The N Train is just 2.5 miles from LaGuardia and the M60 Bus from Astoria Blvd can work but, for some reason, it’s painfully slow going only toward the airport. The Ditmars-Steinway northern neighborhoods vehemently oppose extending the elevated N Train through their peaceful oasis, just don’t breathe deeply.
So consider the N Train reverses at Ditmars and switches eastbound onto a new elevated line over the Grand Central Parkway. The BART train to San Francisco Airport does the same thing. To reverse, the driver walks the 2 minutes to the other end of the train and continues on to LaGuardia.
Preferably, the new extension would be automated and the driver would instead walk the train’s length cheerfully assisting passengers. The eastern two thirds of the route can be built out of traffic along the south side. Stations could be locally-made steel prefab platforms and canopies trucked in and the sections welded into place.
Modern elevated trains are surrounded by concrete so they are relatively quiet, especially compared to the Parkway traffic below. New neighborhoods would have subway access and Midtown would have 30 minute subway service to LaGuardia, theoretically.
Extend Phase 2 of the Second Avenue Subway just 1.3 miles farther to the west, and 10 subway lines and Metro-North would be connected between Columbia’s new campus and all the way down to… Hanover Square. Where?
NYC subway planning is still stuck in last century when most Men worked in Downtown and chose their elevated train line to reach their home, waiting wife, and children uptown. Not many people use the subway that way anymore.
New Yorkers can live in any borough and work in any borough, so connecting major subway lines together only helps 75% of those New Yorkers who get around by subway.
Suppose that L to 7 Hudson Yards Extension actually happens. (L to 7 Extension) The platforms are offset so the L Train could eventually extend east to Penn Station and directly connect to Grand Central Terminal.
From there, there’s a very convenient connection with the 2nd Avenue Subway and First Avenue - UN Plaza. Add in a new Herald Square L Train Station, and 3 of the busiest transit hubs become connected. There isn’t a 34th Street tunneling conflict since Penn RR lines are under 32nd & 33rd Streets.
Maybe this becomes a reversed “C” shaped SAS revised route. It would include a Harlem Crosstown extension connecting west to the 1 Train. This would greatly improve horrible bus traffic on 125th Street and provide connections with all existing subway lines across Harlem. A third, middle track on this stretch may be a good idea to consider. This area could become, with truly careful planning, the new Uptown. And maybe the trash will no longer be such a problem.
And maybe this Crosstown L just heads north up 2nd Avenue and west across Harlem and we’re done! All those subway lines, Midtown and Uptown, will be connected.
Let’s capitalize on the lines we have in place and get more New Yorkers moving sooner.