Cuomo De Blasio Subway

Cypress Hills J Station, arguably the most decrepit station in Brooklyn

The New York City Transit system needs help, and the state and city are both saying “not it” when it comes to accepting responsibility for the bill. Evidence of the Transit budget crisis is apparent throughout Brooklyn’s most decrepit stations, and Thursday afternoon’s broken rail along the L line is just the latest incident in a string of commuting troubles.

But which authority should pony up more funds for the beleaguered subway system? Where should the money come from? (more…)

Park Slope 7th Av Station Changes

Coincidentally following a recent report comparing the MTA’s budget crisis to a Grecian tragedy, New York City Transit has proposed a series of improvements to the 7th Avenue F and G station estimated to cost $400,000. Locals, however, say the improvements are not enough.

Neighborhood organization Preserve Park Slope sent out an email encouraging the community to attend a meeting on the matter this Thursday.


G Train Derailment

The front car of a southbound G train derailed some 600 feet from the Hoyt-Schermerhorn Station last night, leading to the evacuation of 80 odd straphangers through the tunnel walkway to the platform. Although there were no major injuries, a child and two adults were taken to Brooklyn Hospital for minor ones, the New York Daily News reported.

The G train, however, will not recover so quickly — delays and extremely limited service are expected along the entire line.


It’s School Week here on Brownstoner. Stay tuned for more school-themed stories celebrating the start of the school year.

Brooklyn school buildings James W. Naughton

Here’s a look at some of the best school buildings in the city of Brooklyn, and the man who designed them.

Schools have always been important in Brooklyn. The second school in the entire New Amsterdam colony was built here, in Williamsburgh in 1662. The first Brooklyn public school was also in Williamsburgh, opening in 1826.

In 1855, the City of Brooklyn incorporated. It established a Brooklyn Board of Education and chose Samuel B. Leonard as its first Superintendent of Buildings, a position that entailed designing and overseeing all of the school construction in this growing city.

Leonard held the position from 1859-79 and was succeeded by James W. Naughton, who held the position from 1879-98.

For almost 20 years, Naughton designed ALL of the schools built in Brooklyn, totaling more than 100 buildings. (more…)

Worst Subway Stations Map

Greek mythology’s cursed Sisyphus figures prominently in a new report about the New York City subway system by nonprofit civic organization Citizens Budget Commission of New York. Like Sisyphus’ perpetual struggle to push a rock to the top of the hill, only to have it roll back down, the constant wear and tear and lack of funds make it seemingly impossible to keep all 467 stations in what the commission deems a “state of good repair,” otherwise known as SGR.

A station is rated by counting up the number of its structural elements (i.e. stairs, platform edges, ventilators, etc.) and noting how many of them and what percentage are in good condition.



The Citywide Ferry Service is slated to begin in 2017, offering five new ferry routes from the outer boroughs to Manhattan for the price of a MetroCard swipe. Three of the lines will start operating that year, followed by two more in 2018.

A part of Mayor de Blasio’s goal to bring more affordable transportation options to underserved communities, the planned South Brooklyn ferry route will service the historically difficult-to-access areas of Red Hook, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge.


The first Manhattan-to-Coney Island subway ride took place 100 years ago this week, as a train left Chambers Street, crossed the East River on the Manhattan Bridge, and headed south along 4th Avenue, to the cheers of 10,000 school children and other onlookers.

It was the inauguration of the 4th Avenue Subway line, opened by the Brooklyn Rapid Transit Company, which a few years later would become the Brooklyn-Manhattan Transit Corporation — the BMT. (The photo above shows the tunnel being built between 9th and Union streets, circa 1912.)

This weekend you can celebrate the 100th anniversary of the subway’s arrival in Brooklyn with rides on a quartet of vintage trains, which will run continuously from the Brighton Beach Station from noon to 4 pm, both Saturday and Sunday.  There will be a handful of different car models to ride on, the oldest being the BMT Standard cars, put into use in 1917. (more…)


Mayor de Blasio will propose building a new subway line running under Utica Avenue in a speech today about sustainability, according a report in Capital New York. The avenue, currently served by the B46 bus, is “one of the densest areas in the city not directly served by the subway,” said a draft of the speech quoted by Capital New York.

The B46 bus currently runs along Utica from Marine Park up through East Flatbush and then through east Bed Stuy on Malcolm X Boulevard to Williamsburg near Marcy Avenue and Broadway. A story in the Daily News said it’s all posturing and will never happen.


citibike expansion williamsburg greenpoint

Williamsburg and Greenpoint are getting 53 new Citi Bike stations! Wow. Brooklyn Paper reported that the bike sharing program will install the blue bikes later this year as part of its $30,000,000 expansion.

Stations will be scattered every few blocks in an area from Flushing and Marcy at the southern end of Williamsburg to Franklin Avenue and Dupont Street in Greenpoint, including in transit-starved spots but also along major transit corridors. Highlights include a station for the India Street Pier and ones at either end of McGolrick Park.

What do you think of the plan?

New Citi Bike Locations in Williamsburg, Greenpoint Revealed [BK Paper]
Map via Brooklyn Paper

vision zero brooklyn

The Department of Transportation released its Vision Zero plan to improve pedestrian safety across Brooklyn today. The plan calls for safety improvements at 50 high-traffic corridors and 91 intersections throughout the borough. New safety measures include increasing pedestrian crossing times, installing more speed-limit signs, creating more neighborhood slow zones, and changing traffic signals to reduce speeding during off-peak hours.

The DOT also plans to install 60 new speed bumps annually throughout Brooklyn and add more lighting underneath elevated train tracks. And there will be more speed cameras and enforcement at busy intersections. Apparently Brooklyn averages 46 pedestrian deaths each year — the highest of any borough. Read the summary or the full report over on the DOT’s Vision Zero page.


Never mind increased tolls — how about a new subway line for the outer boroughs? The proposed Triboro Rx line, aka the X, would knit together now hard-to-reach spots in Brooklyn — and make it easier to zoom over to Queens and the Bronx.

Anyone who lives here knows only a car or bike are practical on certain routes — say, when traveling from Park Slope to eastern Bed Stuy, or from Bushwick to Jackson Heights, Queens. The latter route is 15 minutes by car but an hour and a half via subway and requires two transfers and three lines.

According to a report the Regional Plan Association published this month, detailed by Capital New York, the line would be relatively easy and affordable to create because it will run mostly above ground on existing freight train routes. The idea was first floated in the mid-1990s, and City Comptroller Scott Stringer advocated it when he was Manhattan borough president.

One thing the planners seem to have left out, though: It doesn’t go to Red Hook. But it does knit together Bay Ridge, the Brooklyn Army Terminal and Sunset Park, Brooklyn College, East New York, the far end of Bushwick, Jackson Heights and other parts of Queens, up to Co-Op City in the Bronx! To put it another way, the 7, the L, the 2, and the F — among many others — will now be connected (in the outer boroughs).

Imagine how easy this would make commuting to, say, factory jobs in industrial areas for folks who live in what are now relatively affordable areas.

What do you think of the proposal? What effect do you think it would have on rents and property values in the areas served?

R.P.A. Calls, Again, for Outer-Borough X Line on Freight Tracks [Capital]
Report: Overlooked Boroughs [Regional Plan Association]
Map via Capital NY