A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from September 26, 2008
Stubway (shortened version of a longer proposed subway line)

Manhattan’s Second Avenue Subway project has been talked about and delayed for over half a century. By the late 1990s, it was proposed to build a Second Avenue “Stubway”—a shortened version or “stub” of a much longer subway line. The thinking behind a “stubway” is that if the first part of the subway line is built, then government could be persuaded to cough up the many billions of extra dollars to finish the whole line.

The word “stubway” is cited in print from September 30, 1999. The term was used (and possibly coined) by Manhattan Upper East Side Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

Wikipedia: Second Avenue Subway
The Second Avenue Subway (SAS) is a rapid transit subway line currently under construction underneath Second Avenue in the borough of Manhattan as part of the New York City Subway system. A dream for more than three quarters of a century, the Second Avenue Subway tunnelling contract was awarded to the consortium of Schiavone/Shea/Skanska by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) on March 20, 2007. This followed preliminary engineering and a final tunnel design completed by joint venture between DMJM Harris and Arup. This contract, and the full funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration expected to follow within weeks to months, for Phase I of the project, which is an extension of the Q (Broadway Express) subway line to Second Avenue and 96th Street. A ceremonial ground-breaking for the Second Avenue Subway was held on April 12, 2007 and the contractor prepared the initial construction site at 96th Street on April 23, 2007. A Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) is on order and was expected to arrive six to eight months after construction began; meanwhile, utility relocation is in progress.

As a consequence of the many “false starts”, the SAS is often cited as an egregious example of bureaucratic red tape and governmental ineptitude. However, the reasons for its delay are numerous and complex. The line is sometimes referred to as “The Line That Time Forgot”.

New York (NY) Times
New 5-Year Transit Plan Must Serve Many Masters
Published: September 30, 1999
The authority would commit $1.5 billion to the Grand Central link, known as the East Side connector, over the next five years, and envisions finishing it in 2009. In contrast, it would spend only $700 million over five years on the piece of the Second Avenue subway running from 125th Street to 63d Street—called ‘’the stubway’’ by critics—and says that segment would not be finished until 2015. 

New York (NY) Daily News
Thursday, September 30th 1999, 2:11AM
The story goes like this: When the Second Ave. El was torn down in 1940, the old girders and tracks were salvaged by a junkyard dealer, who shipped them to Japan. The imperial Japanese government then boiled the scrap metal to make ammunition that was shot at American soldiers, including people from Second Ave., during World War II.

And now, 60 years later, Second Ave. trains, or at least the promise of them, once again are being used as a weapon against New Yorkers.

This time, the stooges of Gov. Pataki and Mayor Giuliani on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board are pretending they will build a teeny little piece of the Second Ave. subway, as long as they can construct a very popular improvement to the Long Island Rail Road.

Even if it were a serious promise, the Pataki-Giuliani “Second Ave. Stubway” would run only from 125th St. to 72nd St. and wouldn’t solve the crush for riders on the East Side of Manhattan, who currently suffer in trains that would not meet federal standards for transporting cattle.

Google Groups: nyc.transit
Newsgroups: nyc.transit
From: “Hank Eisenstein”
Date: 1999/10/02
Subject: Re: Jim Dwyer Column on 2nd Av Subway Scam

I think it’s better to build the ‘Stubway’ now.  As soon as a shovel is turned, the pressure from the community with force them to continue building south.  While construction is underway on segment 1, the planning and impact statments can be done for segment 2.  Nothing wrong with opening in stages, ala WMATA.

New York (NY) Daily News
Protesting herd seeks full 2nd Ave. line
Wednesday, December 1th 1999, 2:11AM
Fields, joined by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-East Side) and Councilwoman Kathryn Freed (D-lower Manhattan), noted that her office had generated 17,000 post cards to the MTA pushing for a full-length Second Ave. subway - from Co-op City in the Bronx to Brooklyn.

“We’re here to support the subway, not the stubway,” Maloney told the crowd, referring to the MTA’s plan.

New York (NY) Daily News
Saturday, December 6th 2003, 7:48AM
A “stubway” is okay.

Key public transit advocates who in the past have blasted a shortened Second Ave. subway as a “stubway” said yesterday they support plans for an abbreviated version if it’s the first step toward a Manhattan-long line.

“A segment-by-segment approach is the best way to bring quick benefits to transit riders and increase momentum for strong federal funding,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is considering starting construction next year on a Second Ave. subway with stops at 96th, 86th and 72nd Sts. The line would then curve west to the tunnel used by the Broadway N and R trains, the Daily News reported yesterday. 

New York (NY) Daily News
Miniline planned for 96th-72nd
Sunday, April 11th 2004, 7:02AM
Transportation honchos plan to kick off the Second Ave. subway with a miniline that runs from 96th to 72nd Sts. and then shoots over to Broadway to bring passengers downtown, the Daily News has learned.

The project could be ready in as few as seven years.

“It makes the most sense,” Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Peter Kalikow told the Daily News. “When you are done with that, you have an operating segment that ties into other lines and gives great service over to Times Square and downtown.”

Construction could start late this year on the first leg of the long-awaited project.

New stations would be built along Second Ave. at 96th, 86th and 72nd Sts. The line would then curve west - stopping at the 63rd St. and Lexington Ave. F line station, then run downtown along the existing Broadway tunnel.

May 25, 2007
Expensive Start for the 2nd Avenue Subway
By Teddy N.
[1] | 05/25/07 03
We’ll probably end up with only the “stubway” as funds dry up in the next decade.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityTransportation • (0) Comments • Friday, September 26, 2008 • Permalink