Long before it became an antiquated and squalid representation of everything wrong with America’s broken cities, the New York subway was a miracle.
Before it, the farms and villages of Brooklyn, the Bronx and Queens might as well have been on the other side of the world from the heaving streets of Manhattan.
The subway hastened the city’s financial and cultural growth, and every day it makes it the enchanting, incomprehensible act of both drawing people together and spreading them out, although, in recent years, it’s been falling apart.
However, failing to fix it would be a collective and historic act of self-destruction.
But it’s the billionaires that have destroyed the subway and every other piece of infrastructure that’s been neglected for the past fifty years, and for capitalism to serve its true masters, the working class must be underfunded and neglected.
It should have been updated years ago, and now it’s going to be so much more difficult and more costly to fix it, and at the moment it just looks like something out of a dystopian sci-fi film set.
Alfred Ely Beach built the first presentation for an underground transit system in New York City in 1869 and opened it in February 1870.
His Beach Pneumatic Transit only extended 312 feet (95 metres) under Broadway in Lower Manhattan, operating from Warren Street to Murray Street and presented his design for an atmospheric railway as a subway.
The tunnel was never extended for political and financial reasons, and today, no part of this line remains as the tunnel was entirely within the boundaries of the present-day City Hall station under Broadway.
The Great Blizzard of 1888 helped demonstrate the advantages of an underground transportation system, and a plan for the development of the subway was approved in 1894, and the building of it started in 1900.
Even though the underground parts of the subway had yet to be built, some above-ground portions of the modern-day New York City Subway system were already in service by then.
The oldest structure still in use opened in 1885 as part of the BMT Lexington Avenue Line in Brooklyn and is now part of the BMT Jamaica Line.
The oldest right of way, which is part of the BMT West End Line near Coney Island Creek, was in use in 1864 as a steam railroad called the Brooklyn, Bath and Coney Island Rail Road.
It appears to be a matter of priorities and an immense amount of tax revenues to finance those priorities.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), for decades, had resisted cleaning up the BMT Chambers Station, and it’s by far the most decrepid, degenerate stations in the system.
It kind of changed in 2019, when a limited cleanup was announced, but the station’s murky de-evolution won’t be easily erased with its shambling appearance.
It’s a dungeon-like place, with dilapidated walls, repugnant mould, and wonderful mosaics and terra cotta plaques that were once beautiful, but have slipped into ruin, but it’s over 100 years old and anything that old needs to be radically restored, not just patched up.