A Train Through the Core of the Apple

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We know of the 4 train and the 2 train.

But the 42 train?

Indeed, a proposal for a light rail train going the width of Manhattan along 42nd Street is gaining a tiny bit of momentum. An organization called Vision42 has been pushing the river-to-river proposal for a quarter-century (they call it “an auto free light rail boulevard for 42nd Street”), and recently got an outfit called the Institute For Rational Urban Mobility to throw its weigth behind Vision42’s vision of the future.

Vision42’s goal is to “re-imagine and upgrade surface transit in Midtown Manhattan, with a low-floor light rail line running river-to-river along 42nd Street within a landscaped pedestrian boulevard. vision42 could be a prototype for a whole network of landscaped, pedestrian/light rail streets throughout the city.”

Two issues: At an estimated $500 million, it’s hard to imagine something of this magnitude coming together in any economy, much less a miserable one. Full-scale rail projects in Manhattan can sometimes take almost a century to come together, if they come together at all. 

And we also have that little 7 train, tired and homely as it may be, chugging river to almost river. The new proposal, sexy as it may be, sounds a wee bit redundant.

Still, it’s an intriguing proposal.

The NY Times’ City Room blog has a lively debate on the topic.

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This entry was posted in 7 Train, Light Rail, Times Square. Bookmark the permalink.

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