With the success of the High Line, we've seen plenty of copy cats, but Benjamin Kabak of Second Avenue Sagas thinks that this rails-to-trails mentality may be not be the best route for all disused transit lines. Since James Ramsey and Dan Barasch unveiled their idea for the Lowline in an abandoned trolley terminal, the public has largely jumped behind the plan. The Journal even put forth the idea that the park could boost property values in the Lower East Side, but Kabak wonders if the space would be better used for transit. "I could easily envision the space serving as a depot for a proper bus rapid transit line that bridges the borough divide between Manhattan and Brooklyn," he writes. "That alone would generate significant value for the area." He continues:
We have to adequately assess whether or not the space can be restored to its original intended use. The High Line worked due to a confluence of circumstances, and it's not so easy to duplicate it. Plus, it's hard enough to build out new rights of way for rail projects that we shouldn't be so callous discarding those that already exist.Kabak also points out that while the Lowline team "had the ear" of Jay Walder when he was MTA chairman back in 2011, we are now "two heads removed" from Walder's tenure.
· What if the Low Line Space Were Still Transit? [SAS]
· Low Line coverage [Curbed]
Photo via the Lowline Flickr