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If You Smell Something Smell Something Else-MTA Guerrilla Campaign-School of Visual Arts SVA-Angela Kim-NYC Subway-002

We all know how bad the New York City subway system can smell sometimes. In the worst of times, we pull up our scarves or shirts over our noses and try not to breathe. But there might be a real explanation for what straphangers are experiencing. Angela Kim, a graphic design student at the School of Visual Arts has installed a guerrilla “Scratch and Sniff” project entitled “If You Smell Something, Smell Something Else,” a play on the ever-present MTA warning “If you see something, say something.”

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brooklyn-queens-connector-streetcar-untappedjpgImage via Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector

In his third annual State of the City address last Thursday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio put forward a $2.5 billion dollar plan to install a public transportation project connecting Brooklyn and Queens along the waterfront. The plan did not propose the incorporation of new buses or subways, instead he wants to bring the streetcar back. Here’s a recap of the history, plans, pros and cons of the streetcar plan. (more…)

Perpetual complaints about New York City’s transportation system are a significant part of New Yorkers’ love-hate relationship with the city. With Mayor de Blasio’s endorsement of the Brooklyn-Queens streetcar plan yesterday, here are five more transportation system plans that may become part of New Yorkers’ daily commute in the near future, and hopefully not part of their daily rant. (more…)

US Capitol Hill Subway System-Underground-Senate-Russell Senate Office Building-Wicker Seat Car-5

On a recent visit to Washington D.C., we had the opportunity to extensively check out the United States Capitol Subway System, one of the most unique in the world. The exclusive transit system is not exactly open to the public unless you’re a member of Congress or a staffer on Capitol Hill. It’s also one of the world’s shortest – the portion between the Senate to the Russell Senate Office Building is about 1000 feet and takes less than a minute. Riding US Capitol Subway system is mundane operating procedure for Capitol Hill employees, but a fascinating find for the lay people. 

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R211-MTA-Open Gangway-Subway Car-Rendering-NYC-4Via MTA Capital Program Oversight Committee Meeting, January 2016. Renderings are from 2013.

There’s been a lot of excitement in the transit world about New York City’s open gangway subway cars, though the MTA is only purchasing 10 prototypes, at a cost of $52 million, according to its Capital Plan. The aim, as can be expected, is to increase capacity of the entire subway train allowing passengers to ride in the gangway between cars, like the articulated buses already on the road. As international travelers and transit buffs know, open gangway cars are already in active use in many transit systems around the world like certain lines in Paris, Toronto and London. And as Ben Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas reports, not only does it increase capacity by 8-10% per car, its also a safer design. How many times have you seen people open the doors between cars? It would also limit isolation of cars.

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A few years ago, we were given the chance to roam and photograph the TWA Flight Center with nobody in it (except our guide from the Port Authority and a security guard), in a push from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to convert the former terminal into a hotel. We’ve been excited to be part of that conversation, and the plans for the 505-room hotel by MCR Developments (the team behind the High Line Hotel) are now in public review stage. Great Big Story (h/t Curbed NY) also recently visited the TWA Flight Center to get a video of the interior.

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