Thursday, November 6, 2014

Moynihan Bus Rapid Transit Station!

Ben Kabak tweeted about a new proposal from something called Woods Bagot to open up Penn Station to sunlight by removing the theater under Madison Square Garden:

For many years I've argued that the "Moynihan Station" proposal contained at least two major design flaws that nullified any improvement to passenger circulation: it has lots of steps, and it's west of where most people want to go. Woods Bagot pays lip service to Moynihan Station proposal, but I would hope that this helps people realize they don't need to use the Farley Post Office to bring light back into Penn Station. Since they talk about "wrapping around" Madison Square Garden, I hope it will also deal with the atrocious pedestrian conditions above Penn Station:

Of course, there is one major drawback to the proposal: it's a wonderful vision for increased mobility, but it's not Pat Moynihan's vision, and may fail to adequately glorify our late Senator.

But wait! The proposal also mentions that "a new location for the well-used theater is unresolved." I've got the perfect place: the old Farley Post Office across the street. And you know what else we could put there? Buses!

We know that there's a shortage of places to catch a bus in Manhattan, particularly near the Lincoln Tunnel. Meanwhile, good terminals are critical to efficient hub-and-spoke bus networks, but our elected officials would rather pander to private car owners. There is a lot of space (with skylights!) inside the old building where the postal trucks used to go, and more along the sides:

You could even build a flyover across Eighth Avenue, or maybe even an underpass next to the train tracks, if you wanted to spend some money. Back inside, there are big open spaces for concourses:

Two of the biggest annoyances for transit advocates are the Moynihan Station fans with their desire to build a giant sculpture and tell us it's a functioning train station, and "Bus Rapid Transit" pushers who tell us that trains are wasteful luxuries for white people and we should be spending all the government money on buses. I've always argued that the Lincoln Tunnel XBL is the most effective form of bus rapid transit in the country. If we call this the Moynihan Bus Rapid Transit Station, maybe we can get both of these groups together to build a gorgeous temple for bus riders to enter the city like gods.


judahspechal said...

I like this new plan for MSG, I think Dolan would be more open to this. Resolving theatre issue would not be that difficult, mybe in Farley Post Office. MSG also owns Radio & Beacon Theatres.

The Amateur Transporter said...

What is that empty expanse with the chair used for now?

Cap'n Transit said...

I believe that big space with the chair is currently used for absolutely nothing! And it was once used for sorting mail.

Alon said...

There are still unrenovated burned-down buildings in the South Bronx to name after Moynihan, no?

James Sinclair said...

At the very least, that basement could work for Megabus, Boltbus etc.

Adirondacker12800 said...

If there are enough buses coming in from New Jersey that you need to convert the building into a bus terminal there isn't enough capacity under the river. There isn't enough capacity west of the river either. There's lots of capacity on the existing rail system north of Secaucus and west of Newark. It would make more sense to build a railroad tunnel. Which is the conclusion reached during the studies done in the 80s and the studies done in the 90s and the studies done for ARC and Gateway.

Cap'n Transit said...

Adirondacker, I didn't say we shouldn't build a railroad tunnel. What makes you think we can't do both?