What Could Expanded Subway Service in Brooklyn Look Like?

With subway service in Brooklyn presently reduced for repairs, it’s fun to think about what more subway service might be like. Albert Rigosi at Hyperreal Cartography recently imagined what it would look like if trains actually went everywhere in the city, including the vast swaths of Brooklyn unreachable by underground railroad. Whether or not such communities would welcome the hordes that would certainly follow the ease of such access, or if it would be possible from an engineering perspective, it’s an interesting thought exercise that highlights how removed certain neighborhoods are from others.

Coney Island to Jamaica
Most glaringly absent from the current subway layout is a train to connect southern Brooklyn west-to-east. Rather than run an extension of the R train through Dyker Heights and Bath Beach into Coney Island and beyond, Rigosi imagines a revived V train that begins in Coney Island and runs along the F until Avenue V (the V at V!), where it cuts across Midwood and Flatbush, connecting to the Q and an imagined extended 9 line (running along the 2/5 but past Brooklyn College all the way to Emmons Avenue) where it briefly hooks up with an imagined P (more on that in a second) down into the Rockaways before heading east and then north up into previously unreachable parts of Queens. Phew.

A Longer L
Rigosi has the L extend past its present Canarsie terminus through Flatlands before oddly curling up toward East Flatbush. At the new Avenue J stop, before the L curls, is the north terminus of a new P train, which runs by Kings Plaza, makes a stop at Floyd Bennett Field, and curls into Breezy Point (!), running all the way to Beach 220th Street. Imagine?!

Hi, Staten Island!
What if the W came back as a train that started where the N and R at 59th Street, then curved out west, stopped on Colonial Road (crazy!), and continued on to Staten Island, ran across the North Shore, and then into New Jersey, stopping at Newark Airport and continuing to New Jersey Penn Station. This is loosely based on a real plan: in the 1920s, construction began on a tunnel that went off from around the Bay Ridge Avenue stop on the R down to the Narrows; the tunnel made it as far as the waterway, but construction was ultimately forced to stop for budgetary reasons. Word is you can theoretically access this through a vent in Owl’s Head Park, though it’s been chained up and padlocked by the MTA.

The IRT to JFK
In this imagination, the 3 train continues past New Lots over the border into Queens and connects with the A train at the airport. And also that new V train! How convenient!

Follow Henry Stewart on Twitter @henrycstewart

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