- File Size: 54422 KB
- Print Length: 336 pages
- Publisher: Empire State Editions; 1st edition (December 1, 2013)
- Publication Date: August 8, 2019
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00G36FVKY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #520,147 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System 1st Edition, Kindle Edition
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“The Routes Not Taken is a fascinating look at what did not happen with the New York City subway system and why. Joseph Raskin provides detailed accounts of why several subway lines that have been long needed and desired―such as one in the northeast Bronx and one across Queens and Brooklyn―never got built. The stories are full of twists and turns as politicians, business interests, civic groups, transit advisors and engineers all argue over which line is needed, what the specifics of its route should be, and even if it should be done ahead of another line. The Routes Not Taken is engrossing but ultimately dispiriting. One comes away from reading Mr. Raskin’s book with a sense of awe that New York City has a subway system of any kind and extent given the numerous competing forces that have cancelled each other out in the past.” (―Paul Shaw Author of Helvetica and the New York City Subway System: The True (Maybe) Story)
“Joseph B. Raskin’s parents never owned a car, and so the New York subway system perhaps played an outsize role in shaping his worldview. In The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City’s Unbuilt Subway System (Fordham University Press), Mr. Raskin draws on this perspective to provide an insightful look at the what-might-have-beens of urban mass transit. The first subway, the IRT from City Hall to West 145th Street, was built in four and a half years. That pace has rarely been equaled in the century since. Consider that the Second Avenue subway, the first segment of which is to open in 2016, was envisioned in 1929. Why were certain lines elevated ― and later demolished ― instead of buried? Mr. Raskin, the assistant director of government and community relations for New York City Transit, dusts off old blueprints of lines that were never built or never completed, explaining how the system shaped urban development and how political and economic forces conspired to create today’s subways. If only the Transit Construction Commission’s 1920 plan had been adopted: a $350 million, 20-year blueprint that would have provided a grid of subway lines covering all five boroughs and provided for a city with a population even bigger than today’s." (―Sam Roberts The New York Times)
“The New York subway is a source of basic mobility in the world’s greatest city, but there remains much to be learned about why it came to be and how it functions. Raskin has given us a book that places all of our factual and historical narratives in a much larger context―what might have been, what could have been, and, perhaps, what should have been.” (―Brian J. Cudahy A Century of Subways: Celebrating 100 Years of New York’s Underground Railways)
In presenting lively...case studies of what he regards as the most important unbuilt lines, Mr. Raskin encourages his readers to think about the adaptable nature of the city. (―Wall Street Journal)
Apart from sheer enjoyment, this book underscores how radically decisions about transit shape property values, commerce, neighborhoods, and people. (―Choice Magazine) --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I know maps are expensive and that old ones often don't reproduce well. But Raskin needed to make the investment in new drawings to illustrate much of what he talks about. I'm very familiar with New York's transit geography, but I repeatedly had to go to other sources to figure out what he was referring to. The narrative structure is equally baffling, with stories coming and going in no particular chronological order. I can't imagine what a more casual reader would make of this.
I really wanted to love this book, but I think only the most diehard of NYC railfans will get through this happily.
Raskin knows New York City intimately and his love for the city comes through on every page of the book. This love combines with knowledge to provide amazing insights into what the city could have been and into what the city should be. Vast stretches of the city are without subway service. Why? Were certain neighborhoods or certain population groups considered unworthy or undesirable while others were considered meritorious? Were residential neighborhoods less important than financial and commercial sections of the city? What have the consequences of these decisions been? What should be doing now? This important and eloquent book gives us some answers and raises more questions. It's fun reading for people who are interested in New York City but it's important reading for those of us who care about urban politics, urban economics, urban anthropology, urban geography, urban history and urban planning.
The book is replete with many logical examples of new routes, and route extensions that would have been highly beneficial to the riders of the New York City subways, but were never built, or as in the case of the Second Avenue Subway which is finally being built, is the subject of many cost saving measures, that limits its usefulness.
However, one thing that detracts from the book is the poor quality of some of its illustrations.
All-in-all, this book is an important addition the libraries of people with serious interest in the history of the New York subways.