These series of photographs were available at the New York City Transit Museum website in their archive division. My attempt here is not to "steal" them but just to present to you some photographs that are not that well known. I believe about a year ago plans were announced to make the former trolley terminal, at the southern side of the Essex Street subway station in Manhattan, on the Lower East Side into an underground park lighted by natural light conveyed through fiber optics. Other transportation facilities in Manhattan, such as the former "High Line", an elevated freight line on the west side. Please look at these photographs and you will see that the former trolley terminal has many characteristics in common with an ordinary subway station and is similar to the trolley terminal at Newark station in New Jersey. These photographs come from the Lundin Collection.
In these photographs, you can see the overhead wire support apparatus and the shiny tracks.
In my humble opinion, such a resource should not be wasted. If the city wanted to construct a light rail line across the Williamsburgh Bridge today, how much would such an underground terminal cost if built from scratch? I believe that west of the trolley terminal provisions were made to join the trolley tracks to the BMT Jamaica Line downtown to Canal Street or for a new trolley subway tunnel perhaps north of Delancey Street.
Many areas in northern and eastern Brooklyn are experiencing a real estate boom with the "L" train severely overcrowded. I would:
- Bring streetcars across the bridge. I would not use heavy light rail vehicles but very light streetcars. Their tracks can be in the regular roadway without requiring deep construction.
- Some bus lines in the area near Washington Plaza would be converted to streetcar so they can make the trip across the bridge.
- If possible, some streetcars should use the less used tracks south of the station to the area around Canal Street.
- By converting some bus routes in Williamsburgh or Greenpoint to streetcar, a one seat ride can be provided to Essex Street were transfer can be made to the J, M, Z or F trains without going into the street or having a smelly diesel bus terminal on the surface.