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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

More Neptune Tower and Staten Island Ferris Wheel Maps

In this GRASS 6.4.1 map dealing with visibility functions based on raster height files, the lighter blue circle on the left, which shows the visibility from the top of the proposed Ferris Wheel, touches the darker blue visibility path from the 470' proposed tower on Neptune Avenue Brooklyn.  As I was constructing these maps, I discovered that the range in meters effects the size of the circles, so the results may not be accurate. The ranges here are either the default 10,000 meters or 20, 2000 meters.

  In this map, I brought in the surface elevation in 3-D.  I also increased the range of the Neptune visibility to 50 to 60,000 meters.  Notice that the right circle appears to be bigger. It appears that on the surface, if no other buildings existed, the western shore of Brooklyn near the Narrows Bridge will have both the Ferris Wheel and the new tower visible. Notice how the elevation in northern Staten Island effects the visibility of the Ferris Wheel.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Will You Be Able to See the Staten Island Ferris Wheel from the Top of the 470' Neptune Tower?

In this GRASS 6.4.1. Map, I recalled the the visibility plane produced several years ago with the proposed Staten Island Ferris Wheel.  That is the large blue circle like figure on the left.  Yesterday, I produced a similar visibility file based on the New York City Elevations (raster) and the approximate coordinates of the proposed tower at Neptune Avenue and Shell Road Brooklyn (right next to the Culver Line. (On the left)  I find GRASS 6.4.1 very difficult to work with, especially bringing in shape files from ARCGIS.  The problem with GRASS is that it does not allow you to open any directory that you wish.  The Neptune Circle may be smaller because I may have set up a lower range.  Notice that the Staten Island Ferris Wheel would not be visible from interior Staten Island.  Perhaps the high hills on the east side of Staten Island will block the view of viewers from western Brooklyn.  This is just an experiment and I will try again.  It was difficult to change the characteristics of the circle in order to allow the underlying open rapid transit lines to show through.  The circles look lie vortexes because the image was produced in 3-D and is viewed from a very high height.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

470 Foot Tower Planned Next to Culver Line

Re: 470 Foot Tower next to Culver in Coney

Posted by Dan on Sat Aug 15 16:19:07 2015, in response to Re: 470 Foot Towet next to Culver in Coney, posted by AEM-7AC #901 on Thu Aug 13 17:00:12 2015.
If a few more of these large scale apartment buildings are constructed along the Culver the MTA will have to consider restoring 'F' express service. This building alone could add 1000 riders to the 'F'.

Hi Folks:

  The above text from "Subchat" as posted by the sources shown.  It seems that a tall building is planned next to the Culver Line at Neptune Avenue.  This location is very rich in rapid transit history.  I have posted track maps of the area for the McDonald Avenue Line several years ago.  This in on the pathway of the historic Culver Line and you can see the elevated structure and station that dates from around 1919-20.  I have posted pictures of the trolley private right of way which was on the left side of the drawing above.    You are facing southeast at the Neptune Avenue station on the "F" train in Brooklyn.   You are seeing a northbound (Manhattan bound) "F" train just about to enter the station.  Many people are against development.    I do not know if this new building will add 1000 new riders to the F train but the building looks beautiful.  It is located where the former McDonald trolley made a sharp turn east on Shell Road on Neptune and turned south on  private right of way.  More to follow on this shortly.

The community is very much against this project.  I do not live in this area so I will not give my opinion.  Just for the record,  along the historic path of the Culver Line, on McDonald Avenue and 37th Street, there were not to my knowledge, tall buildings.  You had the various developments in later years between Neptune-Van Sicklen and West 8th Street.  You had the Flatbush Terminal Bulding on 37th Street between 14th and 15th Avenues.  Of course, when the Culver Line used the 5th Avenue El  to reach the Brooklyn Bridge, the line passed talling buildings in Downtown Brooklyn.  And of course, when the Culver Line reached Manhattan via the BMT 4th Avenue Subway, the terminal at Chambers Street was at the base of a Wedding Cake type of skyscrapper (the Municipal Building).  In the drawing above, the tall buildings in the background are Co-Ops  built I believe in the early sixties.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Sunset Park and Smith-9th Streets Revisited

  The above photo comes from the digital collection of the New York Public Library and was shot on September 8, 1940 by P.L. Sperry.  You are facing west towards the waterfront in Brooklyn.  You are on 39th Street near the intersection of Fourth Avenue.  The el structure that you are looking at is at 3rd Avenue and 39th Street and it was  part of the 3rd Avenue branch of the BMT 5th Avenue El that was abandoned that June.  Notice how high the elevated structure is.  At this location today, the Belt Highway Gowanas Expressway is found.  On 39th Street, Church Avenue and 8th Avenue streetcars going westbound will reach the 39th Street Ferry terminal where ferry boats will take you to St. George, Staten Island.  At this location, 39th Street is very sloped as you reach the bay.  If you were in a streetcar facing north (to the right), as you pass the cross streets, you may get a peak of the Manhattan skyline and perhaps, the high Smith-9th Street station.  Notice the trolley pole supporting the power cables on the left side of the photograph.  Look at the cap on the pole.  Notice that there is a "pin " in the cap like a arrow.  I remember seeing this as a child on the top of some trolley support poles but I do not know its' purpose.  Does anyone know?

  The above map was produced in a newer version of GRASS.  The new version was able to take my "visibility" old profile from the Smith-9th Street station and bring it on the map.  The green is those areas on the surface, if not blocked by buildings which are visible from the Smith-9th Street station.  I marked off where the Smith-9th Street station is, It is a red dot.  37th Street and Fourth Avenue is shown on the map where the two subway lines converge.  This is two blocks away from where the photo above was shot.  It is possible to see the Smith-9th Street station from 39th Street at spots as shown on the map.  The thicker blue areas are areas on the waterfront that are subject to flooding in 2020 and was part of the original map constructed a few years ago..

Friday, July 31, 2015

Recent Tramway Plans in St. Petersburg and Brooklyn

These two plans came to me today.  Plans for a Brooklyn and Queens tramway along the waterfront is being studied by a private corporation.

My friend from St. Petersburg sent me this two maps dealing with tramway expansion in that city.

Comments to photos: First two out of planned thirteen.
Vsevolojsk: Fast connection to the automobile plant through residential/field areas, mostly surface but some are elevated, see a black line.

Sertolovo: Fast connection to the industrial area covering new residential developments along a highway and connected to existing network via overpass. Most are elevated tracks, see a black line

Nice maps.  I believe they deal with expansion to the airport.  According to Igor, one of the lines will have elevated and tunnel sections and will operate like a rapid transit line.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Upper Narrows Near Bay Ridge - Sunset Park Brooklyn

In the map below, I used ARCGIS to create a map slightly north of the previous map.  I choose this location because from some drawings that I saw at Bob Diamond's website, the proposed rapid transit tunnel from Brooklyn to Staten Island would have been is this area and not further south at the present site of the Narrows Bridge.  The Hudson River contour map comes from a New York State Hudson River site.  The street map comes from Bytes of the Big Apple.  The depths are in meters.    I wanted to show the depths that had to be considered in the 1920's (if the floor of the bay is the same today, I do not know) in building a cross bay tunnel.  If the BMT reached Staten Island in the 1920's or 1930's, Staten Island would look very different today.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Today, Fifty Five Years Ago, Trackless Trolley Service Ended in Brooklyn

The above trackless trolley map of Brooklyn was issued by the New York City Transit Authority probably since 1965.  I remember going to the TA in 1969 on Jay Street Brooklyn and getting a copy of the above map and it was copyrighted I believe as of 1965.  The above map comes from the net.  It is hard to believe that 55 years have passed since July 27, 1960 when most of the lines on the above map were replaced by diesel buses.  The Cortelyou Road line, the first experimental line in Brooklyn, started out on Avenue "C" in 1930 and expanded via 16th Avenue  to New Utrecht Avenue in 1932, died on October 31, 1956.   The St. Johns Place Line died in 1959.  The other lines died on July 27, 1960.  Most of the coaches were only twelve years old by that time (1948-1960).  The trolleybus system in Brooklyn was on the small side and consisted of about 200 coaches.  Very few people remember them.  In the past 40 years. various proposals for streetcar service in New York City came to light for lines on 42nd Street, Red Hook Brooklyn, Long Island City, Coney Island and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx.  Nothing comes of these proposals.  As far as trolley coaches are concerned, there was a plan to have what is now known as "Select Bus Service"using trolley coaches on Church Avenue Brooklyn, First and Second Avenues in Manhattan and the BX-12 route in the Bronx.  This plan also died.  There are no proposals for trackless trolley service anywhere in the New York City region.

  When trolley bus service ended on July 27, 1960, the last official revenue operation of a electric surface vehicle in New York City and New York State came to an end.  It is highly unlikely that light rail or trams, or electric trolleybus service will ever come to New York City in our lifetime.  Folks out there that live in tram and trolleybus served cities, enjoy them when you have them.  In the future, the use of wires will not be needed and then tracks will not be needed because of optical or other guidance systems.  It is the wires and sparks that make being a rapid transit fan fun. Once automated cars come into operation, you will no longer need subways, trams and trolleybus, as some people predict, because persons who cannot afford a car or cannot drive will be able to call an automated car that will take them anyplace, door to door.  Enjoy what you have now.