Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Enhanced F & V Service: The Petition

Sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns. I have put up a petition online for fellow travelers who want enhanced service on the F&V to Brooklyn.

Specifically, the petition calls for restoring express service on the unused tracks on the F, and running the V out to Brooklyn as a local. Sign up!


hode podge pages said...


I tried to sign this but it wouldn't accept my signature. It told me that my e-mail address was not valid when in fact it is.

IMBY said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but this idea has been going around for years. It is impossible to run the train as an exspress as any increase in speed has a very adverse affect on homes directly above the tracks. The line runs very close if not directly below basements.. the vibrations are terrible. I think it was even tried for a while and then trashed.

gary said...

HPP, thanks for trying, but I have no control over that. Maybe you can give it another shot?

I know this has been brought up before, this is the first I've heard of vibration problems. Do you have a link to more info?

At Bergen Street, the express tracks run below the local tracks, so I don't see how that is possible.

Anonymous said...

The F train crawls in brooklyn, it is incredibly slow. What I don't understand is why some coney island bound F trains have the Kings Highway station as the last stop. It makes no sense for those going to Stillwell or other stations to exit the train and wait for another F train for a couple of extra stops. No only is this a annoying but in the winter, it is very unpleasant. Since the trains running to Kings Hihgway don't go express, why is there a need to load all passengers off a train and make them wait 10 -15 minutes for another one so they can go one extra stop? I believe I'm not the only one who finds this a problem with the F train.

Todd said...

Fantastic idea!

Tom said...


It seems unlikely that the possibility of an adverse effect do to the increase speed of expresses would make it “. . . impossible to run the trains as an express . . . ” since there is a difference between maximum speed and average speed. In the worse possible case expresses could be made to momentarily stop at the location of every local station, so that the maximum speed of the express would be no greater than the maximum speed of the local at any particular point on the route, but yet the average speed of the express could still be greater than the average speed of the local. That is the express trains would complete their trips in a shorter time than the locals. There would be two reasons for this. First, a momentary stop, in order to slow the express would not as long as a stop by the local that involved opening and closing doors and waiting for passengers to enter or leave. Second, on this route the express tracks take a short cut under a corner of Prospect Park. So, an express could very well make a quicker run over the route, without running faster over any portion of the route and thereby not causing any adverse effects. Further, the addition of expresses would increase capacity even if they did not run very much faster. Also, in actuality expresses would most likely not have to be slowed even as much as I described. A simple slowing, as opposed to the stopping, of trains over sensitive parts of the route would most likely be enough to avoid much, if not all of the problem. There may be other reasons that would make the running of express trains impracticable, but it would not be the one you mentioned.



It appears that the F train goes under an apartment building just to the east (south bound) from the Fourth and Ninth Streets Station and that they go under another low building just to the south of the Carroll Street Station. The apartment building near Fourth and Ninth seems fairly substantial and has a parking garage on the street level, so I am not sure if it would suffer any significant damage from the vibration caused by express trains. The building near Carroll Street may not be a dwelling and is also fairly modern in appearance. Also, between Bergen Street and just before Carroll Street the express tracks run beneath the local, as they also do from just after Seventh Avenue and to just before Church Avenue, except for the section under Prospect Park. It would seem that in these areas any basement above or close to the subway would be, at least, somewhat protected from express train vibration. Then there is the elevated section from just past Carroll Street to just past Fourth and Ninth, where the tracks are not near any homes or basements. This leaves only two short sections. Those are the area around Carroll Street and the portion between Fourth and Ninth Streets and Seventh Avenue. My guess is that in most cases the tunnels run under Smith or Ninth Street. Where express tracks do not run under locals or under the park, they run between the local tracks, which would mean they would tend to be further from homes or basement than the locals. This would also tend to protect homes along the side of the street from express train vibration. It seems that other than the two very short exceptions mentioned above that vibrations from express trains would be less of a problem than vibrations from locals and in the case of those exceptions it seems a reasonable solution would be to slow the expresses somewhat. Now, people might object due to increased vibrations due to increased running of trains, but that would be the same whether those increased trains were locals or expresses.

Also, I want to say that I like your website and that I appreciate what you are trying to do in regards to improving transportation options. I do not live in New York City, but I have stayed in Carroll Gardens on trips. Thank you.


Gary said...

IMBY, I popped over to look at your blog, realized I've visited it many times before. What exactly are the building behind your place?

To clarify my earlier comment, I know this idea has been brought up many times before (as recently as 2003) but has not had traction yet. I have not heard anything about vibrations as a sticking point, however.

What I have heard are (1) track fire at Bergen did some damage that would need to be repaired, and (2) Culver Viaduct repairs render it "impossible" until 2012.

I think with the right pressure, it will indeed become possible after all.

Seriously, from what I've seen and as Tom notes, from the layout of the express tracks I don't see how vibrations from an express would be a serious issue.

Anon, that sounds like the sort of thing that would drive me mad.

Henry said...

I think you should study the line more carefully. Please read my five

First, there is a possiblity to increase train speed. There is also a minimal impact ot the basements of the homes in Carroll Gardens as the tracks sink below the local beginning after Jay Street ending between Bergen and Carroll. And I agree with Tom and Gary about the alignment of the express tracks. There exists a shortcut under Prospect Park and also the express tracks are more to the median of the street, therefore less vibrations. Vibrations won't be much of a problem in that alignment as having the Manhattan Bridge over you. That is worse than having a train under you. (Four trains running on that bridge, and you can barely hold a conversation)

Second, in a more Manhattan perspective, the V is much less used than the F line partly because it starts in Second Ave, a station less visited than stations like Jay Street-Borough Hall and 7 Avenue. The V train is more or less the same as the F in the route between 2nd and Forest Hills except it runs as a local in Queens and uses the 53 Street Tunnel. Making the F express and extending the G and V will be more beneficial than to have the V terminate in Manhattan.

Third, I commute regularly from and to Manhattan, and I hate to say, you have not gotten much of what we have to deal with. The F train is usually delayed, and it certain scenarios, skips stations in Manhattan (and York Street). I live near East Broadway. I don't want to have my stop skipped. Now say we make the F train express... that can also allow the V train extension. Both lines will be used well and delays will be less commonplace.

Fourth, making the F express is a good idea as it allow the G to penetrate into Kensington. This will allow for a shortcut into Queens, making the line more popular than today's alignment.

Fifth, the slated construction at Smith 9th will only pressure the MTA to make this happen. The G will be tentatively extended to Church Avenue, but the F train will still run as a local. This will make the G train more popular and the people would want this service to stay up.

I hope you consider these five points as to why we desperately need this service change.

The other thing I would like to address is South Brooklyn Express Service.

I personally would love to see South Brooklyn express service, but the Culver tracks are configured to be 3 tracks (2 locals and 1 bidirectional express track). Peak hour one way express service could be anticipated, but it would take quite alot to upgrade the existing structure to allow a fourth track to allow bidirectional express service at all times.

To Gary:
Thanks for starting this petition. It has opened thousands of mouths for protest. I hope the MTA can study the feasibility as soon as possible.