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Wacky Subway Plan of the Week: A Tunnel to Staten Island!

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Even though Staten Island can only be accessed from Manhattan and Brooklyn by boat or by bridge, Mayor Bloomberg still overlooked the forgotten borough for his annual crazy subway system suggestion. What does Secaucus have that St. George doesn't? State Senator Diane Savino wants to know, damn it. She's suggesting taking the $3 billion in funds earmarked for the scrapped Jersey-to-Manhattan ARC train tunnel and putting it towards an old plan to connect Staten Island to Brooklyn by subway. That plan, by the way, is from 1912, which is right before the rest of New York realized it might be better if it remained difficult for Staten Islanders to leave Staten Island.

Savino tells SILive that in 1898, when the boroughs voted to consolidate, Staten Island was promised a municipal ferry and subway service. It took seven years for the ferry to get up and running, but the subway has been as elusive as a Cubs World Series title. Though it'll probably be another century before this idea comes up again, 2nd Ave. Sagas still pauses to examine the plan, which would involve tunneling under a mile of water before surfacing on 67th Street in Bay Ridge and connecting to the R line on Fourth Avenue:

The line would branch off at around 59th St. where a short tunnel stub exists, but the trains would make the long, slow slog to Lower Manhattan via the 4th Ave. local and Montague St. tunnel. Such a trip would arguably be slower than taking the ferry, and without significant subway development in Staten Island, it wouldn’t provide comprehensive service at that end either. Way to rain on that parade! At least we still have this back-of-the-envelope subway map of the future, brought to you fromthe past:

· Savino calls for subway, rail links for Staten Island with floating $3B in federal funding [SILive]
· Building a subway to Staten Island with ARC dollars [2nd Ave. Sagas]