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Brooklyn Historic Railway Assn.


599 East 7th Street Ste 5A
Brooklyn, NY 11218
rdiamond@brooklynrail.net

www.brooklynrail.net

Study Sections
I. BHRA Letter to NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.......3
II.BHRA Letter to MTA Chairman Tom Prendergast...........6
III.New York City Railroad Platform Housing Opportunities ..............Appendix

599 EAST 7TH STREET SUITE 5A BROOKLYN NY 11218

BROOKLYNRAIL.NET

5/25/15
Mayor Bill de Blasio
City Hall
New York, NY 10007
A Plan for Integrated Affordable Housing and Transit Development
As New York City continue to grow it will require increases in transit service and affordable
housing. However, the MTA, which provides New York Citys transit service, faces a large
budget shortfall. Similarly, the construction of affordable housing faces significant challenges as
land values continue to increase. New innovations are necessary to fund future improvements of
these services.
The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association proposes that the MTA integrate real estate
development into its operations in order to fund mass transit service and construction as well as
provide for a major increase in the number of affordable housing units in the city. The
combination of real estate and transit service is not new and goes back to the horse drawn
streetcar age. Hong Kongs Metropolitan Transit Railway used this strategy to turn a multibillion dollar profit in 2012. In New York City, the New York Central Railroad developed the air
rights on their land holdings in the area in order to pay for the construction of Grand Central
Terminal. Similar projects are ongoing at Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards (B-2 Tower, 32
stories).
The MTA should lease the land over open cut transit property to developers. The developers
would then construct modular residential towers over the platforms. Similar towers have been
built in China up to 57 stories and larger ones are planned. The modular towers can be completed
within a short period of time and would contain a high number of affordable units as well as a
smaller number of market rate units. The MTA would gain a stable revenue stream from annual
fees paid by developers for use of the land on top of the platforms. This would also boost
ridership because the towers would be within walking distance of subway stations.

The BHRA believes that the LIRR Bay Ridge Line is a good area to begin development, because
the railway cut is wide and runs immediately parallel to the BMT Sea Beach Line for an extent
(also an open cut), greatly increasing the aggregate area available for development.
The undeveloped Air Rights land from the waterfront at 65th St. Yards to 15th Avenue in
Brooklyn contains about 3,411,619.2 sq ft. If thirty percent of the Air Rights land is subtracted
for infrastructure and other non-residential uses, this area still has the potential to support close
to 200,000 people, in up to 238 modular towers of 32 stories each. However, this number can be
increased if larger towers and different sized units are used.
The N line is the least traveled of all the subway lines to Coney Island. If necessary,
Communications Based Signaling would greatly increase capacity, by increasing the number
of trains per hour.
New stations and platforms would have to be constructed to accommodate the development.
Perhaps the developer would pay for the new stations and improved signals. A very recent
example of this public- private partnership is the commuter rail station for New Balance Shoes
in Boston.
Sincerely,
Robert Diamond
Chairman, BHRA
According to our figures, about 166,600 people can be housed over the aggregate LIRR Bay
Ridge- Sea Beach Line cut from the waterfront to 15th Avenue.
Calculations:
Approximate total sq. ft.: 3,411,619.2
Area set aside for non-residential use: 30%
3411619270238813344
Continued on Next Page

Approximate usable land for residential builds: 2,388,133.44 sq. ft.


Approximate footprint of a rectangular prism 30 story tower = 10,000 sq. ft.
238813344  10000  23881
Approximate number of towers that can be built: 238
Assuming that 700 people will live in each tower:
   
Proposed New Housing Towers Area Map (Gray Shading)

5/25/15
Tom Prendergast
Chairman
Metropolitan Transportation Authority
347 Madison Avenue, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10017

A Plan for Integrated Affordable Housing and Transit Development


As New York City continue to grow it will require increases in transit service and affordable
housing. However, the MTA, which provides New York Citys transit service, faces a large
budget shortfall. Similarly, the construction of affordable housing faces significant challenges as
land values continue to increase. New innovations are necessary to fund future improvements of
these services.
The Brooklyn Historic Railway Association proposes that the MTA integrate real estate
development into its operations in order to fund mass transit service and construction as well as
provide for a major increase in the number of affordable housing units in the city. The
combination of real estate and transit service is not new and goes back to the horse drawn
streetcar age. Hong Kongs Metropolitan Transit Railway used this strategy to turn a multibillion dollar profit in 2012. In New York City, the New York Central Railroad developed the air
rights on their land holdings in the area in order to pay for the construction of Grand Central
Terminal. Similar projects are ongoing at Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards (B-2 Tower, 32
stories).
The MTA should lease the land over open cut transit property to developers. The developers
would then construct modular residential towers over the platforms. Similar towers have been
built in China up to 57 stories and larger ones are planned. The modular towers can be completed
within a short period of time and would contain a high number of affordable units as well as a
smaller number of market rate units. The MTA would gain a stable revenue stream from annual
fees paid by developers for use of the land on top of the platforms. This would also boost
ridership because the towers would be within walking distance of subway stations.

The BHRA believes that the LIRR Bay Ridge Line is a good area to begin development, because
the railway cut is wide and runs immediately parallel to the BMT Sea Beach Line for an extent
(also an open cut), greatly increasing the aggregate area available for development.
The undeveloped Air Rights land from the waterfront at 65th St. Yards to 15th Avenue in
Brooklyn contains about 3,411,619.2 sq ft. If thirty percent of the Air Rights land is subtracted
for infrastructure and other non-residential uses, this area still has the potential to support close
to 200,000 people, in up to 238 modular towers of 32 stories each. However, this number can be
increased if larger towers and different sized units are used.
The N line is the least traveled of all the subway lines to Coney Island. If necessary,
Communications Based Signaling would greatly increase capacity, by increasing the number
of trains per hour.
New stations and platforms would have to be constructed to accommodate the development.
Perhaps the developer would pay for the new stations and improved signals. A very recent
example of this public- private partnership is the commuter rail station for New Balance Shoes
in Boston.
Sincerely,
Robert Diamond
Chairman, BHRA
According to our figures, about 166,600 people can be housed over the aggregate LIRR Bay
Ridge- Sea Beach Line cut from the waterfront to 15th Avenue.
Calculations:
Approximate total sq. ft.: 3,411,619.2
Area set aside for non-residential use: 30%
3411619270238813344
Approximate usable land for residential builds: 2,388,133.44 sq. ft.
&RQWLQXHGRQ1H[W3DJH

Approximate footprint of a rectangular prism 30 story tower = 10,000 sq. ft.


238813344  10000  23881
Approximate number of towers that can be built: 238
Assuming that 700 people will live in each tower:
   
Proposed New Housing Towers Area Map (Gray Shading)

$33(1',;
New York City Railroad
Platform Housing Opportunities

APPENDIX TABLE OF CONTENTS


OVERVIEW OF MODERN PLATFORM HOUSING& TRANSIT DEVELOPMENT ................ 3
THE UNIQUE GENIUS OF HONG KONG'S PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM, THE
ATLANTIC ......................................................................................................................... 4
NEW BALANCE BOUGHT ITS OWN COMMUTER RAIL STATION, THE ATLANTIC ............... 8
ATLANTIC YARDS B2 MODULAR ON THE RISE, COUNCIL ON TALL BUILDINGS AND URBAN HABITAT 18

CONSTRUCTION OF HUDSON YARDS PLATFORM BEGINS, CRAINS ................................. 22


HUDSON YARDS RISES ABOVE THE RAILS, URBAN LAND............................................... 26
BUILDING A NYC NEIGHBORHOOD ATOP A RAIL YARD, NAIOP .................................. 35
TURNER COMPLETES NEW YORKS LARGEST PLATFORM FOR BROOKFIELD, TURNER
CONSTRUCTION ............................................................................................................ 38
INSIDE THE BROOKLYN FACTORY BIRTHING NYCS NEW MICRO UNITS, CURBED ....... 40
CHINESE CONSTRUCTION FIRM ERECTS 57-STOREY SKYSCRAPER IN 19 DAYS, THE
GUARDIAN ...................................................................................................................... 44
MODULAR TOWER CONFIGURATION GUIDE, BROAD SUSTAINABLE BUILDING .............. 46
INVENTORY OF DECKING OPPORTUNITIES OVER TRANSPORTATION PROPERTIES, NYC
DEPARTMENT OF CITY PLANNING .............................................................................. 61

PERIOD PHOTOS .......................................................................................................... 320


GRAND CENTRAL TRACK MAP 1 ............................................................................. 321
SUBURBAN LEVEL TRACK MAP ............................................................................... 322
WALDORF ASTORIA HOTEL OVER TRAIN YARDS ...................................................... 323
CONSTRUCTION OF UPPER AND LOWER TRACKS ....................................................... 324
EXCAVATIONS FOR GRAND CENTRAL ....................................................................... 325
CONSTRUCTION OF 48TH STREET VIADUCT ................................................................ 326
PREDICTIONS OF IMPROVEMENTS .............................................................................. 327
PLATFORMS OVER GRAND CENTRAL TRAIN YARDS .................................................. 328
IMMEDIATELY NORTH OF GRAND CENTRAL .............................................................. 329
WALDORF ASTORIA COMPLETE ................................................................................ 330
BAY RIDGE TO 14TH AVENUE, BROOKLYN ................................................................. 331
BAY RIDGE OPEN CUT LOOKING WEST .................................................................... 332
BAY RIDGE OPEN CUT LOOKING EAST ..................................................................... 333
UNDERSTANDING THE PLATFORM ............................................................................. 334
ATLANTIC YARDS B2 ON PLATFORM ........................................................................ 335
MINI SKY CITY (J57) ................................................................................................. 336
RENDERING OF ATLANTIC YARDS B2 ....................................................................... 337

07&37*&80'.0%&3/1-"5'03.
)064*/(53"/4*5%&7&-01.&/5

CHINA

The Unique Genius of Hong Kong's Public


Transportation System
The use of a clever financing system has enabled the territory to provide
world-class servicewithout breaking the bank.
NEIL PADUKONE
SEP 10, 2013

Passengers walk out of MTR railway carriage featuring Disney characters in


the Sunny Bay station in Hong Kong. (Paul Yeung/Reuters)
New Yorkers are famous for complaining about the city's subway: despite an
ever-increasing rise in fares, service never seems to get any better. And even
still, ticket-sales still only funds part of the New York City subway system; the
city still relies on supplementary taxes and government grants to keep trains
running, as fares only cover about 45 percent of the day-today operating costs. Capital costs (system expansions, upgrades, and repairs)

are an entirely different question, and require more state and federal grants
as well as capital market bonds. And New Yorks system is not unique: as in
other cities, New York struggles to pay existing expenses and must go into
debt to pay for upgrades, that is, without raising prices.
Is this problem intractable? Not exactly. Take Hong Kong for example: The
Mass Transit Railway (MTR) Corporation, which manages the subway and
bus systems on Hong Kong Island and, since 2006, in the northern part of
Kowloon, is considered the gold standard for transit management worldwide.
In 2012, the MTR produced revenue of 36 billion Hong Kong Dollars (about
U.S $5 billion)turning a profit of $2 billion in the process. Most
impressively, the farebox recovery ratio (the percentage of operational costs
covered by fares) for the system was 185 percent, the world's highest.
Worldwide, these numbers are practically unheard ofthe next highest urban
ratio, Singapore, is a mere 125 percent.
In addition to Hong Kong, the MTR Corporation runs individual subway lines
in Beijing, Hangzhou, and Shenzhen in China, two lines in the London
Underground, and the entire Melbourne and Stockholm systems. And in
Hong Kong, the trains provide services unseen in many other systems around
the world: stations have public computers, wheelchair and stroller
accessibility (and the space within the train to store them), glass doors
blocking the tracks, interoperable touch-and-go fare payment (which also
works as a debit card in local retail), clear and sensible signage, and, on
longer-distance subways, first-class cars for people who are willing to pay
extra for a little leg space.
How can Hong Kong afford all of this? The answer is deceptively
simple: Value Capture.
Like no other system in the world, the MTR understands the monetary value
of urban densityin other words, what economists call

"agglomeration. Hong Kong is one of the worlds densest cities, and


businesses depend on the metro to ferry customers from one side of the
territory to another. As a result, the MTR strikes a bargain with shop owners:
In exchange for transporting customers, the transit agency receives a cut of
the malls profit, signs a co-ownership agreement, or accepts a percentage of
property development fees. In many cases, the MTR owns the entire mall
itself. The Hong Kong metro essentially functions as part of a vertically
integrated business that, through a "rail plus property" model, controls both
the means of transit and the places passengers visit upon departure. Two of
the tallest skyscrapers in Hong Kong are MTR properties, as are many of the
offices, malls, and residences next to every transit station (some of which
even have direct underground connections to the train). Not to mention, all of
the retail within subway stations, which themselves double as large shopping
complexes, is leased from MTR.
The profits from these real estate ventures, as well as that 85 percent farebox
surplus, subsidize transit development: proceeds pay for capital expansion as
well as upgrades. The MTRs financial largesse means that the transit system
requires less maintenance and service interruptions, which in turn reduces
operating costs, streamlines capital investments, and encourages more
people to use transit to get around. And more customers means more
money, even if fares are relatively cheap: most commutes fall between HK $4
and HK$20 (about 50 cents to $3), depending on distance. (In London, by
comparison, a Tube journey can cost as much as $18). Fare increases in Hong
Kong are limited by regulations linking fares to inflation and profits, and the
territorys government recently started giving a HK $600-per-month travel
stipend to low-income households, defined as those earning less than HK
$10,000 a month.
This model of transit management works partly because Hong Kong is a
closed system: There are no suburbs from which people can commute by car,

so there are strong incentives for everyone within the territory to use the
system. This feature, combined with other regulations, has kept car
ownership low: 6 of every 100 vehicles in Hong Kong are for personal use,
whereas the number in the U.S. is closer to 70. And while the NYC subway
was built over a century ago and was neglected during much of the 20th
centurys suburban sprawl, Hong Kongs metro was only developed in the late
1970s. As a result, it doesnt have to rely on signals technologies from the
1930s that are only slowly being upgraded (hence the track closures in New
York).
As an independent corporation with the government serving as majority
shareholder (rather than a public agency, ministry, or authority), the MTR has
the freedom to develop real estate, to hire and fire who it will, and to take
business-minded decisionswhereas other transit systems, including the one
in New York, must deal with union contracts and legal restrictions. In Hong
Kong, these value charges are often displaced onto consumers, causing real
estate prices to go up a little faster than they otherwise might.
Still, value capture is a powerful idea for transit management. New York has
tested the waters of this approach with its $2 billion 7-train extension to the
Hudson Yards project, working with the states Metropolitan Transportation
Authority and the projects developers to fund the extension with property
taxes from the newly served area. Dedicated taxes, too, serve a similar
purpose. But fundamentally, Hong Kongs metro succeeds because it
understands that a subway system is more than just a means of transportation
it is also essential to the well-being of a citys population and economy.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NEIL PADUKONE is the author of Beyond South Asia: Indias Strategic Evolution and the
Reintegration of the Subcontinent (Bloomsbury, 2014) and a fellow at Harvard Universitys Women
and Public Policy Program.
 Twitter

New Balance Bought Its Own Commuter Rail


Station
Instead of asking the cash-strapped public-transit system to add a stop,
the company simply paid for one itself.

A model of the new complex, with a train


Alana Semuels

ALANA SEMUELS
MAY 12, 2015

BUSINESS

BOSTONIf you were in a generous mood, you might call the public
transportation system here troubled. Otherwise, youd call it an ancient,
broke, disorganized, mess. The MBTA owes $9 billion in debt. Trains are

old. They often cant run in the snow, which is problematic in a city that
got 109 inches last winter.
Still, the city of Boston is growing as Millennials and Boomers alike look
for walkable, dense places to live. Boston needs more transit, but the state
cant help much: Governor Charlie Baker has proposed cutting $26
million from the state Department of Transportation and $14 million of
MBTA funding.

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So when athletic company New Balance decided to expand its


headquarters and build retail, a hotel, a track, and skating rink in one
Boston neighborhood not served by public transit, it didnt wait for the city
to agree to build new train stations or add bus routes, which could have
taken years. Instead, it decided to build a commuter rail station itself.
Today, the company is breaking ground on the new Boston Landing
station, starting a process that will add another stop on the commuter rail
line between Boston and Worcester by the fall of 2016. New Balance is
paying to build the station, which will cost between $14 million and $16
million, and will then pay for its maintenance costs for at least the first
decade after the station opens.

10

The cost of the station is a relatively small piece of the $500 million, 15-acre real estate
development planned by NB Development Corporation, a real estate company owned by
New Balance. But the partnership between the company and the state, whose
transportation officials supervised and approved the design of the station, is significant.
New Balance has its roots in the Boston area. As the company grew from six people
making 30 pairs of shoes a day to the 5,000 it now employs globally, it expanded into real
estate, said Matt LeBretton, a company spokesman.
The company is outgrowing its current headquarters, and is nearly finished with the first
big piece of its Boston Landing project: A new, 225,000-square-foot building that slightly
resembles a hightop sneaker. The company hopes to move into the new building in
September. It plans to open a ice skating rink that will serve as a practice facility for the
Boston Bruins by September of 2016, alongside a 190,000-square-foot office building
which NB Development Corporation will lease out to other tenants. The company also
plans to build an apartment complex with 275 units, a track and field complex and a
boutique hotel. Along the way, it will add 80,000 square feet of retail, which will include
a New Balance experience store.

11

Construction at Boston Landing (Alana Semuels)

New Balance wasnt always on the hook for the transit station. Indeed,
when it floated the idea of building a hotel, track and field arena, and
hockey rink by its current offices, residents complained about the lack of
transit in the area.
We need a commuter rail station. The MBTA does not want to talk about
this. At all, wrote Tom Crowley, a blogger for Allston Brighton Newsflash,
in a March 2012 post about the New Balance plans. The state is going to
get a lot of revenue from this development. Some of it needs be used to
build a better transit system, here.
By May, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and New
Balance had co-signed a Letter of Intent that stated that New Balance
would pay for the permitting, design, and construction of the new
commuter rail stop.
As cities and states continue to struggle with budget issues, experts say
that the practice of private companies working with public entities on
transit and transportation projects willfor better or for worsebecome
more common. Already in Boston, Harvard University and Boston
University had agreed to help fund a separate commuter rail station,
though BU pulled out, as the Boston Globe reported earlier this year.
The idea for moving to these partnershipsis that you start to truly
balance between risks and rewards and not have the public sector on the

12
hook for all of the design, building, operating, and maintaining things into the future, said Robert Puentes, a
senior fellow with the Brooking Institutions Metropolitan Policy Program, where he has studied public-private
partnerships for infrastructure projects.
Public-private partnerships for infrastructure are common in Asia and other regions of the world: Tokyos
railways and Metro system are privatized, for instance, and a light-rail line in Ottawa is being built by a private
company in partnership with the government. But such partnerships are less common in the U.S., in part
because there has often been public money set aside for such projects. When theres not, a strong tax-free
municipal-bond market provides incentives for states and cities to borrow money and build on their own.
The concept of governments building transit is, in some ways, un-American, Puentes says. The government
uses taxpayer money to build a rail line or a highway, which then increases the property values of private
homes and businesses nearby, putting money into the pockets of landowners who didnt have to spend a penny
making their real estate more valuable. Early infrastructure investments in the U.S. were made by private
companies, including some New York City subway lines. But as the federal government started to put more
and more money into roads and highways, private companies took a step back.

13

The old New Balance headquarters, right, next to the new, in the distant left. (Alana Semuels)

Today, though, the government simply cant afford to build transit.


Funding for the National Highway Trust Fund, for example, is set to
expire May 31 unless Congress takes action. Bridges and roads across the
U.S. are crumbling, and the nations public-transit infrastructure received
a grade of D from the American Society for Civil Engineers.
Luckily, the private sector can afford to build transit. And doing so is
becoming a more attractive proposition as Americans move back into
urban cores and demand walkable, transit-oriented development.
People are demanding better and more access to public transit, driving
up the real estate value, Puentes said. It becomes much more attractive
to the private sector, to make these kind of investments.
To be sure, the recent history of public-private partnerships for transit in
the U.S. hasnt been a rosy one. In 2009, the city of Chicago signed a $1.2
billion, 75-year deal that leased its 36,000 parking meters to a private
company backed by Morgan Stanley. Soon, parking rates increased to $8
for two hours in certain areas. The city realized that because it hadnt
properly vetted the deal, it was locked into a contract that stipulated that it
could not build new parking lots for 75 years and that it was responsible
for compensating the company every time there was a parade or festival
and the meters couldnt be used. The Chicago parking-meter deal is often
held up as an example of an unmitigated PPP disaster.

14

This is a real-estate deal but not a real-estate deal,


he said. It's about giving back to the community.
It's about attracting and keeping a workforce. But
really becoming more embedded and doing more in
and around our neighborhood.
In other instances, it wasnt just the city who lost out on these dealssome private
companies lost their shirts as well. For example, the company that built a monorail in Las
Vegas as part of a PPP filed for bankruptcy in 2010. The private entity behind the South Bay
Expressway, a private 9.2-mile toll road, filed for Chapter 11 in 2010 as well. Last year, the
private operator of the Indiana Toll Road also filed for bankruptcy.
But, Puentes pointed out, at least the government isnt posting these losses: If these
partnerships are structured the right way, taxpayer dollars arent being wasted on a project
that doesnt work. As more cities and states try these deals and then learn from them,
Puentes said, theyll figure out what works and what doesnt. Chicago is now a leader in
public-private partnerships, having learned from the parking-meter debacle. Many cities
and states are starting to bring people on staff who are familiar in these types of
partnerships, and are savvy enough not to get swindled by private companies offering up
sweet deals.

15

The new New Balance headquarters and site of the commuter rail station. (Alana Semuels)

Still, private companies cant yet pay for transit and roads everywhere across the U.S.
Only 23 states have legislation that allows public-private partnerships for
transportation projects, according to a recent report by the Federal Transit
Administration. And many Americans still think that governments are being cheated
by partnering with private companies, auctioning valuable resources to the highest
bidder.
The challenge we have is changing the mindset that the public sector is somehow
selling off valuable assets, Puentes said.
In Boston, though, response has been largely positive to New Balances development
moves. That could be because people know the pitiful state of the MBTA.
The MBTA can barely manage what they havebuilding new stuff is almost
impossible, said Ali Carter, the executive director of Brighton Main Streets, a
neighborhood-revitalization group. As for New Balance, she said, the company has
been proactive, asking for community input about its building plans and making sure
the transit station would be accessible for people who could walk from nearby, but
that it also wouldnt overload the neighborhood with cars.
I couldnt imagine having a better multinational corporation to be in your
backyard, she told me.

16

There was some grumbling when New Balance announced that the transit
station would open in 2016, rather than 2014, as originally planned. The
Boston Globe focused on how public-private partnerships can be delayed
without penaltiesas opposed to private construction projects, where
punitive risk packages are built into the contract so that a company has a
financial incentive to finish on time.


Rendering of new station (Neoscape)

But building a transit station is harder than it sounds, even for a private
organization. Though the station will basically be a structured shelter,
LeBretton said, the company had to design a center platform, access
points, stairways, and an elevator. It had to figure out signal protections
that provide the stopping mechanism for the train. It had to conduct rider
surveys to ensure that enough people would use the station to justify the

17

extra five minutes that will be added onto farther commutes, since the
train usually just passes through Brighton.
Some commentators have speculated that New Balance is building the
transit station because without it, the city of Boston would have vetoed its
development plans.
But New Balance insists that isnt the case.
There was no quid-pro-quo. For us it just makes sense, LeBretton said.
This part of the city is completely underserved from a commuter
perspective in dealing with mass-transit.
The development will make New Balance a better place to work,
LeBretton said. Employees will be able to take public transit, rather than
drive, and theyll have places to eat and drink at night and during the day,
as well as a green space where they can lounge outdoors during nicer
months. The company envisions a Google-like campus where employees
enjoy spending time, but that also welcomes the outside community,
which is underserved by retail and transit.
This is a real-estate deal but not a real-estate deal, he said. It's about
giving back to the community. It's about attracting and keeping a
workforce. But really becoming more embedded and doing more in and
around our neighborhood.
The company will likely get some tax credits for the project, though
LeBretton said those hadnt been ironed out yet. For the time being, its
focusing on getting its new office opened, its ice rink built, and its train
station running on time.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

18

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Atlantic Yards B2 Modular on the Rise


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July 24, 2013


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CHICAGO It seems increasingly evident that 2013 will be remembered as The Year of Prefab in the tallbuilding community. While YouTube video of China Broad Groups 15-day construction of the 30-story prefab
T30 in 2012 and this years feverish preparations for Sky City J220 in Changsha, China, grabbed the lions
share of media attention, the B2 Tower, part of the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, New York, USA,
is also making waves. At 32 stories, B2 promises to become the worlds tallest modular building, however
briefly. Perhaps more significantly, B2 will have been built on a highly constrained site in New York City,
straddling a rail yard and the entrance to the new Barclays Center arena, after negotiating the brambles of
local building code, organized labor, and transport / logistical challenges.

On July 24, David Farnsworth, CTBUHs New York


City representative and a principal at Arup, traveled
to Arups Chicago office to present on B2. Though
modular construction is not new, the idea of taking it
to a height of more than 30 stories is a novel
concept for most developers, Farnsworth said. Arup
and architect SHoPs initial proposal to Forest City
Ratner, the developers of Atlantic Yards, had been
to use modular construction. We had initially made
the pitch for modular construction, Farnsworth said.
They said, Thanks, well think about it. They were
quiet for a good year. But after the [Broad Group
T30 video] came out, they said, Hm, maybe we
should think about it again."
Modules for Mass Customization
As a first point of business, Farnsworth cleared the
air around how his team uses the word modular,
which has long been a loaded and multifaceted term
for architects and engineers.
Modular can be anything from prefabricated
curtain-wall panels, to precast concrete to bathroom
pods, to full-on volumetric, complete apartment fitouts in modular units, Farnsworth said, indicating
that B2 uses the complete fit-out units, with MEP
riser connections made in the corridors. Where I
think that we've taken it to another level is the level
of finish they do in the factory.

Rendering of the B2 Tower in Brooklyn, New York, all images


SHoP Architects

Because most modular manufacturers have not worked at this scale before, the team formed a joint venture
FCS Modular between Forest City and the contractor, Skanska, to produce the modules. FCS Modular plans
to continue producing modular units on a contract basis to other companies projects, Farnsworth said.
Forest City had 16 modular buildings that they needed to build and they had incentive to invest in a process
to do it better, Farnsworth said.
The B2 contains 360 apartments and about 320,000 square feet (29,729 square meters) of residential
space. Even though using modular construction will result in substantial savings most significantly by
cutting construction time by a third the project is no more monolithic than conventionally constructed
building. Out of 930 total modules, 225 are unique structure types.
Much of it is mass customization, rather than taking a standard product and trying to array it in a way that

19

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Atlantic Yards B2 Modular on the Rise


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July 24, 2013


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CHICAGO It seems increasingly evident that 2013 will be remembered as The Year of Prefab in the tallbuilding community. While YouTube video of China Broad Groups 15-day construction of the 30-story prefab
T30 in 2012 and this years feverish preparations for Sky City J220 in Changsha, China, grabbed the lions
share of media attention, the B2 Tower, part of the Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn, New York, USA,
is also making waves. At 32 stories, B2 promises to become the worlds tallest modular building, however
briefly. Perhaps more significantly, B2 will have been built on a highly constrained site in New York City,
straddling a rail yard and the entrance to the new Barclays Center arena, after negotiating the brambles of
local building code, organized labor, and transport / logistical challenges.

On July 24, David Farnsworth, CTBUHs New York


City representative and a principal at Arup, traveled
to Arups Chicago office to present on B2. Though
modular construction is not new, the idea of taking it
to a height of more than 30 stories is a novel
concept for most developers, Farnsworth said. Arup
and architect SHoPs initial proposal to Forest City
Ratner, the developers of Atlantic Yards, had been
to use modular construction. We had initially made
the pitch for modular construction, Farnsworth said.
They said, Thanks, well think about it. They were
quiet for a good year. But after the [Broad Group
T30 video] came out, they said, Hm, maybe we
should think about it again."
Modules for Mass Customization
As a first point of business, Farnsworth cleared the
air around how his team uses the word modular,
which has long been a loaded and multifaceted term
for architects and engineers.
Modular can be anything from prefabricated
curtain-wall panels, to precast concrete to bathroom
pods, to full-on volumetric, complete apartment fitouts in modular units, Farnsworth said, indicating
that B2 uses the complete fit-out units, with MEP
riser connections made in the corridors. Where I
think that we've taken it to another level is the level
of finish they do in the factory.

Rendering of the B2 Tower in Brooklyn, New York, all images


SHoP Architects

Because most modular manufacturers have not worked at this scale before, the team formed a joint venture
FCS Modular between Forest City and the contractor, Skanska, to produce the modules. FCS Modular plans
to continue producing modular units on a contract basis to other companies projects, Farnsworth said.
Forest City had 16 modular buildings that they needed to build and they had incentive to invest in a process
to do it better, Farnsworth said.
The B2 contains 360 apartments and about 320,000 square feet (29,729 square meters) of residential
space. Even though using modular construction will result in substantial savings most significantly by
cutting construction time by a third the project is no more monolithic than conventionally constructed
building. Out of 930 total modules, 225 are unique structure types.
Much of it is mass customization, rather than taking a standard product and trying to array it in a way that

20
makes it a building, Farnsworth said. The massing guidelines required quite a few setbacks and transfers
to make the building look like it's not one big monolithic volume, but rather three or four different volumes.
And it really helps in the architecture, but again, those create module variations.
Great effort is taken to make the apartment interiors feel like cohesive entities, even when they consist of
more than one module. Farnsworth showed one unit that comprised a kitchen and living room in one module
and a bathroom in another. The two modules meet along a mate line, which the designers cover with an
interior wall or door frame whenever possible. Exposing mate lines in open-plan arrangements does not
affect the flooring, but it does require onsite finish work to complete the ceiling.

Interior rendering of an apartment consisting of two modules

Structural Scheme
The structural approach, with a few exceptions, is stunningly simple. Each module has its own self-contained
structure and setting pins that allow it to lock into its neighbors above or below, and carries its own gravity
load down to the plinth level, a conventionally constructed site-built platform. Lateral loads begin to become
an issue once the 30-story range is crested, so a brace frame is laterally connected to all the modules. The
brace frames are connected at the top with an out-rigged hat truss.

B2 will have practically no concrete in its


superstructure, save housekeeping pads and the
mechanical floor, thus making the building unusually
light and conducive to shallower transfer beams and
foundations than would otherwise be required. The
unit floors are two-inch (51mm) metal decking with
-inch (19mm) cementitious particle board; ceilings
are comprised of separate metal decks. This,
combined with the fact that each module is an
independent cage of welded tube steel, has the
surprising effect of adding more structural material
than would be used by a conventionally-framed
light-gauge project. Yet it has quality and safety
advantages that justify the choic , such as added
fire protection and acoustical in lation, due to the
double thickness of walls and roofs.
Fit-Out Before Ship-Out
The top benefits of modular construction are speed
and quality control, and these are mainly realized
off-site. The steel chassis of the modules are
fabricated in Virginia, then trucked to the Brooklyn
Navy Yard, a few blocks from the site, for fit-out.
Diagram of the structural system

Because the most time-consuming and unpredictable part of any construction job is so-called wet work
connecting water pipes and waiting for liquid materials to cure and set as much work as possible is done
on bathrooms and mechanical risers before the modules arrive on site.
We prefabricate the bathrooms as bathroom pods, offline, so when the frames show up, the bathroom pod

21
is ready and can be slotted right in, Farnsworth said. Then all the factory assemblers have to do is fit out
the remainder of the services from the central risers, which are actually constructed as part of the bathroom
pod, as well as the fit-out of the finishes. The units are then shipped out nearly fully assembled, including
facades and windows. This minimizes the amount of connection and finish work that has to be done onsite.
The mental picture of an assembly line piecing the units together on a conveyor belt is not quite right,
Farnsworth said. In the factory, each module is set into a position as near as possible to its on-site
disposition and approached from all sides, so that everyone from crane operators to carpenters can be
confident connections will align onsite with extremely tight tolerances.

Diagram showing the construction sequence of the modules

Labor and Logistics


The logistics of transporting a module to an urban site is no small undertaking, but the prototype testing
showed that crane time required to lift a module and place it is surprisingly fast. Though skill is obviously
required to execute a module lift, the sheer reduction in number of crane movements and on-site work in
general together strike a major victory for safety, speed and quality control.
When we first started, everybody was worried that it was going to take longer to erect these and connect
them together than we'd anticipated, Farnsworth said. By the time we were done with the setting sequence,
everybody was worried that the factory wouldn't be able to keep up.
The team also designed the sequencing to be flexible enough to allow for errors, such as modules sustaining
damage in transit. So long as its not a one-off custom module, a spare can always be substituted.
The unfamiliar nature of modular construction understandably had some labor unions concerned. Unions
have not been heavily involved in affordable-housing projects such as B2, and were eag r to change that as
the building economy recovers from the recession. The fabrication and finishing trades b th have struck
agreements with FCS Modular so that onsite and offsite work can be unionized, Farnsworth said.

22

Overall view of the final Atlantic Yards complex including B2 on left

In It for the Long Run


The project has yet to place its first module, and it hasnt been hiccup-free. Aside from a large strategy shift
from the original Gehry Partners plan to a reduced-scale plan with SHoP as the design lead, the project has
drawn the ire of some trade associations, which object to its unconventional use of labor.
In July, the Plumbing Foundation, a trade group representing licensed plumbers, filed suit against the
developer for using unlicensed plumbers at the offsite location, which is an arrangement the citys building
department had reached with Forest City in 2011, in recognition of the fact that plumbing connections are
made on-site by licensed labor.
Ultimately, however, Forest City has 6,400 apartments to build at Atlantic Yards in the next ten years, in a
city known for high construction costs. It does not seem likely the project will run aground on such claims. If
B2 succeeds, it seems likely that, at Atlantic Yards, prefab will prevail at a previously unseen scale and
height.

Barclays Center with the Atlantic Yards complex in the background with B2 on right

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Article can be found at http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20140319/REAL_ESTATE/140319835/construction-of-hudson-yards-platform-begins

Construction of Hudson Yards platform begins


Related Cos. reached an agreement that includes a $250 million
loan from Deutsche Bank AG, this week to finance the 37,000-ton
deck on the far West Side.
Bloomberg News
Published: March 19, 2014 - 1:53 pm
(Bloomberg) -- Hudson Yards, the $20 billion Related Cos. development on Manhattans far West Side,
is taking a key step forward as work begins on a platform over the areas rail depot designed to support
three skyscrapers.
Related completed an agreement this week to finance the deck, including a $250 million loan from
Deutsche Bank AG, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations, who asked not to be
named because the deal isnt public. Building the 37,000-ton platform enables the start of almost 6
million square feet (560,000 square meters) of construction on the eastern half of the 26-acre (11-hectare)
yards, said Stephen Ross, the New York-based developers chairman and founder.
The whole eastern yards will be under construction this year, Mr. Ross, who declined to comment on
the specifics of the financing, said in a telephone interview. Weve been talking to investors. We have
global partners, both domestically and internationally. The interest in this job has been unbelievable. We
feel very, very confident.
Hudson Yards, at a planned 17 million square feet, is the biggest private real estate development in U.S.
history, according to Related. The company is seeking to transform a largely industrial section between
30th and 34th streets into a business center and residential enclave. The project requires building a
platform over where 30 railroad tracks converge into four in an area west of 10th Avenue that feeds trains
into and out of Pennsylvania Station.

Financing Deal
In addition to the Deutsche Bank loan, the $700 million deck is being financed with equity from Related
and its partner in the project, Toronto-based Oxford Properties Group; Time Warner Inc., its lead

24

occupant; plus funding from the U.S. governments EB-5 program, according to the person with
knowledge of the arrangement. That program allows immigrants to live in the country if they fund a jobcreating investment.
Oksana Poltavets, a Deutsche Bank spokeswoman, declined to comment on the loan. Keith Cocozza, a
spokesman for Time Warner, confirmed the companys participation in the financing in an e-mail. A call
made after business hours Tuesday to Claire McIntyre, an Oxford spokeswoman, wasnt returned.
The drilling of more than 250 caissons -- concrete-filled footings hammered into the bedrock below the
yards -- starts this week. They will support a platform strong enough to hold up skyscrapers while leaving
clearance for the trains to move as they have since the early 1980s, when the yard was built.

Grand Central
The undertaking is comparable to the deck the New York Central Railroad built over its tracks north of
the original Grand Central Terminal in the early 20th Century, said Robert A.M. Stern, dean of the Yale
School of Architecture, and co- author of a series of reference books on New Yorks development history.
The principle that you can take this blighting yard, and make it more or less go away, is fantastic, said
Mr. Stern, who designed an apartment house for Related thats nearing completion just south of the yards.
It seems every hundred years or so we are able to grow the city without disrupting anything and improve
the environment.
The project is the biggest bet on New York yet by Related, which was formed by Mr. Ross in 1972 and
developed buildings including the Time Warner Center. Mr. Ross, 73, has a net worth of about $5.3
billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and is also the owner of the Miami Dolphins.

Offices, retail
By the end of 2018, if all goes according to plan, the eastern yards site will boast 4.3 million square feet
of offices in four towers; a 1 million-square-foot retail complex; a 1.1 million-square-foot building that
will combine stores, apartments and a hotel; and a 960,000-square-foot residential property. It will also
include a public square built around a monumental sculpture designed by British artist Thomas
Heatherwick, and a multipurpose venue with gallery and performance space designed to host events such
as New York Fashion Week, called the culture shed.
Two more skyscrapers, totaling 3.6 million square feet of offices, are slated to go up on the block just
north of the yards, which will be integrated into the development.
The challenge of building such a large-scale project years in development will be overseei g it through
the economic cycles that may affect office, retail and residential demand before the buildings are
completed, said Christopher Jones, vice president of research for the Regional Plan Association, a New
York-based urban planning organization.

Fingers crossed
Any time you have a project of this size and this complexity, you really are keeping your fingers crossed
that the business cycle is going to help you, Mr. Jones said. Right now it looks like the New York City
economy is doing pretty well. Theres not a national recession on the horizon, that most people are
predicting at the moment, but that can always change.

25

The first eastern yards skyscraper, a 1.7 million-square-foot tower known as 10 Hudson Yards, is already
more than 100 feet (30 meters) above the sidewalk, on its way to 895 feet. The 52-story building,
currently about 85% leased, will house the headquarters of luxury-goods maker Coach Inc., as well as
offices of LOreal USA and SAP AG.
That building had the advantage of being built on solid ground just south of the network of converging
rails, in an area known as the throat. Those tracks connect by tunnel to Penn Station, the busiest U.S.
commuter rail hub. The yard is a staging area for the Long Island Rail Road and is owned by New Yorks
Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which agreed to lease the site to Related and its partners for $1.05
billion in 2008.

Train riders
The MTA is enormously gratified by the progress they are making, Aaron Donovan, a spokesman, said
in an e-mail. He said it expects the platform project to have minimal to no impact on Long Island
Railroad commuters and train schedules. Related has paid the railroad $10 million to prepare the Long
Island yard near the former Shea Stadium site in Queens to store displaced trains, the company said.
The tallest of the 16 buildings planned for the entire 28-acre site is the 1,227-foot 30 Hudson Yards,
almost half of which will be occupied by Time Warner for its headquarters. It will go almost directly over
the throat of the yards.
Because of the importance of the spot to rail operations, and the need to avoid utility lines below, no
footings can be drilled at the throat, so it will be spanned by an elaborate web of steel trusses, with beams
as heavy as two tons per square foot. It will take two cranes to lift them, said James White, a Related
senior vice president and a 30-year construction veteran whos steering the building of the deck.

Transferring weight
A system of 15 large-span trusses, which are reinforced horizontal beams, will be designed to transfer the
weight of 30 Hudson Yards to caissons buried 60 to 80 feet into the schist on either side of the throat, Mr.
White said.
He was recruited to Related from Brookfield Office Properties Inc., where he designed a deck that is now
under construction over a rail trench just east of the yards for its 7 million-square-foot Manhattan West
development. The two projects are in competition with one another for office and residential occupants.
The MTA requires that the rail yards remain operational during the entire two years it will take to
complete the Hudson Yards deck. Limited track outages will be permitted, and the decking over of the
throat area will be done entirely during 37 52-hour weekend outages of two of the four co necting tracks,
said Ronald Wackrow, a Related executive vice president who is overseeing the engineering of the
project.

52 hours
Our workweek for those 37 weekends will start late Friday night and go straight through to early Sunday
morning, or 52 straight hours of just continuous shift work, Mr. Wackrow said. After construction
stops for the weekend, every piece of equipment must be removed so trains can operate Monday morning.
Amtrak is also in the process of building a tunnel across the yards to accommodate a possible future

26

expansion of service across the Hudson River. It will be completed in October, Mr. Wackrow said, just in
time for the platform to go over it.
Revenue generated by Hudson Yards is supposed to help defray the cost of the improvements made to the
area funded by taxpayers. Due to delays in the projects original time frame, the city has covered debt
payments on the $3 billion of bonds used mainly to build an extension of the No. 7 subway line, which
will serve the site and other developments beyond, said Doug Turetsky, spokesman for New Yorks
Independent Budget Office, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog funded by the city.

Tax breaks
Hudson Yards has received about $510 million of property tax benefits, according to the city Industrial
Development Agency.
James Parrott, chief economist of Fiscal Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization that generally
opposes public subsidies for private development, said it is a very positive step that things have gotten
this far.
The platform brings closer the time when pilot payments will be received by the city, he said,
referring to payments in lieu of taxes which the development will generate once it starts producing
revenue.
Youve got major companies with deep pockets doing this, said John McIlwain, a New York-based
senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute in Washington. Theres no question anything of this
size is a gamble, but its a well- thought-out gamble.

Entire contents 2015 Crain Communications Inc.

27

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Urban Land > Planning & Design > Hudson Yards Rises above the Rails

Hudson Yards Rises above the Rails


By Patrick J. Kiger
October 6, 2014

Text Size: A

AA

(related-oxford)

Obviously, if you were to set out to build millions of square feet of development space, you wouldnt necessarily start by
saying, Lets build it on a platform over an operating rail yard, explains Thad Sheely, senior vice president of operations for
development firm Related Companies. That drastically increases the degree of difficulty. Basically, were building the
ground. But thats only one of the things that make this project unique.

28
Register for ULI Fall Meeting in NYC
New Yorkbased Related is teaming up with Toronto-based
Oxford Properties to build Hudson Yards, a $20 billion project
that is the largest private real estate development in the country
and the biggest in New York City since Rockefeller Center was
erected in the 1930s. The 28-acre (11 ha) West Side site
which is located between 10th and 12th avenues from West 30th
to West 34th Streetwill include more than 17 million square
feet (1.6 million sq m) of commercial and residential space, five
office towers, 5,000 residences, a 150-room luxury hotel, more
than 100 shops and 20 restaurants, a cultural center, a school,
and 14 acres (5.6 ha) of public space. The eastern half of the
project, which will include four of the five office towers, is

Architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox seeks to connect Hudson


Yards to the rest of the city by allowing the High Line park to
penetrate under the 10 Hudson Yards tower through a 60-footlong (18.3 m) public passageway. (related-oxford)

scheduled for completion in 2018.


But the projects scale pales in comparison with the outsized engineering feat that makes it possible to be built. In order to
make use of a site already occupied by a working rail yardincluding more than 30 tracks for the Long Island Rail Road and
three train tunnels, with a fourth under constructionmost of the development will be built atop two steel-and-concrete
platforms. That base, and the buildings on it, will be supported by hundreds of concrete-filled caissons, which will be drilled
between the rail lines into the bedrock.
In addition to its dramatic underpinnings, the cluster of skyscrapersall but one of which will be built on manmade landwill
use technological advances to depart from convention in other ways. Related has dubbed Hudson Yards Tomorrows City,
Todaya tagline that sounds as if it were written by Norman Bel Geddes, the designer of the Futurama exhibit at the 1939
New York Worlds Fair. Hudson Yards will have 13.2 megawatts of cogeneration capacity to supply electricity and heat
even if the larger utility company grid goes downand its buildings will be interconnected so that they can share heat and
air-conditioning resources as well. Also, trash will never pile up on sidewalks thanks to a below-the-surface disposal system
that will whisk away garbage through pneumatic tubes at 45 miles (72 km) per hour.
Beyond that, a vast number of sensors embedded in the sites infrastructure will collect mountains of data on everything from
temperature and air quality to pedestrian and vehicle traffic. That information, which will be scrutinized in real time by
managers in an effort to fine-tune Hudson Yards operation, will also be shared with New York University (NYU) researchers,
who will turn Hudson Yards into a laboratory for studying urban life and finding ways to improve its quality.
The New West Side
The West Side district around the new project has been gradually evolving since 2005, when the city rezoned what the New
York Times described as a mishmash of rail yards, tunnel ramps, and parking lots to encourage development. It was seen
as the last frontier, says Lynne Sagalyn, a professor of real estate at Columbia University. Its a huge district next to west
Manhattans mid-commercial district, so its an area thats ripe for incremental growth.
The idea of manufacturing real estate by capping rail tracks actually is a time-honored practice in New York City. Its exactly
what New York did with Park Avenue, says Sheely, recalling how the New York Central Railroad put its tracks and yards
underground and capped them with a steel deck in the early 1900s. No one even thinks of them being there today. Putting
platforms over Hudson Yards actually was proposed back in 1996 by urban planner Alexander Garvin, who later worked on
the citys unsuccessful bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which called for building a new stadium in the area.
And another developer, Brookfield Office Properties, is building the $4.5 billion Manhattan West office development a block
east of Hudson Yards, on a 2.6-acre (1.1 ha) platform over rails as well. Thornton Tomasetti is the projects structural
engineer.
Even in light of these mammoth undertakings, the immensity of Relateds project remains striking. The eastern half of the
platform, construction of which began this spring, will be supported by 300 caissons ranging from four to five feet (1.2 to 1.5

29
m) in diameter, which will be set 20 to 80 feet (6.1 to 24.4 m)
deepinto the bedrock. That section alone will require 25,000
tons (22,700 metric tons) of steel and 14,000 cubic yards
(10,700 cubic m) of concrete and will weigh more than 35,000
tons (31,700 metric tons) when it is completed. Because the
location of the tracks and tunnels limits the placement of
caissons, only 38 percent of the site can be used to support
buildings.
While Sheely notes that the platform construction is based on
time-honored civil engineering techniques, building the
platforms without disrupting train service makes the process far
trickier. As a March 2014 article in Wired magazine detailed,
lead platform engineer Jim White has used computer models to
coordinate the drilling and truss-laying around the hour-to-hour
train traffic so that work can be done whenever a window of
opportunity is available. According to the article, the project will
require just four scheduled track closures during the 2.5 years it
will take to build the platform.
I think
the
platform
is

The 70-story 15 Hudson Yards will be the first residential


building at the project. It is designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro
and David Rockwell in collaboration with Ismael Leyva
Architects. (related-oxford)
A rendering of 30 Hudson Yards with ground-level retail
space, as it would be viewed from 33rd Street and 10th
Avenue. (related-oxford)

fascinating, Sagalyn says. As cities become [denser], its important to capture those kinds of sitesespecially when theyre
on top of transit. And if a profit-making developer shows that it can be done, and the huge cost of upfront inf astructure can
be carried, that will make other people look at it as a case study and ask if it can be done in other places. The expense and
difficulty of the platform construction imposed certain requirements upon the
Hudson Yards project. In order for the expense to be justified, the project had to include high-density towers that would
maximize use of the new land being created. You need high density to make those numbers work, she explains. It will only
work in cities where you have high density or high demand.
Sagalyn gives Related high marks for how the developer handled the perils of going big. The risk here has been mitigated
by multiple equity sources and major tenant commitments, she says. On the latter front, Related managed to line up Time
Warner and high-end retailer Coach as tenants.

30
The necessity of thinking big also gave Related a novel opportunity, Sheely says. Other projects in New York are infill
projects, where you build one building and you control nothing beyond the property line. Here, our property line includes
acres of open space and parks and other interesting things. You can do more if you can control all that.

31

A Resource-Sharing Grid

32
That sort of control will enable the developers to innovate when it comes
to energy use. The central plants of Hudson Yards mixed-use buildings
will be connected through a thermal loop, which will enable them to
exchange heat and chilled water with one another. That synergy could
lead to a significant reduction in waste and energy costs, according to
Charlotte Matthews, Relateds vice president for sustainability. If there
are a few people in offices on a Sunday, for example, the building will
not need to start up its whole central plant to keep those offices cool.
Instead, the building can import excess resources from the retail
building next door, which also will have a lower marginal cost and
consume less energy.
It is the first multitenant microgrid, Matthews explains. Most
microgrids that people talk about are like hospitals or university
campuses: theyre more akin to district plants. In our scenario, it can be
the model for retrofitting microgrids into existing neighborhoods,
because each building still has its own central plant. And were creating
both a physical interconnection and a technology platform with
monitoring, so the tenants can see what their real-time cost will be for
generating hot or cold water on site, versus importing it from the thermal
loop.
Matthews says the buildings at Hudson Yards will feature other
efficiency and cost-saving measures as well, including smart lighting
that will notify the building manager by e-mail if a fixture flickers or goes
dark, and wireless, movable occupancy sensors that will turn lights on
and off automatically.

Designed by David Childs/SOM, the 79-story 35


Hudson Yards is planned to offer luxury residences
and a 175-room hotel. (related-oxford)

Another bit of advanced technology will spare Hudson Yards residents from seeing and smelling garbage trucks picking up
mounds of trash bags on street corners or emptying Dumpsters. Instead, refuse will be removed through a trash disposal
system created by Envac, a Swedish company. Recyclables, food waste, and regular trash will go down separate chutes,
and the refuse will be sucked through a pneumatic tube to a central facility where a dehydrator will shrink it to 20 percent of
its original weight and volume.
Matthews says that Related is installing the system in part to get ahead of what it expects will be more stringent future
regulatory requirements for waste handling. Last year, the University Transportation Research Center at the City University
of New York issued a report that examined using pneumatic tubes to collect and transport trash on a larger scale in the city
and concluded that the practice would reduce energy use for garbage collection by 60 percent and resulting greenhouse gas
emissions by more than half.
Big Data on a Massive Scale
Hudson Yards is planned to be one of the first large examples of what technologists call a quantified community. Sensors
embedded throughout the development will gather and measure data on a vast array of categories ranging from water
consumption and waste generation to heat patterns and air quality. Energy consumption in apartments will be measured by
smart thermostats that will report energy use as well. Instruments that measure light outside the visible spectrum will allow
Hudson Yards to monitor plumes of carbon dioxide emissions in real time.
Many of these gadgets will communicate wirelessly through the distributed antenna system built into the complex. The
antennas also will allow phones and other wireless devices to log into a massive fiber opticequipped wi-fi network that will
eliminate dead zones and provide more bandwidth, according to Sheely. Weve done all the hard work to get the
connectivity on our site, he says.

33
While cities around the world are using data collection and
analysis to deal with problems such as traffic and crime, the effort
at Hudson Yards is far broader in scope. This is the most
systematic approach to collecting data about a neighborhood
thats ever been attempted, says Constantine Kontokosta, deputy
director at NYUs Center for Urban Science and Progress, which
is partnering with Related to analyze the data.
While all the details of the plan are still being worked out, Sheely
says that the enormous amount of data most likely will be
transmitted to the cloud and managed by an outside information
technology company, so that the developments managers can
access the database remotely in their on-site operations center.
Basically, well be the funnel and collect the data so they can put
[the information] though their spin cycle in the cloud, and then
provide an interface for us to be able to access the information,
he says. That way, we wont need to have a big server farm on
campus.
One
obvious
benefit
is the
ability
to
closely
monitor
and

55 Hudson Yards, an office tower designed by A. Eugene


Kohn of Kohn Pedersen Fox and Kevin Roche of Kevin
Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates, will include a tenthfloor terrace level overlooking the High Line. (related-oxford)

(related-oxford)

optimize energy use at Hudson Yardssomething that Sheely claims will result in clear-cut cost savings. He seems
confident that it will create value in other ways as wellthough, like other technological revolutions, the benefits are not
entirely clear at the outset. Were at an interesting crossroads with all of thisbig data, the internet of things, whatever
buzzwords you want to toss out, he says. Theres something here, but Google and Apple havent figured it out yet, either.
But this is a road we have to be on, but no one knows where it goes . . . our focus has been to get the hardware right, so that

34
we have the bandwidth, the connectivity, two-way communication, and the ability to upload and download and collect data.
Sheely also envisions getting residents and visitors to opt in and voluntarily provide information about their activities via
their smartphones and other devices, in exchange for services. Eventually, though, data on transportation use at Hudson
Yards may enable management to guide residents to the quickest way to get to work, or the best spots to hail a taxi.
Meanwhile, the NYU researchers will be studying the same data stream on an ongoing basis, in an effort to discern patterns
of how residents rely upon various transportation modes, or whether their use of the developments open spaces has
beneficial health effects. Theres a potential here to understand how a neighborhood functions, says Kontokosta, who
emphasizes that any personally identifiable information would be provided voluntarily and kept confidential. We want to
know how people really interact with their built environment, and how they are affected by environmental conditions. That
information, he says, will enable researchers to test long-held rule of thumb ideas about urban design to see whether they
are truly valid or need to be rethought. Ultimately, we hope to use [these] data to improve the quality of life in cities.
The Architecture of Adaptability
The master plan for Hudson Yards was devised by the architecture
firm Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF), which also designed two of the
towers in the developments east yard.
One of the biggest aesthetic challenges facing Hudson Yards was
to create a development that connected with the rest of
Manhattan, rather than standing in isolation. Were dealing with
buildings of a very large scale, as you know, explains William
Pedersen, a founding partner of KPF. Its essential that they be
deferential, because if not, their scale alone can be disturbing . . .
such an enormous physical presence, unless it is sculpted and
creates responses that are very specific to the context, will feel
threatening.
Pedersen sought to solve this problem through design elements
that would make gestures to both their surroundings and the other
buildings. As an example, he cites the 52-story, 1.7 million-square- Shops and restaurants at Hudson Yards will include high-end
retailers such as Neiman Marcus.
foot (158,000 sq m) structure 10 Hudson Yards, which was the first
tower to begin construction. When completed in 2015, the tower in
the developments southeast corner will be the only one in the project constructed entirely upon solid ground and not on the
platform.
Pedersen found an intriguing way to address the buildings surroundings. He allowed the High Linea public park built on a
historic freight rail line elevated above the West Sideto penetrate underneath the tower through a 60-foot-long (18.3 m)
public passageway, so that the building will interact with the park and its visitors. Inside the building, a dramatic atrium
becomes the terminus of the High Line as it moves from south to north, he says.
The atrium itself was the result of discussions between KPF and Coach, the retailer whose global headquarters will be
located in the building. (Other major tenants in the building include beauty product manufacturer LOral, which has leased
space for its main U.S. office, and business software giant SAP.) Lew Frankfort, who is the Coach executive chairman, said
to us, I always envisioned a campus for my facility, Pedersen recalls. That was our impetus for drawing out the individual
volume and creating the atrium, which enables their workforce to focus upon this central stage, and for the building to
become more complex in its organization.
Coach is doing an interesting thing with their space, says architectural critic and author James S. Russell. He says the
atrium provides the sense of everybody working together . . . I think its closer to the future model of the skyscraper, which
has got to be simpler and foster creativity.

35
Pedersens notion of architectural design responding to user input, in a sense, fits with the larger concept of a development
project that has been equipped technologically to study its occupants and adapt to how they use the built environment.
Were really trying to make itfor lack of a better wordsmart infrastructure, says Sheely.
Patrick J. Kiger is a Washington, D.C.area journalist, blogger, and author.
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36

Connect

Building a NYC Neighborhood Atop a Rail Yard


By: Julie D. Stern, managing editor, Development
Summer 2014

The mixed-use Hudson Yards


neighborhood will feature more
than 17 million square feet of
commercial and residential space,
more than 100 shops, 14 acres of
public open space, a public school,
a hotel and more. Construction
began in 2012 and is expected to
be complete in 2018. Photos
Related-Oxford

37
Construction began this spring on a platform that will provide the foundation for the eastern half of Hudson Yards, a new, 28-acre
neighborhood in midtown Manhattan that will be the largest private development in U.S. history, as well as the largest development
in New York City since Rockefeller Center. The $20 billion projects developers, Related Cos. and Oxford Property Group, faced a
unique development challenge: how to construct almost 6 million square feet of new buildings above a working rail yard, where 30
railroad tracks converge into four near Penn Station, the nations busiest commuter rail hub?
The solution: a 37,000-ton, $700 million platform, a massive artificial foundation that will float above West Side Yard and be
strong enough to hold up four skyscrapers (two office towers and two residential ones), as well as 1 million square feet of retail
space and about five acres of public open space while also leaving room for trains to continue to operate beneath. The
development team began drilling more than 250 caissons (each of which will be installed with 90-ton cores encased in concrete)
deep into the bedrock below the tracks in March. Because of the location of the tracks, underground utilities and tunnels, only 38
percent of the site can be used to support the platform.

The 2.6 million-square-foot,


80-story 30 Hudson Yards,
designed by Kohn Pederson
Fox Associates, will be the
fourth-tallest building in New
York and home to the citys
highest outdoor observation
deck. Set atop a platform
being constructed over an
operating rail yard, it will be
the new home of Time
Warner Inc. when it is
completed in 2018.
Once the caissons are in place, work will begin on the platform itself, a foundation perched on those columns. But because there is
no room for caissons at the narrow neck of the rail yard and because the tallest of the sites buildings, the 1,227-foot-high 30
Hudson Yards, is to be constructed directly over that neck a system of 15 large-span trusses (reinforced horizontal beams) has
been designed to transfer that structures weight to caissons on either side of the 150-foot-wide neck.

38
Throughout the platforms two-year construction process, the rail yard will remain operational. Limited track outages will be
permitted; the decking over the neck area will be put in place during 37 52-hour-long weekends, during which two of the four
connecting tracks will be taken out of service at a time.
By the time the platform is finished in 2016, workers will have installed 25,000 tons of steel and 14,000 cubic yards of concrete.
The completed platform will weigh more than 35,000 tons, more than twice as much as the Brooklyn Bridge. It is being financed
with equity from Related, Oxford and Time Warner Inc. (lead tenant at 30 Hudson Yards) as well as a $250 million loan from
Deutsche Bank AG, according to a March 19 Bloomberg News article.
While it is a challenging engineering project, this platform isnt a first for New York City. In the early 20th century, the New York
Central Railroad built a similar type of deck over tracks north of Grand Central Terminal, upon which much of the nearby Park
Avenue neighborhood was built.

Related Links

Activate Your Lobby


In the commercial real estate and planning domains, vibrancy is a term often applied to street life but rarely to office lobbies.
Particularly in suburban settings, Class A office building lobbies tend to be grand and polished but also quiet and sometimes
intimidating.

South Korea's Smart Work Centers, by Citiscope


According to a Citiscope article, South Korean government workers already may be working in the office setup of the future. The
federal and municipal governments both operate smart work centers that enable employees to avoid long commutes at least
several days a week.

From the Archives: Development Ownership Articles from the Previous Issue

39
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Turner Completes New Yorks Largest Platform for


Brookfield

RELATED NEWS

4/1/2015

December 15, 2014

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Building Design and Construction's


Giants 300 List Recognizes Turner as
Top Contractor and Leader in the Use of
Building Information Modeling Tools
9/27/2013

Engineering News-Records Top 400


Contractors Recognizes Turner as
Largest Construction Firm in the United
States

Turner Construction Company, Brookfield Property Partners and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, proudly
lowered the final concrete span of a 2.6-acre super-block platform that completed Brookfields Manhattan
West Deck. This achievement marks a milestone for Brookfield, and sets the stage for the companys
seven-million-square-foot Manhattan West Development in New Yorks Hudson Yards District.
Constructed over an active rail hub, The Manhattan West Deck is the largest platform built in the New
York City area, said Turner vice president and project executive, Joseph Byrne. It covers 240 feet in
width and 480 feet in length, and is the only platform built directly over 16 active train tracks.
To accomplish this feat of engineering, Turner excavated 38,500 cubic yards of rock, poured 9,600 cubic
yards of concrete and erected 1,600 tons of recycled steel.
Rarely has a project of this magnitude run so smoothly, commented Dennis Friedrich, Brookfields Office
Division Chief Executive Officer. The decks completion is a true milestone in our project as well as in the
history of the State and City of New York. We have, after all, created new land on Manhattans West Side.
The deck weighs 38,400 tons, the equivalent of more than 150 loaded Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and is
comprised of 16 bridge spans that consist of 39 precast concrete segments. Each 58 ton section,
measuring 6 feet by 30 feet by 12 feet, was precast in Hamilton, New Jersey. Given their sheer size and
weight, they could only be delivered hours before they were to be installed. This just in time delivery
strategy required a comprehensive study of the traffic patterns in the area and a transportation plan that
would meet State and City agency standards. Ultimately, the segments were escorted over the George
Washington Bridge in the middle of the night (closed to local traffic during the crossing), and transported
down Eleventh Avenue to the job site between Ninth and Dyer Avenues and 31st and 33rd Streets.
Once on site, the segments were positioned into a straight line and fused together to create a single span,
using a series of post tension cables and a specially formulated epoxy. The completed spans were
lowered using a custom made launching gantry, during a 40-minute window from 2:40 AM to 3:20 AM
when the train electrical services were shut down. The 3,000-ton-capacity, 240-foot-wide gantry detects
position, speed, torque, and pressure to ensure precise positioning down to one eighth of an inch.

40
According to Sabrina Kanner, senior vice president of Design and Construction at Brookfield, the project
which began in January 2012, represents a momentous achievement. Design, construction and
development is a team sport, Kanner stated. Turner coordinated and scheduled us all, and led us over
the finish line.
With the last span lowered several weeks ago, the stage is now set for Brookfield to redefine New Yorks
Cityscape. The Manhattan West Deck will become the location of a two-acre, 90,000-square-foot public
plaza and a premier destination for events, art installations and performances. Designed by High Line
architects, James Corner Field Operations, the public plaza will serve as the center of the development,
bringing together an 800-unit luxury residential and a 3.8-million-square-foot premier commercial space
within two towers. As the first stage in Brookfields development, The Deck will unite commerce,
transportation, and recreation in a sustainable lifestyle environment that will fully and spectacularly realize
the potential of Manhattans West Side in the 21st century.
Turner is an Equal Opportunity Employer M/F.
All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to their
protected veteran status and will not be discriminated against on the basis of disability.

2015 Turner Construction Company. All Rights Reserved.

41

Inside the Brooklyn Factory Birthing NYC's New Micro Units


Monday, February 23, 2015, by Jessica Dailey

[All photos by Max Touhey <http://touheyphotography.com/> ]

Thousands of tiny apartments exist in New York City, but


small space seekers won't find what they're looking for in
new construction. Zoning laws enacted in 1987 prohibit
apartments from being less than 400 square feet, which is
much larger than what one can find in old tenements and
SRO buildings, but thanks to a new development rising at

KIPS BAY

335 East 27th Street, the city will get its first ever modern

335 EAST 27TH STREET

microdwellings. Called My Micro NY, the building is the

CAPSYS

product of a city-sponsored design competition

MICRO WEEK 2015

<http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2012/07/09/nyc_apartme

MICRODWELLINGS

nts_about_to_become_smaller_than_ever_before.php>

MONADNOCK DEVELOPMENT

inspired by the growing number of single New Yorkers

MY MICRO NY

living solo <http://chpcny.org/our-projects/single-

NARCHITECTS

person-households/> . Designed by nARCHITECTS and

PREFABULOUS

developed by Monadnock Development

TOP

<http://monadnockdevelopment.com/> , the building


will hold 55 studios, ranging from 260 to 360 square feet,
and consist of 66 prefabricated modules, which are
currently being constructed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

42

Each apartment is its own module, and features a Juliet balcony, wheelchairaccessible bathrooms, a closet, overhead storage, and a kitchenette with two
electric burners, an under-counter refrigerator, and an 18-inch dishwasher.
With 9'8" ceilings and large windows, the units actually feel quite spacious,
but a rooftop deck and common areas provide extra breathing room. The
building's steel structure is currently going up, and the modules will be
delivered to the site in June. Completion is set for late fall.

Twenty-two of the apartments will be affordable, and the market rate units
will likely rent for $2,000 to $3,000 a month, though project manager Tobias
Oriwol said that rents have not yet been determined. Monadnock mostly does

43

affordable housing projects, and this is the firm's first development with a
significant amount of market rate units (1 John Street
<http://ny.curbed.com/tags/one-john-street> , which they are codeveloping, is number two).

Oriwol said the project was attractive to Monadnock because it offered a


chance to do something out of the ordinary and inform new zoning laws.
"Even the [Request for Proposals] was different than most. It was much
more design-focused and discouraged different types of units." Since the
RFP weighed heavily on design, Monadnock chose to collaborate with
architects they'd never worked with before, nARCHITECTS. "We wanted a
young, creative firm," said Oriwol. The end result, a prefabricated modular
building, was another first for Monadnock Development.

44

The modules are being built by Capsys <http://www.capsyscorp.com/> , a


company that's been making modular buildings for nearly two decades in
their factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard's former foundry.

45

Chinese construction rm erects 57-storey


skyscraper in 19 days
Company claims to be worlds fastest builder after assembling Mini Sky City at a pace of three oors a
day
Associated Press in Changsha
Thursday 30 April 2015 05.46 EDT

A Chinese construction company is claiming to be the worlds fastest builder after erecting a
57-storey skyscraper in 19 working days in central China.
Broad Sustainable Building, a prefab construction rm, put up the rectangular, glass and
steel Mini Sky City in the Hunan provincial capital of Changsha, assembling three oors a
day using a modular method, the vice-president, Xiao Changgeng, said.
The company now has ambitions to assemble the worlds tallest skyscraper, at 220 oors, in
only three months.
It worked on Mini Sky City in two bursts interrupted by bad weather. Its time-lapse video of
the rapid build has become popular on Chinese video sharing sites since it was rst
uploaded to YouTube.
With the traditional method they have to build a skyscraper brick by brick, but with our
method we just need to assemble the blocks, the company engineer Chen Xiangqian said.
Modular methods have been used for high-rise apartment blocks elsewhere, including in
Britain and the US. Some critics say the method could lead to cityscapes with overly
uniform architecture.
Liu Peng, the associate director of the engineering consulting rm Arup Beijing, said the
method was worth developing because it could become a safe and reliable wa to build
skyscrapers quickly.
But it is not perfect, and it does not meet all kinds of personalised demands, Liu said.
People nowadays want more personalised architecture.
Mini Sky City has 19 atriums, 800 apartments and oce space for 4,000 people, with space
in the building going on sale in May. The structure is safe and can withstand earthquakes,
according to Xiao.
Broad Sustainable Building spent four and a half months fabricating the buildings 2,736

46

modules before construction began. The rst 20 oors were completed last year, and the
remaining 37 were built from 31 January to 17 February this year, Xiao said.
The company had honed its technology to speed up its construction from two oors to three
oors a day, he added. This is denitely the fastest speed in our industry.
The company is awaiting approval for its 220-oor building, called Sky City, which will also
be in Changsha.

Topics
China
Construction industry
Architecture
Skyscrapers
Engineering
Asia Pacic

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55

56

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60

61

INVENTORY OF
DECKING OPPORTUNITIES
OVER TRANSPORTATION PROPERTIES

September
2008

FINAL
REPORT

62

The preparation of this report was financed in part through funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration. This
document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The contents of this
report reflect the views of the author, who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect
the views or policies of the Federal Highway Administration, nor of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council. This report does not constitute a
standard, specification or regulation.

This study was funded by a matching grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration under the Unified Planning Work
Program, NYS PIN# PTCP06F00.01, 2006/2007 Program Year.

63

PART ONE: Project Overview and Findings

1: Project Description
1.1: Goals
1.2: Classification by Existing Corridor Use
1.3: Population Growth
1.4: Factors Not Considered and Opportunities for Further Study

2: Methodology
2.1: Development of Work Program
2.2: Initial Scoping and Identification of Potential Sites
2.3: Literature and Data Review
2.4: Development of Site Identification System
2.5: Field Work
2.6: Synthesis

3: Opportunities
3.1: Historical Framework
3.2: Accommodating Future Populations
3.3: Reuniting Communities
3.4: Economic Development and Tax Revenue
3.5: Mode-Appropriate Land Use
3.6: Flexibility for Public Facility Siting
3.7: Restoring Street Networks and Improving Transit Access
3.8: Noise and Air Pollution Reductions
3.9: Service Reliability and Reduced Weather Exposure for Corridor Users

4: Constraints
4.1: Upfront Capital Cost

16

17
17
17
18
18

19
19
19
19
19
19
20

21
21
22
23
24
24
25
25
27
28

29
29

Foreword
Executive Summary
Corridor Descriptions: A Users Guide

6
8
14

CONTENTS

64

5: Additional Considerations
5.1: Deck Creation Issues
5.2: Potential Factors Affecting the Viability of Decking

PART TWO: Corridor Descriptions


6.1: Transit and Railroad Open Cuts: Bronx
6.2: Transit and Railroad Open Cuts: Brooklyn
6.3: Transit and Railroad Open Cuts: Manhattan
6.4: Transit and Railroad Open Cuts: Queens
6.5: Transit and Railroad Open Cuts: Staten Island
6.6: Transit and Railroad Yards: Bronx
6.7: Transit and Railroad Yards: Brooklyn
6.8: Transit and Railroad Yards: Manhattan
6.9: Transit and Railroad Yards: Queens
6.10: Roadway Open Cuts: Bronx
6.11: Roadway Open Cuts: Brooklyn
6.12: Roadway Open Cuts: Manhattan
6.13: Roadway Open Cuts: Queens
6.14: Roadway Open Cuts: Staten Island

PART THREE: Appendices and Acknowledgements


Appendix A: Task 2 Literature Review
Appendix B: Glossary
Appendix C: A Brief Illustration of Potential Deck Configurations

Acknowledgements

33
33
33

35
36
88
123
138
180
199
213
233
239
260
329
361
383
455

463
464
489
491

493

Ongoing Deck Maintenance Costs


Short-Term Disruptions to Subgrade Road and Rail Operations
Viability of Supporting Columns in Road/Rail Beds
Ventilation, and Impact of Emissions on Overhead Land Uses
Parkland Ownership and Alienation
Erratic Topography
In-Ground Structures Exceeding Deck Plane
Security and Emergency Exits

4.2:
4.3:
4.4:
4.5:
4.6:
4.7:
4.8:
4.9:

29
29
29
29
30
31
32
32

65

In addition to the opportunities presented by the availability of unused development


rights located above transportation infrastructure, the report examines a number of the
general constraints associated with the use of such sites to accommodate future
population growth. However, this report does not recommend any particular location
for land use changes. Instead, it is meant to serve as a resource for future
consideration of how these sites might serve the needs of the citys residents.

This inventory is a first step towards identifying these potential land resources
citywide in order to understand how they might better serve the city. There are 83
transportation infrastructure sites described in this report, comprising nearly 1,000
acres of land, including sites over highways, rail lines and rail yards. Development of
any of the sites included in this inventory is likely to be a long-term planning project
and so this inventory is designed to be updated and modified as conditions in NYC
change over time.

In April, 2007, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, released PlaNYC, a sustainability plan


that outlined ways to accommodate a projected population growth of nearly one
million people by 2030, while improving both infrastructure and environmental
conditions. One of the proposals contained in the plan was to explore opportunities
to create new land by constructing decks over transportation infrastructure in order
to create new housing, public open space, and other uses. The plan also describes how
undeveloped land over transportation infrastructure offers numerous opportunities to
reknit the city's neighborhoods together. In terms of community participation,
PlaNYC states: As our search for land becomes more pressing in the coming
decades, we must be prepared to work with communities to explore the potential of
these sites.

This report is the final product of the Inventory of Decking Opportunities over
Transportation Properties project, a study conducted by the New York City
Department of City Planning. The purpose of this study is to create a draft inventory
of transportation corridors and rail yards in New York City that could accommodate
the construction of a deck at surface level.

FOREWORD

It is hoped that this report and subsequent updates will provide a basis for further
investigation into the use of these properties for the benefit of the surrounding
communities.

Identification of an appropriate program for site development;


Identification of appropriate uses for each location, given the sites
relationship to the surrounding neighborhood and to transportation networks;
Building consensus with stakeholders;
Analyses of soil and subsurface conditions;
Coordination with the transportation agency with jurisdiction over the right of
way, as well as other relevant agencies;
Design and engineering;
Cost analyses and securing the necessary financing for the project;
Obtaining all necessary governmental approvals and conducting a full public
review (e.g., CEQR, ULURP); and
Actual construction of both the deck and the overlying use.

Any plan for the future use of any of these sites would require extensive site-specific
analysis and coordination, including, but not limited to:

66

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67

Each site is unique in terms of its opportunities and challenges, and future planners
and policy-makers can use this as a resource as they examine the feasibility of
decking over transportation corridors and other properties.

Any proposal for surface uses within these corridors would have to be examined in
light of the specific conditions and context.

The inventory describes and graphically displays each corridor and yard. The
corridors and yards were divided into parcels based on existing breaks in
topography to provide a more nuanced view of each as a potential site for surface
uses. Surrounding zoned densities measured by a floor-to-area ratio (FAR) are
also included to provide context for an appropriate scale of uses along each corridor.

There are 83 transportation corridors included in this report.

Air rights are defined as the airspace immediately above (or below) a parcel of
lands primary use. For this study, that use is as a transportation corridor (road,
transit or long distance/commuter rail).

Introduction
This report is the final product of the Inventory of Decking Opportunities over
Transportation Properties project, a study conducted by the New York City
Department of City Plannings Transportation Division. The purpose of this study is
to create an inventory of transportation corridors in New York City that are
sufficiently below grade to permit the construction of a deck at surface level. In
addition, several of the citys rail yards, most of which are at or above grade, have
been included in this study.

EXECUTIVE
SUMMARY

Roadway Open Cuts:


o These sites have can have the great potential to reunite communities
divided during mid-20th century highway construction, but roadway
ventilation and the impact of vehicle emissions upon uses above the
roadway pose serious environmental and engineering challenges.
Parkland alienation would also be required along some rights-of-way.

Transit and Railroad Yards:


o Often exceptionally large, these sites encourage thinking big.
However, many yards are at or near street level, limiting seamless
integration with surrounding communities. Sub-deck ventilation is
also an issue, especially in the short to medium term.

Transit and Railroad Open Cuts:


o These can be ideal locations for transit-oriented uses, but physical
impediments such as midblock locations and lack of room for deck
supports can limit some parcels viability as potential deck sites.

Types of Transportation Corridors Included in This Report


Three different types of transportation facilities were inventoried for this study:

2. To provide policymakers and stakeholders with a summary of obstacles and


limitations to building upon specific types of sites.

This study has two goals:


1. To provide a complete inventory of all potentially usable properties over subgrade
transportation corridors and railyards within New York City

This report can be used by both public-sector policymakers and other decisionmakers looking for a comprehensive inventory of potential transportation air rights
sites.

68

6. Restoring Street Networks and Improving Transit Access


Many streets that once crossed the alignments described in this report either were not
rebuilt over the transportation corridor or never built. This disruption in the surface
roadway network warp traffic patterns, stymie bicycle and pedestrian movements, and
limit bus service.

2. Reuniting Communities
Many of NYCs highways, transit and rail lines physically divide the communities
surrounding them. While some of these corridors are wider and more conspicuous
than others, most of them have resulted in reduced connectivity between opposite
sides of highways or rail cuts, since not all cross streets were rebuilt (or even built in
the first place) once the open cut was built. Decking over such cuts offers
opportunities to repair these gaps, improve surface circulation for pedestrians,
bicyclists and motorists, and foster more cohesive communities with a better-defined
sense of place.

3. Economic Development and Tax Revenue


The airspaces above transportation corridors are an untapped potential source of
economic development or revitalization for many communities. Because these

5. Flexibility for Public Facility Siting


As the Citys population increases, demands for neighborhood-specific city facilities
schools, hospitals, community centers, parks and recreation, police precincts, and
firehouses will grow at the same time that less and less available space exists on
which them. The corridors contained in this report provide an inventory of space that
could be used to provide these necessary public services.

In April of 2007, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled PlaNYC, A Greener, Greater New York,
a compendium of 127 initiatives created to sustainably provide for the land, water,
transportation, energy and air quality needs of the City through 2030. The prospect of
decking over transportation properties appears as Housing Initiative 8. As our
search for land becomes more pressing in the coming decades, the report states, we
must be prepared to work with communities to explore the potential of these sites.

This inventory will provide a list at each corridor of surface streets that can
potentially be created (or in some cases restored) over corridors. Whether they
should be created or partially reconnected with pedestrian overpasses is a question
that would require more study and discussion at the neighborhood level.

4. Mode-Appropriate Land Use


In recent years, NYCDCP has emphasized the importance of neighborhood rezonings
that are sensitive to the scale and proportion of each existing neighborhood. At the
same time, these rezonings have often encouraged higher densities along and adjacent
to transit in order to help meet the citys growth projections. Open cuts along rail and
highway properties may offer opportunities for transit-oriented development.

highways and rail routes run below grade, many neighborhoods have unused space
upon which new surface uses could be created if it is economically or qualitatively
desirable. By creating a destination on what is effectively an open parcel of land
whether for housing, businesses, offices, entertainment, cultural institutions,
education facilities, or parkland adjacent blocks can benefit. Surrounding property
values can increase. Even if a park or non-revenue-generating use takes up all or part
of a deck and doesnt generate revenue on the deck itself, that use might boost the
assessed valuations of adjacent blocks and properties while improving the quality of
life of adjoining communities.

Such population growth has policy implications. In rapidly growing areas,


transportation alignments that are sufficiently subgrade for decking could be explored
as sites for residential or commercial needs, or for siting city services schools,
parks, public health and safety facilities that must be located in specific
neighborhoods

1. Accommodating Population Growth


NYCDCPs Population Division expects the Citys population to increase by 1.1
million people between 2000 and 2030, but not uniformly across all neighborhoods.
According to NYCDCPs 2006 report, New York City Population Projections by
Age/Sex and Borough 2000-2030, the projected population of 9.1 million in 2030
will be a new population peak for NYC.

The Potential of Air Rights over Transportation Corridors


Air rights over transportation corridors can be used to meet several of the Citys
needs:

69

10

2. Ongoing Deck Maintenance Costs


Once the deck is built, it needs to be maintained. While initial maintenance costs
would be minimal, they would gradually mount as age and weather take their tolls.

1. Upfront Capital Cost


Decking over a transportation corridor can be very expensive. High upfront costs
push up the scale of air rights uses. Constructing a deck, which may include
retrofitting the road- or railbed below to create space for support columns, or
providing adequate ventilation and lighting for the newly-created tunnel, add expense
to such a project. The cost of decking could mean that either public subsidies or high
densities would be needed in order to make such a project economically feasible.

Limitations of Air Rights over Transportation Corridors


Several factors economic, physical and political may limit the ability to fully
realize the potential of air rights over transportation properties. This chapter explores
these.

8. Service Reliability and Reduced Weather Exposure for Corridor Users


Decking over a road or rail corridor limits exposure of the underlying use to the
elements, reducing maintenance costs for road and rail agencies alike. For drivers,
these decks can provide respites to driving in severe weather. New York City Transit
would also benefit from have more outdoor portions its system enclosed. When
severe weather strikes especially snowstorms NYCT stores as many vehicles into
its tunnels as possible, often halting express service so that trains can be stored on
these tracks. Severe weather can also truncate train service in outdoor areas
especially on embankments and open cuts, where snow cannot fall through the open
deck of an elevated trestle. Covering over train yards and open cuts could therefore
reduce the impact of these major weather events.

7. Noise and Air Pollution Reductions


Pollution is a constant issue for those who live or work next to road and rail corridors,
but the type, consistency and intensity of the pollution varies by mode. Decking can
greatly reduce noise levels in the surrounding community, and can channel air
pollution into particulate filter traps and ventilation shafts, potentially improving
neighborhood quality of life, but mitigation costs and the ultimate disposition of
exhaust are crucial issues which would need to be addressed.

5. Ventilation
Any substantial enclosure of an open cut or yard would probably require ventilation.
For highways, under free-flowing traffic conditions, combined decks and overpasses
can generally be up to 500 feet long before mechanical ventilation is needed, since
free-flowing traffic pulls air in and propels it out at shorter lengths. However, no
uniform standards exist in the United States pertaining to how long a tunnel must be
before ventilation is required, but at locations with chronically congested traffic, the
distance required before ventilation is needed may be far shorter than 500 feet, since
idling vehicles pollute more while circulating air less.

Since many transportation facilities, including the Coney Island Yards, were built on
swampland, test borings would be needed to definitively determine how deep and
strong any supports must be at individual sites.

Retrofitting existing road or rail uses to provide room for deck supports can be a
lengthy, costly, disruptive process, especially if the right-of way in that location is too
narrow to allow tracks or a road to be moved. If adjacent propertied abut the corridor,
widening it to provide support columns might become nearly impossible.

4. Viability of Supporting Columns in Road/Rail Beds


With the exception of Grand Central Terminal and isolated anomalies like Newkirk
Plaza in Brooklyn, most prewar right-of way construction did not set aside space
specifically for support columns. At most locations where transportation rights-ofway were created, it was not anticipated that a deck would ever be built.

3. Short-Term Disruptions to Subgrade Road and Rail Operations


Building a deck over the road or rail corridor may require temporary closures or
reroutings affecting the highway or rail right-of-way. Traffic may have to be moved
to alternate tracks within the same alignment, rerouted to another alignment
altogether, or in the case of rail rescheduled to allow uninterrupted access to the deck
during off-peak hours. There may be costs to the owner/operator of the transportation
corridor for providing the personnel and equipment needed to safely divert or slow
down traffic in the construction area.

Eventually, parts of the deck may need to be replaced entirely an expensive


proposition made moreso by the need to maintain the flow of traffic below.

70

Ibid.

DCP Counsels interpretation of alienation, December 2007.

7. Erratic Topography
Not all roadways, yards, or rail corridors are surrounded by level land. A dramatic
example is the FDR Drive on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where buildings
flush with street level on the west are built atop the highway, with the East River
immediately to the east.
Federal Highway Airspace Guidelines require a minimum clearance of 16 feet, 6
inches above highway grade, but standards for railroads and transit are less uniform;
consultation with owners and operators of those corridors would be needed to
determine an acceptable deck ceiling.

Unless a deck were to be built only over the area immediately above the highway and
leave the surrounding green space open, at least some parkland would probably have
to be alienated. Even if the peripheral parkland were to be regarded in place without
destroying its trees and plant life, the question of whether such an act is alienation
would need to be addressed.2 Incorporating substitute parkland into the deck plan
could be considered since new surface parkland yields more usable recreational space
for surrounding communities. Currently, almost none of the green space in an open
cut surrounding one of these roadways is open to the public, either for passive or
active recreation, making any public access an improvement.

Expressway alignment ownership is simpler. NYSDOT owns and maintains all of the
Citys expressways, while NYCDPR owns and maintains the surrounding parkland.

Further complicating the alienation issue is the fact that a patchwork of entities own
and/or maintain most parkway corridors. For example, the Grand Central Parkway
roadbed is owned by New York State, but the adjacent green space is owned by
NYCDPR. The Belt Parkway is entirely owned by Parks, but NYCDOT is
responsible for road maintenance. Any entity which wishes to deck over stretches of
subgrade parkway would be confronted with this inconsistent and ambiguous land
ownership scenario.

explains how to determine whether a park is alienable, and how to bring an alienation
from the idea stage to the legislative one.

6. Parkland Ownership and Alienation


As an inventory, this report is not making recommendations to deck over rights-ofway in mapped parkland. It is important to note, however that much of the green
open space alongside the Citys expressways and highways, highway medians, and
parcels along a smaller number of rail/transit corridors are officially parkland, which
must undergo alienation proceedings via the New York State Legislature in order to
be turned over to non-park uses. Parkland alienation usually demands or requires
substitute parkland to be created of equal or greater a) fair market value, b) size,
and/or c) potential recreational usefulness. However, there is generally some latitude
in requiring that all three of these criteria for substitute parkland be met. In April
2005, the State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation published a
revised Handbook on the Alienation and Conversion of Municipal Parkland, which

While basic ventilation (exclusive of fire protection standards) for newly-enclosed


subgrade commuter rail or transit alignments could be achieved through standard
sidewalk grates, adequate ventilation and noise reduction over vehicular open cuts
can be difficult to achieve. The Bridge Apartments, consisting of four 32-story 240unit apartments which straddle the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in Washington
Heights, were built at the same time the expressway opened. The constant noise and
exhaust have been problematic for the Bridge Apartments residents. A 2004 New
York Times article reported that, If the windows are open, the noise is most
deafening on the middle floors, and people inside find that they need to raise their
voices to hold a conversation or talk on the phone. The winds carry vehicle exhaust
upward, which is especially noticeable on the terraces.1 The Bridge Apartments
vividly demonstrate both the promise and perils of residential development above
highways.

The closest thing to a consensus on the subject may be a set of standards published by
the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA 502: Standard for Road Tunnels,
Bridges and Other Limited Access Highways, has become the industry standard for
tunnel ventilation.. Tunnels more than 90 meters long (or about 295 feet) are required
to meet some ventilation, safety and fire safety standards. This report will use the
NFPA 90-meter standard, as a threshold for what constitutes a tunnel. However,
each tunnel location is different; there is no one size fits all ventilation application.

71

12

Additional Factors
1. Expense and Risk
Decking to create land is a high cost and high risk venture. Current research indicates
that construction costs for decks range nationally from $300/sf to $700/sf. In addition
to the costs of deck construction, air-rights acquisition and building construction costs
must be added, affecting the number, shape and size of sites in New York City where
decking may prove to be practical.

9. Security and Emergency Exits


Ensuring adequate security features and emergency evacuation egresses must also be
considered in deck creation. Evacuations and traffic diversions will be easier in an
open cut than in a tunnel, and security issues will likely be less complicated in an
open trench. Retrofitting of the cut to provide emergency entrance and exit points is
crucial, and may significantly contribute to garnering legislative or fiduciary support
for a decking project.

8. In-Ground Structures Exceeding Deck Plane


Railyards and transportation corridors often have support structures within their
roadbeds, such as substations, utility and catenary lines and supports, storage rooms,
maintenance facilities, and light or radio towers. Sometimes these structures are tall
enough to rise above the surrounding surface plane. For the potential air rights use,
this could cause problems. It may be necessary to replace such facilities or make
design adjustments (such as incorporating these facilities into the deck surface plan)
in order to make deck construction possible where in-ground structures exceed the
deck plane.

One or more locations along the deck perimeter must be able to connect with the
street level, or close enough to the street level or adjacent properties, for a parcel to be
included in this report. If the deck is large enough to accommodate automobiles and
does not preclude their use, at least one perimeter location should be both flush with
the surface and wide enough to carry at least one traffic lane in each direction. Very
large decks ones that are large enough to provide streets upon would need
vehicular access points at multiple locations along the perimeter, unless vehicles are
specifically restricted from the deck. Ramps may be needed to convey vehicles
between sizable vertical gaps, but will need to be of a sufficiently gentle grade to
allow trucks and buses to easily reach the deck if their presence is anticipated.

d. Effect upon abutting properties. The potential for decking over


transportation rights-of-way needs to be evaluated in the context of how the land uses
upon such decks would affect adjoining properties. Such land uses could enhance the
vitality of an area but could also raise issues of congestion or access to light and air.

c. Impact on existing green open space or parkland. Maintaining and


increasing green open space is an important component of PlaNYC and New York
Citys future development and sustainability goals, but some rights-of-way sit nestled
at the bottom of sloped and often wooded embankments. These cuts may present
problems because, while wooded embankments and parkland alongside rights-of-way
are not usable as active parkland, such spaces do constitute part of the limited stock of
parkland. In some cases, especially along vehicular rights-of-way like parkways,
alienation of parkland may also be necessary. Alienation requires approval of the
State Legislature and is required even if the parkland is not accessible to the public.

b. Proximity to subway or other high-volume public transit system. Locating


new air rights uses close to mass transit provides the opportunity to encourage access
to the site that does not depend on cars, thus reducing congestion and pollution. This
is in keeping with the Citys 2030 housing and environmental goals.

2. External Factors
All sites within the inventory could be affected by one or more of the following
external factors, related to the particular location of a transportation property with air
rights:
a. Current and/or surrounding zoning. Buildings constructed over
transportation rights-of-way are often large and tall in order to minimize the cost of
footings and decking and to provide sufficient revenue to justify the investment
required. However, proposals for such structures need to be evaluated in the context
of the communities in which they would be built. All such buildings need not be
contextual but would have to be carefully studied and evaluated for its
appropriateness at its specific location.

Some degree of government subsidy (tax breaks, land write-downs, reduced air rights
prices, bonus FAR or other subsidies) may be necessary for the creation of decks over
the Citys transportation corridors and yards to be financially viable in many
locations.

72

e. Sufficient access to and from the surrounding areas. While most rights-ofway that run in, or directly next to, existing streets have ample access points, those
that run through blocks often raise problems. For example, in Brooklyn, many rail
right-of-ways run lengthwise through the middle of residential blocks (see Figure E-2
above), as opposed to laterally (Figure E-1). Access to the transportation right-ofway, except at the end of each block, would be severely limited. Decking and
construction above the end parcels might be feasible and possibly desirable in areas
with commercial overlays, but interior development would most likely not.

Figure E-2: A right-of-way running lengthwise through the


middle of a block.

Figure E-1 A right-of-way cut laterally through a block.

The inventory is meant to be a resource for land use planners that can be updated and
modified as conditions in NYC change over time. The descriptions of opportunities
and constraints are meant to inform decision makers of general issues surrounding
decking over specific transportation corridors. Any particular site being considered
for development would require an in-depth, site-specific analysis of geological
conditions, surrounding land uses, transportation impacts and community and
environmental issues that are not covered in this report.

Structure of This Document and Intended Uses of This Inventory


This document consists of three parts. Part I (Chapters 1-5) provides a detailed
description of the inventorys methodology, historical context, and the opportunities
and constraints associated with decking over transportation properties. Part II
(Chapter 6) is the inventory itself, comprised of 83 transportation corridors
throughout the City that could conceivably have their airspace decked over. Part III
contains the Literature Review, which describes examples of transportation corridor
decking in NYC and other cities. Part III also includes a glossary, illustrations of
potential deck configurations, and acknowledgements.

Additional access problems may occur when the parcel(s) in question are at or above
grade a situation that arises with some subway and rail yards throughout the City.
While decking over these yards may be viable, it would be wholly or partly on a
raised deck, meaning that any access to the parcel itself would have to come via
stairways, elevators, or ramps to and from street level.

73

14

8%

6%

3%

3%

1%

7%

2%

21%

3%

2%

44%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K01

LAND USE

K01:

41%

1%

2%

56%
FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K01

ZONING

PROSPECT EXPRESSWAY:
WEST OF 5TTHH AVENUESOUTH OF CATON AVENUE

Pie chart showing percentage


of land use by type within
mile of corridor

Land use map of all lots within


mile of corridor parcels

Pie chart showing maximum


allowable zoned FAR by tax lot
within mile of corridor

Zoning map of all lots within


mile of corridor parcels

Parcel corridor number and


route description

Corridor Descriptions: A Users Guide

74

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the Department of Parks and Recreation has partial or complete ownership of
the parcels along this corridor. In addition, although this corridor is part of the Citys expressway system, vegetation and/or Parks property abuts the
roadway at parcels K0100, K0101, K0103, K0104, K0105, K0106, K0107, K0110 and K0111. Therefore, any attempt to deck over these locations
would likely require parkland alienation. Parts of parcels K0103 and K0104 also appear to have been landscaped.

OWNERSHIP

K0102: 950 feet


K0106: 820 feet

K0103: 870 feet


K0107: 440 feet

0.27

NY27: W. of 5th Avenue

NY27: 5th Avenue-6th Avenue

NY27: 6th Avenue-7th Avenue

NY27: 7th Avenue-8th Avenue pedestrian overpass

NY27: 8th Avenue pedestrian overpass-Prospect Park West

NY27: Prospect Park West-10th Avenue pedestrian overpass

NY27: 10th Avenue pedestrian overpass-11th Avenue

NY27: 11th Avenue-Seeley Street

NY27:S. of Seeley Street

NY27: Fort Hamilton Parkway-expressway entrance

NY27: expressway entrance-Caton Avenue

NY27: S. of Caton Avenue

K0100

K0101

K0102

K0103

K0104

K0105

K0106

K0107

K0108

K0110

K0111

K0112

0.19

1.48

0.20

0.20

1.13

2.92

2.97

3.11

3.09

1.75

2.26

Size (acres)

Parcel Name
Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

NY27 (Prospect Expressway)

Existing Corridor Uses

R7A, SPD-OP

R7A, SPD-OP

R6, R7A, R8B, SPD-OP

R5, R5B

R5, R5B

R5, R5B

R5B (C2-4,M-1-1,R5
adj)
R5, R5B (C2-4 adj)

R5B (M-1-1 adj)

R6B

C2-4, R6B

C2-4, R6B

Surrounding zoning

(Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are
counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

K0101: 870 feet


K0105: 830 feet

A full deck over the roadway at the following parcels of combinations of parcels would exceed 295 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the highway below would be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Locations with a long history of
slow-moving traffic may need mechanical facilities or emergency ventilation at shorter intervals than 295 feet. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below:

VENTILATION

K0100: 160 feet


K0104: 830 feet
K0108: 140 feet

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
K0110: The deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to part of a pedestrian underpass within adjacent parkland.

TOPOGRAPHY

Parcels K0100, K0101 and K0102 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal
protections requiring sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Parkland exists immediately adjacent to both sides of parcel K0102 at surface level, but none was evident within the expressway trench itself. A deck
here would have to take into consideration these surrounding park properties, especially if there is a desire to remap 17th Street through the deck.

This corridor sits atop New York State Route 27, known here as the Prospect Expressway. The expressway passes through what is increasingly coming
to be known as the South Slope, followed to the southeast by Windsor Terrace and the northern edge of Kensington. From west of 5th Avenue to south
of Seeley Street, the expressway is in a trench for just over one mile one of the longer continuous subgrade highway segments in the City.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS


17TH Street, 8th Avenue, 10th Avenue, Terrace Place.

Parcel K0103, looking west


from the 8th Avenue pedestrian
overpass towards 7th Avenue

Description and map of potentially


connecting streets

Parcel-by-parcel breakdown of adjacent streets or


rail lines, size (in acres), underlying uses, and
surrounding/adjacent zoning

General description of corridor,


plus information about corridor ownership,
topography and ventilation

75

16

Each site is unique in terms of its opportunities and challenges, and future public
sector policymakers and decisionmakers can use this as a resource as they examine
the feasibility of decking over transportation corridors and other properties.

This inventory can be used by both public-sector policymakers and other decisionmakers looking for a comprehensive inventory of potential transportation air rights.

Air rights are defined as the airspace immediately above (or below) a parcel of
lands primary use. For this study, that use is as a transportation corridor (road,
transit or long distance/commuter rail). For most parcels considered in the inventory,
the actual envelope needed to allow for the safe clearance of the road or rail traffic
below ranges from around 16 to 24 feet above the roadway surface or base of rail.
The airspace above this envelope could be available for decking.

The inventory describes and graphically displays each corridor and yard. The
corridors and yards were divided into parcels based on existing breaks in
topography to provide a more nuanced view of each as a potential deck site.
Surrounding zoned densities measured by a floor-to-area ratio (FAR) are also
included to provide context for an appropriate scale of uses along each corridor. Any
proposal for land uses within these corridors would have to be examined in light of
the specific conditions and context.

This report is the final product of the Inventory of Decking Opportunities over
Transportation Properties project, a study conducted by the New York City
Department of City Plannings Transportation Division (NYCDCPTD). The purpose
of this study is to create an inventory of transportation corridors in New York City
that are sufficiently below grade to permit the construction of a deck at surface level.
In addition, several of the citys rail yards, most of which are at or above grade, have
been included in this study.

PART ONE: Project Overview and Findings

76

1.2: Classification by Existing Corridor Use


In general, each corridor can be placed into one of three categories based upon
underlying transportation use. While each of these uses presents unique challenges
and opportunities, building upon transit and railroad open cuts particularly those
which supply passenger service best conforms to the goal of sustainable
development since building near rail or transit access points reduces the need for
automobile dependency.

1.1: Goals
This study has two goals:
1. To provide a complete inventory of all potentially deckable properties over
subgrade transportation corridors and railyards within New York City. For
the purposes of this study, subgrade means that the right-of-way in question
is sufficiently below surface level to permit decking over without impinging
upon the alignments minimum required vertical clearance for vehicles or
trains. Conversely, any location that has the potential to be decked over must
be virtually flush with the surface-level topography along at least a portion of
one of its edges, railyards excepted. The primary goal of this study is to
provide both public and private stakeholders with a reference tool that can be
used to make informed decisions about deckable sites above transportation
corridors. The full summary of potentially deckable parcels can be found in
Chapter 6.
2. To provide policymakers and stakeholders with a summary of obstacles and
limitations to building upon specific sites. These obstacles and limitations
include physical conditions such as: existing topography or development
which could restrict unfettered access to new land uses upon decks;
insufficient room for the placement of deck support columns; or the presence
of buildings, power stanchions or other obstacles that might break the surface
plane. In addition, political and legal limitations surrounding multiple
ownership and jurisdiction, and the requirement that land under Parks
Department jurisdiction must undergo State level alienation proceedings
and remediation for the loss of parkland, are also taken into account. Chapter
4, Constraints discusses these factors in more detail.

1: PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Roadway Open Cuts:


o Provide great potential for reuniting communities divided during mid20th century construction
o However, significant environmental issues would accompany decking,
from roadway ventilation to impact of vehicle emissions upon uses
above the roadway.
o It is likely that parkland alienation would be required along some
expressway and most parkway parcels if decks were to be built across
entire rights-of-way.

Transit and Railroad Yards:


o Often large, wide sites which provide the potential for the City to
think big and plan on a comprehensive scale.
o Some yards or parts of yards are at or near street level, greatly limiting
the ability to seamlessly integrate potential deck uses into the
surrounding community.
o While train and railcar emissions are low and getting lower, some
potential decks would need to accommodate diesel-powered
maintenance-of-way vehicles, at least in the short- to medium-term
future.

Transit and Railroad Open Cuts:


o Ideal locations for transit-oriented land uses.
o Provide great potential for reuniting communities divided during mid20th century construction
o However, some parcels are located midblock, abutting residential
backyards.
o Room may not exist for deck supports within roadbed at all locations
within a corridor.

The three kinds of corridors which appear in this report are:

77

101,510

4.1

2,566,836

61,375

2.4

2,628,211

90,756

3.5

2,718,967

253,641

10.3

5.1

1,401,194

19,083

1.4

1,420,277

36,762

2.6

1,457,039

124,389

9.3

18.8

289,352

1,826,547

5.6

97,017

1,729,530

4.0

66,829

1,662,701

8.2

125,506

Brooklyn Manhattan
2,465,325 1,537,195

68,544

Bronx
1,332,650

15.1

335,973

2,565,352

7.0

168,403

2,396,949

5.1

117,275

2,279,674

2.3

50,295

Queens
2,229,379

4.9

393,935

3.5

290,351

4.9

427,247

24.4

13.9

108,178 1,111,533

551,906 9,119,811

6.6

34,309

517,597 8,692,564

5.2

25,789

491,808 8,402,213

10.8

48,080

TOTAL
Staten I.
443,728 8,008,278

18

Such population growth has policy implications. In rapidly growing areas, or in areas
where growth is desirable, transportation alignments that are sufficiently subgrade for

NYCDCPs Population Division expects the Citys population to increase by 1.1


million people between 2000 and 2030, but not uniformly across all neighborhoods.
According to NYCDCPs 2006 report, New York City Population Projections by
Age/Sex and Borough 2000-2030, the projected population of 9.1 million in 2030
will be a new population peak for NYC.

1.3: Population Growth


The rapidly changing population and demography of New York Citys neighborhoods
makes careful consideration of all sites essential.

2000
00-10
growth
00-10 %
change
2010
10-20
growth
10-20 %
change
2020
20-30
growth
20-30 %
change
2030
00-30
change
00-30 %
growth

Table 1: Projected Total New York City Population by Borough,


2000-2030

1.4: Factors Not Considered and Opportunities for Further Study


Several elements concerning uses or dispositions of the parcels are beyond the scope
of this study. What follows is a short list what this study does not set out to achieve:
It does not recommend specific development or land use policies.
It does not negate the potential for any site to be decked over.
It does not assume radical alterations in surrounding topography for the
purposes of making all or part of a deck flush with adjacent land.
It does not presume what surrounding communities want or need. While a
basic assumption of this report is that these alignments often have divided the
communities surrounding them, planning for any of these sites would need the
participation of the adjoining communities.

decking could be explored as sites for additional residential and commercial needs.
Decks could also be used for siting city services schools, parks, public health and
safety facilities that must be located in specific neighborhoods.

78

2.4: Development of Site Identification System


This study employs an alphanumeric five-digit identifier for each parcel.
following site number provides an example:

The Literature Review is included as Appendix A of this Final Report.


The

2.3: Literature and Data Review


In an effort to acquire a broader knowledge base about the air rights land use process
over transportation corridors, a Literature Review was undertaken, and completed in
February 2007. The review was split into three chapters:
1. Examples in New York City reviews case studies of previous decking
efforts within the City.
2. Examples from Other Cities in the United States reviews previous decking
efforts that have occurs outside New York City but within the United States.
3. General Principles and Technical Aspects provides a broad overview of the
theory and engineering behind building a deck over a transportation corridor,
along with public policy considerations.

2.2: Initial Scoping and Identification of Potential Sites


An initial first cut of potential sites was assembled based upon a combination of
aerial photos and knowledge of several of the potential sites. Aerial images of the
entire city were then analyzed to identify features such as a preponderance of
overpasses along a specific section of road or railway. Field visits were then
conducted to determine the viability of all potential sites for airspace decking.

2.1: Development of Work Program


The framework for accomplishing this projects aims included refining the studys
goals and parameters; creating a uniform set of elements such as size, existing use,
surrounding land use, and others by which each parcel would be measured;
determining the limits of the literature and data search; developing a site inventory;
and synthesizing the data into the final document.

2 : METHODOLOGY

Rail yards also have distinct numbers. For quick reference, the corridor numbers are grouped by use:
01-29: roads
30-59: transit facilities (50-59: subway yards)
60-89: railroad facilities (80-89: railroad yards)

2.5: Field Work


Between August 2006 and February 2007 (with additional work in June 2007), every
site described in this report was visited. Notes were taken about each parcel, and 501
out of the 511 parcels contained in this report were photographed. This field work
provided a qualitative, on-the-ground assessment of existing conditions surrounding
each parcel. Some sites, which seemed viable from existing aerial photography, were
eliminated from the inventory upon field work inspections; conversely, field work site
inspections also revealed deckable properties which aerial views did not.

This study does not use block and lot numbers to identify the parcels analyzed in this
inventory because not all parcels are coterminous with blocks and lots, some straddle
two or more lots, some do not cover an entire lot, and other parcels have never been
assigned an official tax lot number.

12 is the parcel number. Parcel numbers start with 00 and generally increase as
the corridor radiates outward from the central business district. Often a discontinuity
such as undeckable land in the middle of a corridor, or land that has already been
decked over result in some parcel numbers being skipped over. Diverging routes
within a corridor also have parcel numbers grouped together.

07 is the corridor number. All parcels that fall within a relatively continuous
stretch of the same highway, rail or transit corridor are identified with the same
corridor number.3

Q stands for the parcels borough. (B=Bronx, K=Brooklyn, M=Manhattan,


Q=Queens, S=Staten Island).

Q0712

79

20

2.6: Synthesis
The final set of parcels was then mapped, and the field notes for each parcel written
up. Chapter 6, which makes up the bulk of this report, provides a full inventory of
each corridor. Using GIS software, the zoning designations located within mile of
each parcel within a corridor were then mapped. Data summarizing this zoning
information was tabulated, as well as information about the density of permissible
development surrounding the corridors.

80

Major reconstructions of commuter rail segments such as the LIRR Atlantic Division occurred into
the 1940s, and stand-alone projects such as the just-completed Jamaica station rehabilitation still occur
today. However, completion of what is now Amtraks Hell Gate Line in 1916-1917 more or less
marked the end of new commuter and long-distance rail right-of-way acquisition in the City until the
LIRR East Side Access Project, which is now under construction.
5
Joseph Cunningham and Leonard DeHart, A History of the New York City Subway System, Part II:
Rapid Transit in Brooklyn, 1977; pp. 9-10
6
http://www.dot.state.ny.us/fedd/gradex.html
7
One grade crossing on todays L (Canarsie) Line managed to survive until 1973, and a grade crossing
survives today immediately west of the LIRR Port Washington Branchs Little Neck station.

Between 1862 and 1879, steam excursion railroads especially those in Kings
County were built mostly at ground level.5 However, by the early 1900s increasing
urbanization compelled the New York State Legislature to set up the Brooklyn Grade
Crossing Elimination Commission to either elevate or entrench rail lines in Brooklyn
and Queens.6 Most of their work was completed between 1904 and 1920; these
routes now make up all or part of NYCTs Brighton, Canarsie, Culver, Sea Beach and
West End subway lines.7 Similarly, todays MTA Staten Island Railway can trace its
roots to 1860; piecemeal grade crossing eliminations up through the late 1960s
gradually made the SIRs sole remaining active route entirely grade-separated.
Lastly, an additional railroad the New York, Westchester and Boston operated
between 1912 and 1937 in the Bronx and Westchester; in 1941 the Bronx portion was
rechristened the Dyre Avenue Line and became part of the subway system. It is also
grade separated.

3.1: Historical Framework


Between approximately 1835 and 1975, the present-day City of New York was
crisscrossed with numerous major transportation arteries designed to convey people
rapidly over great distances. Starting around 1835 with the Long Island Rail Road
and the New York and Harlem (later the New York Central) Railroad, construction
began on todays commuter and long-distance rail networks. Although largely
complete by 19174, modifications and improvements to these rights-of-way continued
for decades afterward.

3: OPPORTUNITIES

The newer sections of the subway system, mostly opened or converted to transit use
between 1932 and 1958, avoided the issues of grade crossings from the outset. Lines
not retrofitted from existing surface or elevated lines were largely built in tunnels or

For railroads, the grade crossing eliminations resulted in improved operations, since
more frequent train service could now be run without effectively shutting down cross
streets for most of the day. The depressed rights-of-way undoubtedly improved
vehicle and pedestrian safety at ground level, but also created swaths of land which
were no longer developable. However, since much open land surrounded many of
these rail lines well into the 20th century, this may not have been a major concern at
the time.

Most of these commuter rail and transit routes were laid out through what was then
farmland, but as more and more adjacent properties were developed, grade crossings
were eliminated by elevating, depressing, or placing the existing railroads in tunnels.

Plaque commemorating the 1904-1908 Brighton Line grade crossing elimination project,
Newkirk Avenue stationhouse

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22

Over 30 years after its publication, the definitive account of this story remains Robert Caros The
Power Broker (1974), particularly the chapters The Meat Ax and One Mile

New York City has several reasons to compile such an inventory, described below.

Whether it be road, long-distance rail or transit, eliminating grade crossings means


one of three things: placing of the right-of-way in a tunnel, depressing it into a
subgrade open cut, or elevation. Since open cuts provide the greatest untapped
potential for returning viable uses to the street level and restoring coherency and unity
to a torn City fabric, this study will primarily concern itself with creating an inventory
of parcels located above these open cuts, to see what can be decked over and built
upon. Additionally, this study will inventory all existing rail yards over which
decking can occur, whether they are below, at or above grade. An exception to the
subgrade transportation corridor rule was made for rail yards because of their large
size and unused air rights.

on viaducts; and no new revenue track was laid which had a grade crossing. Several
large subway storage and maintenance yards were also built throughout Brooklyn,
Queens, Manhattan and the Bronx. While most of these are at grade, untapped
potential above their lands still exists at many of these yards.
By the time the Citys era of limited-access highway building was in full swing a
period roughly between 1934 and 1975 New York City was far more developed
than it had been during the previous eras of major transportation artery construction.
Most of the highway building of the period was under the aegis of Robert Moses, and
despite some novel approaches to circumventing private property (such as the threetiered Brooklyn-Queens Expressway/Brooklyn Heights Promenade), thousands of
residents and businesses were displaced as new highways were built at, above or
below grade through existing heavily-populated neighborhoods.8 This had a
profound impact on affected communities and the City as a whole. Many
communities arguably benefited from improved vehicular access, but at the costs of
physically divided neighborhoods and reduced surface travel flexibility, since not
every road that had originally traversed a new highways right-of-way was rebuilt.
Additionally, unlike railroads and subways, the noise coming from a highway was
constant, as was the pollution.

This figure is over 36,000 people more than the original U.S. Census Bureau estimate, but was
successfully challenged by the City using DCP estimates. See
http://nyc.gov/html/dcp/pdf/census/detailed_narrative_2006.pdf
10
NYCDCP projects a 2030 population of over 9,119,000.
11
PlaNYC: A Greener, Greater New York. The City of New York, 2007, pp.20-25

Decking, however, is the focus of Initiative 8, decking over railyards, rail lines and
highways. Besides mentioning Hudson Yards, PlaNYC mentions Sunnyside Yards
(corridor Q80 in this report), the Staten Island Ferry terminal at St. George (S01), the
railyards at the southern edge of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn (K31), the BQE
Hicks Street Cut (K03), and the Gowanus Expressway in Bay Ridge (K02) as

New York City has recently attempted to address these long-term issues in a
thorough, comprehensive way. In April of 2007, Mayor Bloomberg unveiled
PlaNYC, A Greener, Greater New York, a compendium of 127 initiatives created to
sustainably provide for the land, water, transportation, energy and air quality needs of
the City through 2030. Of the 12 initiatives specifically addressing housing, four of
them coincide or overlap with what decking can accomplish. Initiative 1 is to pursue
transit-oriented development, Initiative 4 seeks to expand co-locations with other
government agencies, and Initiative 6 seeks to develop underused areas to knit
neighborhoods together.11

New York City has sufficient capacity to accommodate growth through 2030.
However, as property is adapted for higher-density uses and remaining available land
becomes more scarce, it will be necessary to replenish the supply of buildable sites to
moderate the upward pressure on land prices.

3.2: Accommodating Future Populations


The 2000 Census found that New York Citys population had for the first time
surpassed 8 million, and the 2006 Census Bureau population estimate for the City is
8,250,567.9
Projections by the both Department of City Plannings Population Division and the
New York Metropolitan Transportation Council estimate a population of over 9
million by 2030.10 DCPs numerous contextual neighborhood zoning changes over
the past several years have sought to balance growth with preserving neighborhood
character, thus limiting potential development (and overdevelopment) in established
neighborhoods.

82

The creation of physical barriers between otherwise adjacent neighborhoods


and blocks.
o The footprint of highways tends to be wider than that of rail and
transit lines, although there are several exceptions to this (such as the
LIRR Main Line). For example, the four-track N (Sea Beach) Line
from New Utrecht Avenue to Avenue S in Brooklyn is approximately

At present, most of the people that were initially affected by these displacements have
likely either moved or passed away, but the long-term effects linger:

However, no such ambiguity exists for many of the Citys limited-access highways.
The Cross Bronx, Bruckner, Long Island, Van Wyck, Brooklyn-Queens, and Prospect
expressways were all built at least in part through long-established neighborhoods,
and have generally cut through wider swaths of previously developed land than their
rail counterparts had. Even some of the Citys parkway system, which is generally
older than the expressways, was built only after displacing numerous blocks full of
developed properties.

3.3: Reuniting Communities


When many of the rail and transit lines were first built beyond todays central
business district, they often did not divide surrounding neighborhoods because those
neighborhoods were a) not there yet, b) were still relatively isolated, self-contained
villages in essence if not in fact (and remained so well after their absorption into
Greater New York), or c) were urbanizing but still had much remaining undeveloped
land. Many of these corridors have become physical barriers dividing neighborhoods,
even if the rail and transit lines were there first.

This Inventory of Decking Opportunities over Transportation Properties is intended


to provide public- and private-sector entities with specific sites where those questions
can be answered. As the following chapters show, nearly 1,000 acres of deckable
land lie above transportation corridors in the city the equivalent of about two
Prospect Parks, or approximately the size of Central Park and Fort Washington Park
put together.

among numerous potential candidates for decking. As our search for land becomes
more pressing in the coming decades, the report states, we must be prepared to
work with communities to explore the potential of these sites.

12
In contrast to the Van Wyck, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Hicks Street Corridor which is
about as space-efficient an arrangement as a highway can get is 75 feet wide.
13
There is a considerable body of literature on place-making and the importance of place in the
urban planning literature. The New York-based Project for Public Spaces (http://www.pps.org) is one
such resource.

Finally, and most difficult to quantify, may be a perception that a highway open cut,
and to a lesser degree a rail cut, is the result of value judgments that once weighed
neighborhood continuity against the need to move traffic and found highways a more
urgent priority. Decades after those decisions were made, some neighborhoods

60 to 65 feet wide. In contrast, the Van Wyck Expressway consumes


multiple 180- to 270-foot-wide city blocks from Jamaica to the Belt
Parkway.12 Such outlays of space can be found all over the City.
While surrounding highways with grass and trees as a buffer may be
desirable in its own right, it was done at the expense of condemning
wide swaths of real property and exacerbating physical barriers
between surrounding blocks and communities.
Decreased road connectivity
o Section 3.7 goes into more detail about the impact of open-cut rightsof-way on cross streets, but it bears mentioning here that, in general,
surface circulation is disrupted by severing intersecting roads and
failing to build overpasses.
Creation of non-places13
o A rail line or highway in an open cut is not a destination. It is an
empty space to get past. For most surface users crossing an overpass
or paralleling an open cut via bicycle or on foot, there is no reason to
stop and linger. These gaps often carry the perception of being public
safety risks, since pedestrians may feel especially trapped and
vulnerable at such locations. The photo on the following page
conveys the absence of life at such locations, and the anonymous
impromptu garbage dumping which often occurs along them.
Increased air and noise pollution
o Section 3.8 will discuss noise and air pollution. Both are factors to
those living near open-cut transportation corridors and rail yards, but
air pollution is an especially major concern for those living near
limited-access highways.

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24

If the effects of highway construction can ripple out into surrounding blocks, so can
reuse of these highway rights-of-way. By creating an appropriate destination on what

These airspaces are an untapped potential source of economic development or


revitalization for many communities. Because these highways and rail routes run
below grade, many neighborhoods have unused space upon which new decking could
take place if it is economically or qualitatively desirable.

3.4: Economic Development and Tax Revenue


Ignoring the airspace above transportation open cuts also has a very concrete,
quantitative impact upon New York Citys economic climate.

Garbage on the south sidewalk of 38th Street, north of Parcel K3101 in Brooklyn. An
abandoned shopping cart is in the distance.

remain cut off. By actively seeking to close gaps where they can be closed, the City
could reestablish internal continuities in neighborhoods where open cuts are
problematic.

14
The Fairchild Aerial Surveys from 1924 commissioned by the Citys Board of Estimate clearly show
the beginnings of development in Sunnyside along the 7 (Flushing) Line, and significant swaths of
farmland and forest along Queens Boulevard in Woodhaven, Rego Park and Briarwood, which would
not see subway service until 1936.

While Terminal City north of Grand Central Terminal is a prime example of


decking over a railyard, New York City also has visible examples of decks over
below-grade highways, most conspicuously over the FDR Drive and the TransManhattan Expressway (I-95 in Washington Heights). Like rail corridors, highways
present the same physical obstacles as far as support column space. Unlike rail,
creation of the kind of low-density structures which highways can encourage in many
areas does not tend to justify the cost and effort of building a deck. Nonetheless, this
inventory provides a guide to all known subgrade highway parcels. In low-density
neighborhoods where out-of-scale land uses may not be appropriate, there might be

3.5: Mode-Appropriate Land Use


When the railroads and subway lines were built, high-density land uses usually (but
not always) followed in their wake. One only needs to ride the 7 (Flushing) Line in
or an E, F, G, R or V train along Queens Boulevard to see this; most of the land
which these routes pass through was undeveloped before these subway lines
opened.14 Similarly, any trip on a NYC limited-access highway that was built
through undeveloped land will show just how prevalent lower density uses often are
around these roadways. High-volume transit corridors and high-density development
have a symbiotic relationship each one needs the other to thrive.

New housing, businesses, or cultural facilities may make a surrounding neighborhood


more desirable. Improved transit access above rail properties, such as new station
entrances or bus bays, may also have a positive impact on surrounding taxable lands
by making them easier to get to. Even if a park or non-revenue-generating use takes
up all or part of a deck and doesnt generate revenue on the deck itself, that use might
boost the quality of life and valuations of adjacent blocks and properties.

is effectively an open parcel of land whether for housing, businesses, offices,


entertainment, cultural institutions, education facilities, or parkland adjacent blocks
can benefit. Surrounding property values can increase. Businesses could benefit
from additional customers. Commercial districts could grow or, in cases where they
are interrupted by a vacant overpass, be united and made more cohesive.

84

As the Citys population continues to swell, public facilities face increased strain in
two ways: more people are using them, and available space to build new facilities
becomes harder to find. As mentioned earlier in this report, NYCDCP estimates that
the City will have a population of 9,119,811 by 2030.

Table 2 shows United States decennial Census counts for 1930 through 2000, and
annual population estimates since 2000.

3.6: Flexibility for Public Facility Siting


Increased population also means increased demands for neighborhood-specific city
services schools, hospitals, community centers, parks and recreation, police
precincts, firehouses.

Table 2: Decennial U.S. Census Population Counts, 1930-2000, and


Annual Census Bureau Population Estimates, 2000-2006;
plus Persons/Acre
Year
Population
Average Persons/Acre
1930
6,930,446
33.65
1940
7,454,995
36.20
1950
7,891,957
38.32
1960
7,781,984
37.79
1970
7,894,862
38.33
1980
7,071,639
34.34
1990
7,322,564
35.55
2000
8,008,278
38.88
2001
8,075,586
39.21
2002
8,107,428
39.37
2003
8,129,996
39.48
2004
8,164,706
39.64
2005
8,213,839
39.88
2006
8,250,567
40.06
other, non-market forces which would encourage a private or public entity to consider
decking.

15
An existing example is Herbert Lehman High School, built on the south side of East Tremont
Avenue over the Hutchinson River Parkway in the Bronx.
16
For example, pedestrian overpasses once existed at Albemarle Road and Glenwood Road over
todays B and Q (Brighton) Line.

The graphic on the following page provides a particularly vivid example: The LIRR
Bay Ridge Line, currently used for freight by the New York and Atlantic Railway,

As automobile ownership increased throughout the 20th century, the impacts of these
street grid interruptions grew. While residents on truncated or dead-end streets may
have appreciated the relative serenity of their blocks as car traffic on thru-streets
increased, streets which bridged an open cut saw increases in traffic as vehicles were
funneled onto these overpasses.

Railroads, initially largely built at surface level, stimulated street openings by


providing surrounding properties with rapid, frequent transportation. As development
accelerated and grade crossings came to be seen as more of a hazard, these
rail/subway lines were either depressed or elevated. In some cases, previously
existing cross streets were not rebuilt over or under these rights-of-way, thus
permanently forcing pedestrians, bicyclists, horse-drawn traffic, cars, trolleys and the
few existing buses onto parallel streets which were rebuilt through the alignment. In
a few cases, pedestrian overpasses were built, partially mitigating this loss.16

3.7: Restoring Street Networks and Improving Transit Access


The City of New York and Kings County both developed comprehensive street grid
plans covering virtually their entire jurisdictions in the 1800s; plans for the Bronx,
Queens and Staten Island evolved piecemeal throughout the 19th and early 20th
centuries. Each era of transportation has had its own impact on these surface street
systems.

As overall population grows, each neighborhood will be confronted with its own
issues. Some areas may experience rapid population growth and the need for
additional schools. Others may have a dearth of parks and open space. Still others
may have the need for new, expanded police precinct buildings or firehouses to
replace older, outdated ones. Land above the transportation corridors in this
inventory may be able to accommodate some of those needs.15

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26

Even excluding the 14 streets which cannot realistically be rejoined due to property
limitations (such as the Brooklyn College campus), 29 roads are totally or partially
interrupted by the Bay Ridge Line trench.

*West of New Utrecht Avenue, the Bay Ridge Line shares an open cut with
the N (Sea Beach) Line.
** Due to subsequent construction, not all of these streets could be
remapped even if a deck were constructed.

Streets Interrupted by the Construction of


the Bay Ridge Line

was originally built between 1871 and 1877; its grade crossings were eliminated by
1918. The open cut portion of the route intersects with 76 streets from the Bay Ridge
shoreline to east of Albany Avenue. Only 33 of these fully pass over the alignment.

86

Depending upon scheduling and service frequency, corridors exclusively used by


freight rail experience relatively infrequent bursts of air and noise pollution.
Locomotives are the primary source of air pollution. (Usually, one locomotive is
sufficient for a train, but exceptionally long or heavy trainsets might require two or

3.8: Noise and Air Pollution Reductions


Pollution is a constant issue for those who live or work next to road and rail corridors,
but the type, consistency and intensity of the pollution varies by mode. Decking can
greatly reduce noise levels in the surrounding community, and can channel air
pollution into particulate filter traps and ventilation shafts, potentially improving
neighborhood quality of life. Section 4.5 considers the inverse; the cost of building
surface level decking over transportation corridors and mitigating vehicular emissions
which decks restrict from escaping into open air.

This inventory will provide a list at each corridor of surface streets that can
potentially be remapped over corridors. Whether they should be remapped or
partially reconnected with pedestrian overpasses is a question that would require
more study and discussion at the neighborhood level.

Limited-access highways, most of which opened between 1935 and 1975, were built
in a very different urban environment than their railroad predecessors. While
considerable stretches of highway were built on landfill and some utilized
underdeveloped corridors, many were built through established neighborhoods which
were either fully or mostly developed. Many streets that once crossed these
alignments were not rebuilt, although service roads partially mitigated highway
trench-related mobility losses in a way that usually wasnt done next to rail trenches.
Also, it should be noted that, in some open cut sections, surface streets were more
frequently preserved than they were over rail lines. For example, in the Mount Hope
section of the Bronx, 13 of 17 roads which cross the Cross-Bronx Expressway rightof-way were rebuilt above it, while nine of 11 potential street crossings above the
Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Woodside exist. Nonetheless, these discontinuous
streets have the same effect as they do over rail corridors: traffic patterns are warped,
bicycle and pedestrian movements are stymied, and bus service is limited by a lack of
options if a rerouting is desired or needed.

17
All noise data in this section is from the MTA/LIRR East Side Access FEIS (March 2001), Chapter
11: Noise and Vibration.

Multiple-unit, electrically-powered commuter rail cars make up the majority of


commuter train movements in the City. They do not emit appreciable amounts of as
air pollution, but they do emit heat from their ventilation and air conditioning
systems. As for noise, commuter rail service is much more frequent along mainline
corridors than freight-only routes; as of July 2006, both directions of the LIRR Main
Line between Penn Station and Jamaica had a total of over 22 trains per hour

In recent years, more energy-efficient, cleaner-fuel locomotives have been developed.


For example, RailPower Technologies Corp.s Green Goat locomotive is meant for
yard movements, meaning that it has potential applications in places like Sunnyside
Yards or, subject to weight limits, anywhere that New York City Transit has
maintenance-of-way vehicles (such as the 38th Street Yard in Brooklyn). RP Series
road switcher locomotives are intermediate-class engines meant for short-to-medium
haul trips to and from yards. Reduced-emissions locomotives could be used by New
York and Atlantic Railway, the private freight operator that utilizes LIRR-owned
tracks including Brooklyns Bay Ridge Line. Both vehicles emit between 80
percent and 99 percent less NOx and particulate matter than conventional
locomotives.

Within New York City, dual-mode locomotives, which can draw power from the third
rail in electrified territory, are used for some through trains that enter the Bronx,
Queens and/or Manhattan from non-electrified territories such as the Oyster Bay, Port
Jefferson and Montauk lines of the LIRR, and Metro-Norths upper Hudson, Upper
Harlem and Danbury Branch lines. Amtrak also uses electric-powered and dualmode locomotives within New York City. New Jersey Transit, which uses Sunnyside
Yards for storage, uses electric locomotives within New York, but is developing its
own dual-mode locomotives in preparation for one-seat rides from non-electrified
NJT territory upon completion of new trans-Hudson River tunnels. The use of such
dual-mode locomotives has obviated most emissions concerns about decking over
commuter or long-distance rail routes. Only the occasional diesel-powered
maintenance vehicle would produce any measurable pollution.

three). Locomotives from a distance of 30 meters can be as loud as 90dB, and are a
source of nitrogen oxide and other particulate matter.17

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28

18
Ohio Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Services.
http://www.dot.state.oh.us/oes/noise.htm; FHWA Highway Noise Barrier Design Book, Chapter 3:
Acoustical Considerations. http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/noise/design/3.htm

3.9: Service Reliability and Reduced Weather Exposure for Corridor


Users
Decking over a road or rail corridor does not only benefit surface users. It limits
exposure to the elements, reducing maintenance costs for road and rail agencies alike.

Decking over transportation corridors requires ventilation technology to manage air


quality, ensure fire safety and mitigate pollution. Ventilation technologies are
constantly improving and are designed for a specific sites needs. Ventilation is
further discussed in section 4.5.

Highway noise levels approximate 70-75dB (when 50-100 feet from the highway).
Engines, exhausts, and the interaction of tires on pavement are the primary causes of
highway noise.18 Sound barriers usually reduce this noise impact by half, or by 10db.
However, sound barriers have limited relevance for subgrade highways, since some
of the noise within the open cut is absorbed by surrounding vegetation.

Subway trains have a similar pollution profile as multiple-unit electric commuter cars,
but are noisier and usually more frequent. Even overnight service has a bidirectional
total of six trains per hour. Heat exhaust is an issue in and around subway yards, as
approximately two-thirds of the existing fleets HVAC systems are often left on while
out of service. However, this problem is expected to gradually diminish and then
disappear over the next 25 years. The newest cars in the fleet the R142, R143 and
R160 all have an energy conservation mode, in which they go to sleep when laid
up in railyards. With most systems off, these cars emit virtually no heat when
inactive. Regular maintenance, though, will still periodically require trains to be fully
powered.

scheduled between 3:00pm and 7:00pm, not including trains to Hunters Point
Avenue. These sorts of frequencies are comparable to a fairly busy two-or three-track
subway line. As of 2001, noise levels on the LIRR between Jamaica and Woodside
were 71dB, which is higher than the ambient noise in a predominantly industrial area
and roughly equal to being 15 meters from a highway.

New York City Transit would benefit from more enclosed segments of its system.
When severe weather strikes especially snowstorms NYCT implements a special
plan to get as many vehicles into tunnels as possible. Usually this means temporarily
halting express service so that trains can be stored on these tracks, which limits
passenger mobility. Particularly severe weather can also truncate train service in
outdoor areas especially on embankments and open cuts, where snow cannot fall
through the open deck of an elevated trestle. Covering over train yards and open cuts
would blunt the impact of these major weather events. Commuter rail yards and
some rights-of-way within City limits would similarly benefit by providing more
shelter for cars and facilities, although given the outdoor nature of most of the
surrounding commuter network, operational gains would be limited.

88

4.3: Short-Term Disruptions to Subgrade Road and Rail Operations


Building a deck over the relatively tight confines of a road or rail corridor may
require temporary closures or reroutings affecting the highway or rail right-of-way.
With a multilane limited-access highway, this may involve temporarily closing one or
more lanes of traffic at a time. With railroads, train traffic may have to be moved to
an alternate track within the same alignment, rerouted to another alignment
altogether, or rescheduled to allow uninterrupted access to the deck underside during

4.2: Ongoing Deck Maintenance Costs


Once the deck is built, it needs to be maintained. While maintenance costs would
initially be minimal, they would gradually mount as age and weather take their toll.
Eventually, substantial parts of the deck may need to be replaced entirely. Such
maintenance and replacement will need to be accomplished without disrupting the
flow of traffic below, adding expense.

4.1: Upfront Capital Cost


Decking over a transportation corridor can be very expensive. A Civic Vision for
Turnpike Air Rights in Boston, a 2000 publication that recommended strategies for
developing subgrade portions of the Massachusetts Turnpike within Boston,
estimated the cost of building an acre of land to support a 20-story building at
$19,602,000, before lease payments 10 to 15 percent higher than the value of land
on solid ground zoned for an 8.0 FAR valued at $50 per square foot. Such high
upfront costs push up the scale of profitable air rights uses. Wrapped into those initial
costs may be several sub-projects that a standard development may not have, such as
retrofitting the road- or railbed below to create space for support columns, or
providing adequate ventilation and lighting for the newly-created tunnel. The high
cost of decking increases the financial risk of such a project and limits the range of
potential developers to those who have the money and patience for such an
undertaking.

Chapter 3 of this report provides several justifications for making use of the rights-ofway above subgrade corridors and yards. However, several factors economic,
physical and political may limit the ability to fully realize the potential of these air
rights. This chapter explores these.

4 : CONSTRAINTS

4.5: Ventilation, and Impact of Emissions on Overhead Land Uses


Any substantial enclosure of an open cut or yard would probably require ventilation.
For highways under free-flowing traffic conditions, a deck that seals the whole width
of an open cut at surface level can, according to one engineer in the Federal Highway
Administrations New York Division, be up to 500 feet long before mechanical
ventilation is needed, since free-flowing traffic pulls air in and propels it out at
shorter lengths. No uniform standards exist in the United States pertaining to how

Further complicating the question of where to put support columns is the issue of
whether the land itself can support a deck at a reasonable price. The high cost of
decking may be further inflated at some locations, since many transportation
facilities, such as the Coney Island Yards, were built on swampland. Underlying
geology is an issue. Prior to evaluating a site, test borings would be needed to
definitively determine how deep and strong any supports must be at individual sites.

Retrofitting existing road or rail uses to provide room for deck supports has the
potential to be a lengthy, costly, disruptive process. Locations where support
columns would be needed to sustain a deck, rail or subway tracks may require
realignment of existing facilities and/or provision of expensive transfer beam
structures. If the right-of way in that location is too narrow to allow tracks to be
moved, widening the open cut itself would be necessary which may be difficult or
impossible if adjacent development or surface roads stand in the way. Inserting
columns and constructing a deck needs to be coordinated with the need to maintain
service in the right-of-way or yard. Similar issues may arise with decking over
highways.

4.4: Viability of Supporting Columns in Road/Rail Beds


With the exception places such as of Grand Central Terminal (which was developed
with a Terminal City of air rights development north of the station house in mind),
the James A. Farley Post Office (above the Northeast Corridor, west of Pennsylvania
Station), and isolated exceptions like Newkirk Plaza in Brooklyn (which had a deck
supported by columns that began at platform level), most right-of way construction
did not set aside space specifically for support columns.

off-peak hours. All of these measures are potentially disruptive, and there may be
additional costs for providing the personnel and equipment needed to safely divert or
slow down traffic in the construction area.

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30

19
Ask the TVT Expert, Federal Highway Administration, January 2007.
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/tunnel/qa.htm. The FHWA website states that [t]here is no accepted
standard definition for a tunnel. According to AASHTO a short tunnel is one with a length portal to
portal less than the safe stopping distance (SST) for the design speed, and a long tunnel is one with a
length portal to portal greater than the SSD. A structure can be classified as a tunnel when the
construction method used involved any tunneling construction technique. A long underpass may need
to be designed as a tunnel to provide a safe environment to the traveling public if location, geometry or
traffic conditions warrants special services like ventilation, lighting, and emergency systems.

Each tunnel location is different; there is no one size fits all ventilation application.
Choosing the appropriate ventilation system occurs after a thorough analysis of tunnel
length, surrounding geography, elevation, grade, width, traffic volume, direction of
traffic, air quality pre- and post-tunnel construction, use, etc. Adequate ventilation is
required to meet the needs of the location and mitigate environmental impacts

For highway corridors, this report will use the NFPA 90-meter standard. Ninety
meters equals approximately 295 feet.

The closest thing to a consensus on the subject may be a set of standards published by
the National Fire Protection Association. Their publication, NFPA 502: Standard for
Road Tunnels, Bridges and Other Limited Access Highways, has become the industry
standard for tunnel ventilation. Tunnels less than 90 meters long are not required to
meet standards. Tunnels more than 90 meters are required to meet some standards and
tunnels more than 300 meters are required to meet all NFPA standards put forth in the
502 document. Some of the standard requirements include: fire detection,
communication systems, traffic control, standpipe and water supply, ventilation,
drainage, emergency response planning and emergency access and egress points.
Other organizations such as state or local agencies and the Environmental Protection
Agency also have requirements concerning air quality.

long a tunnel must be before ventilation is required. According to the Federal


Highway Administration, when the length between portal to portal is less than a safe
stopping distance for the design speed the enclosed portion is considered a short
tunnel.19 In locations with chronically congested traffic, the distance required before
ventilation is needed may be far shorter, since idling vehicles pollute more while
circulating air less.

23

Ibid.

http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/bridge/tunnel/tunres2.htm
Chapter 2 of both the Second Avenue Subway and LIRR East Side Access FEISs propose ventilation
facilities at these intervals.
22
Life on the Road; Learning to Sleep as Trucks Roar Through Basement, By David W. Chen. New
York Times, June 18,2004
21

20

4.6: Parkland Ownership and Alienation


As an inventory, this report is not making recommendations to deck over
transportation corridors in mapped parkland. It is important to note, however, that
much of the green open space alongside the Citys expressways and highways, and

The constant noise and exhaust have been problematic for the Bridge Apartments
residents. A 2004 New York Times article reported that, If the windows are open,
the noise is most deafening on the middle floors, and people inside find that they need
to raise their voices to hold a conversation or talk on the phone. The winds carry
vehicle exhaust upward, which is especially noticeable on the terraces.23

Adequate ventilation and noise reduction over vehicular open cuts can be difficult to
achieve. One NYC example is the Bridge Apartments, consisting of four 32-story
240-unit apartments which straddle the Trans-Manhattan Expressway in Washington
Heights. Over 4,000 residents live in the development, which was built at the same
time the expressway and opened in 1963-1964. The Port Authority of New York and
New Jersey transferred the air rights over the expressway to the City, which then
auctioned off those rights to a developer.22

Basic ventilation for newly-enclosed subgrade commuter rail or transit alignments


could be achieved through standard sidewalk grates, since most railbeds will be
immediately below the surface. If an actual ventilation facility is desired to pump air
out of the trench during a fire, it appears that the current MTA/NYCT thresholds for
placement of new vent plants are that a) there must be satisfactory ventilation at both
ends of each station, and b) for exceptionally long distances between stations, vent
facilities should be no farther from each other than about nine short city blocks, or a
little less than half a mile.21

brought about by the tunnel. The Federal Highway Administration provides detailed
explanations and diagrams of ventilation systems used in the U.S. on their website.20

90

24
With the exception of Amtraks Empire Corridor, few rail or transit alignments included in this
report run through significant stretches of parkland.
25
In the rare cases that alienable parkland is not easily replaceable with a nearby parcel of land,
language can be inserted into the alienation bill setting aside either an amount equivalent to the
alienated parklands fair market value or the proceeds of the parkland sale for capital improvements to
other parks or the eventual purchase of new parkland. (Handbook on the Alienation and Conversion of
Municipal Parkland; New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, p.21)
26
A small but crucial exception to this rule allows trucks on the short stretch of the Grand Central
Parkway between the western leg of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (I-278) and the Triborough
Bridge.

The Grand Central Parkway roadbed is owned by New York State, but the
adjacent green space is owned by the New York City Department of Parks and
Recreation.
The Belt Parkway is entirely owned by Parks, but the New York City
Department of Transportation is responsible for road maintenance.

Parkland takes different forms for parkways where no large commercial traffic is
permitted26 and for expressways where commercial traffic is allowed. On
parkways, no one single rule applies. A hodgepodge of ownership and maintenance
governs these corridors. For example:

some highway medians, is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Parks and
Recreation.24 Such properties present complex ownership and acquisition issues
because all parkland must undergo alienation proceedings enacted by the New York
State Legislature in order to be turned over for non-park use. The alienation
proceedings come into play because parks exist for the unrestricted benefit of the
entire public. Thus, parkland alienation usually requires substitute parkland to be
created of equal or greater a) fair market value, b) size, and/or c) potential
recreational usefulness. However, with the exception of parklands that received
funding from specific state and federal programs which have stricter
alienation/substitution rules there is some latitude in requiring that all three of these
criteria for substitute parkland be met.25 In April 2005, the State Office of Parks,
Recreation and Historic Preservation published a revised Handbook on the Alienation
and Conversion of Municipal Parkland, which explains how to determine whether a
park is alienable, and what needs to be done to bring an alienation from the idea stage
to the legislative one.

Tree and Landscape Management along New York City Parkways: Preliminary Report. NYC
Department of Parks and Recreation, February 2006
28
DCP Counsels interpretation of alienation, December 2007.

27

4.7: Erratic Topography


Not all roadways, yards, or rail corridors are surrounded by level land. Numerous
examples exist throughout NYC, from Sunnyside Yards to segments of the Major
Deegan Expressway to the B and Q (Brighton) Line immediately south of Prospect
Park station. A dramatic example is the FDR Drive on the Upper East Side of
Manhattan, where buildings flush with street level on the west are built atop the
highway, with the East River immediately to the east.

Incorporating parkland into the deck plan as a land substitution strategy could be
considered by both the public and private sector, as new surface parkland yields more
usable recreational space for surrounding communities. Currently, almost none of the
green space in an open cut surrounding one of these roadways is open to the public,
either for passive or active recreation, making any public access an improvement.

Unless a deck were to be built only over the area immediately above the highway and
leave the surrounding green space open, some land would probably have to be
alienated. Even if the peripheral parkland was regraded and elevated in place, the
question of whether such an act is alienation would need to be addressed.28

Any proposal to make use of the air rights over a parkway right-of-way would have to
resolve issues with the multiple agencies involved.
Expressway alignment ownership is simpler. The New York State Department of
Transportation owns and maintains all of the Citys expressways, while the NYC
Department of Parks and Recreation owns and maintains the surrounding parkland.
These green spaces are not technically counted as part of the expressway that they
bracket, even if they occupy the same subgrade cut. However, each park property is
identified with a numeric code that associates it with the adjacent expressway.

North of the Cross Bronx Expressway, the Hutchinson River Parkway is Cityowned; south of the Cross Bronx, it is state-owned.27

91

32

30
Smaller parcels, either on their own or as part of a larger deck project, may be able to get away with
a single travel lane or a loop, depending on anticipated traffic generated by the development. Ramps
between the deck and the surrounding area are also possible to access smaller parcels above the street
plane, but could consume valuable deck space.

Airspace Guidelines to 23 CFR 710.405 - 710.407, Question 710.405_15. At locations where


control and directional roadsigns are need to be suspended from the underside of the deck, the height
limit increases to 20 feet. See http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/REALESTATE/airguide.htm for the full
guidelines.

29

If the deck is large enough to accommodate automobiles, and if the intended deck use
doesnt preclude automobiles entirely (i.e. a park occupying a full parcel), at least one
perimeter location should be both flush with the surface and wide enough to carry at
least one traffic lane in each direction.30 For very large decks ones that are large
enough to provide streets upon vehicles would need to be able to get on and off the
deck at multiple locations along the perimeter, unless vehicles are specifically
restricted on the deck. Ramps may be needed to convey vehicles between sizable
vertical gaps, but will need to be of a sufficiently gentle grade to allow trucks and
buses to easily reach the deck, if their presence is anticipated.

One or more locations along the deck perimeter must be able to connect with the
street level, or close enough to the street level or adjacent properties, for a parcel to be
included in this report. (Subway and rail yards are an exception to this rule.)

Standards for railroads and transit are less uniform; consultation with owners and
operators of those corridors would be needed to determine an acceptable deck ceiling.

The proposed use of airspace above the established gradeline of the highway
shall not, at any location between two points established 2 feet beyond the two
outer edges of the shoulder, extend below a horizontal plane which is at least
16 feet 6 inches above the gradeline of the highway, or the minimum vertical
clearance plus 6 inches as approved by the State, except as necessary for
columns, foundations or other support structures.29

Whether the surface elevation difference is naturally occurring or the result of


construction, decking over a site with inconsistent surface levels presents special
challenges. FHWA Airspace Guidelines require minimum clearances:

4.9: Security and Emergency Exits


Ensuring adequate security features and emergency evacuation egresses must also be
considered in deck creation. Evacuations and traffic diversions will be easier in an
open cut than in a tunnel, and security issues will likely be less complicated in an
open trench. Thus, retrofitting of the cut to provide emergency entrance and exit
points is crucial. Incorporating additional security features that augment public safety
for drivers/rail passengers may be a factor in obtaining public, legislative or fiduciary
support for a decking project.

Many subway and rail yards present potential developers with operational issues such
as how to treat maintenance buildings and other structures that may impede a single,
all-encompassing deck. It may be necessary to replace such facilities or make design
adjustments in order to make surface-level construction possible where in-ground
structures exceed the deck plane.

Amtraks service and


inspection building (at left
in photo) would break the
plane of a deck over parcel
Q8007, Sunnyside Yards.

4.8: In-Ground Structures Exceeding Deck Plane


Railyards and transportation corridors, especially those used by trains, do not consist
of just track. Support structures are needed substations, utility and catenary lines
and supports, storage rooms, maintenance facilities, and light or radio towers.
Sometimes these structures are quite large, and sometimes, in a subgrade area, are big
enough to rise above the surrounding surface plane. For potential air rights uses, this
would cause problems.

92

31
$500/sf is used in Alexander Garvins 2006 Visions for New York City: Housing and the Public
Realm

Rail Yards:
o Uniquely large parcels of land, often with considerable width
o Not always below grade
o Ventilation required

Rail cuts:
o Narrow (usually one to four tracks wide)
o Ventilation requirements determined by type of train propulsion
system (i.e. diesel vs. electric) and length of potential enclosure
o Frequently run through midblock rights-of-way

This study presents an inventory of all potentially deckable sites above transportation
rights-of-way in New York City. It is divided into the three major different types of
right-of-wayrail cuts, rail yards and vehicular cutsand then subdivided by
borough. Rail cuts, rail yards and vehicular cuts differ from each other in terms of
width, size, ventilation requirements, and relationship to ground level. These
differences limit the type of uses to which each type of right-of-way may be put and
represent different opportunities for decking. Some defining characteristics are as
follows:

5.2: Potential Factors Affecting the Viability of Decking


While potential corridors and parcels contained within this study are not ranked in
any way, general assumptions can be made about how an areas surroundings can
affect its viability for decking.

5.1: Deck Creation Issues


Decking to create land is a high cost and high risk venture. Current research indicates
that construction costs for decks range nationally from $300/sf to $700/sf.31 In
addition to the costs of deck construction, the cost of land and air-rights acquisition
and the cost of building construction must be added, effecting the number, shape and
size of sites in New York City where decking may prove to be practical.

5: ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

A number of the citys rail and vehicular right-of-ways lie in hard cuts; essentially
three-sided tunnels or tunnels without a roof. Such rights-of-way often represent
relatively easy decking candidates because the full extent of the cut is clearly defined,
depth below grade is constant and the cut itself is typically seen as an undesirable
aspect of the landscape which decking could remediate.

3) Effect on Existing Green Open Space or Parkland


Maintaining and increasing green open space is an important component of the 2030
PlaNYC and New York Citys future development and sustainability goals.

2) Proximity to Subway or Other High-Volume Public Transit System


Locating new decking close to mass transit provides the opportunity to support more
people with fewer cars, less congestion and less vehicular pollution. This is in
keeping with the Citys 2030 housing and environmental goals.

1) Current and/or Surrounding Zoning


Decking over transportation rights-of-way is an expensive proposition. Average
estimated construction costs can range nationally from $300/sf to $700/sf depending
on cost of materials, labor costs, deck size, soil conditions, ventilation requirements
and other engineering issues. As a result, privately built buildings constructed over
transportation rights-of-way are often large and tall in order to minimize the cost of
footings and decking and to provide sufficient revenue to justify the level of
investment required. However, such proposals need to be evaluated in the context of
the communities in which they would be built. All surface land uses built upon decks
need not be contextual, but would have to be carefully studied and evaluated for its
appropriateness at its specific location.

All sites within the inventory could be affected by one or more of the following
factors.

Vehicular Cuts:
o Wide (usually multiple lanes of traffic in two directions)
o National Fire Protection Association, an industry standard,
recommends certain ventilation and egress requirements for tunnels
exceeding 90 meters (approximately 295 feet.)
o Often bracketed by service roads

93

Zoning Resolution, Section 21-00f

34

32

A second common scenario occurs where the right-of-way cuts through the block
laterally (see Figure 3. In such situations, the site could essentially be treated as two

5) Sufficient Access Points to and from Surrounding Areas


While most rights-of-way that run in, or directly next to, existing streets have ample
access points, those that run through blocks often raise problems. For example, in
Brooklyn, many rail right-of-ways run lengthwise through the middle of residential
blocks. (See Figures 1 and 2.) Access to the transportation right-of-way, except at the
end of each block, would be severely limited. Decking of the end parcels might be
feasible and possibly desirable in areas with commercial overlays, but interior
decking would most likely not.

4) Effect upon Abutting Properties


New York Citys Zoning Resolution states, as one of its purposes, that it provide[s]
for access of light and air to windows and for privacy, as far as possible, by controls
over spacing and height of buildings and other structures.32 This is enforced by side
and rear yard regulations as well as regulations governing FAR, setbacks and height.
The potential for decking over transportation rights-of-way needs to be evaluated in
the context of how the deck and whatever land use is being supported by it would
affect adjoining properties. Such uses could enhance the vitality of an area but could
also raise issues of congestion and access to light and air.

Both hard and soft cut conditions may have decking potential, depending on the
surrounding conditions and location.

Other rights-of-way sit in soft cuts, nestled at the bottom of sloped and often
wooded embankments. These cuts may present problems because the deck will need
to be wider to span the cut and sloped embankment and because there may be
dramatic grade changes. In addition, while wooded embankments and parkland
alongside rights-of-way are not usable as active recreation facilities, such spaces
constitute part of the limited stock of parkland. In some cases, especially along
vehicular rights-of-way like parkways, alienation of parkland may also be necessary.
Alienation requires approval of the State Legislature and is required regardless of
whether or not the parkland is accessible to the public.

Figure 1: Parcel K3219 on the NYCT N


(Sea Beach) Line is an example of
Figure 2 below. Development
immediately adjacent to the abutting
backyards may be difficult.

Figure 3: A right-of-way
running laterally through the
middle of a block.

Figure 2: A right-of-way
running lengthwise through
the middle of a block.

individual properties with abutting rear yards. Access to such a site would be readily
available.
Additional access problems may occur when the parcel(s) in question are at or above
grade a situation that arises with some subway and rail yards throughout the City.
While decking over these yards may be viable, it would be wholly or partly on a
raised deck, meaning that any access to the parcel itself would have to come via
stairways, elevators, or ramps to and from street level.

94

Zoning information and the corridor descriptions are current as of August 2008. Land use data and maps are from 2007.

For each corridor, the document also contains all or some the following narrative elements, where applicable:
x Description of the corridor and its parcels
x Ownership of parcels
x Topography issues
x Ventilation issues

For each parcel, the inventory contains the following tabular data:
x Parcel number
x Name (generally described by streets abutting the parcel)
x Size (in acres)
x Surrounding zoning
x Potential mapped/connecting streets, should the parcel be decked over
x Existing corridor use

Each corridor is then described through a combination of maps, charts and other information. Graphics include map showing each parcel along the corridor, and both zoning
designations and land uses of all properties within a quarter mile of each parcel. Photographs taken in 2006 and 2007 depict corridor features. Other graphics include pie charts
breaking down the maximum allowable zoned floor-area ratios (FARs) by tax lot within one quarter mile of the corridor, and current land uses by percentage of square feet within
the same quarter mile. If applicable, a diagrammatical depiction of streets that could potentially be mapped or reconnected if a corridor is decked over is included.

This section of the document contains the inventory of deckable parcels over transportation properties. The parcels are organized into corridors, and classified as rail/transit open
cuts (sections 6.1-6.5), rail/transit yards (sections 6.6-6.9), or roadway open cuts (sections 6.10-6.14). Within each of these three classifications, corridors are listed in numerical
order within each borough; the boroughs appear in alphabetical order. The beginning of each section contains a map showing the location of each corridor within the borough.
Corridors within each classification are also listed in a table that contains the number of parcels in each corridor and the total acreage of each corridor.

PART TWO: Corridor Descriptions

95

36

11 corridors,
66 parcels,
96.54 acres

6.1: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


OPEN CUTS:
BRONX
96

Corridor
Code
B30
B60
B61
B62
B63
B64
B65
B66
B67
B68
B69

NYCT 5 (Dyre Avenue) Line: Gun Hill Road-East Of Kingsland Avenue


Amtrak Hell Gate Line/Oak Point Yards: East 149th Street-North Of Bruckner Boulevard
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: North And South Of Westchester Avenue
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: South Of East 174th Street-Unionport Road
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: East And West Of Williamsbridge Road
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: North And South Of Pelham Parkway
Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 144th Street-North Of East Fordham Road
Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: Mosholu Parkway-Parking Deck North Of Mosholu Parkway
Metro-North Hudson Line: Grand Concourse-River Avenue
Abandoned Port Morris Branch: Melrose Avenue-South Of Westchester Avenue
Abandoned Port Morris Branch: Jackson Avenue-Southeast Of Bruckner Boulevard

Corridor Name
2
10
2
8
2
2
23
1
3
8
5

Parcels

Total
Acres
4.57
42.41
0.58
6.23
0.72
1.65
35.14
0.05
1.48
2.77
0.94

97

38

4%

96%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B30

ZONING

NYCT 5 (DYRE AVENUE) LINE:


GUN HILL ROAD-EAST OF
KINGSLAND AVENUE

B30:

98

8%

2%

4%

1%

3%

7%

1%

3%

71%
vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B30

LAND USE

99

In addition, parcels B3000 and B3001 abut private property. Aside from the political
difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that allow
sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Transit
Authority has partial or complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

The southern portion of parcel B3000 offers the potential for transit-oriented development.

This subway line sits in a relatively deep open cut northeast of Gun Hill Road. This fourtrack cut was built as part of the New York, Westchester and Boston Railway a commuter
service that never extended farther north than Port Chester and White Plains. The NYW&B
only operated between 1912 and 1937. In 1941 the northern half of the Bronx right-of-way
was bought by the City of New York and retrofitted for subway service. One of the four
tracks has long since been removed along this corridor, providing an ideal location for deck
support pilings.

40

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be below the
surrounding land at the following locations:
x B3000: Along the parcels west side, in the vicinity of Deyo Street.
The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck upon these parcels
would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent topography:
x B3000: From Deyo Street down to a location immediately south of the intersection
of the Dyre Avenue cut and Eastchester Road.
x B3001: The entire northern two-thirds of the parcel passes through land where the
surface slopes down from west to east.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Parcel B3000, looking north from Gun Hill Road

100

Size
(acres)
NYCT Dyre Avenue Line: 2.60
Gun Hill RoadEastchester Road
NYCT Dyre Avenue Line: 1.97
Eastchester Road-E. of
Kingsland Avenue

Name

5 (Dyre Avenue)
Subway Line

Existing
Corridor Uses
5 (Dyre Avenue)
Subway Line

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Fenton Avenue (N-S); Hammersley Avenue and Deyo Street (E-W);
Mickle Avenue and Kingsland Avenue (N-S); Burke Avenue (E-W)

B3001

B3000

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

R4-1, R5

Surrounding
zoning
C2-3, R4-1,
R6B

101

42

53%

1%

28%

18%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B60

ZONING

AMTRAK HELL GATE LINE/OAK


POINT YARDS: EAST 149TTHH STREETNORTH OF BRUCKNER BOULEVARD

B60:

102

8%

5%

32%

6%

5%

4%

8%

4%

2% 5%

4%

17%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B60

LAND USE

103

This section of track is owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

Parcels B6000, B6002, B6003, B6004, B6005, B6006, B6007, B6008 and B6009 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a
platform through such a corridor, legal protections requiring sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

At over 24 acres, parcel B6000 is the second largest parcel in the Bronx only parcel B5200, which comprises almost all of NYCTs Westchester Yards, is
larger. It is located in an area currently zoned M3-1, and any effort to deck this area over will likely require some environmental remediation where deck
supports will need to be driven into the ground. Sufficient clearance to allow double-stack railcars should also be considered, even if the reality of vertical and
horizontal clearance limitations for rail freight elsewhere in the metropolitan area currently precludes their easy movement throughout the region.

This corridor has two primary uses:


1)
Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains travel this route between Penn Station and New Rochelle in Westchester County, where the Hell Gate Line merges
with Metro-Norths New Haven Line. Upon completion of the LIRR East Side Access project, sufficient capacity in Penn Station may be freed up to
allow New Haven Line trains to also use this line to access the west side of Midtown Manhattan. A rebuilt commuter rail station at Hunts Point
Avenue may be included as part of this service, thus augmenting the potential for transit-oriented development around parcels B6005 and B6006.
2)
Parcels B6000 and B6001 in particular are partly comprised of CSX Transportations Oak Point Yards. This classification and storage railyard is the
busiest of its kind in the city. The New York City Department of Correction (DOC) has proposed building a jail immediately to the south of parcel
B6000, where a dirt mound covers the location of several long-abandoned tracks.

44

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below would be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below:

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck here would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent topography:
x B6004: From Garrison Avenue down to Bruckner Boulevard.
x B6005: From Garrison Avenue down to Bruckner Boulevard.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6000: Along virtually the entire southern flank of the parcel, including the protrusion to the south. Depending on the future disposition of adjacent
sites, this deck would have the appearance of a raised platform to adjacent parking lots and the proposed DOC correctional facility.
x B6001: Along the parcels eastern edge at two locations: near Garrison Avenue, and to a greater extent north and south of Worthen Street.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

104

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: East 149th Street-Leggett Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Leggett Avenue-Longwood Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Longwood Avenue-Lafayette Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Lafayette Avenue-Tiffany Street

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Tiffany Street-Barretto Street

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Barretto Street-Hunts Point Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Hunts Point Avenue-Faile Street

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Faile Street-Bryant Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Bryant Avenue-Bruckner Boulevard

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: N. of Bruckner Boulevard

Parcel
Code
B6000

B6001

B6002

B6003

B6004

B6005

B6006

B6007

B6008

B6009

PARCEL INFORMATION:

Name

B6001: 1,320 feet


6006: 680 feet

B6002: 470 feet


B6007: 360 feet

B6003: 680 feet


B6008: 620 feet

B6004: 540 feet


B6009: 500 feet

0.88

0.73

0.71

1.73

2.06

1.18

1.72

0.93

8.34

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Size
Existing Corridor
(acres) Uses
24.12
Amtrak, CSX

M1-1, R7-1

M1-2

M1-2 (R6 adj.)

M1-2 (R6 adj.)

M1-2 (R6 adj.)

M1-2

M1-2

M1-2

M1-2

Surrounding
zoning
M3-1

(Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are counted
more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

B6000: 2,150 feet


B6005: 730 feet

105

46

Parcel B6000, looking north from


East 149th Street towards Leggett
Avenue

Parcel B6004, looking north from Tiffany Street


towards Barretto Street

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Using the airspace above railyards often presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid.
Some of these streets could include: Pedestrian access from Leggett Avenue Bridge; new E. 152nd Street (E-W);
new N-S road parallel to Barry Street; E. 156th Street; Manida Street; Irvine Street; Longfellow Avenue.

106

45%

1%

14%

40%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B61

ZONING

AMTRAK HELL GATE LINE: NORTH


AND SOUTH OF WESTCHESTER
AVENUE

B61:

107

48

6%

8%

14%

4%

6%

1%

6%

11%

3%

12%

5%

24%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B61

LAND USE

108

This section of track is owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Further

Both corridors B61 and B14 lie adjacent to the Whitlock Avenue station on the 6 (Pelham) Line, offering an opportunity for transit-oriented development. The
area is zoned M1-1 and R7-1.

Corridor B61 could also be considered in conjunction with corridor B14, the Sheridan Expressway, which lies about 75 feet west of corridor B61.

Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains travel this route between Penn Station and New Rochelle in Westchester County, where the Hell Gate Line merges with
Metro-Norths New Haven Line. Upon completion of the LIRR East Side Access project, sufficient capacity in Penn Station may be freed up to allow New
Haven Line trains to also use this line to access the west side of Midtown Manhattan.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6100: along the parcels east side. The disparity between the deck plane and Edgewater Road would increase heading south.
x B6101: along the parcels east side. This disparity may result in a deck having the appearance of a raised platform at this location.
investigation of this site is needed. (It was not possible to photograph the site during field visits.)

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

109

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: S. of


Westchester Avenue
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: N. of
Westchester Avenue

B6100
0.34

0.24

Size (acres)

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

50

M1-1

M1-1

Surrounding zoning

Parcel B6100, looking south from Westchester


Avenue

Existing Corridor Uses

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

B6101

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

110

SOUTH OF EAST 174TTHH STREETUNIONPORT ROAD

AMTRAK HELL
GATE LINE:

B62:
ZONING

111

52

6%

9%

9%

4%

8%

5%

5% 4%

12%

20%

18%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B62

LAND USE

112

All parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

OWNERSHIP

1
The Amtrak right-of-way to the southwest of this parcel was removed from the final inventory map, but if the current plant can be enclosed or relocated, the entire area down to the Cross Bronx Expressway
could be decked over, adding approximately 3.5 acres of deckable area.

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would have the appearance of a raised platform at the following locations
x B6200: DCPs digital maps indicate a difference of at least 10 feet between trackbed and the adjacent parkland.
x B6201: The northwestern edge adjacent to the surrounding parkland and parking lot. Immediately south of the Cross Bronx Expressway, a deck at the
parcels southeastern edge may be at an elevation above that of the surrounding grade. However, no unobstructed view or photo of the parcel at this
location was possible.
x B6203: The northern flank of this parcel adjacent to the parking lot, except for a rock formation about 100 feet east of East 177th Street. On the
parcels south side, a small landfill exists east of East 177th Street; a deck would be flush with the top of this mound of fill.
x B6205: The parcels northern edge. A deck along the southern edge would be slightly above the grade of East Tremont Avenue.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6202: A deck upon this parcel would be above the grade of the immediately adjacent cement plant to the south, but below the grade of land to the
southeast of the cement plant.1
x B6204: The northern edge adjacent to the used car lot. On the southern edge, a deck would be above the grade of the adjacent parking area (more so as
one proceeds southwest), but flush with Bronx River Avenue immediately south of the parking. West of the parking area and south of the parcel, at
least one building is built down to track level. West of this building, a deck would be slightly above the grade of an adjacent parking lot.
x B6207: A deck here would be slightly above the grade of the adjacent gas station to the south.

This section of track is owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains travel this route between Penn Station and New Rochelle in Westchester County, where the Hell Gate Line merges with
Metro-Norths New Haven Line. Upon completion of the LIRR East Side Access project, sufficient capacity in Penn Station may be freed up to allow New
Haven Line trains to also use this line to access the west side of Midtown Manhattan. A new Parkchester commuter rail station east of Unionport Road may be
included as part of this service, thus augmenting the potential for transit-oriented development around parcels B6206 and B6207.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

113

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Cross Bronx Expressway-East 177th Street

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: East 177th Street-Bronx River Parkway

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: Bronx River Parkway-East Tremont Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: N. of East Tremont Avenue

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: W. of White Plains Road

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: White Plains Road-Unionport Road

B6202

B6203

B6204

B6205

B6206

B6207

54

0.28

0.27

0.46

0.91

0.60

Parcel B6205, east of Adams


Street/East Tremont Avenue,
looking north

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

3.01

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: East 174th Street-Cross Bronx Expressway

B6201
0.31

Amtrak, CSX

0.40

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Existing Corridor Uses

Size (acres)

Parcel Name
Code
B6200 Amtrak Hell Gate Line: S. of East 174th Street

PARCEL INFORMATION:

M1-1

C8-1, R5

R5

M1-1 (R5 adj.)

M1-1 (R6 adj.)

C8-1 (R6 adj.)

C8-1 (R6, R7-1 adj.)

C8-1 (R6, R7-1 adj.)

Surrounding zoning

VENTILATION Ventilation along this corridor would not be a major issue, since these eight parcels are spread out and do not overlay immediately consecutive stretches of
track.

114

19%

81%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B63

ZONING

AMTRAK HELL GATE LINE:


EAST AND WEST
OF WILLIAMSBRIDGE ROAD

B63:

115

56

18%

2%

8%

5%

6%

1%

4%

4%

10%

42%

vacant land

parking facilities

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B63

LAND USE

116

This section of track is owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak).

All parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections requiring
sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Decking over these two parcels would create visual continuity along Williamsbridge Road, connecting the Morris Park and Westchester Square neighborhoods.

Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains travel this route between Penn Station and New Rochelle in Westchester County, where the Hell Gate Line merges with
Metro-Norths New Haven Line. Upon completion of the LIRR East Side Access project, sufficient capacity in Penn Station may be freed up to allow New
Haven Line trains to also use this line to access the west side of Midtown Manhattan.

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: W. of


Williamsbridge Road
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: E. of
Williamsbridge Road

B6300

B6301

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

0.30

0.43

Size (acres)

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Existing Corridor Uses

C2-2, R4

C2-2, R4

Surrounding zoning

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6300: Along the parcels north side. The disparity between the deck plane and Sacket Avenue would increase heading west. Along the parcels
south side, a moderate disparity of 4 to 8 feet would exist between deck level and the top of the alignment trench. However, a building abuts the trench
here, which would partially mask this disparity.
x B6301: Along the parcels north side. The disparity between the deck plane and Sacket Avenue would increase heading east. A deck having the
appearance of a raised platform would exist along the parcels south side, next to a parking lot.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

117

58

Parcel B6301, east of Williamsbridge Road,


looking east

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

118

99%

1%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B64

ZONING

AMTRAK HELL GATE


LINE: NORTH AND
SOUTH OF PELHAM
PARKWAY

B64:

119

60

2%

2%

14%

23%

5%

1%

6%
1%

4%

5%

37%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B64

LAND USE

120

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Parcel B6401, north of Pelham Parkway, looking


north

This section of track is owned by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak). DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database
indicates that three private landholders have partial or complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

An unusual feature of this corridor is the presence of thick concrete support walls between the tracks. This very rare example of pre-existing deck supports
appears to have been built out to the points where Pelham Parkway North and South would have straddled the main road if these service roads had been built
straight east beyond their current endpoints. While cloverleaf interchanges with the Hutchinson River Parkway and I-95 makes such an extension impractical
now, some sort of Parks facility or grounds could be built upon this deck. In the long term, a redesign of these interchanges may allow these service roads (and
the Pelham Parkway greenway) to be extended, providing a more coherent connection with Pelham Bay Park.

Amtrak Northeast Corridor trains travel this route between Penn Station and New Rochelle in Westchester County, where the Hell Gate Line merges with
Metro-Norths New Haven Line. Upon completion of the LIRR East Side Access project, sufficient capacity in Penn Station may be freed up to allow New
Haven Line trains to also use this line to access the west side of Midtown Manhattan.

TOPOGRAPHY No issues related to this corridor are evident.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

121

0.90

0.74

Amtrak Hell Gate Line: S. of


Pelham Parkway
Amtrak Hell Gate Line: N. of
Pelham Parkway
Amtrak, CSX

Amtrak, CSX

Size (acres) Existing Corridor Uses

Name

62

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

B6401

Parcel
Code
B6400

PARCEL INFORMATION:

R3-2

M1-1, R6A

Surrounding zoning

122

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H
C
CE
EN
NT
TR
RA
AL
L
N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H

EAST 144TH STREET-NORTH OF EAST FORDHAM ROAD

B65: METRO-NORTH HARLEM/NEW HAVEN LINES:

ZONING

123

64

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H

LAND USE
C
CE
EN
NT
TR
RA
AL
L
N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H

124

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

20%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

23%

8%

7%

4%
9%

6% 1% 6%

7%

12%

7%

10%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B65

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Transit Authority, the MTA, the NYS Dormitory Authority, the Board of
Education, the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Parks and Recreation and 14 private landholders have partial or complete
ownership of the parcels along this corridor. Parkland alienation will likely be an issue which will need addressing.

Commuter rail stations at Melrose (parcel B6510) and Tremont (B6519 and B6520) are relatively lightly used but do provide access to the corridor. Fordham
(B6526 and B6527) is a major station served by many Harlem and New Haven trains and is now one of the busiest stations in the entire Metro-North system; a
significant and growing amount of reverse commuting to points north originates there.

Although not completely continuous (especially along its southern reaches) this corridor spans approximately 3.75 miles almost half the length of the entire
borough. However, potential uses are limited by the corridors width, which is generally 60 to 70 feet.

This corridor is utilized by Metro-Norths Harlem and New Haven Lines. Parcels B6500 and B6501 are also used by the Hudson Line, which branches off to
the northwest at East 150th Street. (Corridor B67 covers the segment of the Hudson Line immediately northwest of here.)

GENERAL INFORMATION:

66%

6% 1% 7%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B65

125

66

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6511: Along most of the parcels west side, especially at the midblock automobile lot, where a deck would likely have the appearance of a raised
platform relative to this adjacent use. A deck would also be slightly above most of Park Avenue along the parcels east side, with a more pronounced
disparity between East 166th Street and Governeur Place.
x B6512: A deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to most of the parcels west side, with a considerably more minor disparity
between deck level and Park Avenue along the parcels east side.
x B6513: Along virtually the entire west side of this parcel. The disparity between a deck and the adjacent NYCHA housing would increase towards
midblock from both the north and south, meaning that a deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to near the center of this parcels
west side.
x B6514: A deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the NYCHA housing property along virtually the entire west side of this
parcel.
x B6515: A deck would be significantly above the grade of the adjacent NYCHA housing property along the west side of this parcel. At the very
northern tip of the parcels east side, a minor disparity between a deck and Park Avenue would exist.
x B6516: Along the parcels eastern edge, a deck would be slightly above Park Avenue from the St. Pauls Place pedestrian overpass to midway between
East 171st Street and Claremont Parkway, but a more pronounced differential would exist near East 171st Street.
x B6517: A deck would largely have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the adjacent properties along the parcels western edge from
Claremont Parkway almost to East 173rd Street. Along the parcels eastern edge, a deck would be slightly above the grade of Park Avenue, but a more
pronounced differential would exist near East 172nd Street.
x B6518: Along the parcels west side, north and south of East 174th Street.
x B6519: Along most of the parcels west side, most significantly north and south of East 176th Street. A less pronounced disparity along a similar
pattern would also exist along the parcels east side from midway between East 175th and East 176th streets to south of East Tremont Avenue.
x B6520: Along both the west and east sides of the parcel, from about midway between East Tremont Avenue to East 178th Street, with a greater
disparity on the east side near East 178th Street.
x B6521: Along both the west and east sides of the parcel.
x B6522: Along most of the west side of the parcel; less so towards East 180th Street.
x B6523: Along most of the parcels west side. From about 4433 Park Avenue to just north of East 182nd Street, the west side of Park Avenue is nearly
at the same grade as the trackbed, meaning that any deck here would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to this stretch of the avenue. On
the east side of Park Avenue, a considerably more minor disparity exists from about 4438 Park Avenue to about 4510 Park Avenue.
x B6524:
o On the parcels west side, a deck would be slightly above Park Avenue from about midway between East 183rd to East 184th Street, the disparity

In addition, many parcels abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections requiring
sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

126

B6510: 1,830 feet (including existing deck down to south end of East 161st Street):
B6511: 1,350 feet
B6512: 670 feet
B6513: 710 feet
B6514: 960 feet
B6515: 330 feet
B6516: 1,150 feet

In addition the following terrain issues should also be considered:


x A rock slope is evident along the south end of parcel B6500s western rim. A deck along the parcels eastern edge would be slightly above Park
Avenue to the east, but at the midpoint of the eastern edge, Park Avenues elevation relative to track level is low enough that a deck here would
effectively be have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the adjacent road.
x Parcel B6501 is interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck. Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it
appears that a deck over the parcel would be above the surrounding land along most of its eastern edge; at the midpoint of the eastern edge, Park
Avenues elevation relative to track level is at its lowest. Most of the northwestern perimeter would also have the appearance of a raised platform.
However, a deck would be slightly below flush with the first floor of Cardinal Hayes High School. A deck over the parcel would be below street level
for a small portion of the parcels western interface with the Grand Concourse.
x Parcels B6503 and B6504 cross Concourse Village East on an angle. A deck upon parcel B6503 would be slightly above the adjacent intersection,
particularly at the location where the Mott Haven Wye service road branches off. Existing support beams straddle parcel B6504.
x Parcel B6510 is considerably wider than the remaining parcels to the north 350 feet across at its deepest. A deck here would be slightly to moderately
above the grade of Park Avenue to the northwest, moreso at both Clay Avenue and at a location about 200 feet south of Clay Avenue. The entire
curved southern edge of a deck would have the appearance of a raised platform or be flush with the tops of the adjacent rooftops from the northern edge
of the Melrose station platform to Melrose Avenue.
x Park Avenue is immediately adjacent to the east side of parcels B6511 through B6517. Although the trackbed itself provides little if any room for
support pilings, the width of the right-of-way may be narrow enough to allow supports on each side of the alignment, enabling a deck to vault over the
tracks.
VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. (Existing overpasses are factored into these
calculations. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of
these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

would grow significantly as heading north, especially from just south of East 185th Street to midway between East 185th and East 186th streets.
This parcel segment would have the appearance of a raised platform. The disparity then shrinks as approaching East 187th Street.
o On the parcels east side, a deck would be slightly above Park Avenue near East 184th Street, growing to perhaps 4 to 6 feet above Park Avenue
in the vicinity of East 185th Street. The disparity would gradually decrease as heading north from there.
B6527: A deck here would be flush with Webster Avenue but not with the east edge of Rose Hill Park, which slopes downward. To the east, a deck
would be moderately above the adjacent Fordham University property.

127

68

B6519: 940 feet


B6522: 750 feet
B6525: 490 feet

Parcel B6508, south of East 161st Street

1,380 feet
B6518: 1,070 feet
610 feet
B6521: 550 feet
1,640 feet
B6524: 1,070 feet
960 feet (includes Fordham Plaza deck)
790 feet (includes Fordham Plaza deck)

Parcel B6500, looking north from East 144th


Street towards East 149th Street

B6517:
B6520:
B6523:
B6526:
B6527:

Parcel B6524, looking north from East 183rd


Street towards East 187th Street

128

Metro-North Hudson/Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 149th Street-East


153rd Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: Mott Haven Yard service roadConcourse Village East

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: N. of Concourse Village East

Metro North Harlem/New Haven Lines: S. of East 161st Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 162nd Street-Melrose


Avenue

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: Brook Avenue-East 167th Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 167th Street-East 168th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 168th Street-East 169th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 169th Street-East 170th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 170th Street-St. Paul's Place


pedestrian overpass

B6503

B6504

B6508

B6510

B6511

B6512

B6513

B6514

B6515

Metro-North Hudson/Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 144th Street-East


149th Street

Name

B6501

Parcel
Code
B6500

PARCEL INFORMATION:

0.37

1.30

0.91

0.78

1.30

4.25

0.00

0.21

0.84

9.37

Size
(acres)
3.34

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines -former Port Morris Wye

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Hudson/Harlem/New Haven


Lines -- Mott Haven Wye

Metro-North Hudson/Harlem/New Haven


Lines

Existing Corridor Uses

R7-1

R7-1

R7-1

M1-1

C2-4, M1-1,
R7-1

C1-4,C2-4,
R7-1, R8
M1-1, R7-1,
R7-2, R8

R8

C1-4, C4-4,
C8-3, R7-2,
R8, SPD-C
C2-4, R7-2,
R8

Surrounding
zoning
M1-2, C4-4

129

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: Claremont Parkway-East 173rd


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 173rd Street-East 175th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 175th Street-East Tremont


Avenue

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East Tremont Avenue-East 178th


Street pedestrian overpass

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 178th Street pedestrian


overpass-East 179th Street pedestrian overpass

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 179th Street pedestrian


overpass-East 180th Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 180th Street-East 183rd


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 183rd Street-East 187th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 187th Street-East 188th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: East 188th Street-East 189th


Street

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: N. of East Fordham Road

B6517

B6518

B6519

B6520

B6521

B6522

B6523

B6524

B6525

B6526

B6527

70

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines: St. Paul's Place pedestrian


overpass-Claremont Parkway

B6516

0.28

0.36

0.42

1.19

2.05

0.84

0.68

0.70

1.07

1.31

2.09

1.51

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven Lines

C4-4, R6

C2-4, C4-4,
C8-3, R7-1

C8-3, R7-1

C1-4, R7-1

C1-4, C8-3,
M1-1, R7-1

C8-3, M1-1

C8-3, M1-1

C4-4, M1-1

C4-4, M1-1

M1-1, M1-4

M1-1, R7-1

C1-4, R7-1

130

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


A.J Griffin Place (N-S connection to E. 153rd Street); E. 171st Street (step street); Cyrus Place. In addition, some new streets could be constructed to increase access into any new
uses over the ROW: a small entrance loop off of Melrose Avenue; E. 151st Street (E-W dead ends); a new E. 148th Street (E-W dead end); E. 150th Street.

131

72

65%

12%

1%
22%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B66

ZONING

METRO-NORTH HARLEM/NEW HAVEN LINES:


MOSHOLU PARKWAY-PARKING DECK
NORTH OF MOSHOLU PARKWAY

B66:

132

5%

17%

4%

8%

3%

8%

4%

2%

19%

10%

20%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B66

LAND USE

133

Size (acres)
0.05

Name

Metro-North Harlem/New Haven


Lines: Mosholu Parkway-parking
deck N. of Mosholu Parkway

Metro-North Harlem/New
Haven Lines

74

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

Parcel
Code
B6600

PARCEL INFORMATION:

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Existing Corridor Uses

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the MTA
has partial or complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

OWNERSHIP

TOPOGRAPHY No issues related to this corridor are evident.

This small, one-parcel corridor is above Metro-Norths Harlem and New Haven Lines,
just north of the Botanical Garden station. At 2,113 square feet, its potential uses are
somewhat limited.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

C8-2, R6

Surrounding zoning

Parcel B6600, between Mosholu Parkway and


parking deck

134

25%

13%

3%

3%

56%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B67

ZONING

METRO-NORTH HUDSON LINE:


GRAND CONCOURSE-RIVER AVENUE

B67:

135

76

10%

12%

9%

8%

9%

1%

9%

34%

2%

6%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B67

LAND USE

136

All parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

In addition, although this corridor is part of the commuter rail network, vegetation and/or Parks property abuts parcels B6700 and B6701. Therefore, any
attempt to deck over property along the edge of these parklands could require parkland alienation.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Human Resources Administration, the Department of Parks and
Recreation, the MTA and two private landholders have partial or complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

Although built for four tracks, the westernmost track has been removed, offering opportune sites for deck supports.

This corridor is along Metro-Norths Hudson Line, which diverges from the Harlem and New Haven lines immediately southeast of here. The northern end of
the corridor is near both the former Bronx Terminal Market and parking for Yankee Stadium as it existed through 2008. Both areas are being redeveloped.

VENTILATION If parcel B6501 were to be completely decked over, then a full deck over all three parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical
ventilation system and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. (Existing overpasses
are factored into this calculation.)

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck upon these parcels would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent
topography:
x B6700: From Grand Concourse down to Walton Avenue.
x B6701: From Walton Avenue down to Gerard Avenue.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6701: Along the west side of the parcel. However, this side is hemmed in by buildings along the edge of the alignment that appear to make such a
disparity inconsequential. A minor deck disparity issue appears to exist at the northern edge of the parcels east side.
x B6702: Along the parcels west side, a disparity would exist between a deck and the adjacent parking lot as it currently exists. However, parking lots
are relatively malleable, and the lot grade can be canted upward to allow a smooth transition to a deck.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

137

Metro-North Hudson Line: Walton Avenue-Gerard Avenue

Metro-North Hudson Line: Gerard Avenue-River Avenue

B6701

B6702

78

Parcel B6701, looking north from


Walton Avenue towards Gerard
Avenue

Surrounding zoning

Metro-North Hudson Line M1-1, M1-2

Metro-North Hudson Line M1-1, M1-2, R6, R8

Metro-North Hudson Line C4-4, R6, R8, SPD-C

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


One new street could be constructed to increase access into any new decking over the ROW: Cedar Lane extension.

0.39

0.44

Metro-North Hudson Line: Grand Concourse-Walton Avenue 0.65

Size (acres) Existing Corridor Uses

B6700

Parcel Code Name

PARCEL INFORMATION

138

45%

9%

4%

1%

41%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B68

ZONING

ABANDONED PORT MORRIS


BRANCH: MELROSE AVENUE-SOUTH
OF WESTCHESTER AVENUE

B68:

139

80

17%

6%

13%

12%

2%

1%

7%

9%

7%

6%

8%

12%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B68

LAND USE

140

All parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Department of General
Services, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the NYPD and five private landholders have partial or complete ownership of the parcels
along this corridor.

Instead of being decked over, much of this part of the Port Morris Branch may be filled in as a result of proposed new developments. One of the projects, the
proposed Via Verde mixed-income sustainable housing development, would occupy parcel B6805. Other projects are also planned in this corridor. Filling in
the freight corridor trench rather than preserving it by decking it over would eliminate its potential as a transportation right-of-way.

Freight trains snaked their way through this narrow southeast Bronx corridor before the Oak Point Link rendered it superfluous in the late 1990s. Since then,
the corridor has been officially abandoned and its tracks removed.

B6800: 580 feet


B6805: 540 feet

B6801: 750 feet


B6806: 220 feet

B6802: 730 feet


B6803: 830 feet
B6807 (not including St. Marys Park Tunnel): 430 feet

B6804: 800 feet

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below:

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B6800: Along the parcels eastern edge. A deck here would be roughly flush with the second story of the industrial buildings which abut the corridor.
x B6801: At the extreme northern end of the parcels western edge, where a parking lot which is below that of the surrounding surface grades abuts the
parcel. Parts of this parcel are above the grade of the adjacent land, but are flush with the land immediately beyond the land abutting the parcel.
x B6802: All of the eastern and most of the western edges of this parcel are almost flush with the first floors of the buildings abutting the corridor.
x B6805: A deck here would be flush with Brook Avenue to the west, but the existing land gradually slopes downward to the right-of-way level. On the
east side of the parcel, a deck would be increasingly above the adjacent property as heading south.
x B6806: The athletic field immediately to the west of the parcel is about at trackbed level, but the stadium wall descends going north. On the parcels
east end, a deck would be slightly above the adjacent parking lot, with the grade differential increasing slightly as proceeding north.
x B6807: While a deck would be well above the adjacent land to the west, it would be flush with the top of the adjacent wall.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

141

82

Parcel B6804, looking south from the east side


of Third Avenue towards East 156th Street

The St. Marys Park Tunnel itself, from the southern end of parcel B6807 to the northern end of parcel B6900, is approximately 2,200 to 2,300 feet long.

(Existing overpasses and tunnels are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses
are counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

142

Port Morris Branch: East 161st Street-3rd Avenue

Port Morris Branch: 3rd Avenue-Brook Avenue

Port Morris Branch: N. of East 156th Street

Port Morris Branch: S. of East 156th Street

Port Morris Branch: N. of Westchester Avenue

Port Morris Branch: S. of Westchester Avenue

B6802

B6803

B6804

B6805

B6806

B6807

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

0.34

0.11

0.31

0.13

0.09

0.29

0.26

Port Morris Branch: East 163rd Street-Elton Avenue

B6801

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
1.25
abandoned freight rail line

Parcel Name
Code
B6800 Port Morris Branch: Melrose Avenue-East 163rd Street

PARCEL INFORMATION:

M1-1

C2-4, M1-1, R7-1

M1-1, C4-4, R7-2

R7-2

C1-4, R-8 (E-52)

C4-4 (E-52)

R-8 (E-52)

M1-1, R-8 (E-52)

Surrounding zoning

143

84

30%

1%

69%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B69

ZONING

ABANDONED PORT MORRIS


BRANCH: JACKSON AVENUESOUTHEAST OF BRUCKNER
BOULEVARD

B69:

144

24%

5%

4%

9%

1%

3%

4%

4%

38%

1%

2%

5%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B69

LAND USE

145

In addition, all parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal
protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that 11 private landholders have partial or complete ownership of parcels along this
corridor.

Dense vegetation and several inches of water of questionable cleanliness were observed in this deep open cut during a September 2006 field visit. Parts of the
cut appeared to have become an illegal dumping ground.

Freight trains snaked their way through this narrow southeast Bronx corridor before the Oak Point Link rendered it superfluous in the late 1990s. Since then,
the corridor has been officially abandoned and its tracks removed.

86

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Parcel B6903, looking southeast from Southern


Boulevard towards Bruckner Boulevard

TOPOGRAPHY A level deck at parcel B6904 would abut the Amtrak Hell Gate Line, which is elevated at this point, and a two-story industrial building, one floor of which
would be below the deck. The deck may need to be canted downward from the Hell Gate Line to Bruckner Boulevard if there is a desire to make it flush with
the railroad trestle.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

146

0.31

0.09

0.20

0.18

0.16

Size (acres)

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

abandoned freight rail line

Existing Corridor Uses

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

B6904

B6903

B6902

Port Morris Branch: Southern


Boulevard-Bruckner Boulevard
Port Morris Branch: SE. of Bruckner
Boulevard

Port Morris Branch: Jackson


Avenue-Concord Avenue/St. Mary's
Street
Port Morris Branch: Concord
Avenue/St. Mary's Street-Wales
Avenue
Port Morris Branch: Wales AvenueSouthern Boulevard

B6900

B6901

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

M3-1

M1-3

M1-3

M1-3

M1-2, R7-1

Surrounding zoning

147

88

5 corridors,
78 parcels,
103.18 acres

6.2: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


OPEN CUTS:
BROOKLYN
148

Corridor
Code
K30
K32
K60
K61
K62

NYCT B, Q (Brighton), S (Franklin) Lines: Sterling Place-Newkirk Plaza


NYCT N (Sea Beach)/New York & Atlantic Bay Ridge Line: East Of 4th Avenue-86th Street
New York & Atlantic Bay Ridge Line: West Of 2nd East Of 4th Avenue
New York & Atlantic Bay Ridge Line: 14th Avenue-East Of Albany Avenue
New York & Atlantic Bay Ridge Line: South Of Livonia Avenue-East Of Evergreen Avenue

Corridor Name
21
25
3
21
8

Parcels

Total
Acres
13.79
44.57
4.61
30.68
9.53

149

90

N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H

C
CE
EN
NT
TR
RA
AL
L

STERLING PLACE-NEWKIRK PLAZA

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H

K30: NYCT B, Q (BRIGHTON), S (FRANKLIN) LINES:

ZONING

150

N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H

LAND USE
C
CE
EN
NT
TR
RA
AL
L
SSO
OU
UT
TH
H

151

39%

22%

92

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

15%
FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

7%

4%

1%

2%

10%

19%

10%

1%

1%

14%

31%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K30

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that NYCTA, Board of Education, the Department of Citywide Administrative
Services, FDNY, the Department of General Services, the Department of Real Estate, and over 100 private landholders have partial or complete ownership of

Parcels K3020 and K3021 are located within Newkirk Plaza, a century-old midblock shopping center.

Although interrupted by several short tunnels and existing deck structures, the entire corridor is approximately 2.75 miles long, and traverses Crown Heights,
Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, and Flatbush.

These two subway lines were the original alignment of a steam excursion railroad to Coney Island opened in 1878. Substantial upgrades of the route were
made between about 1895 and 1920; the last of these, which created the tunnel connection between Prospect Park and DeKalb Avenue, resulted in an
operational split between Brighton and Franklin services. Today, a mostly two-track alignment is served by the Franklin Avenue Shuttle along parcels K3000
through K3010 (the route is elevated to the north of K3000), while Brighton services run in a four-track open cut from parcels K3010 through K3021 before
ramping up to an embankment and continuing south. Parcel K3010 is served by both Brighton and Franklin trains, since Prospect Park is the last stop on the
shuttle and a through stop for B and Q trains.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

23%

1%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K30

152

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck, since this would effectively place the rightof-way in a tunnel. Approximate maximum lengths for each parcel are listed below:
K3000: 400 feet
K3001: 390 feet
K3002: 750 feet (includes Eastern Parkway tunnel)

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels are on a slope; a deck upon these parcels would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent
topography:
x K3003: From Union Street down to President Street
x K3004: From President Street down to Carroll Street pedestrian overpass
x K3005: From Tivoli Towers parking deck down to Carroll Street pedestrian overpass
x K3006: From Crown Street down to Montgomery Street
x K3007: From Montgomery Street down to Washington Avenue

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x K3000: Along the parcels eastern edge, and along a short stretch of the parcels western edge encompassing the backyard half of the lot facing
Sterling Place.
x K3001: Along a short stretch of the parcels eastern edge encompassing the backyard half of the lot facing St. Johns Place.
x K3003: Along most of the parcels eastern edge, except for the northernmost portion.
x K3007: Along the southernmost two-fifths of the parcels eastern edge.
x K3008: Along the southernmost half of the parcels eastern edge, except for the 30 to 50 feet immediately adjacent to Empire Boulevard.
x K3010: Along the parcels western and eastern edges from Lincoln Road to Westbury Court. This is a particularly lengthy, relatively shallow stretch
that runs adjacent to private property along its entire length.
x K3015: Along the parcels western and eastern edges from a point approximately 250 feet south of Church Avenue to approximately the midpoint
between Albemarle Road and Beverly Road, where East 16th Street dead-ends. Like K3010, this is a particularly lengthy, relatively shallow stretch that
runs adjacent to private property. A pedestrian bridge once existed at Albemarle Road.
x K3019: Along the parcels western and eastern edges, except for the approximately 70 to 100 feet north of Newkirk Avenue.

In addition, with the exception of parcel K3008, which is entirely within the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, all parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside
from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections allowing sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties
may exist.

the parcels along this corridor.

153

94

820 feet (includes Eastern Parkway tunnel)


410 feet
370 feet (includes Tivoli Towers parking deck)
650 feet (includes Tivoli Towers parking deck)
490 feet
1,170 feet (includes Empire Boulevard tunnel)
1,050 feet (includes Empire Boulevard tunnel)
2,640 feet (includes Parkside Avenue tunnel)
970 feet (includes Parkside Avenue tunnel)
800 feet (includes Caton Avenue tunnel)
1,110 feet (includes Caton Avenue tunnel and Church Avenue tunnel/deck)
2,250 feet (includes Church Avenue tunnel/deck)
1,190 feet
K3017: 830 feet
K3018: 870 feet
340 feet
K3019: 650 feet

K3020: 370 feet

Parcel K3015, from Albemarle Road east


of the Brighton Line, looking north towards
the deck south of Church Avenue

Parcel K3010, looking north from the


subway stationhouse located north of
Lincoln Road

(Existing overpasses, short tunnels and decks are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several
overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

K3003:
K3004:
K3005:
K3006:
K3007:
K3008:
K3010:
K3011:
K3012:
K3013:
K3014:
K3015:
K3016:
K3021:

154

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Lincoln Place-Eastern Parkway

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Union Street-President Street

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: President Street-Carroll Street pedestrian


overpass
NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: S. of Carroll Street pedestrian overpass

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Crown Street-Montgomery Street

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Montgomery Street-Washington Avenue

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Washington Avenue-Empire Boulevard

NYCT Brighton/Franklin Avenue Lines: N. of Lincoln Road

K3002

K3003

K3004

K3006

K3007

K3008

K3010

K3005

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: Sterling Place-St. John's Place

NYCT Franklin Avenue Line: St. John's Place-Lincoln Place

K3001

Name

0.82

0.73

0.69

0.40

0.08

0.61

0.34

0.25

0.41

Size
(acres)
0.39

B,Q (Brighton) and S (Franklin Avenue)


Subway Lines

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

S (Franklin Avenue) Subway Line

Existing Corridor Uses

Parcel K3018, from the front of a B


(Brighton) Line train, looking north
towards Dorchester Road

Parcel
Code
K3000

PARCEL INFORMATION:

Parcel K3011, looking south from Lincoln


Road towards Parkside Avenue

NONE: Botanic
Gardens
C2-3, R7-1

R8A (R6A adj.)

R6A, R8A

R8A

R6A, R8A

R6A, R8A

R7-1

R7-1

R6, R7-1

Surrounding zoning

155

NYCT Brighton Line: Woodruff Avenue-Crooke Avenue

NYCT Brighton Line: Crooke Avenue-Caton Avenue

NYCT Brighton Line: St. Paul's Court-East 18th Street

NYCT Brighton Line: Church Avenue-Beverley Road

NYCT Brighton Line: Beverly Road-Cortelyou Road

NYCT Brighton Line: Cortelyou Road-Dorchester Road

NYCT Brighton Line: Dorchester Road-Ditmas Avenue

NYCT Brighton Line: Ditmas Avenue-Newkirk Avenue

NYCT Brighton Line: S. of Newkirk Avenue (Newkirk Plaza)

NYCT Brighton Line: N. of Foster Avenue (Newkirk Plaza)

K3012

K3013

K3014

K3015

K3016

K3017

K3018

K3019

K3020

K3021

96

NYCT Brighton Line: Lincoln Road-Parkside Avenue

K3011

2.47

0.09

0.20

0.61

0.80

0.67

1.05

2.00

0.35

0.49

0.35

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

B,Q (Brighton) Subway Line

R7-1

C1-3, R6

C1-3, R6

C1-3, R1-2, R3-2, R6

R1-2, R3-2

R1-3, R6

C1-3, R1-2, R3-2, R7-1

R1-2, R7-1

R7-1

R7-1

R7-1

156

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Carroll Street; Albemarle Road pedestrian overpass.

157

98

N
RT
TH
WE
ESST
H//W
NO
T
OR

C
RA
AL
L
CE
EN
NT
TR

ZONING

ATLANTIC BAY RIDGE LINE:


EAST OF 4TH AVENUE-86TH STREET

K32: NYCT N (SEA BEACH)/NEW YORK &

SSO
ASST
T
OU
UT
TH
H//E
EA

158

N
RT
TH
WE
ESST
H//W
NO
T
OR

LAND USE

C
RA
AL
L
CE
EN
NT
TR

SSO
ASST
OU
T
UT
TH
H//E
EA

159

83%

100

DESCRIPTION

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

6%

6%

5%

4%

4%

5%

2% 1%

22%

3%

42%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K32

The more westerly Bay Ridge/Sea Beach parcels offer vast, untapped potential for transit-oriented uses, since they are served by three subway stops: 8th
Avenue, Fort Hamilton Parkway and New Utrecht Avenue. Linear, mixed-use concepts could be contemplated here; a recreational bicycle/pedestrian strip of
parkland would pierce far into a part of Brooklyn that has no such facilities. However, any development would need to be cognizant of the surrounding low-to
medium-density residential context. Most of the surrounding area is zoned R5; some classifications within the R4 and R6 families also abut the corridor.

Parcels K3200 through K3207 contain a joint alignment (but not joint trackage) shared by the N (Sea Beach) and Bay Ridge lines, with N trains along the north
side of parcels K3200 through K3203 and along the south side of parcels K3204 through K3207. The latter four parcels are an entire city block wide each,
talking up the space between 61st and 62nd streets. From parcels K3208 to K3224, the N runs in its own right-of way, generally down the middle of blocks,
with the backyards of private houses abutting the open cut.

These 25 parcels cover over 44 acres and span over 4.1 miles. They may be the longest unbroken string of deckable parcels in the City. The existing Sea
Beach Line open cut largely dates from 1915, although its more westerly reaches predate that. Both the Sea Beach and Manhattan Beach railroads were laid
through the area in the 1870s. In 1924, passenger service ceased on the Manhattan Beach line, and what is now the New York and Atlantic Bay Ridge Line
became exclusively a freight operation. The Sea Beach Line was by then a rapid transit service.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

15%

2%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K32

160

In addition, parcels K3200, K3201, K3202, K3203, K3208, K3209, K3210, K3211, K3212, K3213, K3214, K3215, K3216, K3217, K3218, K3219, K3220,
K3221, K3222, K3223, and K3224 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections
requiring sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYCTA, MTA/LIRR, the City of New York and over 200 private landholders
hold complete or partial ownership over the parcels along this corridor.

K3200:
K3205:
K3207:
K3208:

620 feet
K3201: 900 feet
K3202: 910 feet
1,070 feet
K3206: 1,630 feet
1,260 feet (includes New Utrecht Avenue tunnel)
940 feet (includes New Utrecht Avenue tunnel)

K3203: 860 feet

K3204: 1,410 feet

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck, since this would effectively place the rightof-way in a tunnel. Approximate maximum lengths for each parcel are listed below:

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck upon these parcels would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent
topography:
x K3201: Along the parcels eastern half, from the theoretical extension of 63rd Street down to 64th Street.
x K6203: Along the parcels western half, from the theoretical extension of 62nd Street down to the parking lot immediately adjacent to the parcels south
side.
x K3204: From 62nd Street down to 61st Street
x K3206: Along the parcels eastern half, from 62nd Street down to 61st Street.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x K6203: Along a short stretch of the parcels southern edge from about 50 to 200 feet west of 8th Avenue.
x K6219: Along the parcels western and eastern edges from approximately 150 to 200 feet south of Avenue P to Kings Highway.
x K6220: Along the parcels western edge.
x K6221: Along the parcels western and eastern edges.
x K6222: Along the parcels western and eastern edges.
x K6223: Along the parcels western and eastern edges.
x K6224: Along the parcels western and eastern edges.

OWNERSHIP

161

1,010 feet
900 feet
1,190 feet
1,620 feet

Parcel K3218, looking south from Avenue


O towards Avenue P

102

K3210: 820 feet


K3215: 880 feet
K3220: 890 feet

K3211: 950 feet


K3216: 740 feet
K3221: 930 feet

K3212: 920 feet


K3217: 1,160 feet
K3222: 1,040 feet

K3213: 930 feet


K3218: 1,100 feet
K3223: 920 feet

Parcel K3202, looking east from 6th


Avenue towards 7th Avenue

Parcel K3220, looking south from the northbound


Kings Highway N (Sea Beach) Line platform

(Existing overpasses, short tunnels and decks are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several
overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

K3209:
K3214:
K3219:
K3224:

162

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 21st Avenue/64th Street-65th Street

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 65th Street-Bay Parkway/66th Street

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Bay Parkway-Avenue O

K3215

K3216

K3217

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 19th Avenue-20th Avenue

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 18th Avenue-19th Avenue

K3212

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 20th Avenue-64th Street

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 17th Avenue-18th Avenue

K3211

K3214

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 16th Avenue-17th Avenue

K3210

K3213

NYCT Sea Beach Line: 15th Avenue-16th Avenue

NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 4th Avenue-5th


Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 5th Avenue-6th
Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 6th Avenue-7th
Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 7th Avenue-8th
Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 8th AvenueFort Hamilton Parkway
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: Fort Hamilton
Parkway-11th Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 11th Avenue13th Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line/NY&A Bay Ridge Branch: 13th Avenue14th Avenue
NYCT Sea Beach Line: W. of 15th Avenue

Name

K3209

K3208

K3207

K3206

K3205

K3204

K3203

K3202

K3201

Parcel
Code
K3200

PARCEL INFORMATION:

0.97

0.36

0.44

0.52

0.95

0.79

0.75

0.98

0.87

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
0.97
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
2.91
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
3.79
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
2.48
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
6.07
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
3.62
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
7.14
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
3.19
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line; NY&A Bay Ridge
freight line
0.52
N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

C4-2A, R5B (C2-3 adj.)

C4-2A, R5

R5

C1-2, R5

C1-2, R5

C4-2, R5

C4-2, R5

M1-1, R5

M1-1, R5

M1-1

M1-1, R5

C2-1, M1-1, R5 (C1-2


adj.)
M1-1, R5 (C1-2 adj.)

M1-1

M1-1

M1-2

M1-1, SPD-BR (R6


adj.)
M1-1 (M1-2 adj.)

Surrounding zoning

163

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Kings Highway-Highlawn Avenue

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Highlawn Avenue-Avenue S

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Avenue S-Avenue T

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Avenue T-Avenue U

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Avenue U-86th Street

K3219

K3220

K3221

K3222

K3223

K3224

104

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Avenue O-Avenue P

NYCT Sea Beach Line: Avenue P-Kings Highway

K3218

1.16

1.58

0.76

1.03

0.88

0.68

1.17

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

N (Sea Beach) Subway Line

C2-3, R4-1, R5B, R7A

C1-3, R5

C2-3, R4-1, R5B

C2-3, R5B

R5B (C2-3 adj.)

R5B (C2-3 adj.)

C2-3, R4-1, R7A

164

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


64th Street, 63rd Street (two locations); 9th Avenue; 10th Avenue; 12th Avenue.

165

106

50%

49%

ZONING

1%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR:0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K60

NEW YORK & ATLANTIC BAY RIDGE LINE:


WEST OF 2NNDD AVENUE-EAST OF 4TTHH AVENUE

K60:

166

2%

38%

17%

2%

4%

4%

9%

3%
4%

17%

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K60

LAND USE

167

In addition, parcels K6010 and K6011 abut private property. (Parcel K6000 is managed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation.) Aside
from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections allowing sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties
may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the Dept. of Business, MTA/LIRR and 1 private landholder hold full or partial
ownership of these parcels.

Parcel K6000 currently extends over the 65th Street Rail Yard to about 330 feet west of 2nd Avenue, a plot of about 2.5 acres. The actual railyard size is much
larger up to a total of 33 acres. The parcel size was kept to a minimum due to the lack of any other way to access a potential deck than 2nd Avenue to the
east. Upper New York Bay cuts off the parcel on the west. The Belt Parkway, Owls Head Park and the Owls Head Wastewater Pollution Control Plant cut
off access to the parcel from the south. The Brooklyn Army Terminal cuts off access to the parcel to the north, although the potential exists for access via
extensions of 63rd Street and 58th Street that cross 2nd Avenue into the terminal area. If additional ways can be found to enter and leave this site (including
ferryboats from the west), the railyards realistic deckable area could grow considerably.

This corridor covers the portion of the Bay Ridge line to the west of its shared alignment with the NYCT N (Sea Beach) Line.

108

Parcel K6010 is a 15-foot-wide strip of open space immediately west of 4th Avenue. Potential building opportunities are limited here, and the parcel provides
ventilation for the rail corridor below.

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway at the following parcels of combinations of parcels would exceed 2,000 feet in length: K6010+K6011 and K6000+K6010+K6011.
A mechanical ventilation system and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck.
(Existing overpasses and decks are factored into this calculation.)

TOPOGRAPHY A deck at parcel K6000 would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to land to its north.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

168

2.05

0.03

2.54

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: W. of 2nd


Avenue
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: W. of 4th
Avenue
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: E. of 4th
Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge freight


line
NY&A Bay Ridge freight
line
NY&A Bay Ridge freight
line

Size (acres) Existing Corridor Uses

Name

M1-1, SPD-BR

M2-1 (R3-2, R4-1,


R7-1 adj.)
R7-1, SPD-BR

Surrounding zoning

Parcel K6000, looking west


from 2nd Avenue towards
Upper New York Bay

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


New streets, or an extension of 65th Street, could be constructed into the ROW to increase access to and from any potential deck. However access from the north, west and south
would need to be provided to make any deck size expansion viable.

K6011

K6010

Parcel
Code
K6000

PARCEL INFORMATION:

169

110

ZONING

10%

2%

81%

7%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K61

NEW YORK & ATLANTIC BAY RIDGE LINE:


14TTHH AVENUE-EAST OF ALBANY AVENUE

K61:

170

7%

4%

5%

5%

6%

12%

8%

1%

2%

1%

49%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K61

LAND USE

171

In addition, all parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal
protections allowing sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the MTA/LIRR, the NYC Transit Authority, the Department of Citywide
Administrative Services and over 100 private landholders hold full or partial ownership of these parcels.

Along the northern edge of parcel K6121, it was not possible to get an accurate view of where the land drops to track level. The parcel boundary at this
location is approximate.

A Target shopping center has recently been built between Nostrand and Flatbush Avenues, decking over this segment of the corridor. This new construction
does not appear on the aerial photo in this report. The fact that a large retail outlet is being built on such a deck amply illustrates the extent which commercial
entities will go to secure increasingly scarce space in relatively high-density areas such as the junction of Flatbush and Nostrand avenues.

From parcels K6101 through K6108, the corridor cuts through Borough Park at an angle, severing several east-west streets and one north-south road (19th
Avenue). East of this section, from parcels K6109 through K6120, the corridor passes through a different street grid and generally runs at a right angle to
north-south streets, about 340 feet south of Avenues H and 550 feet north of Avenue I. Towards the eastern end of the corridor the right-of-way gradually
curves north, passing north of Avenue H at Albany Avenue.

The rail line was laid through the area in the 1870s and placed below grade between approximately 1904 and 1908. In 1924, passenger service ceased on the
Manhattan Beach line, and what is now the New York and Atlantics Bay Ridge Line became exclusively a freight operation.

With 21 parcels crossing 3.3 miles of central Brooklyn, this segment of the Bay Ridge Line covers over 30 acres. Yet almost all of it is adjacent to residential,
commercial or industrial backyards, creating both challenges and opportunities for developers and community stakeholders alike.

112

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck over the following parcels would be above the surrounding land at the following
locations:
x K6104: Along a short stretch of the parcels northern edge where 56th Street angles north to meet 17th Avenue.
x K6107: Along the parcels southern edge from the midpoint between 52nd and 51st streets to 50th Street.
x K6108: Along the parcels southern edge from 19th Avenue to the back (western) edge of the supermarket. This parcel is in a small valley where the
Bay Ridge Lines trackbed is closer to surface level than normal; this was the site of Parkville Junction, where trains on the Bay Ridge Line could
access tracks along McDonald Avenue below the F (Culver) Line. Both the junction and the tracks under the F Line no longer exist.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

172

K6115: Along the parcels southern edge from the B, Q (Brighton) Line to approximately 70 to 120 feet east of East 19th Street. The grade differential
between a deck and the adjacent land would be quite pronounced here. This was the site of the Manhattan Beach Junction station, where passenger
trains on the Bay Ridge Line could access the Manhattan Beach Branch, a rail line operated by the LIRR that ran parallel to the Brighton Line until
1924. The pronounced dip in the terrain at East 16th and 17th streets and some unusually-shaped building lots are remnants of a former track connection
to this branch. A pedestrian bridge once existed connecting both dead ends of East 18th Street with the rail station.
K6116: Along the parcels northern end, south of Campus Road and north of East 23rd Street. Brooklyn College abuts the Bay Ridge Line to the north.
The disparity between a deck and Campus Road would grow heading east until reaching Roosevelt Hall Extension.
K6117: Along the parcels entire southern edge, and along the parcels northern edge from the eastern edge of Ingersoll Hall Extension in Brooklyn
College to approximately 200 to 250 feet west of Nostrand Avenue. The disparity between a deck and Brooklyn College would grow heading west
until reaching Ingersoll Hall Extension.
K6120: Room exists to extend the existing overhanging parking deck south along a narrow, 5- to 10-foot wide sliver. The deck would continue to have
the appearance of a raised platform relative to the adjacent apartment tower gardens. At East 35th Street, a deck would be well above the adjacent dead
end, but the right-of-way is wide enough at this location to arch a deck up over the alignment.
K6121: Along the parcels southern edge from midway between Brooklyn Avenue and East 37th Street to midway between East 38th Street and East
39th Street; also along East 40th Street as it angles east to Join Albany Avenue and Avenue H.

K6100: 180 feet


K6101: 750 feet
K6102: 690 feet
K6103: 510 feet
K6105: 1,160 feet
K6106: 420 feet
K6107: 740 feet
K6108: 1,030 feet
K6110: 1,030 feet
K6111: 1,630 feet
K6112: 870 feet
K6113: 290 feet
K6115: 1,330 feet
K6116: 1,420 feet
K6117: 2,010 feet (including new Nostrand-Flatbush tunnel)
K6120: 1,680 feet (including new Nostrand-Flatbush tunnel)
K6121: 1,440 feet
K6122: 450 feet
(Existing overpasses, short tunnels and decks are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each
parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of these
figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

K6104: 1,350 feet


K6109: 660 feet
K6114: 180 feet

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below:

173

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: New Utrecht Avenue-15th Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 15th Avenue-60th Street

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 60th Street-16th Avenue

K6101

K6102

K6103

114

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 14th Avenue-New Utrecht Avenue

Name

0.48

1.09

1.26

Size
(acres)
0.07

What would have been parcel K6118,


between Nostrand and Flatbush avenues,
was decked over for a Target retail outlet.

Parcel
Code
K6100

PARCEL INFORMATION:

Parcel K6120, looking west from Brooklyn


Avenue towards the parking deck east of
Flatbush Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

Existing Corridor Uses

M1-1, R5

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

Surrounding zoning

174

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 52nd Street-50th Street

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 50th Street-McDonald Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: McDonald Avenue-East 3rd Street

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: East 3rd Street-Ocean Parkway

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Ocean Parkway-Coney Island Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Coney Island Avenue-East 14th Street

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: East 14th Street-East 15th Street pedestrian
overpass
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: East 15th Street pedestrian overpass-NYCT
B,Q (Brighton) Line
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: NYCT B,Q (Brighton) Line-Ocean Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Ocean Avenue-Bedford Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Bedford Avenue-Nostrand Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: parking deck east of Flatbush AvenueBrooklyn Avenue
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Brooklyn Avenue-Avenue H/Albany Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: E. of Albany Avenue

K6106

K6107

K6108

K6109

K6110

K6111

K6112

K6113

K6114

K6116

K6117

K6120

K6122

K6121

K6115

K6105

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 16th Avenue/59th Street-17th Avenue/56th


Street
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 17th Avenue/56th Street-18th Avenue/53rd
Street
NY&A Bay Ridge Line: 18th Avenue-52nd Street

K6104

0.69

3.05

1.59

2.76

3.17

3.20

0.18

0.40

1.28

2.42

1.30

0.61

1.55

1.27

0.38

1.73

2.21

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

M1-1

R4, R6

R6 (C2-2, C8-2 adj.)

C8-2, R4, R6

R2, R4, R5, R7A (E159)


R4, R6, R7A

R5

R5

C8-2, R2X, R5, R7,


SPD-OP
C8-2, R5

M1-1, R3, R5, SPDOP


R3, R5, R7A, SPD-OP

M1-1, R5

R5

C8-2 (R5 adj.)

C8-2, R5

C8-1, R5

175

116

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Realigned 61st Street; 58th Street; 57th Street; possible realigned 56th street with grade change; 55th Street; 54th Street; full vehicular connection between 19th Avenue and 49th
Street on north side only; pedestrian overpass to 19th Avenue on south side; East 7th Street; East 8th Street; East 9th Street; East 10th Street; East 12th Street; East 13th Street; full
East 15th Street vehicular overpass; full East 15th Street vehicular overpass

176

ZONING

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H ((L
LE
EF
FT
T))
N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H ((R
RIIG
GH
HT
T))

NEW YORK & ATLANTIC BAY RIDGE LINE:


SOUTH OF LIVONIA AVENUE-EAST OF EVERGREEN AVENUE

K62:

177

118

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H ((L
LE
EF
FT
T))
N
O
R
T
H
(
R
I
G
NORTH (RIGH
HT
T))

LAND USE

178

7%

DESCRIPTION

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR:0

8%

7%

5%

5%

13%

10%

2%

2%

2%

13%

25%

8%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K62

The L Line runs above Van Sinderen Avenue. At parcels K6204 and K6205, space exists under the elevated structure that can be decked over, but numerous
support beams (both lateral and vertical) run through this parcel section. Excess infrastructure left over from the Fulton Elevated also exists from Pitkin
Avenue north to the Atlantic Avenue station. While this section of the L Line was streamlined in the past few years by removing unnecessary and redundant

Most of the parcels in this corridor have trackbeds that are considerably closer to surface grade than are found elsewhere in this inventory. They were included
in the inventory because they are immediately adjacent to transit and offer opportunities for transit-oriented development. Parcels K6200 and K6201, which
are at street level, were included because they are at the intersection of the L (Canarsie) Lines Livonia Avenue station and the 3 (New Lots) Lines Junius
Avenue station. Parcels K6202 and K6203 are below the L Lines Sutter Avenue station, and parcel K6206 is adjacent to both the Atlantic Avenue station on
the L Line and the East New York LIRR station.

The Bay Ridge Line travels above grade from East Flatbush to East New York, where it turns north and descends to ground level and eventually into an open
cut and tunnel. Seven of the eight parcels in this corridor lie to the west of Van Sinderen Avenue; collectively, they are just under a mile long. The eighth
parcel is at the other end of a tunnel that carries the Bay Ridge Line beneath the Broadway Junction area.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

91%

1%

1%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K62

179

In addition, Parcels K6201, K6202, K6203, K6204, K6205, K6206 and K6210 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a
platform through such a corridor, legal protections allowing sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the MTA/LIRR, the City of New York and at least 4 private land holders hold full
or partial ownership of parcels in this corridor.

120

With the exception of parcels K6203+K6204+K6205, any consecutive set of three, four or five parcels between K6200 and K6205 would exceed 2,000 feet in
length. A mechanical ventilation system and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck,
since this would effectively place the right-of-way in a tunnel. (Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation.)

A deck upon the northern part of parcel K6201 may need to be arched to allow both sufficient clearance for the use below and a level connection with the
adjacent land. Parcel K6200 and much of K6201 would be entirely on a raised platform. Access between these parcels and the surrounding communities
would need to be addressed.
VENTILATION Currently there are no ventilation systems in place in the East New York Tunnel. NY&A trains must rely on the piston action of the locomotive to fumigate
the tunnel (which measures 3,530 feet long). Decking over parcels K6210, K6206, or K6206 plus any consecutive parcels to the south without remedying this
condition would only aggravate this situation.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x K6200: Over the entire parcel, which is located at street level, as described above.
x K6201: Over the entire parcel, which is located at street level, as described above. Also, a deck would be significantly above adjacent land along the
parcels eastern and western edges near Blake Avenue.
x K6202: Along the parcels eastern and western edges.
x K6203: Along the parcels eastern and western edges.
x K6204: Along the parcels eastern edge, and along the western edge for approximately 100 feet south of Glenmore Avenue.
x K6205: Along the parcels eastern edge.
x K6206: Along the parcels eastern edge. The parcels western edge would be on an overhang that would block sunlight from reaching the lower stories
of apartment buildings immediately to the west. Any deck and corresponding uses upon it would need to be designed to prevent this from happening.

OWNERSHIP

elevated structures, more steel can be removed if this section of the elevated is rebuilt.

180

1.30

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: S. of Livonia Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Livonia Avenue-Blake Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Blake Avenue-Sutter Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Sutter Avenue-Pitkin Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Pitkin Avenue-Glenmore Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Glenmore Avenue-Liberty Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: Liberty Avenue-East New York Avenue

NY&A Bay Ridge Line: E. of Evergreen Avenue

K6201

K6202

K6203

K6204

K6205

K6206

K6210

0.21

1.24

1.54

1.10

1.31

1.00

1.84

Size (acres)

Name

Parcel
Code
K6200

PARCEL INFORMATION:

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

NY&A Bay Ridge freight line

Existing Corridor Uses

M1-1, R6

M1-4

M1-4

M1-4

M1-4

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1 (C2-4 adj.)

Surrounding zoning

181

122

Parcel K6205, looking north from


Glenmore Avenues towards Liberty
Avenue. The L (Canarsie) Line
elevated structure is to the right.

Parcel K6201, looking north from an


eastbound 3 (New Lots) Line train towards
Blake Avenue. The Livonia Avenue L
(Canarsie) Line station is to the right.

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

182

3 corridors,
10 parcels,
16.74 acres

6.3: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


OPEN CUTS:
MANHATTAN
183

124

Corridor
Corridor Name
Code
M30
NYCT 3 (Lenox Avenue) Line: East Of Theoretical Extension Of East 149th Street
M60
Amtrak Empire Corridor: West 44th Street-West 61st Street
M61
Amtrak Empire Corridor: West 138th Street-North Of Theoretical Extension Of West 181st Street
1
4
5

Parcels

Total
Acres
0.35
1.86
14.53

184

79%

2% 4%
15%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M30

ZONING

NYCT 3 (LENOX AVENUE) LINE:


EAST OF THEORETICAL EXTENSION
OF EAST 149TTHH STREET

M30:

185

126

8%

24%

13%

5% 2%

3%

7%

14%

24%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M30

LAND USE

186

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database records indicate that this parcel is owned by the Board of Education and the NYC Transit
Authority.

This 300-foot-long parcel is hemmed in to the north by a public school, to the west by Esplanade Gardens, and to the east by the elevated Harlem River Drive.
(The subway line is in a tunnel to the south.) Parcel M3000s out-of-the-way location is not readily accessible, limiting its potential development
opportunities.

This single .35-acre parcel is above a short outdoor segment of the 3 Line between the 145th Street and 148th Street stations. Although the track and trainyard
to the north have existed virtually since the subways opening, passenger service was only extended to 148th Street in 1968, as a new housing development and
school decked over most of what had previously been an open-air facility.

0.35

M3000

NYCT Lenox Avenue Line: W. of


Harlem River Drive/E. of theoretical
extension of West 149th Street

Size (acres)

Parcel Code Name

PARCEL INFORMATION:

3 (Lenox Avenue)
Subway Line

Existing Corridor Uses

R8

Surrounding zoning

VENTILATION Since the 148th Street station to the north is in an unenclosed deck (light and air can enter the platform area), ventilation issues from the north are not a serious
concern. The question of whether an enclosed deck would additionally burden subway tunnel ventilation systems to the south would need to be addressed by
NYCT.

TOPOGRAPHY No issues related to this corridor are evident.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFROMATION:

187

128

Parcel M3000, looking east from beneath


the Harlem River Drive

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

188

69%

12%

1%

8%
10%

FAR: over 7.5

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M60

ZONING

AMTRAK EMPIRE CORRIDOR:


WEST 44TTHH STREET-WEST 61SSTT
STREET

M60:

189

130

LAND USE

190

In addition, all parcels along this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal
protections requiring sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database records indicate that the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Education
and 19 private landholders hold full or partial ownership of parcels in this corridor.

At least four parcels or parcel segments which existed 3 to 4 years ago are no longer available.2 The area between West 51st Street and West 53rd Street was
already occupied by buildings under construction by the time site visits were conducted in October 2006. Similarly, a portion of what is now parcel M6020
now has a building upon it.

This rail open cut carries Amtraks Empire services. Previously, the right-of-way joined the High Line to the south.

The accompanying aerial photo predates this development, thus some parcels that appear to be open in the photo are not listed.

VENTILATION The tracks that run beneath the parcels from M6010 north are not electrified, although eventual electrification of the Empire Corridor is a possibility. In the
meantime, effective ventilation of this segment of the corridor will be needed.

TOPOGRAPHY Exposed rock was noted in the right-of-way of parcels M6010, M6011 and M6012, which could affect deck construction.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

191

Amtrak Empire Line: West 45th Street-West 46th Street

Amtrak Empire Line: West 48th Street-West 49th Street

Amtrak Empire Line: West End Avenue/West 60th


Street-West 61st Street

M6012

M6014

M6020

0.60

0.40

0.37

Amtrak Empire Line

Amtrak Empire Line

Amtrak Empire Line

Size
Existing Corridor
(acres) Uses
0.49
Amtrak Empire Line

C4-7 (R10 adj.)

C2-5, R8, SPD-CL

C2-5, M1-5, R8, SPD-CL (C2-5


adj.)
R8, SPD-CL (C2-5 adj.)

Surrounding zoning

132

The former Parcel M6013,


looking north from West 48th
Street, was being decked over
in March 2008

Parcel M6011, looking north


from West 44th Street towards
West 45th Street

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping. However, new streets could be constructed into the ROW to increase access into the new
development near West 63rd Street.

* Parcels M6000, M6001, M6002 and M6010 are located within the Hudson Yards Special Purpose District. Properties within the district are not included in this report. Parcels
M6013 and M6021 were being decked over as of March 2008.

Amtrak Empire Line: West 44th Street-West 45th Street

Name

Parcel
Code
M6011

PARCEL INFORMATION:

192

56%

1%

1%

42%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M61

SSO
OU
UT
TH
H ((L
LE
EF
FT
T)),, N
NO
OR
RT
TH
H ((R
RIIG
GH
HT
T))

Z
O
N
I
N
G

CORRIDOR: WEST 138TH


STREET-NORTH OF
THEORETICAL
EXTENSION OF WEST
181ST STREET

M61: AMTRAK EMPIRE

193

134

45%

2%

2%

1%

10%

8%

4%

2%

6%

20%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor M61

LAND USE

194

In addition, all parcels in this corridor are part of the Citys parkway system. Decking over this location would likely require parkland alienation.
Jurisdictional issues regarding specific ownership of this land may be in dispute.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database records indicate that the Port Authority of NY/NJ, the Department of Parks and Recreation, the
National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and the NYC Department of Real Estate hold full or partial ownership of parcels in this corridor.

At parcel M6100 (between West 138th Street and West 145th Street), the entire park, including the rail line and a bicycle/pedestrian path, runs through a de
facto trench, with Harlem on the east and Riverbank State Park on the west. The Henry Hudson Parkway is elevated through this section, and lies at the west
end of the trench, but is still slightly below the grade of Riverbank State Park. If this parcel is decked over then much of the trench could be filled and
regarded to better align it with Riverside Park to the east, even as far north as between West 146th and West 147th streets.

Although most of this corridor is technically zoned R8, it passes through Riverside Park. Any decking that could not reasonably be called a park use over these
parcels is extremely unlikely. This corridor has been included as part of the inventory in case the City eventually wishes to deck over these railroad tracks in a
manner similar to what Robert Moses initiated in the 1930s between 72nd Street and 123rd streets. Doing so would add an additional 14 acres to the park and
unite strips of parkland to the tracks east and west.

This rail open cut serves Amtraks Empire services. Previously, the right-of-way joined the High Line to the south.

Exposed rock was noted in the right-of-way of parcel M6104, which could affect deck construction.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x M6100: Along the parcels western edge. Also, along the approximately 200 to 250 southernmost feet along the parcels eastern edge, and along the
parcels eastern edge from West 146th Street to approximately 50 to 100 feet south of the 145th Street pedestrian overpass.
x M6101: Along the parcels western and eastern edges..
x M6102: Along the parcels western edge. Also, along the parcels eastern edge from West 148th Street to midway between West 151st Street and West
152nd Street.
x M6103: Along the parcels western edge, excluding the curved edge of the parcel to the north.
x M6104: Along the parcels western edge, from West 160th Street to approximately 500 to 550 feet south of the George Washington Bridge.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

195

2.40
1.19
8.10

M6102 Amtrak Empire Line: West 148th Street pedestrian overpassWest 155th Street pedestrian overpass

M6103 Amtrak Empire Line: West 155th Street pedestrian overpassWest 158th Street

M6104 Amtrak Empire Line: theoretical extension of West 160th


Street-theoretical extension of West 181st Street

136

1.01

M6101 Amtrak Empire Line: West 145th Street (Riverbank State


Park entrance)-West 148th Street pedestrian overpass

Amtrak Empire Line

Amtrak Empire Line

Amtrak Empire Line

Amtrak Empire Line

Size
Existing Corridor
(acres) Uses
1.83
Amtrak Empire Line

Parcel Name
Code
M6100 Amtrak Empire Line: West 138th Street-West 145th Street
(Riverbank State Park entrances)

PARCEL INFORMATION:

R7-2, R8 (all in park, distant from


housing)

R8

R8

R8

unknown

Surrounding zoning

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway at any two or more consecutive parcels from M6100 through M6103 would exceed 2,000 feet in length. (Parcel M6104 would by
itself be well over 2,000 feet long.) A mechanical ventilation system and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be
entirely enclosed by a deck. (Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation.)

196

Parcel M6104, looking south from


the pedestrian overpass west of
West 172nd Street

Parcel M6103, looking north from the


West 155th Street pedestrian overpass
towards West 158th Street

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

197

138

9 corridors,
43 parcels,
46.86 acres

6.4: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


OPEN CUTS:
QUEENS
198

Corridor
Code
Q60
Q61
Q62
Q63
Q64
Q65
Q66
Q67
Q68

Parcels
4
9
5
9
6
5
1
2
2

Description

LIRR Main Line: Northeast Of Woodside Avenue-Southeast Of 65th Place


LIRR Port Washington Branch: Union Street-East Of Murray Street
LIRR Port Washington Branch: West Of Corporal Kennedy Street-East Of Bell Boulevard
CSX Fremont Secondary: Lutheran Cemetery-North Of Grand Avenue
CSX Fremont Secondary: 45th Avenue-North Of 37th Avenue
LIRR Montauk Division: West Of Corner Of 59th Place And 60th Road-East Of Metropolitan Avenue/Fresh Pond Road
LIRR Port Washington Branch: East Of Douglaston Parkway
LIRR Main Line: East And West Of Grand Avenue
LIRR Main Line: North Of 80th Road-82nd Avenue

Total
Acres
2.67
4.35
2.02
16.99
8.13
6.51
1.29
2.94
1.96

199

140

50%

3%

1%

46%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q60

ZONING

LIRR MAIN LINE:


NORTHEAST OF WOODSIDE AVENUESOUTHEAST OF 65TTHH PLACE

Q60:

200

7%

6%

9%

30%

2%2%2%
5%
2%
2%
33%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q60

LAND USE

201

All parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist. Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels.

The corridor benefits from significant access to transit. Parcel Q6000 is near the 7 Line station, an express stop. The LIRR station is served by all of the
railroads easterly routes.3 The Q18 bus also serves all four parcels. The corridor is zoned for medium density residential development (R4-1, R5B, R6, R6A).

Four parcels totaling 2.67 acres make up this corridor, which begins at the east end of the LIRR Woodside station and continues for approximately 1,150 feet
to the southeast. The corridor cuts through the existing street grid at an angle.

The Woodside LIRR station serves 28 trains to Penn Station between 6:00am and 10:00am weekdays and 25 trains to Jamaica between 4:00pm and 8:00pm weekdays as of March 2007.

142

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the
surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6000: Along the parcels northeastern edge, increasingly so heading northwest.
x Q6003: Along the parcels southwestern edge, excluding approximately 40 southeast of 65th Street and approximately 30 feet northwest of 65th Place.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

202

Q6003

Q6002

Q6001

LIRR Main Line: N.


of Woodside Avenue
LIRR Main Line:
1.03
Woodside Avenue65th Street
LIRR Main Line:
0.95
65th Street-65th
Place
LIRR Main Line: SE. 0.12
of 65th Place

Q6000

Size
(acres)
0.57

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

R5B

R5B

R4-1, R5B,
R6A

Surrounding
zoning
R6

Parcel Q6000 looking southeast from


the westbound LIRR Woodside
Stations Port Washington Branch
platform towards Woodside Avenue.

LIRR Main Line

LIRR Main Line

LIRR Main Line

Existing
Corridor Uses
LIRR Main Line

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


64th Street

203

144

ZONING

MURRAY STREET

22%

17%

3%

1%

57%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q61

Q61: LIRR PORT WASHINGTON BRANCH: UNION STREET-EAST OF

204

15%

2%

9%

11%

1%

4%

1%

22%

21%

14%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q61

LAND USE

205

In addition, parcels Q6100, Q6101, Q6102, Q6103, Q6104, Q6107 and Q6108 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of
building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services, FDNY, the
MTA/LIRR and 45 private landholders have partial or complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

Although sufficient room exists in the open cut to construct pillars, the relatively narrow width of the corridor (usually about 50 feet), combined
with its course through the backyards of several apartment buildings and houses, may make development of the interior block sections of the
lengthier parcels difficult. Construction of a linear park through the corridor is possible, but security concerns from adjacent property owners
would need to be addressed.

Through much of Flushing and Murray Hill, the LIRR Port Washington Branch runs through a nine-parcel, 4,100-foot long open cut. The Murray
Hill station itself is centered under parcels Q6105 and Q6106. The west end of parcel Q6100 lies less than 900 feet from the Main Street-Flushing
station of the 7 (Flushing) Line, and the numerous bus routes that converge upon Downtown Flushing.

146

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6100: Along the parcels northern and southern edges.
x Q6108. Along the parcels northern and southern edges.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

206

Q6101: 770 feet


Q6104: 390 feet
Q6107: 470 feet

Q6102: 1,080 feet


Q6105: 150 feet
Q6108: 170 feet

Parcel Q6103 looking east from 147th Street


towards 149th Street.

Parcel Q6106 looking west from 150th Street


towards the Murray Hill LIRR station.

(Existing overpasses, short tunnels and decks are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them,
meaning that several overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

Q6100: 670 feet


Q6103: 710 feet
Q6106: 200 feet

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system
and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum
lengths for each parcel are listed below.

207

0.32

LIRR Port Washington Branch: 149th Street-149th Place

LIRR Port Washington Branch: E. of 149th Place

Q6104

Q6105
LIRR Port Washington Branch
LIRR Port Washington Branch
LIRR Port Washington Branch

0.40
0.17

148

LIRR Port Washington Branch

0.17

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

LIRR Port Washington Branch: W. of 150th Street/41st


Avenue
Q6107 LIRR Port Washington Branch: 150th Street/41st AvenueMurray Street
Q6108 LIRR Port Washington Branch: E. of Murray Street

LIRR Port Washington Branch

0.69

Q6106

LIRR Port Washington Branch

1.07

LIRR Port Washington Branch: Bowne Street-Parsons


Boulevard
Q6102 LIRR Port Washington Branch: Parsons Boulevard-147th
Street
Q6103 LIRR Port Washington Branch: 147th Street-149th Street

0.13

LIRR Port Washington Branch

0.71

Q6101

LIRR Port Washington Branch

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
0.68
LIRR Port Washington Branch

Parcel Name
Code
Q6100 LIRR Port Washington Branch: Union Street-Bowne Street

PARCEL INFORMATION:

C1-2, R4A, R5

C1-2, R4-1, R5

C1-2, R5

C1-2, R5

C1-2, R5

R5

R6

R6

C2-2, R6, R7-1

Surrounding zoning

208

55%

11%
34%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q62

ZONING

LIRR PORT
WASHINGTON BRANCH:
WEST OF CORPORAL
KENNEDY STREET-EAST
OF BELL BOULEVARD

Q62:

209

150

19%

1%

3%

13%

2%

3%

2%

2%

55%

vacant land

parking facilities

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q62

LAND USE

210

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck


would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6201: Along the parcels southern edge. Also, along the
parcels northern edge from approximately 130 feet east of
Corporal Kennedy Street to the parcels eastern end.
x Q6202: Along the parcels southern edge. Also, along the
parcels northern edge from approximately 120 feet west of the
Bayside station pedestrian overpass to the parcels western end.
No issues related to this corridor are evident.

VENTILATION

In addition, all parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside
from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a
corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach
these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates
that the MTA/LIRR and 30 private landholders have partial or complete
ownership of the parcels along this corridor. MTA Long Island Rail
Road is the operator.

LIRR Port Washington trains generally run every half hour, except for
late nights.

As the Port Washington Branch passes through Bayside, it passes


through an open cut, resulting in five parcels spread over approximately
2,000 linear feet. While the combined area of these parcels equals just
over 2 acres, parcels Q6202, Q6203 and Q6204 are all located
immediately above the Bayside LIRR station. Bell Boulevard, which
abuts Q6203 and Q6204, is also served by the Q13 and Q31 bus routes.

TOPOGRAPHY

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

Parcel Q6201 looking east from


Corporal Kennedy Street. The
Bayside LIRR station is in the
distance.

211

LIRR Port Washington Branch: W. of Bayside station overpass

LIRR Port Washington Branch: Bayside station overpass-Bell


Boulevard

LIRR Port Washington Branch: E. of Bell Boulevard

Q6202

Q6203

Q6204

152

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

LIRR Port Washington Branch: E. of Corporal Kennedy Street

Q6201

Parcel Name
Code
Q6200 LIRR Port Washington Branch: W. of Corporal Kennedy Street

PARCEL INFORMATION:

0.76

LIRR Port Washington


Branch

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
0.10
LIRR Port Washington
Branch
0.41
LIRR Port Washington
Branch
0.39
LIRR Port Washington
Branch
0.35
LIRR Port Washington
Branch
C1-2, C8-1, R6B

C1-2, R4, R6B

C1-2, R4

R4

R3-2

Surrounding zoning

212

100%

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q63

ZONING

CSX FREMONT SECONDARY:


LUTHERAN CEMETERYNORTH OF GRAND AVENUE

Q63:

213

154

3%

4%

4%

8%

23%

1%

9%

2%

46%

vacant land

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q63

LAND USE

214

All parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the Department of Citywide Administrative Services and 16 private landholders
have partial or complete ownership of parcels along this corridor. The railroad itself is property of CSX Transportation, Inc.

So far as can be ascertained, decking of this corridor would not impact parkland. However, a significant amount of green space would be impacted if this
corridors airspace were to be decked over.

Given most of the areas predominantly low-to-medium density residential character (much of it is zoned R4) and its path abutting numerous private
properties, development of this corridor may prove to be a challenge.

Parcel Q6305 is above a notably deep section of open cut. Sufficient vertical clearance exists between the trackbed and the Long Island Expressway overpass
to build a deck through to 57th Avenue.

Parcels Q6300 and Q6301 are unique in that they pass through a deep open cut entirely within a portion of Lutheran Cemetery. These parcels are exceptionally
well-delineated, have ample room for deck supports, and are closer to the subway system than any other parcels in the corridor. (Q6300 is 700 feet from the
Metropolitan Avenue terminal of the M (Myrtle) Line. However, their unusual location may make any non-cemetery-related use difficult.

This 1.25-mile long, nine-parcel corridor is comprised of the airspace over the Fremont Secondary, a rail freight route that connects the Bay Ridge Line with
the Amtrak Hell Gate Line. The corridor traverses Middle Village and Maspeth and contains nearly 23 acres of deckable airspace more than half of which is
evenly split between two parcels: Q6303 and Q6305. Parcel Q6303 in part lies across a street from Juniper Valley Park.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6303:
o Along the approximately 300 southernmost feet of the parcels western edge.
o Along approximately 250 feet of the parcels eastern edge, from approximately 30 to 280 feet north of Juniper Boulevard South.
o Along approximately 150 feet of the parcels eastern edge, centered upon the bend in Lutheran Avenue approximately 600 feet north of Juniper
Boulevard South.
o Along the approximately 330 northernmost feet of the parcels eastern edge.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

215

156

Q6305: 1,520 feet

Q6306: 200 feet

(Existing overpasses, short tunnels and decks are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several
overpasses are counted more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

Q6300: 880 feet (includes Metropolitan Avenue tunnel)


Q6301: 430 feet
Q6302: 620 feet
Q6303: 2,450 feet Q6304: 960 feet

However, in most places a full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical
ventilation system and emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate
maximum lengths for each parcel are listed below.

VENTILATION Parcels Q6307 and Q6308, which are separated from the parcels to the south by an open-air gap, are not lengthy enough to warrant concern about ventilation.

216

CSX Fremont Secondary: Juniper Boulevard S.-Eliot Avenue

CSX Fremont Secondary: Eliot Avenue-Caldwell Avenue

CSX Fremont Secondary: Caldwell Avenue-57th Avenue

CSX Fremont Secondary: N. of 57th Avenue

CSX Fremont Secondary: S. of Grand Avenue

CSX Fremont Secondary: N. of Grand Avenue

Q6303

Q6304

Q6305

Q6306

Q6307

Q6308

Q6302

CSX Fremont Secondary: Lutheran Cemetery, SW. of 69th


Street
CSX Fremont Secondary: 69th Street-Juniper Boulevard S.

NY&A Fremont Secondary: Lutheran Cemetery, W. of


theoretical extension of 66th Road

Name

Q6301

Parcel
Code
Q6300

PARCEL INFORMATION:

0.27

0.25

0.28

6.18

2.52

5.89

0.60

0.48

CSX Fremont Secondary


freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line

CSX Fremont Secondary


freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line

CSX Fremont Secondary


freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
0.50
NY&A Fremont Secondary
freight line

M1-1, R4

M1-1, M3-1

M1-1, M3-1

M1-1, M3-1, R4

C2-2, R4

C2-2, R4

C2-3, R4B

R4 (inside cemetery)

R4 (inside cemetery)

Surrounding zoning

217

158

Parcel Q6303 looking north from


Juniper Boulevard South.

Parcel Q6305 looking south from


57th Avenue. The Long Island
Expressway crosses over above.

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


62nd Avenue; 71st Street (angled slightly SE); Juniper Boulevard N.; 74th Street; possibly new 75th Place (N-S); 57th Road. In addition, some new streets could be constructed to
increase access into the new usable airspace over the ROW.

218

40%

6%

54%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q64

ZONING

CSX FREMONT SECONDARY:


45TTHH AVENUENORTH OF 37TTHH AVENUE

Q64:

219

160

LAND USE

220

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck here would need to
be canted downward to conform to adjacent topography:
x Q6400: From 44th Avenue down to 45th Avenue.
x Q6403: From Woodside Avenue down to 41st Avenue.

Parcel Q6403 looking north from Woodside


Avenue towards 41st Avenue

Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels. The railroad itself is property of CSX Transportation, Inc.

Parcels Q6400, Q6401, Q6402, Q6403, Q0107 and Q6405 abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a
corridor, legal protections that require sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

This corridor partially adjoins one of the BQE corridors (Q01), which lies adjacent to the LIRR Woodside corridor (Q60). Parcels Q0107 and Q6405 are
approximately two blocks west of the 69th Street station on the 7 (Flushing) Line and approximately three blocks east of the 74th Street-Broadway/Roosevelt
Avenue complex, served by the 7 and E, F, G, R and V (Queens Boulevard) lines, along with a bus stations and a bus terminal serving the Q32, Q33, Q45,
Q47, Q49 and Q53 routes. Parcels Q0109, Q6405 and Q6406 are also one to two blocks west of the 65th Street station on the G, R and V lines.

The northern end of this corridor is shared with the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Parcel Q0107, although it primarily covers the rail freight line, does partly
overlap with the expressway, immediately south of 37th Avenue and Broadway.

Although smaller than corridor Q63 to the south, corridor Q64 has better access to public transportation and traverses an area with somewhat higher zoned
densities (generally R5-R6) than corridor Q63. This 3,300-foot long corridor includes 8.1 acres of deckable airspace.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the
surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6406: Along the approximately 30 northernmost feet of the parcels eastern and
western edges.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

221

162

Parcel Name
Code
Q6400 CSX Fremont Secondary:
45th Avenue-44th Avenue
Q6401 CSX Fremont Secondary:
44th Avenue-43rd Avenue
Q6402 CSX Fremont Secondary:
43rd Avenue-Woodside
Avenue
Q6403 CSX Fremont Secondary:
Woodside Avenue-41st
Avenue
Q6405 I-278/CSX Fremont
Secondary: Roosevelt
Avenue-Broadway/37th
Avenue
Q6406 CSX Fremont Secondary: N.
of 37th Avenue

PARCEL INFORMATION:

I-278 (Brooklyn-Queens
Expressway), CSX
Fremont Secondary rail
freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line

2.07

0.09

CSX Fremont Secondary


freight line

CSX Fremont Secondary


freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line
CSX Fremont Secondary
freight line

Existing Corridor Uses

3.25

0.96

0.95

Size
(acres)
0.81

R5

C2-3, R6

R6, R6B, R7B

R5, R6B

R5

Surrounding
zoning
R5

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway at the following parcels of combinations of parcels would exceed
2,000 feet in length: Q6403+Q0107+Q6405, Q6401+Q6402+Q6403+Q0107, Q6402+Q6403+
Q0107+Q6405, or any consecutive set of five, six or seven parcels. A mechanical ventilation
system and emergency facilities for the rail line below would be needed if these parcels were
to be entirely enclosed by a deck, since this would effectively place the
right-of-way in a tunnel. (Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation.)

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


realigned 72nd Street; 71st Street, angled slightly
NNW upon deck

222

LIRR MONTAUK DIVISION:

WEST OF CORNER
OF 59TTHH PLACE AND
60TTHH ROAD-EAST OF
METROPOLITAN AVENUE/FRESH POND ROAD

Q65:

7%

93%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q65

ZONING

223

164

5%

5%

9%

7%

6%

1%

4%

13%

2%

46%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use 2%
by Percentage of Square Feet within
0.25 Miles of Corridor Q65

LAND USE

224

Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels. MTA Long Island Rail Road is the operator.

All parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a
corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Until 1998, a Fresh Pond passenger station at the western end of parcel Q6504 existed. This and all other intermediate stations between
Long Island City and Jamaica were closed. The LIRR was then embarking on building high-level platforms at all its stations which did
not yet have one; the low ridership generated at these stations did not warrant the investment.

A short tunnel, approximately 600 feet long, lies between parcels Q6503 and Q6504, as the railroad passes beneath Metropolitan
Avenue and Fresh Pond Road.

Parcel Q6500 does not strictly lie above the railroad tracks, which are already decked over. This small parcel lies immediately to the
northeast of the tracks.

Five parcels totaling over 6.5 deckable acres lie over this rail line segment that cuts through Ridgewood and Maspeth. Although this
corridor lies over what was the primary east-west route of the LIRR a century ago through Queens, its role as a commuter line has
steadily diminished since the opening of Pennsylvania Station in 1910. As of March 2007, this route carried one passenger train per
day. However, the Montauk Division remains an active rail freight route, which is currently used by New York & Atlantic trains.

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway at the following parcels of combinations of parcels would exceed 2,000 feet in length:
Q6501+Q6502+Q6503, Q6502+Q6503+Q6504, or any four or five consecutive parcels along this corridor. A mechanical ventilation
system and emergency facilities for the rail line below would be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck.
(Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation.)

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6501: Along the parcels northern edge, from approximately 30 to 150 feet west of 60th Street. Also, along the approximately
400 westernmost feet of the parcels southern edge.
x Q6502: Along the approximately 220 westernmost feet of the parcels northern edge. Also, along the parcels southern edge,
from approximately 280 to 470 feet east of 60th Street.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

225

NY&A; limited LIRR service

0.76
2.17

LIRR Montauk Division: 60th Street-60th


Lane/Eliot Avenue
Q6503 LIRR Montauk Division: E. of Eliot Avenue

Q6504

166

NY&A; limited LIRR service

2.24

Q6502

NY&A; limited LIRR service

NY&A; limited LIRR service

1.25

LIRR Montauk Division: E. of Metropolitan


Avenue/Fresh Pond Road

NY&A; limited LIRR service

Existing Corridor Uses

Size
(acres)
0.09

Parcel Name
Code
Q6500 LIRR Montauk Division: W. of corner of 59th Place
and 60th Road
Q6501 LIRR Montauk Division: 59th Place-60th Street

PARCEL INFORMATION:

C2-4, M1-1

M1-1

C2-4, R4

R4

Surrounding
zoning
M1-1

226

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Realigned 60th Court; 60th Place

Parcel Q6503 looking east from Elliot


Avenue towards the automobile lot
deck west of Fresh Pond Road

227

168

LIRR PORT WASHINGTON BRANCH:


EAST OF DOUGLASTON PARKWAY

Q66:

19%

78%

ZONING

3%

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q66

228

4%
2%
1%
2%
2%

14%

1%

13%

61%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q66

LAND USE

229

Parcel Q6600 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient
light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist. Further PLUTO records are unavailable. MTA Long Island Rail Road is the operator.

OWNERSHIP

170

Parcel Q6600 looking east from 240th


Street.

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be below the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6600: Along the parcels northwestern edge, for the approximately 600 feet closest to Douglaston Parkway. Also, along the parcels southeastern
edge, for the approximately 550 feet closest to Douglaston Parkway.

This single parcel lies in the heavily wooded northeastern corner of Queens, across the street from the Douglaston LIRR station. The Port Washington Branch
provides half-hourly service seven days a week, except for late nights. The area is zoned R1-2.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

230

Parcel
Code
Q6600

Size
(acres)
1.29

Existing Corridor
Uses
LIRR Port
Washington Branch

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


240th Street; Willow Drive/Depew Avenue (E-W)

LIRR Port Washington


Branch: E. of Douglaston
Parkway

Name

PARCEL INFORMATION:
Surrounding
zoning
R1-2

231

172

10%

90%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q67

ZONING

LIRR MAIN LINE:


EAST AND WEST OF
GRAND AVENUE

Q67:

232

2%

2%

4%

1%

17%

7%

6%

2%

4%

55%

vacant land

parking facilities

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q67

LAND USE

233

Both parcels abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient
light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

OWNERSHIP

174

Parcel Q6701 looking west


from the 55th Avenue
pedestrian overpass towards
Grand Avenue

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6700: Along the parcels southern edge, excluding the 80 feet nearest Grand Avenue. A deck here would increasingly be above Calamus Avenue to
the south at one heads west, but sufficient room exists between the trackbed and the road to arch the deck down to street level.

TOPOGRAPHY Along most of the north side of the right-of-way, the disparity between the surface and trackbed grade is insufficient to warrant a deck.

Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels. MTA Long Island Rail Road is the operator.

Two parcels totaling approximately 3 acres of deckable airspace bracket Grand Avenue as it passes over the LIRR Main Line in Elmhurst. Parcel Q6700 is
zoned R4 and Q6701 is zoned R5; a C1-3 overlay envelopes most of Grand Avenue along this stretch of the road. The parcels are served by the Q58 and Q59
bus routes, and are approximately 2,000 feet southwest of the Grand Avenue subway station on the G, R and V (Queens Boulevard) lines.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

234

LIRR Main Line: W. of Grand


Avenue
LIRR Main Line: E. of Grand
Avenue

Name

2.12

Size
(acres)
0.82
LIRR Main Line

Existing Corridor
Uses
LIRR Main Line
C1-3, R5

Surrounding
zoning
C1-3, R4

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping. However, new streets could be constructed into the ROW to increase access into the new
development there: 53rd Avenue (extended dead end); 54th Avenue (extended dead end)

Q6701

Parcel
Code
Q6700

PARCEL INFORMATION:

235

176

37%

3%

7%

53%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q68

ZONING

LIRR MAIN LINE:


NORTH OF 80TTHH
ROAD-82NNDD AVENUE

Q68:

236

3%

5%

5%

13%

20%

1%

2%

4%

47%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q68

LAND USE

237

Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels. MTA Long Island Rail Road is the operator.

Both parcels abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient
light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Parcel Q6800, while situated in the same R2 zone as Q6801, sits immediately southeast of a high-rise apartment, creating a context for modest upzoning.
Parcel Q6801bisects a block of detached single-family houses.

Nestled into a pocket of R2-zoned low-density housing, these two parcels are situated close to several mass transit options: the LIRR Kew Gardens station (500
feet to the northwest), the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike subway station of the E and F lines (1,000 feet to the southwest), and the Q10, Q37, Q46 and Q74 bus
route termini (1,000 feet to the southwest). The Q60 route and the X63, X64 and X68 express buses also serve Queens Boulevard.

178

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

The surface land adjacent to the following parcel is on a slope; a deck here would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent topography:
x Q6801: From northeast of Grenfell Street down to southwest of Austin Street.

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be below the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6801: Along the parcels northeastern and southwestern edges, excluding the approximately 50 feet along the northeastern edge closest to 82nd
Avenue.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x Q6800: Along the parcels northeastern edge, along the approximately 85 feet farthest from 80th Road.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

238

LIRR Main Line: N. of 80th


Road
LIRR Main Line: 80th Road82nd Avenue

Name

1.60

Size
(acres)
0.36
LIRR Main Line

Existing Corridor
Uses
LIRR Main Line
R2

Surrounding
zoning
R2, R3-2, R5

Parcel Q6800 looking north from 80th


Avenue towards the apartment deck
to the north

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

Q6801

Parcel
Code
Q6800

PARCEL INFORMATION:

239

180

3 corridors,
21 parcels,
21.06 acres

6.5: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


OPEN CUTS:
STATEN ISLAND
240

Corridor
Description
Code
S30
Staten Island Railway: St. George Tunnel Southern Extension
S31
Staten Island Railway: Bedford Avenue-South Of Beach Avenue
S32
Abandoned North Shore Railroad (NSR): West Of John Street Pedestrian Overpass-Lockman Avenue
1
9
11

Parcels

Total
Acres
1.22
9.82
10.02

241

182

36%

1%

63%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor S30

*At press time, the City Planning Commission had approved a rezoning of this district,
which was awaiting City Council action.

ZONING*

STATEN ISLAND RAILWAY:


ST. GEORGE TUNNEL
SOUTHERN EXTENSION

S30:

242

5%

1%

3%

43%

14%

1% 7%
4%

9%

4%

9%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor S30

LAND USE

243

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the MTA/SIRTOA and four private landholders have partial or complete ownership
of the parcels along this corridor. In addition, parcel S3000 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a
corridor, legal protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Parcel S3000s width varies between 50 and 100 feet.

In September 2008, the City Planning Commission had approved a new Special St. George Zoning District, designed to encourage a pedestrian-friendly
streetscape and allow taller buildings while preserving waterfront views.

This parcel abutting Bay Street would create a 480-foot-long, 1.2-acre deck that would almost double the length of the existing SIR St. George Tunnel. The
parcel extends from approximately 620 feet south of parcel S0100 to approximately 500 feet north of the SIR Tompkinsville station. A deck here can create a
terraced transition between Bay Street and the lowlands to the east, which are not easily accessible from each other.

184

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be below the surrounding land at the following locations:
x S3000: Along the approximately 590 southernmost feet of the parcels western edge, mostly abutting Bay Street.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x S3000: The deck would essentially give the appearance of a raised platform facing the property to the east.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

244

Staten Island Railway: St. George


Tunnel Southern Extension

S3000

1.22

Size (acres)
Staten Island Railway
South Shore Line

Existing Corridor Uses

Parcel 3000 looking north from Bay


Street towards the SIR St. George tunnel

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

C4-2

Surrounding zoning

245

186

STATEN ISLAND RAILWAY:


BEDFORD AVENUE-SOUTH OF
BEACH AVENUE

S31:

97%

3%

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor S31

ZONING
246

2%

4%

7%

1%

82%

vacant land

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

2% by Percentage of Square Feet


Land Use
within
0.25 Miles of Corridor S31
2%

LAND USE

247

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the New York State Transit Commission, MTA/SIRTOA, the Department of
Citywide Administrative Services, the NYC Department of Real Estate and five private landholders have partial or complete ownership of the parcels along
this corridor.

The corridor passes through Grant City and New Dorp, which are mostly zoned in the low-density R3 family of designations. A C1-1 overlay surrounds much
of the Grant City station area, and a somewhat more built up C2-1 overlay overspreads the New Dorp station vicinity. New Dorp Lane itself has a highly
commercial character southeast of the station, and has a C2-2 overlay. The areas in the immediate vicinity of these two train stations could be viable station
squares: attractive focal points of mixed-use activity similar to those found along several Metro-North stations in lower Westchester County. The relative
narrowness of several of the parcels (particularly S3105, above the New Dorp station) may reduce the expense and difficulty of building what would
essentially be a tunnel roof.

Measuring 50 to 120 feet wide, this corridor is bracketed along its entire 1.03-mile length by North and South Railroad avenues, both of which go by the name
New Dorp Plaza from parcels S3105 through S3108. Over 9.8 acres of deckable airspace occupy these parcels.

These nine parcels constitute an open-cut section of the SIR which includes both the Grant City and New Dorp train stations. In the mid- to late 1960s, this
was the last section of the SIR to be grade-separated.

188

S3101: 670 feet


S3106: 460 feet

S3102: 240 feet


S3107: 600 feet

S3103: 810 feet


S3108: 150 feet

S3104: 1,930 feet

(Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are counted
more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

S3100: 490 feet


S3105: 510 feet

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below.

TOPOGRAPHY No issues related to this corridor are evident.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

248

Parcel S3104 looking south from Bancroft Avenue


towards New Dorp Lane.
Parcel S3105 looking north from Rose Avneue
towards New Dorp Lane

249

Staten Island Railway: Bancroft Avenue-New


Dorp Lane

Staten Island Railway: New Dorp Lane-Rose


Avenue
Staten Island Railway: Rose Avenue-Ross
Avenue
Staten Island Railway: Ross Avenue-Beach
Avenue
Staten Island Railway: S. of Beach Avenue

S3104

S3105

190

S3108

S3107

S3106

Staten Island Railway: Grant City station


overpass at Fremont Avenue-Bancroft Avenue

S3103

S3102

0.21

0.88

0.60

0.59

4.45

1.52

0.41

0.56

S3101

Staten Island Railway: Midland AvenueLincoln Avenue


Staten Island Railway: Lincoln Avenue-Grant
City station overpass at Fremont Avenue

Size
(acres)
0.61

7Parcel Name
Code
S3100
Staten Island Railway: theoretical Bedford
Avenue overpass-Midland Avenue

PARCEL INFORMATION:

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

C2-1, R3-2

C2-1, R3-1

C2-1, R3-1 (C2-2,


R3-2 adj.)
C2-1, R3-1

C2-1, R3-1, R3X


(C2-2, R3-2 adj.)

R3X (C1-1, R3-2


adj.)

C1-1, R3-2

C1-1, R3-2, R3X,

R3X

Staten Island Railway South Shore Line


Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

Surrounding zoning

Existing Corridor Uses

250

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Bedford Avenue; Colfax Avenue; Fremont Avenue; Greeley
Avenue; Prescott Avenue; Bryant Avenue; Otis Avenue;
Locust Avenue; Burbank Avenue; Steele Avenue/Bache
Avenue; Cloister Place/Jacques Avenue

251

192

ZONING

ABANDONED
NORTH SHORE
RAILROAD (NSR):
WEST OF JOHN
STREET PEDESTRIAN
OVERPASSLOCKMAN AVENUE

S32:

252

10%

6%

1%

1%

13%

15%

3%
1%
1% 6%

1%

42%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor S32

LAND USE

253

93%

194

DESCRIPTION

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Parcel S3207 looking west from Van Pelt Avenue


towards DeHart Avenue.

The study proposed rebuilding six of the 11 former stations along the NSR right-of-way, plus the existing St. George SIR terminal. Two of these stations fall
within this corridor. Elm Park would be located within parcel S3201, east of Morningstar Road, and the Mariners Harbor station would be located in parcel
S3207, between De Hart and Van Pelt avenues.

Numerous proposals for reactivating the line have been put forward. The most recent major study, Feasibility Study of the Staten Island North Shore Railroad
Right-of-Way, was commissioned by the Staten Island borough presidents office, funded by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and released in
March 2004 by the URS Corporation. The study found that all potential forms of rapid transit diesel multiple unit (DMU) vehicles, streetcars, light rail,
heavy rail and bus rapid transit (BRT) were viable options for the corridor, but that light rail and DMU were the most cost effective.

Last used for passenger service in 1953 and rail freight in 1989, the former Staten Island Rapid Transit North Shore Railroad alignment was purchased by the
City in 1993 and is now under NYCEDC jurisdiction preserved in case the right-of-way is ever rehabilitated and reactivated for some form of rapid transit.
The 11 parcels in this corridor represent most of the open cut portion of the alignment, and contain 10 acres of deckable airspace spanning .92 miles.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

7%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor S32

254

All parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation has jurisdiction over this corridor.

Portions of the trackbed along parcel S3203 are close to surface level, but were ultimately retained as part of the corridor.

The surface land adjacent to the following parcels is on a slope; a deck here would need to be canted downward to conform to adjacent topography:
x S3206: Within the parcels western third, east of Van Pelt Avenue, from the north down to Heusden Street.
x S3207: Approximately 150 feet east of De Hart Avenue, from Erastina Place down to Linden Avenue and Maple Parkway.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x S3201: Along the approximately 80 easternmost feet of the parcels northern edge. Also, along the approximately 60 easternmost feet of the parcels
southern edge.
x S3202: Along the parcels northern edge, from approximately 30 to 470 feet west of Morningstar Road. Also, along the parcels southern edge, from
approximately 70 to 420 feet west of Morningstar Road.
x S3203: Along the parcels northern edge, excluding the approximately 140 feet east of Lake Avenue. Also, along the parcels southern edge, from
approximately 160 to 470 feet west of Granite Avenue.
x S3209: Along the parcels southern edge, excluding the approximately 40 feet nearest to Harbor Road.
x S3210: Along the parcels southern edge, excluding the approximately 20 feet nearest to Harbor Road.

OWNERSHIP

Greater potential exists along this corridor to effectively coordinate land use and transportation than almost anywhere else in the City. The NSR, no matter
what the transit mode that ultimately occupies it may be, is a tremendous untapped resource with the potential to reshape the neighborhoods around it. Making
use of the airspace above these parcels could exemplify such a transformation.

This corridor passes through areas zoned in the R3 family (with some C1-2 commercial overlays), M1-1 (light/transitional industrial), or M3-1 (heavy
industrial).

The western end of the corridor, from the midpoint of parcel S3208 through S3210 and beyond, has already been rebuilt as part of the restoration of the NSR
for freight service across the Arthur Kill Lift Bridge into New Jersey. (A spur down Staten Islands west shore to Travis has also been rebuilt.) Any
reestablishment of passenger rail along this segment will have to share the right-of-way (but not co-mingle) with these freight tracks.

255

270 feet
330 feet
600 feet
140 feet

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Granite


Avenue-Lake Avenue
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Lake
Ave.-Simonson Avenue
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line:
Simonson Ave.-Van Name Avenue

S3203

196

S3205

S3204

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line:


Morningstar Road-Granite Avenue

S3202

S3201

Staten Island Railway: W. of John Street


pedestrian overpass
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: NY440
(Bayonne Bridge approach)-Morningstar Road

Name

PARCEL INFORMATION:

Parcel
Code
S3200

S3202: 800 feet


S3205: 430 feet
S3208: 350 feet

S3203: 840 feet


S3206: 530 feet
S3209: 650 feet

0.88

0.58

1.72

1.34

0.43

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
0.25
Staten Island Railway South Shore Line

R3A

R3A

M3-1

C1-2, M3-1, R3-2

C1-2, R3-2

R3-2

Surrounding zoning

Open air would exist between a deck upon parcel S3200 and decks upon the rest of the corridor. Therefore, its length was not calculated here.
(Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation. All overpasses are counted for each parcel adjoining them, meaning that several overpasses are counted
more than once. The combined total of these figures does NOT equal the total corridor length.)

S3201:
S3204:
S3207:
S3210:

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway over multiple consecutive parcels in this corridor would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and
emergency facilities for the rail line below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. Approximate maximum lengths for each
parcel are listed below.

256

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Van


Pelt Avenue-De Hart Avenue

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: De Hart


Avenue-Union Avenue
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Union
Avenue-Harbor Road
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Harbor
Road-theoretical Lockman Avenue overpass

S3207

S3208

S3210

S3209

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line: Van


Name Avenue-Van Pelt Avenue

S3206

0.26

1.39

0.73

1.25

1.18
C1-2, R3A

C1-2, R3A

Staten Island Railway North Shore Line (freight)

M1-1, R3A

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line, R3A


Staten Island Railway North Shore Line (freight)
Staten Island Railway North Shore Line (freight) M1-1, R3A

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

inactive Staten Island Railway North Shore Line

257

198

POTENTIAL FOR CONNECTING STREETS:


Erastina Place/Maple Parkway

258

3 corridors,
6 parcels,
54.86 acres

6.6: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


YARDS: BRONX
259

200

Corridor
Code
B50
NYCT Concourse Yards
B51
NYCT 239th Street Yards
B52
NYCT Westchester Yards

Corridor Name
3
1
2

Parcels

Total
Acres
18.93
9.27
26.66

260

83%

6%
11%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B50

ZONING

B50: NYCT CONCOURSE YARDS

261

202

48%

10%

2%

6%

1%

7%

12%

2%

2%

10%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B50

LAND USE

262

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Transit Authority and one private landholder have partial or complete
ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

OWNERSHIP

VENTILATION A full deck over the railway at the following parcels or combinations of parcels would exceed 2,000 feet in length: B5000+B5001, B5000+B5001+B5002. A
mechanical ventilation system and emergency facilities for the yards below may be needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. (Existing
overpasses are factored into this calculation.)

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

Parcel B5001 is interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck. Accommodation of these buildings, such as building a new
entrance to the deck level or designing ways of incorporating these structures into the deck area may be desirable.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x B5000: Along the parcels entire west side.
x B5001: Along the parcels east side, except for immediately north of Bedford Park Boulevard and immediately south of West 205th Street. The
disparity between a deck and the adjacent surface would be particularly acute in the vicinity of West 204th Street.

In addition, parcel B5002 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

This subway yard provides storage, maintenance and car washing facilities for the B, D and 4 services. It is located in the footprint of the never-completed
eastern half of the Jerome Park Reservoir, and is largely below grade. The location of this site, immediately adjacent to the Bedford Park Boulevard station on
the 4 (Jerome Avenue) Line, makes it ideally suited for transit-oriented development. (A second station by the same name, serving the B and D (Concourse)
Line, is located about 700 feet farther east.)

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

263

B,D (Concourse) Subway


Yards
B,D (Concourse) Subway
Yards
B,D (Concourse) Subway
Yards

Existing Corridor Uses

R7-1

C8-2, R6 (R8 adj.)

M1-1, R6

Surrounding zoning

204

Parcel B5001, looking north


from Bedford Park
Boulevard

Parcel B5000, looking south


from Bedford Park
Boulevard

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid. Some of these streets could include: a new N-S street
connecting at the south end of parcel B5000 connecting to Jerome Avenue; a new W. 199th Street dead end in B5000; a new N-S street in parcel B5001; a new W. 203rd Street
dead end in parcel B5001.

B5002

B5001

NYCT Concourse Yards: S. of


8.47
Bedford Park Boulevard
NYCT Concourse Yards: Bedford
10.27
Park Boulevard-West 205th Street
NYCT Concourse Yards: N. of West 0.19
205th Street

B5000

Size (acres)

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

264

ZONING

NYCT 239TTHH STREET YARDS

B51:

265

206

13%

1%

5%

5%

3%

4%

3%

2%

64%
vacant land

parking facilities

public facility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor B51

LAND USE

266

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Transit Authority and one private landholder have partial or complete
ownership of the parcels along this corridor. In addition, parcel B5100 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform
through such a corridor, legal protections requiring sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

A deck here would largely be on a raised platform, and to varying degrees would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the edges of East 241st
Street and Furman Avenues. Access between parcel B5100 and the surrounding communities would need to be addressed, as would concerns about light and
shadows and the aesthetics of an exposed deck abutting these neighborhoods. The best opportunity for a relatively seamless transition to a deck would be at the
parcels north end adjacent to a fast food establishment, where the yards elevation and the distance to the nearest track may permit a ramp up to deck level.

This subway yard provides storage, maintenance and car washing facilities for the 2 and 5 services. The eastern half of the yard is on a raised embankment that
is precipitously higher than the western half. The eastern half has not been included due to this grade differential and due to the unlikelihood that a new
subway station would be built within the yards.1

In contrast, Brooklyns parcel K5100 is comprised of Livonia Yards. This elevated yard structure has the potential to include a station, since it lies after the last stop on the 3 Line instead of adjacent to it, which is
the case with the 239th Street Yard. Therefore, the entire yard deck was included as a parcel.

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

TOPOGRAPHY Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

267

NYCT 239th Street Yards: S. of


East 241st Street

B5100

9.27

Size (acres)
2,5 (239th Street) Subway
Yards

Existing Corridor Uses


M1-1 (C1-2, R4A, R5
adj.)

Surrounding zoning

208

Parcel B5100, looking east from Furman Avenue

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid. Some of these streets could include: an internal
circulation road from new arc-shaped ramp at E. 241st Street; Furman Avenue.

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

268

25%

3%

72%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B52

ZONING

NYCT WESTCHESTER YARDS

B52:

269

210

49%

2%

2%

4%

6%

12%

9%

10%

2%

1%

3%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor B52

LAND USE

270

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the NYC Transit Authority and 10 private landholders have partial or complete
ownership of the parcels along this corridor.

OWNERSHIP

VENTILATION A full deck over the parcel B5200 would exceed 2,000 feet in length. A mechanical ventilation system and emergency facilities for the yards below may be
needed if these parcels were to be entirely enclosed by a deck. (Existing overpasses are factored into this calculation.) Westchester Yards role as a base for
diesel-powered maintenance-of-way vehicles could reinforce the need for effective ventilation.

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

Parcel B5200 is interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck. Accommodation of these buildings, such as building a new
entrance to the deck level or designing ways of incorporating these structures into the deck area may be desirable.

Although some locations are to varying degrees below street level, decking these parcels would generally require a structure that would have the appearance of
a raised platform relative to the adjacent streets and private properties. Access between parcels B5200 and B5201 and the surrounding communities would
need to be addressed, as would concerns about light and shadows and the aesthetics of an exposed deck abutting these neighborhoods.

TOPOGRAPHY Blondell Avenue, which roughly parallels the west side of the yard about 140 feet west of the yard boundary, is both far enough from the yard and has an
elevation sufficient to enable tentacles of a deck to gradually ramp up to the main deck. Enough open space exists between several of the properties along
Blondell Avenue (most of which are manufacturing, some of which are residential), to create this seamless connection without having to purchase or condemn
buildings. Additional opportunities for relatively seamless transitions between a deck and the surrounding area exist at the yards northern end (Eastchester
Road and Waters Place), and near the yards southeastern end at Waters Avenue.

Parcel B5200 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections requiring sufficient
light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

This subway yard provides storage, maintenance and car washing facilities for the 6 service. This facility also is one of the subway systems primary
maintenance-of-way vehicle facilities. (The other is parcel K3110, the 36th-38th Street Yard in Brooklyn.) Parcel B5200 is the largest parcel in the Bronx, at
over 26 acres.

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

271

NYCT Westchester Yards: N. of Blondell Avenue

NYCT Westchester Yards: W. of Westchester Avenue

B5200

B5201

0.44

26.22
6 (Westchester) Subway Yards

6 (Westchester) Subway Yards

Size (acres) Existing Corridor Uses

M1-1 (C1-2, C2-2, R5,


R6 adj.)
M1-1

Surrounding zoning

Parcels B5200 and B5201, looking northwest


from a southbound 6 (Pelham) Line train
212

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid. Some of these streets could include: Waters Avenue (NS); Fink Avenue, Ponton Avenue (E-W dead ends); Halperin Avenue, St. Raymond's Avenue (E-W through)

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

272

4 corridors,
9 parcels,
104.24 acres

6.7: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


YARDS: BROOKLYN
273

214

Corridor
Code
K31
K50
K51
K52

South Brooklyn Railway/NYCT 36th-38th Street Yard/D, M (West End) Line: West Of 4th Avenue-9th Avenue
NYCT Coney Island Maintenance Shop And Yards
NYCT Livonia Yard
NYCT East New York Yard

Corridor Name
3
1
1
4

Parcels

Total
Acres
18.67
74.06
5.15
6.36

274

SOUTH BROOKLYN
RAILWAY/NYCT 36TTHH--38TTHH
STREET YARD/D, M (WEST
END) LINE: WEST OF 4TTHH AVENUE9TTHH AVENUE

K31:

100%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K31

ZONING

275

216

1%

5%

16%

17%

4%

7%

1%

6%

19%

24%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K31

LAND USE

276

All parcels in this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections allowing
sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that NYCTA and three private landholders hold complete or partial ownership over the
parcels in these rail yards.

These yards are large enough such that over three new city blocks could be created on such a deck. The yards are zoned M1-2, meaning that an FAR of 2.0 is
permitted for commercial and retail uses. Upzoning would allow higher-density uses; the 9th Avenue subway entrance is just east of the parcel. The adjacent
community is zoned R6.

A road divides Green-Wood Cemetery to the north from the trainyards to the south, running from 5th Avenue to 9th Avenue without intervening access to any
other roads. As it zigzags along the border between these two uses, it is known from west to east as 36th Street, 7th Avenue and 37th Street.

Parcel K3110, which dwarfs the other two parcels in size, has two uses. Along the southern edge of the parcel from about 7th Avenue east, the West End Line
emerges into an exceptionally deep open cut relative to the land to its south. By far the larger parcel use is the 36th-38th Street Yard, which is primarily used to
store and maintain NYCT maintenance-of-way and non-revenue railcars. The southern border of the parcel runs about a half block north of 39th Street, and
numerous private properties on the north side of the Street abut the parcel. A pronounced bluff of up to 60 feet higher than parcel K3110 lies to the parcels
south, north of 39th Street.

Parcel K3101, which lies to the east of 4th Avenue, is where underground ramps from the 4th Avenue Line surface and connect with the South Brooklyn
Railway tracks. Currently, D and rush-hour M services use these ramps; D and M trains briefly emerge into this deep open cut before continuing east through
a 2,000-foot-long tunnel under what is now the Jackie Gleason Bus Depot.

In recent decades, the rails at the base of parcel K3100 (which is west of 4th Avenue) have been lightly used NYCT maintenance-of way equipment and cars
on their way to being scrapped have been the primary traffic. Until approximately 30 years ago, rail freight used these tracks, and over a century ago West End
Line passenger trains used this alignment en route to a ferry at 39th Street. This section of freight track has generally gone under the moniker South Brooklyn
Railway, and was once part of a much larger network.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
x K3100: Along the western half of the parcels northern edge.
x K3110: Along the entire northern edge, except for a) the area at which the parcel meets 7th Avenue and 37th Street, and b) three-quarters of a block

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

277

218

K3110

K3101

NYCT West End 17.87


Line: theoretical
extension of 6th
Avenue to W. of
9th Avenue

MTA South
0.12
Brooklyn
Railway: W. of
4th Avenue
NYCT West End 0.68
Line: E. of 4th
Avenue

K3100

Size
(acres)

Name

Parcel
Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

D,M (West
End)
Subway
Line
D,M (West
End)
Subway
Line

Existing
Corridor
Uses
rail freight
line

M1-2

M1-2

M1-2

Surrounding
zoning

Parcel K3110,
looking southwest
from 7th Avenue and
37th Street towards
39th Street, which
sits atop the bluff in
the distance

VENTILATION Given the heavy diesel vehicle use associated with the 36th-38th Street yards, it would be reasonable to assume that some sort of mechanical ventilation plan
would be needed if a deck upon parcel K3110 were to be built even with the openings that would exist to the north. Subway cars would continue to travel
through this parcel, and the decks surface users would surely require effective mitigation of the diesel fumes. Decking parcels K3101 or K3100 and K3100
would also make the existing tunnel length greater than 2,000 feet, thus triggering the need for the existing tunnel to be retrofitted with ventilation and
emergency facilities.

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

west of 9th Avenue, where the deck would be flush with the diagonal parking adjacent to the subway open cut. A short segment about 100 feet long
along the parcels southern edge immediately west of 9th Avenue would also be above the adjacent backyards. This deck would have the appearance of
a raised platform relative to the uncovered portion of the yards to the north, but would not overhang any publicly accessible space.

278

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


The narrow and largely subgrade nature of this yard
makes it a candidate for extension of the existing grid.
Street segments that could be added include: 6th Avenue;
7th Avenue; 8th Avenue; 37th Street and 38th Street.

279

220

9%

91%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K50

ZONING

NYCT CONEY ISLAND


MAINTENANCE SHOP AND YARDS

K50:

280

5%

2%

6%

3%
all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

indust/manufa

commercial
transp/utility

9%

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

6%
24%

18%

1 & 2 family

3%

4%

14%

6%

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K50

LAND USE

281

222

OWNERSHIP

In addition, Parcel K5000 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections allowing
sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the City, NYCTA, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, the Board of
Education and seven private landholders hold full or partial ownership of parcels in these yards.

The yard was built on swampland and opened in 1926. However, a significant amount of major construction throughout the city was built on filled-in swamp,
including Starrett City, Co-Op City, and the Trump apartments in Coney Island.

Potential exists for transit-oriented development, since the yard is served by the Avenue X station on the F (Culver) Line. The Neptune Avenue stop on the F
Line is within 1,000 feet of the yards southeastern edge, and the 86th Street stop on the N (Sea Beach) Line is within 1,000 feet of the yards north end.

Besides inspection, washing, repair, painting, a wheel and axle shop, and four giant indoor cranes that lift cars between work areas, this facility holds a NYPD
Transit Division firing range, a firefighting training school, a medical center, and three mammoth track storage yards, which consume most of the yards
acreage.

DESCRIPTION This facility is one of the largest subway maintenance and storage yards in North America. With 74 acres unimpeded by existing tall buildings, K5000 is the
largest single parcel in this inventory. (Sunnyside Yards in Queens is more than twice as large, but is split over 14 parcels.) Peter Doughertys book Tracks of
the New York City Subway states that [a]ll of New York Citys transit fleet will at some time visit this massive complex. Major rebuilds, minor adjustments
and everything in between takes place at this 75-acre facility . Over one thousand cars every week are washed at the complexs wash on track A-18. On the
overhaul side the facility runs 24 hours a day and serves every car in the fleet, plus the Staten Island fleet as well.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

282

NYCT Coney Island Complex

Size
Existing Corridor Uses
(acres)
74.06
primary NYCT maintenance facility; storage for
several subway lines

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid.

K5000

Parcel Code Name

PARCEL INFORMATION:

C8-1 (M1-1, R4, R5, R6 adj.)

Surrounding zoning

VENTILATION The fact that a deck would need to be built above surface level may mean that the sides of the deck could be left open, allowing the decks underside to aerate.
However, the sheer size of the parcel may warrant careful consideration of ventilation needs, especially in locations far from the parcels outer edges.

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

This elevation of this yard is very close to that of Coney Island Creek. The creek ends within 150 feet of the yards southeast corner and passes within 400 feet
of its southwest corner. Future changes in sea level should be given particular attention when evaluating this site for future uses.

Approximately 12 buildings would break the surface plane of a deck. Accommodation of these buildings, such as building new entrances to deck level or
designing ways of incorporating these structures into the deck area may be desirable. Most of these buildings are in the northern and eastern portions of the
yard complex, but enough relatively tall buildings exist throughout the parcel to reduce the amount of contiguous, unbroken deck space significantly. The best
chance for any large-scale airspace uses is over the yards southern reaches.

TOPOGRAPHY A deck here would be entirely on a raised platform above the yards. Access between parcel K5000 and the surrounding communities would need to be
addressed, as would concerns about light and shadows and the aesthetics of an exposed deck abutting these neighborhoods.

283

224

Parcel K5000, looking east from a


southbound D (West End) Line train, along
the western portion of the yards northern
edge

Parcel K5000, looking west from a


northbound F (Culver) Line train, south of
the Car Overhaul Shop

Parcel K5000, looking west from a


northbound F (Culver) Line train, towards
the yards southern end

284

100%

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K51

ZONING

NYCT LIVONIA YARD

K51:

285

226

21%

2%

2%

1%

7%

1%

1%

17%

5%
1%

10%

32%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K51

LAND USE

286

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that these yards are owned by the NYC Transit Authority.

The yard is accessed by tracks that continue past the last stop on the 3 Line at New Lots Avenue. If suitable additional car storage space can be found, the 3
Line could be extended one stop into the yard, with a new terminal station at Linden Boulevard/Stanley Avenue. Housing or commercial buildings could then
be built atop the yard. A precedent exists for this at the other end of the 3 Line. Until May 1968, 3 service ended at 145th Street, but that month the line was
extended one stop into the 148th Street Yard, beneath and adjacent to both a public school complex and the six-building, 1,870-unit Esplanade Gardens
apartment complex. A new terminal would also serve the over 3,000 tenants of NYCHAs Boulevard Houses two blocks to the west, and would create a new
station over Linden Boulevard, a crucial east-west artery with access to JFK Airport.

The entire yard is on an elevated structure approximately 1,450 feet long and 200 feet wide. It is an entire city block wide, occupying the space between
Linwood and Elton streets and crossing both Hegeman Avenue and Linden Boulevard before ending at Stanley Avenue to the south.

This relatively small elevated yard facility in East New York straddles Linden Boulevard and shares train storage duties for the 3 Line and the Times SquareGrand Central Shuttle with the 148th Street Yard in Manhattan. Maintenance and car inspection takes place in a relatively modest four-track shed.

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

TOPOGRAPHY Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

287

NYCT Livonia Yard

K5100

5.15

Size (acres)
2,3,4,5 Subway Yards

Existing Corridor Uses

228

Looking east along Linden Boulevard from


Cleveland Street

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Decking over this ROW would not result in the potential for any street remapping.

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

C8-1, R5 (M1-1, R5
adj.)

Surrounding zoning

288

65%

2%

33%

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR:0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor K52

ZONING

NYCT EAST
NEW YORK
YARD

K52:

289

230

10%

5%

13%

11%

7%

3%

13%

15%

8%

3%

12%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor K52

LAND USE

290

OWNERSHIP

Further PLUTO records are unavailable for these parcels. However, a depot or yard facility of some sort has been on this property for over 125
years, and the yard was once BRT/BMT property. The BMT became a City responsibility in 1940; the subway system then became a NYCT
responsibility in 1953.

Parcel K5202 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

Should a deck be constructed here, a long-term transit issue would need to be settled first. Unlike most of the rest of the subway system, the
routes that the J/Z, L and M serve are largely made up of stations which were never lengthened to allow 10-car trains. To this day, these routes
generally run eight-car consists. The East New York Yard may need to be retrofitted to permit storage of these longer trainsets, where
possible. Support pilings for a deck should be sited to permit this.

Parcel K5201 is separated from parcel K5202 (the five-acre site) by a six-track elevated deck not included in this inventory. Two other
ancillary parcels, K5200 and K5203, are located along Broadway.

Higher-density land uses are possible here with a rezoning. (Currently the yards and most of the adjacent area are zoned M1-1.) Adjacent
impacts to residential areas would be minimal, since few such properties seem to exist around the yards. However, the Cemetery of the
Evergreens may be impacted by shadows, the cemeterys southern end sits on a bluff 20 to 50 feet above the yard, which would blunt the
impact low- and medium-rise buildings could have on the cemetery.

These parcels are well suited for transit-oriented development. Parcels K5200 and K5201 are across the street from the Broadway JunctionEast New York subway complex, a tangle of elevated and underground stations served by the A, C, J/Z and L services. Six bus routes the
B12, B20, B25, B83, Q24 and Q56 also serve the site. The Long Island Rail Roads East New York station is located approximately 1,000
feet south of the yard. This location has served as a transit storage or maintenance facility for over 125 years. Currently, it serves as the home
base for the J/Z, L and M services.

DESCRIPTION At over six acres five of them in the main parcel over the storage tracks themselves East New York Yard is nestled between Broadway
Junction and the south end of the Cemetery of the Evergreens. The Jackie Robinson Parkway begins approximately 750 feet to the east.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

291

NYCT East New York Yard: N. of Broadway and E. of L (Canarsie) elevated

NYCT East New York Yard: S. of Bushwick Avenue

NYCT East New York Yard: N. of Broadway and E. of eastern yard leads

K5201

K5202

K5203

232

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities
for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid.

0.18

NYCT East New York Yard: E. of Conway Street

0.46

5.17

0.54

Size (acres)

Name

Parcel
Code
K5200

PARCEL INFORMATION:

VENTILATION No issues related to this corridor are evident.

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

Surrounding zoning

Parcel K5202 (at left), looking east from


the Broadway Junction L (Canarsie) Line
platform

J/Z, L, M subway yards

J/Z, L, M subway yards

J/Z, L, M subway yards

NYCT road maintenance vehicles

Existing Corridor Uses

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be
necessary to allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

TOPOGRAPHY This corridor would be entirely on a raised platform. Access between parcels K5200, K5201, K5202 and K5203 and the surrounding
communities would need to be addressed.

292

1 corridor,
2 parcels,
31.18 acres

6.8: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


YARDS: MANHATTAN
293

234

Corridor
Code
M50
NYCT 207th Street Yard

Corridor Name
2

Parcels

Total
Acres
31.18

294

71%

2%

11%

16%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M50

ZONING

NYCT 207TTHH STREET YARD

M50:

295

236

6%

10%

17%

7%

9%

2%

11%

14%

12%

12%

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet


within 0.25 Miles of Corridor M50

LAND USE

296

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database records indicate that these yards are owned by the NYCTA and the Department of Business.

These two parcels, totaling just over 31 acres, are the largest tracts of potentially deckable land remaining in Manhattan. They make up over a third of all the
Manhattan airspace in this inventory. Since all of Inwoods residential zoning is R7-2, medium- to high-density R7- or R8-level zoning would be contextually
appropriate. Other large-scale uses are also possible at this location, and parcel M5001s east end, which abuts the Harlem River, could provide waterfront
access where it has been previously infeasible.

One of two yards that house the A and C lines fleets, the 207th Street Yard also contains one of NYCTs two major overhaul shops. (The other is at Coney
Island.) Car repairs, a floor shop, a car wash, a wheel truing shop, and a garbage transfer station are also housed at the yards. A connecting track to the 1
(Broadway) Line provides access to A Division (IRT) services.

VENTILATION Some sort of ventilation plan will be needed for the yard complex. However, the fact that a deck would need to be built above surface level may mean that the
sides of the deck could be left open, allowing the decks underside to aerate. The yards riverside proximity and the presence of a refuse platform at the
waters edge also makes it exceedingly unlikely that the entire deck could seal off the yard below to light and air.

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

Parcels M5000 and M5001 are interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck.

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck over northern and central potions of the yard would be above the surrounding land. It
was not possible to get a reasonably accurate view of the yards elevation relative to surface grade, although a deck would appear to be closer to street level at
the southern end, near the portal to the 8th Avenue Line. Further analysis is needed. Any fully built out deck would also abut the edge of the Harlem River.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

297

NYCT 207th Street Yards: E. of


10th Avenue/N. of West 207th
Street
NYCT 207th Street Yards: East of
10th Avenue/S. of West 215th
Street

M5000
29.87

1.31

Size (acres)

Surrounding zoning

A,C (8th Avenue), 1


M1-1
(Broadway) Subway Yards;
maintenance facilities
A,C (8th Avenue), 1
M1-1
(Broadway) Subway Yards;
maintenance facilities

Existing Corridor Uses

238

Parcel M5001, looking east


from the northbound 215th
Street platform of the 1 (IRT
Broadway) Line towards the
Harlem River

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets which to some extent extend the surrounding street grid. Some of these streets could
include: 9th Avenue; Isham Street/new West 209th Street; new West 210th Street (dead end); new West 211th Street (dead end); new West 212th Street (dead end); new West
213th Street (dead end); new West 214th Street (dead end).

M5001

Name

Parcel Code

PARCEL INFORMATION:

298

3 corridors,
16 parcels,
202.23 acres

6.9: TRANSIT AND RAILROAD


YARDS: QUEENS
299

240

Corridor
Code
Q50
NYCT Jamaica Maintenance Shop And Yard
Q80
Amtrak Sunnyside Yards
Q81
LIRR Long Island City Station And Yard

Description
1
14
1

Parcels

Total
Acres
27.52
167.33
7.38

300

65%

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

FAR: 0 - 0.5

FAR: 0

*The zoning designation on the map at left is misaligned with the actual parcel. This is a
software error, and can not be easily rectified. Parcel Q5000 (outlined with diagonal pinstripes)
is the yards correct location.

10%

18%

6% 1%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q50

ZONING*

NYCT JAMAICA MAINTENANCE


SHOP AND YARD

Q50:

301

15%

2%
parking facilities

open space

public facility

commercial

7%

mixed comm/resid

1%

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

5%

7%

1 & 2 family

242

*The land use designation on the map at left is misaligned with the actual parcel.
This is a software error, and can not be easily rectified. Parcel Q5000 (outlined
with diagonal pinstripes) is the yards correct location.

62%

1%

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q50

LAND USE*

302

Parkland alienation may be necessary should this parcel be decked. Ownership of this parcel is uncertain.

Access to the park surrounding Jamaica Yards is limited. A February 2007 site visit found that the two entrance ramps to this part of the park one at Park
Drive East and 73rd Terrace and the other at Grand Central Parkway Service Road West and 72nd Road had been fenced off.

Any decking above the Jamaica Yards will be defined by New York City Transits acute storage track deficiency along the Jamaica Line. Numerous E and F
Line trains are stored on the express tracks along Queens Boulevard Line east of 71st Avenue, which limits both protection of these cars from vandalism and
service planning options. R Line trains, which have also been stored at Jamaica, also need additional storage space; five of them were laid up on the 4th
Avenue express tracks in Brooklyn during some off-peak periods as of 2007.

This 27.5-acre parcel is located within the southern end of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, and is the primary storage and maintenance yard for most Queens
Boulevard subway services. The yard includes a wheel truing machine, a car wash facility, and is capable of performing regular rolling stock maintenance. A
four-track, 600-foot-long viaduct which passes over the Grand Central Parkway connects the yard to the Queens Boulevard Line.

Name

NYCT Jamaica Yard

Parcel Code

Q5000

PARCEL INFORMATION:

27.52

Size (acres)

VENTILATION A ventilation plan will be needed for the yard complex.

E,F,G,R,V Subway Yards

Existing Corridor Uses

C8-1

Surrounding zoning

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

TOPOGRAPHY This corridor is entirely on a raised platform. Access between parcels Q5000 and the surrounding communities would need to be addressed. Parcel Q5000
is interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

303

244

Parcel Q5000 looking


southeast from Park
Drive East towards the
New York City Transit
Jamaica Yard.

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace of this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets outside of the existing street grid. However, given the yards location within Flushing
Meadows-Corona Park, any streets would probably be limited to an internal circulator system.

304

ZONING

AMTRAK
SUNNYSIDE
YARDS

Q80:

305

246

LAND USE

306

32%

34%

Parcel Q8000 looking southwest from


49th Avenue.

27%

7%

FAR: over 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

FAR: 0.5 - 1.5

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q80
2%
4%

30%

6%

5%

15%

3%

3%

Parcel Q8001 looking west from


Thompson Avenue.

19%

5%

1%

7%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q80

307

248

DESCRIPTION

To the southwest, the area above the LIRRs newly rebuilt Arch Street Yard and Shop was singled out for moderate-density mixed use zoning (5 FAR). A
fraction of this proposed 2-acre area is represented here as parcel Q8022.

Encouraging maximum densities within a compact area well served by public transportation is desirable, and the 12 FAR zone would be immediately adjacent
to the Queens/Queensboro Plaza subway stations served by the 7, E, G, N, R, V and W subway lines. Additionally, as part of the Long Island Rail Roads East
Side Access project, a new Sunnyside commuter rail station is to be built immediately below one of the proposed maximum-density zones.

Each site is divided into three roughly identical potential floor-area ratio (FAR) districts:
x Moderate densities (5 FAR) would be located within the southwestern portion of each area, southwest of Thomson Avenue. The northern area
moderate-density zone would straddle the eastern end of parcel Q8001 and the northern tip of Q8002, which are divided in this inventory by the northern
approach ramp of the Montauk Cutoff. The southern 5-FAR area would be located entirely within Q8002, from around Skillman Avenue and 27th Street
to Thomson Avenue and extending north about half the entire yards width.
x High density (8 FAR) zones would lie between the moderate and highest-density areas, extending northeast from Thomson Avenue to about where
Orchard Street would be if it were to be built across the width of the yard. Both of these areas would be entirely within parcel Q8005.
x The highest density areas (12 FAR) would be located at the northeastern end of both areas, extending from the above-mentioned hypothetical Orchard
Street extension east past Queens Boulevard to a hypothetical line that would start about 100 feet northeast of 41st Avenue on the yards north side and
continue southeast, angling south-southeast midway through the yard and reaching Skillman Avenue at 33rd Street. These areas would straddle parcels
Q8005 and Q8006.

At the behest of former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel Doctoroff, DCPs Housing, Economic and Infrastructure Planning
(HEIP) unit conducted a preliminary analysis concerning the viability of decking over and developing Sunnyside Yards. The HEIP unit determined that the
most desirable sites within the yards were two roughly rectangular areas running from the southwest to the northeast; the northern third of both sites is located
northeast of Queens Boulevard. One site hugs the southern edge of the yards and the other hugs the northern edge. Both are roughly parallel to each other until
northeast of Queens Boulevard, where the parcels diverge.

The potential for large scale land uses above these yards is extraordinary. With the possible exception of Staten Islands west shore, no other large tracts of
vacant land remain in the City. Moreover, Sunnyside Yards is defined by a surrounding context of relatively dense development and plentiful transit access.

Sunnyside Yards, one and three-quarters of a mile long and 1,600 feet across at its widest point, is the largest site in this inventory. The total deckable airspace
of its 14 parcels over 167 acres is more than double the size of the next largest airspace site, the 74-acre NYCT Coney Island Maintenance Shop and Yards
(K5000). This one corridor contains around one-sixth of the entire deckable airspace in this inventory.

GENERAL INFORMATION:

308

However, use of the airspace above Sunnyside Yards will require resolution to the following issues:

Numerous bus lines also serve the area, including the B61, Q32, Q39, Q60, Q67, Q69, Q101 and Q102. Transit availability does become more limited towards
the yards eastern end, although the 40th Street stop on the 7 Line and the Q66 bus both are within walking distance of Q8008.

Transit access to much of the yards is plentiful. Parcels Q8000 and the western end of Q8001 are served by the Hunters Point Avenue stations of both the 7
(Flushing) Line and an LIRR station which is utilized by a handful of westbound AM peak trains and eastbound PM peak trains. To the north, Q8021 and
Q8022 are about 400 feet south of the 21st Street G (Crosstown) Line station. Besides the future LIRR Sunnyside station, Q8005 and Q8006 are approximately
200 to 250 feet from the Queens Plaza station of the E, F, G, R and V (Queens Boulevard) lines, and an additional 1,000 feet from the elevated Queensboro
Plaza station served by the 7 (Flushing), N and W (Astoria) lines. To the southeast, both of these parcels are about 1,000 feet from the 33rd Street stop on the 7
Line. If a pedestrian connection through (or beneath) the wall of buildings that separates the yards from Northern Boulevard can be built, parcel Q8007 would
become more accessible to the 36th Street station on the G, R and V lines. (Standard Lane, a very short dead-end street across from 37th Street, is the only
current potential public access to Q8007s northern end.)

A new 24-trainset midday storage and light maintenance facility at Yard A will also be built. Yard A is a large parallelogram-shaped area at the north end of
parcels Q8005 and Q8006 (and a small wedge of the northwestern portion of Q8007). As of March 2007, the land had been cleared of tracks.

The project will also result in a new Sunnyside station which will be built beneath the southern end of the Queens Boulevard bridge over the yards, near
Skillman Avenue. This new station, which will be served by trains to and from Penn Station, is located at the south end of parcels Q8005 and Q8006.

Construction related to the LIRR East Side Access project is underway. Ultimately, East Side Access will create a new LIRR terminal beneath the existing
Grand Central Terminal. Trains to this new station will diverge from the existing Main Line at the south end of parcel Q8008, run through the south end of
parcel Q8007 and then angle northwest through parcel Q8006, ultimately connecting with an existing tunnel built beneath the current F (63rd StreetQueensbridge) Line tunnel.

The yard currently serves as a primary storage and maintenance facility for Amtrak and New Jersey Transit trainsets. LIRR passenger trains also traverse the
length of the yards en route to the East River Tunnels to the west and the Main Line to the east. Freight trains also make use of the yards. The Montauk Cutoff,
the northern ramp of which divides parcels Q8001 and Q8002, provides an extended wye track connection to the LIRR Montauk Division, which is now
primarily used for freight. More recently, the LIRR has opened a new yard and maintenance shop to the north of the yards west end, at Arch Street.

The northeastern edge of Sunnyside Yards east of 39th Street was seen as ideal for manufacturing and public facilities. This area is located in the northern part
of parcel Q8008. Full build-out under this proposal would yield approximately 17.3 million square feet of floor area.

309

250

Parcels Q8003, Q8004: north of Thomson Avenue


These two miniscule parcels are a by-product of the intersection of Thomson Avenue and the elevated approach roads leading to the Queensboro Bridge. Parcel
Q8003, which measures less than .06 acres, lies to the west of the offramp. At over a third of an acre, parcel Q8004 is considerably larger but its position is less
desirable than Q8003s: it lies between the onramp and offramp, where few pedestrians dare to tread. (A continuous, semi-enclosed sidewalk exists on the

A portion of the Hunters Point Avenue LIRR station platform crosses into parcel Q8000. Although flush with 49th Avenue, a deck upon this parcel would
either overhang or be on a raised platform. The parcels south end would actually be flush with the elevated Long Island Expressway at this point, although the
practical benefit of this is unknown.

Parcels Q8000, Q8001, Q8002: south of 49th Avenue-Thomson Avenue


Parcel Q8001 is an irregularly shaped space bounded by 49th Avenue, the viaduct of the 7 (Flushing) Line, a series of dead ends and industrial buildings,
Thomson Avenue, the northerly ramp of the Montauk Cutoff, and Skillman Avenue. Parcel Q8002 lies to the south and east of the cutoff; if a way can be found
to bridge, alter or move the cutoff right-of-way, then these two parcels could effectively be treated as a single unit. The yard width is still relatively narrow at
this point, ranging from about 270 feet wide at Q8001s western end to about 470 feet at Q8001/Q8002s eastern end.

Several parcels, especially towards the yards western end, would be built entirely on a raised platform. Access between these parcels and the surrounding
communities would need to be addressed, as would concerns about light and shadows and the aesthetics of an exposed deck abutting these neighborhoods.

Some structures in the Yards, such as the Amtrak service and inspection facility on the north side of parcel Q8006 and the Montauk Cutoff ramps in Q8001 and
Q8002, are tall enough or require enough vertical clearance to break the deck plane.

Sunnyside Yards serves the electric fleets of both Amtrak and New Jersey Transit. Both railroads electric trainsets get their power supply from overhead
(catenary) wire. At various locations throughout the yards, it is likely that some of these numerous support structures as well as the light and communication
towers dotted throughout the yard would need to be shaved down if a deck were to be built above them.

The yards topography and the grades of the bridges over Sunnyside Yards is such that a flat deck would neither line up with these bridges nor allow
sufficient clearance for trains below. At some locations, such as Orchard Street, relatively steep gradients may be needed to vault over linear raised areas within
the yards.

Most of the corridor is zoned either M1-1 or M3-1. Only parcels Q8020, Q8021 and Q8022 lie partly in residential and commercial zones. An unbroken stretch
along the north end of the corridor is zoned M1-5, with areas in the Long Island City Special Purpose District zoned M1-5/R7-3 or M1-5/R9. An M1-5
designation allows an FAR of 5.0.

310

Parcels Q8008, Q8009 and Q8010 mark the eastern end of the yard area. Q8008 measures almost 27.8 acres, and is the largest of the three. An access ramp to
the yards bisects half the distance between 39th Street and the yards eastern perimeter. The LIRR Main Lines emergence above grade and a commercial

A major challenge to the use of this parcels airspace is the almost continuous wall of buildings between Northern Boulevard and the parcels northern edge.
Only Standard Lane, a 70-foot-long road that dead ends at the yards edge across the street from where 37th Street and 37th Avenue meet Northern Boulevard,
breaches this wall. The 36th Street subway station of the G, R and V (Queens Boulevard) lines has entrances at both 36th Street and 34th Street and Northern
Boulevard. Improving pedestrian access between the station and the parcels north end is necessary for the viability of this parcel. (The 39th Avenue station of
the N and W (Astoria) lines is also about 750 feet from Q8007s northwest corner.)

Parcels Q8007 through Q8010: Honeywell Street-43rd Street


At over 49.4 acres, parcel Q8007 is the largest deckable airspace in the corridor and the largest in Queens. It has the potential for relatively seamless transitions
to the surrounding streets and is largely unimpeded by physical obstacles, except for an Amtrak service and inspection building that would break the deck plane
approximately 200 feet south of Standard Lane.

An access ramp from Honeywell Street and several portions of a 1,250-foot long building would break the deck plane, almost severing the upper third of this
parcel from the two-thirds to the south. Like Q8005, significant track grade differences within the yard will require a deck to slope upward and downward to
permit sufficient vertical track clearances. Q8006 is also similar to Q8005 in that the gap between the southernmost active use in the yard and Skillman Avenue
is sufficient to allow a deck to sufficiently arch over the yard track nearest to the Skillman Avenue.

Parcel Q8006 sits opposite Queens Boulevard from Q8005. Here, the yard truly billows out to nearly its fullest width resulting in nearly 45.9 acres of deckable
airspace. The yard remains at surface level along much of the north side of Q8006 (especially to the east), and several industrial/commercial buildings have
basement levels which would have their sunlight cut off by a deck. The construction impacts of the LIRR East Side Access project will be felt through this
parcel for several years to come as of August 2008, the connector was scheduled to open in 2015.

The yard is either at or marginally below street level along the northern edge of Q8005, which may cause problems south of Orchard Street, where a deck with a
particularly steep gradient of as much as 10 to 12 percent would be needed to vault over an embankment about 350 to 400 feet south of Orchards dead end.

Parcels Q8005, Q8006: Thomson Avenue-Honeywell Street


Heading from west to east, parcel Q8005 is the first of four exceptionally large parcels that together equal over 84 percent of the corridors deckable airspace.
Q8005 is the smallest of these, at 18.4 acres. One building approximately 250 feet southeast of Orchard Street is too tall to deck over; a deck would have to be
built around it.

south side of Thomson Avenue, which almost all pedestrians along this stretch of roadway use.)

311

In addition, all parcels within this corridor abut private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal
protections that allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the State of New York, the City of New York, the MTA/LIRR, the Department of
Citywide Administrative Services, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Parks and Recreation and at least 30 private landholders have partial or
complete ownership of the parcels along this corridor. Parkland alienation may be an issue.

252

TOPOGRAPHY Due to variations in the surrounding topography, it appears that a deck would be above the surrounding land at the following locations:
Q8000: Along the parcels northern and southern edges. A deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the approximately 70 northernmost
feet of the northern edge, south of 49th Avenue, and the entire southern edge of the deck would be on a raised platform relative to the adjacent private property.
Q8001: Along the parcels northern edge, where the yard is either at ground level or below surface level to a trivial degree. Also, along the parcels southern
edge, excluding the 120 westernmost feet, nearest 49th Avenue. On the southern edge, a deck would be increasingly above Skillman Avenue heading east. At
the Montauk Cutoff, the yard and Skillman Avenue are level with each other, which would result in a deck on a raised platform adjacent to Skillman Avenue.
Q8002: Along the parcels southern edge, excluding the approximately 120 easternmost feet, nearest Thomson Avenue. From the Montauk Cutoff east to 27th
Street, the yard and Skillman Avenue are level with each other, which would result in a deck on a raised platform adjacent to Skillman Avenue. The disparity

OWNERSHIP

Numerous zoning designations overlay this relatively small cluster of parcels, which cover a combined 3.1 acres and span only 1,100 feet. An M1-4/R6B, M15/R7-3, M3-1, R6A, R7X and a C1-5 overlay can be found within various parts of these parcels. The Long Island City Special Purpose District also overlays a
portion of the cluster. In general, these multiple designations are geared towards encouraging medium- to high-density mixed use.

The Arch Street Yard and Shop was completed in June 2005, and new storage and tail tracks were built west along the former LIRR North Shore Freight Branch
to parcel Q8020. This branch once proceeded to the East River; its western end has since been redesigned as Gantry Plaza State Park.

Parcels Q8020, Q8021, Q8022: Vernon Boulevard-east of 21st Street


These three parcels are part of the LIRR Arch Street Yard and Shop, but their proximity and track connections to the yards warranted grouping this cluster of
parcels with the rest of the larger corridor.

Q8009 is a 1.1-acre parcel separated from Q8008 by a vehicular overpass to the General Motors commercial facility. Like much of the southern end of Q8008,
this parcel lies over the loop track which is used to turn around trains that are returning to Penn Station. Q8010 is a .05-acre parcel wedged into a gap between
tracks on the LIRR Main Line, which is by this point elevated. Both Q8009 and Q8010 abut 43rd Street, but the loop tracks are high enough to create a
disparity between the street and deck level.

property to the south eat into what would otherwise be deckable airspace.

312

VENTILATION Any appreciable deck over any of the yards major parcels (Q8001, Q8002, Q8005, Q8006, Q8007 and Q8008) would likely require a mechanical ventilation
system and emergency facilities.

Although significant spaces exist throughout the yards which would allow supports to be built without interfering with existing tracks, removal or realignment
of yard tracks in some locations might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to allow this
yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

Many parcels are interrupted by a building or buildings that would break the surface plane of a deck. Accommodation of these buildings, such as building a
new entrance to the deck level or designing ways of incorporating these structures into the deck area may be desirable.

A deck over Q8003 or Q8004 would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to the properties to the north.

In many places the deck would need to be arched to allow both sufficient clearance for the use below and a level connection with the adjacent land.

between a deck and Skillman Avenue would diminish heading east from 27th Street.
Q8005: Along the parcels northern edge
Q8006: Along the approximately 1,000 easternmost feet of the parcels northern edge
Q8007: Immediately adjacent to Standard Lane, along the parcels northern edge.
Q8008: Along the parcels northern edge, possibly excluding the portion abutting a building approximately 650 feet east of Northern Boulevard. Additionally,
a deck would have the appearance of a raised platform relative to approximately 80 feet of the south edge of an access road at the parcels northern end.
Q8009: Along the parcels eastern edge.
Q8010: Along the parcels eastern edge.
Q8021: Along the approximately 290 westernmost feet of the parcels northern edge. Also, the along the parcels southern edge where it abuts the parking lot.
Q8022: Along the parcels northern edge.

313

254

Sunnyside Yards: 39th Street-42nd Place/43rd


Street
Q8009 Sunnyside Yards: W. of 43rd Street, S. of
tracks of LIRR Main Line/Northeast Corridor
Q8010 Sunnyside Yards: W. of 43rd Street, between
tracks of LIRR Main Line/Northeast Corridor

Sunnyside Yards: Honeywell Street-39th Street

Q8007

Q8008

Sunnyside Yards: Queens BoulevardHoneywell Street

Q8006

Sunnyside Yards: N. of Skillman Avenue, S. &


E. of Montauk Cutoff, SW. of Thompson
Avenue
Q8003 Sunnyside Yards: N. of Thompson Avenue, W.
of Queensboro Bridge exit/Dutch Kills Street
west leg
Q8004 Sunnyside Yards: N. of Thompson Avenue,
between Queensboro Bridge exit/Dutch Kills
Street east and west legs
Q8005 Sunnyside Yards: Thompson Avenue-Queens
Boulevard

Q8002

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line
NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast
Corridor; LIRR Main Line

0.34
18.40

0.05

1.11

27.77

49.44

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line
NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast
Corridor; LIRR Main Line
NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast
Corridor; LIRR Main Line
NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast
Corridor; LIRR Main Line

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line

0.06

45.89

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line

11.46

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M1-1

M3-1

M3-1

8.39

Q8001

Sunnyside Yards: NE. of 49th Avenue, SE. of 7


(Flushing Line), N. & E. of Montauk Cutoff

M1-4

1.33

NJT storage; Amtrak Northeast


Corridor; LIRR Main Line

Surrounding zoning

Size (acres) Existing Corridor Uses

Parcel Name
Code
Q8000 Sunnyside Yards: S. of 49th Avenue

PARCEL INFORMATION:

314

1.63

Q8022

M3-1

C1-5, R6A, M1-4/R6B, R7X,


SPD-LIC
M1-4, M1-5/R7-3, SPD-LIC

Parcel Q8006 from a westbound 7 (Flushing) Line


train, looking northeast

Parcel Q8007 looking east from 39th


Street towards Honeywell Street

Parcel Q8006 from a westbound 7 (Flushing)


Line train, looking northeast

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


Using the airspace above this rail yard presents opportunities for the creation of streets that are either continuations of the existing adjacent street grids or a new street layout plan
altogether.

LIRR Arch Street Yard

Arch Street Yard leads

1.18

LIRR Arch Street Yard: E. of 21st Street

Arch Street Yard leads

0.28

LIRR Arch Street Yard: Vernon Boulevard-11th


Street
Q8021 LIRR Arch Street Yard: 11th Street-21st Street

Q8020

315

256

1%

84%

FAR: 5.0 - 7.5

FAR: 3.0 - 5.0

FAR: 1.5 - 3.0

ZONING

LIRR LONG ISLAND


CITY STATION AND
YARD

Q81:

15%

Maximum Allowable Zoned FARs by Tax


Lot within 0.25 Miles of Corridor Q81

316

52%

1%3% 2%
3%
3%

LAND USE

9%

2%

9%

5%

7%

4%

all others/no data

vacant land

parking facilities

open space

public facility

transp/utility

indust/manufa

commercial

mixed comm/resid

multi-family elevator

multi-family w alk-up

1 & 2 family

Land Use by Percentage of Square Feet within


0.25 Miles of Corridor Q81

317

In addition, parcel Q8100 abuts private property. Aside from the political difficulties of building a platform through such a corridor, legal protections that
allow sufficient light and air to reach these adjacent properties may exist.

DCPs Primary Land Use Tax Lot Output (PLUTO) database indicates that the MTA/LIRR and two private landholders have partial or complete ownership of
the parcels along this corridor. MTA Long Island Rail Road is the operator.

Across the street from parcel Q8100 is parcel Q0400, the Queens portal to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel.

Besides the LIRR station itself, the East River, and New York Water Taxis peak-period service to its Hunters Point dock, lies approximately 750 feet west of
parcel Q8100. The Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue station of the 7 (Flushing) Line is 500 feet north of the parcels northern edge. The east end of the
parcel is less than 50 feet from the western edge of the Pulaski Bridge, where a pedestrian walkway provides access to Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Since any deck
would be entirely on a raised platform, the potential exists for a level connection to this sidewalk somewhere above deck level.

The parcel is made up of a surface-level, mostly non-electrified storage yard for the LIRR diesel fleet, and of the Long Island City station, a relatively lightly
used short island platform that can serve two cars each of two trainsets. The station is served by five trains each in the AM and PM peak periods.

While smaller than Sunnyside Yards, this 7.4-acre, 1,700-foot-long parcel presents opportunities for some novel interfaces with surrounding transportation
links.

258

VENTILATION Although a deck above this parcel would probably not result in an entirely enclosed LIRR yard and station, and although the parcel is less than 2,000 feet long,
the fact that the yard is currently used for diesel train storage may warrant careful consideration of the facilitys ventilation needs.

Removal or realignment of yard tracks might be necessary to provide room for deck supports. Alternate track locations or alignments might be necessary to
allow this yard facility to maintain its existing storage capacity.

TOPOGRAPHY This corridor is entirely on a raised platform. Access between parcel Q8100 and the surrounding communities would need to be addressed, as would
concerns about light and shadows and the aesthetics of an exposed deck abutting these neighborhoods.

OWNERSHIP

DESCRIPTION

GENERAL INFORMATION:

318

LIRR Montauk Line: Long


Island City Yard

Name

Size
(acres)
7.38

Existing Corridor
Uses
LIRR Montauk Line

Surrounding
zoning
M1-4

Parcel Q8100 looking west from the


Pulaski Bridge.

POTENTIAL FOR REMAPPED STREETS:


It is unlikely, though not impossible, that decking over this ROW would result in the potential for any new streets.

Parcel
Code
Q8100

PARCEL INFORMATION:

319

320

Exhibits

Pictures

321

Grand Central Track Map 1


For Conceptual Purposes
Only

Grand Central Station Suburban Level Track Map


For Conceptual Purposes Only

322

Location of Waldorf Astoria Hotel over train yyards

323

324

Construction of upper and lower tracks and


platforms in the underground train yard, looking
south from
fro
om 48th Street, 1911

Excavations for Grand Central Station, similar to Bay Ridge open cut

325

Construction of 48th Street Viaduct over upper


and lower tracks in Bite no.2, 1908

326

The open train yard in 1906 photograph


contrasted with a drawing predicting vast
improvement after the yards electrification

327

Platforms over Grand Central Train Yards

328

329

Park Avenue immediately north of Grand Central


and New York Central Building in 1936,showing
y of design in the buildings
uniformity

For Conceptual
Purposes Only

Waldorf Astoria Hotel


complete over the train
yards

330

Bay Ridge thru Bath (West End) Junction to 14th


Avenue. Also shows the position of the original Sea
Beach Line at the Narrows shore.

331

33



333

Hudson Yards Platform For

334

Atlantic Yards B2, modular tower


over train yards, Brooklyn, New
York
Page 335 of 338
For Conceptual
Purposes Only

Mini Sky City (J57), 57 story modular


tower, China
For Conceptual Purposes
Page 336 of 3

335

336

Rendering of Atlantic Yards B2 currently


under construction, Modular Tower