that notion a reality. But when our nation stood on the brink of civil war, Mr. Mandela spoke to white South Africans in a language that soothed their fears and reassured them that they would have a place in our new country. He spoke to militant black nationalists in a way that calmed their tempers but did not diminish their pride. If Mr. Mandela’s efforts had failed, South Africa’s peaceful transition to democracy would never have come to pass.

    Sadly, given what we’ve seen in this election, Mr. Trump’s victory has only amplified the voices of extremism. It has made their arguments more simplistic and more emotional at a time when they ought to be growing more subtle and more complex. We should give no quarter to intolerance and injustice in this world, but we can be steadfast on the subject of Mr. Trump’s unfitness for office while still reaching out to reason with his supporters. We can be unwavering in our commitment to racial equality while still breaking bread with the same racist people who’ve oppressed us. I know it can be done because I had no choice but to do it, and it is the reason I am where I am today.

    When you grow up in the middle, you see that life is more in the middle than it is on the sides. The majority of people are in the middle, the margin of victory is almost always in the middle, and very often the truth is there as well, waiting for us.

    It is now two and one-half minutes to midnight.

    Our organization, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is marking the 70th anniversary of its Doomsday Clock on Thursday by moving it 30 seconds closer to midnight. In 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come to grips with humanity’s most pressing threats: nuclear weapons and climate change.

    Making matters worse, the United States now has a president who has promised to impede progress on both of those fronts. Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter.

    This is the closest to midnight that the clock has been since 1953, when it was moved to two minutes to midnight after United States and the Soviet Union tested their first thermonuclear weapons within six months of one another.

    We understand that Mr. Trump has been in office only days, that many of his cabinet nominees are awaiting confirmation and that he has had little time to take official action.

    But Mr. Trump’s statements and actions have been unsettling. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding and even deploying the American nuclear arsenal. He has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Office of Management and the Budget have disputed or questioned climate change.

    Last year, and the year before, we warned that world leaders were failing to act with the speed and on the scale necessary to protect citizens from the extreme dangers posed by climate change and nuclear war. During the past year, the need for leadership intensified but was met with inaction and brinkmanship.

    Other factors that led the committee to advance the Doomsday Clock included:

    • North Korea’s continuing nuclear weapons development, the steady march of arsenal modernization programs in the nuclear weapon states, simmering tension between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, and stagnation in arms control. Russia is building new silo-based missiles, the new Borei class of nuclear ballistic missile submarines and new rail-mobile missiles as it revamps other intercontinental ballistic missiles. The United States is moving ahead with plans to modernize each part of its triad (bombers, land-based missiles and missile carrying submarines), adding capabilities, such as cruise missiles with increased ranges. As it improves the survivability of its own nuclear forces, China is helping Pakistan build submarine platforms. And Pakistan and India continue to update and expand their nuclear arsenals.

    •Doubt over the future of the Iran nuclear deal, which succeeded in accomplishing its goals during its first year, in the Trump administration.

    •Deteriorating relations between the United States and Russia, which possess more than 90 percent of the world’s nuclear weapons. This was reflected in disputes over Ukraine, Syria, ballistic missile defenses in Europe and election interference. There seems to be little prospect that negotiations to reduce nuclear arms will resume. Whether this will improve under President Trump is unclear.

    •Mixed results in global efforts to limit climate change. The Paris climate accord went into effect in 2016, and countries are taking some actions to bring down emissions of greenhouse gases. There are encouraging signs that global annual emissions were flat this past year, though there is no assurance this heralds a trend.

    These are all matters in which President Trump has signaled that he would make matters worse either because of a mistaken belief that the threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate can be ignored or that the words of a president of the United States do not matter to the rest of the world.


    • amtrakagain? December 14, 2016 at 9:50 pm #

      ok 63rd is looking better! they got a wooden step to clean the ceilings.

      seems like poor design if they need to do that to clean things

      now they just need to give more tix to these trucks in bus lanes


      • subwaynut February 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

        some updates/thoughts…

        NYC has done a lot to improve life for pedestrians — all of the POPs, bike lanes, etc:

        (brooklyn bridge park is being financed by real estate developers)

        BUT, so much left to do — often, bike lanes are last to be repaired or shoveled when there is snow, and take a look at this mess in chinatown!

        little shops in subway areas:


  14. Bay Rij May 7, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    Three century-old R line stations in Brooklyn will be the first to undergo an expansive subway station modernization project, with a new look and design that focuses on customer experience and modern amenities.

    The stations at 53 St, Bay Ridge Av and Prospect Av will get top-to-bottom renovations from the entrances to the turnstile areas to the mezzanines and platforms. The renovations for all three stations include infrastructure work such as concrete and steel repairs; new platform edges; waterproofing; upgraded electrical and communications systems; track wall and platform wall repairs; new granite flooring; new stair finishes; glass barriers in station mezzanines; new LED lighting; and improved station signage.
    Customers will see refurbished entrances with new handrails, stair treads, wall tiles, totems and digital screens that provide real-time service information at the street level before they even enter the station. Canopies will be installed at select key entrances. Walls and ceilings will be repaired, and new granite flooring, informational dashboards and glass barriers will be installed. LED light fixtures for brighter, more secure areas will be installed, along with security cameras and Help Points. Digital screens for real-time arrival information, updated service information and advertising will be installed. Customer amenities include new station art; electronics charging stations built into station furnishings; new platform edges, and new benches and leaning bars.

    These three stations on the R line opened in 1915 as part of the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation. The extensive renovations will require major demolition before work can begin. Stations will be closed for construction for six months each, with the first one being 53 St, which closes for service in both directions on Monday, March 27.

    The Bay Ridge Av station is scheduled to close on April 29 for six months; and the Prospect Av station is scheduled to close on June 5 for six months. During the closures, customers are encouraged to use nearby subway stations, the B37 bus route or the B63 route, which run on Third and Fifth avenues run parallel to the line in the area.
    The cost of the three-station project will be $72 million, with the work performed by Citnalta-Forte Joint Venture. The firm will use a design-build method at these stations, which is the first time that MTA New York City Transit is using the method for delivering construction projects. Previously NYC Transit made station component repairs using a piecemeal method that allowed limited service at the affected stations but stretched the construction timeline, sometimes to years.

    “These first three stations to be renovated represent the start of a new age for our subway system. By using the design-build method, we are putting the onus on one contractor to get the work done seamlessly and on time,” said MTA Interim Executive Director Ronnie Hakim. “The emphasis is on giving them complete access to the stations and the ability to get in, get done and get out as quickly as possible. We specifically sought out companies that have worldwide experience with building infrastructure and transportation projects, and we expect them to put the best industry practices to use here.”

    For the station modernization project, the MTA worked with consultants Grimshaw Architects to study and revise existing design guidelines for stations and facilities, with a focus on identifying ways to improve their appearance, usage, wayfinding and the flow of foot traffic. These revised guidelines will change the way that subway stations look and feel going forward and establish the new look of subway stations, influencing station design long after this major renovation project is complete. The entire modernization project is part of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s package of enhancements and capital investments to improve the reliability, capacity and reputation of the subway system.
    The next group of stations that will be renovated are the Broadway, 30 Av, 36 Av, and 39 Av stations on the Astoria-Ditmars Blvd line in Queens.



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