Each Citi Bike averages nearly 6 rides per day, more than the bike shares in Paris, London and Washington
Smoking and soda bans aside, the reshaping of New York City’s streets has been among the most controversial hallmarks of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s three terms in office. But the bike lanes and concrete planters championed by Bloomberg were in fact the brainchild of his transportation commissioner, Janette Sadik-Khan. Along with the mayor, Sadik-Khan will leave City Hall at the end of this month, leaving behind a vast legacy of progressive transportation improvements that have altered the city’s streetscape more profoundly than any administration in at least the last 50 years. Sadik-Khan recently sat down with a handful of politicians, architects and planners at the Center for Architecture to assess six years’ worth of changes and speculate about what this city’s streets need next.
Just a few blocks from the 96th Street subway station along the 1/2/3 lines sits the abandoned 91st Street Station. It was in service since 1904 and was part of the first subway. But with a 200 foot platform, the station was retired in 1959 for similar reasons as the abandoned Worth Street and 18th Street stations. With the extension of neighboring subway stations–96th Street in this case–some stations simply became too close to each other. With one entrance to the 96th Street station just 100 feet from 93rd Street, there wasn’t much use for the 91st Street stop anymore.
Renderings of some of the improvements to the Sheridan Expressway and Bronx River Waterfront. (Image via NYCDCP)
In its current state, the Sheridan Expressway is a short truck-ridden connection between two major expressways in the Bronx, the Bruckner and the Cross Bronx, as well as the Bronx River Parkway. It remains mostly unchanged from when it was first built in 1963 (we can thank Robert Moses). Not only has it become an eyesore for the Hunts Point community which falls directly under several lanes of highway overpass, but according to a recent NYC Department of City Planning report, its surrounding areas are “congested, confusing, and unwelcoming.” The beautiful Bronx River waterfront is rendered inaccessible and newly approved plans for the Sheridan Expressway involve extending cross streets over the at-grade portions of the highway to improve east-west connections for local businesses and residents.
In case you were more curious about the subways and buses running for the MTA Nostalgia Special this month, the MTA has provided historical details about each of the vintage vehicles. The buses run along the M42 line and the trains will replace M train service between 10am and 5pm on Sundays this month. In addition, there will be avintage swing and blues party to accompany the festivities at the Second Avenue stop (F & M lines) on Sunday, December 8th which will feature music and dancing on the platform and trains.
NOSTALGIA BUS HIGHLIGHTS:
Bus No. 2969 – Manufactured by General Motors, this Model TDH 5101 was specifically designed for New York City in 1949, which featured the double-width front door to expedite the loading and unloading of customers. This bus is known as the Jackie Gleason bus, which the comedian portrayed as the bus driver “Ralph Kramden” in the classic television show “The Honeymooners.”
The Worth St station is a decommissioned subway station along the original IRT subway line in New York City between Canal Street and Brooklyn Bridge. It was closed to passengers in 1962 due to its proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge station which had extended its platform north. Once the full-sized Brooklyn Bridge station opened, Worth St became, well, worthless. For a period of time, the Brooklyn Bridge station was actually known as Brooklyn Bridge-Worth Street, but that name has long faded into obscurity.
Yesterday, just as we were publishing about the return of the MTA’s vintage “Nostalgia” trains and buses, we caught sight of the Omnibus in Midtown on 3rd Avenue with a sign “Keep Back: BUS IN TOW.” The service started yesterday along 42nd Street, so its possible the bus might need some maintenance. This exact bus (#2969) was also featured at the MTA Vintage Bus Festival and a very observant reader noted via Twitter that this is the same as type of bus Rosa Parks was on when she refused to give up her seat.