With the Second Ave. Subway Finally Completed, What Should Be Next?


There has been talk of building a subway line on Second Avenue for more than half a century, but talk is cheap. Every time the project was close to getting started, something would come up, and the city would abandon it. That was the pattern for a long time, but in 2007 the city actually began construction on a new line, and that work has finally come to an end.

Starting on January 1st, 2017, the Second Ave. subway line opens to the public. The line is an extension of the Q train; instead of ending its’ uptown route at 57th St. & 7th Ave., the train will continue to Lexington Ave. & 63rd St. before making three more stops along 2nd Ave. until it reaches 96th st.

This new line is such a momentous occasion for the city, Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio will be on board for the inaugural ride late on New Year’s Eve, before it opens to the general public. The stations are designed with new artistic pieces, giving it a distinct look and feel, separate from the stations already in existence.

The debut of the Second Ave. subway will relieve the stress on the crowded No. 4, 5, and 6 trains that run on along Lexington Ave. Projects like this makes one wonder if there are other subway lines the city could build to ease the pressure on it’s most overcrowded lines. It turns out the city has started many ambitious projects to extend the subway system that ultimately went unfinished.

Unfinished Projects That Could Have Been

WYNC has a fascinating project called The Lost Subways of New York. It’s a map of several planned subway lines that, for one reason or another, were ultimately scrapped. The map offers a plethora of hypothetical public transit options and gives people an idea of what could have been. You’re left to wonder how much simpler your work commute would be had one or more of these subway lines come to fruition.

Some of these possible routes even travel into Brooklyn, not too far from our office in Sunset Park. For example, the Eighth Avenue A-C-E line had a proposed addition that would start at Canal St., and make its’ way through Chinatown, go under the East River, and make a few stops until it reached South 4th St. in Williamsburg. An additional stop by a highway-adjacent street in a bustling neighborhood could help clear up some of the traffic.

That’s not the only line that had been planned for the South 4th St. stop in Williamsburg. It was to be shared with another project that would extend the F line beyond South 4th St. and down Utica Ave This plan also never came to fruition though, despite the subway shell being built.

Second Avenue Additions?

Second Ave. could have undergone far more changes than just the new stops we’ll be getting in 2017. With all the time spent figuring out how to go about it, it’s no shock that several plans were formulated and discarded.

Multiple plans had the Second Ave. subway extending deep into the Bronx. One idea had it go all the way to Throggs Neck; the other through the Harlem River to Wakefield. Further south, the line would’ve made its way all the way down to Court St. in Brooklyn. It would no doubt be a massive undertaking, but if you’re making your way that deep into the Bronx, it would be a massive improvement.

The hypothetical subway routes of New York City are a rich vein of possibilities. And now that the longest talked about l line is a reality, it’s exciting to imagine what could be next.

The Second Ave. subway may be brand new, but not every subway station and train is in as good a condition. If you’ve been injured as a result of negligence and poor conditions, our New York attorneys can potentially be of assistance. Contact us for a free consultation.