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tion alone for small sections of these subways which admittedly would be of greater service to the whole city in relieving the traffic congestion which now exists than the Fourth avenue subway..
I vote no."
Commissioner Eustis Mr. Chairman, I have not prepared any written statement in explaining my vote. I simply wish to say if this was a new proposition being considered for the first time, the statements made by Commissioners Maltble and Bassett would be controlling with me, for I consider they have great bearing.
Or, if this so-called Fourth avenue route stood alone by itself and was to be construed without any connection with any other line, I should also feel constrained to vote against it. But, in view of the fact that this line is a part, or a link, of what has been called the Tri-Borough route, running from near the Atlantic ocean to Pelham bay park in the Bronx, I feel it my duty to consider it in that connection, and if I felt by voting against the construction of this route, that the money that has been granted for the construction of it, could be obtained for any other section of the Tri-Borough route, I would then be constrained to vote against it, because I believe that if the Manhattan or main route had been first constructed, it would have been a paying route from the start, for everybody knows a subway on Manhattan Island would not have to look for passengers at any time of the day. But I have not the chance, nor has this Commission, of saying where we shall begin the Tri-Borough route. Our predecessors appropriated this money for one end of it and not for the middle, and I believe if we apply the money now to the Brooklyn end of that route and urge and strive for the means to construct the Manhattan and then the Bronx part of it, it will not be very long that that route will be considered a non-paying one, and for that reason I vote aye."
October 2, 1907.
The Chairman announced the resolution as carried.
Section 9-0-5 of Loop Lines.
*[Pipe galleries should not be omitted.]
OPINION OF COMMISSION.
(Adopted October 2, 1907.)
Your committee, to whom was referred the recommendation of George S. Rice, engineer, dated August 7, 1907, recommending the discontinuance of the pipe gal leries in the contract for the construction of section 9-0-5 of the so-called "bridge loop," being that part of the subway in Delancey street, begs to make the following report:
After examination of the plans and specifications, and conferring with the engineer and also with various members of the Commission, while at first it would seem that the recommendation of the engineer had merit, in that the galleries on this section of the subway would not be used to any very great extent, it does appear that some of the pipes along this section of the subway could be put in the pipe galleries, and that to leave out this section would break the continuity of the galleries extending from the Brooklyn bridge to Williamsburg bridge, and, in view of the fact that the city owns the bridges and will own the subway and the galleries, it would seem to be poor judgment at this time to leave such a break in the galleries, and for the further reason that the galleries at the contract price can be constructed now at far less cost than they could be supplied hereafter; there fore, your committee is of the opinion that the galleries should not be omitted from this section of the contract, and that the recommendation of the engineer relating to the same should be disapproved, and submits for adoption the following resolution:
Resolved, That the recommendation of the chief engineer, dated August 7, 1907, that the plans and contract for Section 9-0-5 of the bridge loop" be modified by omitting from said plans and contract the pipe galleries, be not approved.
The resolution was adopted.
* See footnote, page 9.
Rapid Transit Subway Construction Company.- Clearing up streets in Brooklyn.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE.
(Adopted August 23, 1907.)
The street surface work connected with the Brooklyn subway, from Fulton street at Borough Hall station through Flatbush avenue to the Long Island station, referred to this committee, was begun on Wednesday, July 18th. At that time, although the subway for almost the entire distance of Fulton street was completed and considerable progress had been made in paving and finishing the surface, the following objectionable features remained:
1. In front of the Hall of Records on Fulton street large piles of material had accumulated and the sidewalk was in bad condition. At the intersection of Willoughby and Fulton streets several large openings existed which were in the way of traffic, and almost all of the street at this point was planked over and had not been back filled.
2. Between Court street and Smith street large piles of paving stones and other material impeded traffic.
3. The Smith street crossing was in bad shape owing to the work of the Coney Island and Brooklyn railroad.
4. At Hoyt street station large clumsy bridges encumbered the sidewalks on both sides of Hoyt street. Part of the sidewalk between Hoyt street and Elm place was not paved, most of the street remained planked over and had not been back filled. On the north side of the street another bridge encumbered the sidewalk and Duffield street was full of material.
5. At intersection of Gold street and DeKalb,avenue a large space still remained planked over and had not been back filled, by reason of misunderstandings between the subway contractors and the railway companies. The DeKalb avenue shaft was also located at this intersection and will remain, owing to the siding at this point, and was planned to take care of the Flatbush avenue excavating.
6. At Bond street a large opening existed, running for some distance up the street, which was held open on account of the Edison Company's work.
7. Approaching Hanover place the work was in bad condition, sidewalks and vaults being uncompleted and littered with material and the street being unpaved and in most places planked over. Hanover place was encumbered with old building material, some of which the property owners claimed had been there for months, and although the subway was roofed over for 200 feet east of Hanover place, no finishing had been attempted whatsoever.
8. From Nevins street to State street the entire length of Flatbush avenue was given over to the subway contractors, including the adjacent side streets, and only the minimum allowable space was given to traffic and to property owners.
9. At the Long Island station excavating had just begun, so that conditions at this point were not serious.
10. Our first effort was to give immediate relief to Fulton street from Borough Hall station to Hanover place by compelling the contractors and various corporations to agree on minor points causing delays, by forcing completion of many small items of work that were keeping large portions of the street impassable, and by causing the contractors to clear up useless materials and reset the pavements over the whole. This. work was completed by August 6th. The paving as now relaid is not in perfect condition and should be improved.
A careful observation of that portion of the subway which yet remains to be completed clearly shows that a similar cleaning-up process can be carried on at Flatbush avenue, from a point 100 feet south of the intersection of Nevins street to the end of State street, and while this work cannot be done with the rapidity of the Fulton street work, there is no reason why by October 1st this section cannot be put into exactly the condition of Fulton street at the present time.
This will afford a great deal of relief, both to upbound department store traffic through Livingston street and Schermerhorn street, and also to the property owners in the immediate neighborhood, who have suffered more and longer than any others along the subway.
This work should be immediately pushed with the following aims in view:
Complete opening up of Nevins street to through traffic direct to Fulton street; the opening up of Livingston street through to Lafayette avenue and the absolute completion of the new trolley lines through these streets at not later than September 25th, the paving over the sidewalks and streets of Flatbush avenue for the entire distance, and removal therefrom of all building materials, as also from the adjoining side streets.
After careful study of all the conditions which govern the completion of this work, including the completion of the subway proper, the work of the sewer and water departments, and of the telephone, gas and electric light companies, we are confident that there is no reason why this work cannot be accomplished. It also seems necessary to open up Nevins street immediately on account of the narrowness of the thoroughfare, but the contractors should be allowed to use the other side streets until October 1 in order that they will have no obstruction to the rapid completion of the work; providing, however, that a free passageway for teams should always be open.
The cleaning up of Fulton street, which to-day is practically accomplished, followed by the cleaning up of Flatbush avenue in the section mentioned by October 1, will leave but two sections, namely, the intersection of Flatbush avenue and Fulton street and the Long Island station, to be completed. At Flatbush avenue and Fulton street, owing to the great difficulty of the work, the delay will be longest, and the work at the Long Island station, owing to its rather open location, will not afford serious inconvenience; and both of these points are well taken care of by the work of the contractors and the engineers and are being pushed with consistent vigor.
We submit with the report a number of proposed resolutions to advance the work of clearing up Flatbush avenue.
Dated, New York, August 22, 1907.
Commissioner Bassett presented the following resolution:
Resolved, That the Rapid Transit Subway Construction Company be required to remove all material from Nevins street at once and allow that street to be kept entirely open for traffic, and that a direct passageway from Nevins street to Fulton street wide enough to permit two trucks to pass each other shall immediately be planked over and kept open;
And further, That the said company be required to forthwith remove the boiler plant from the middle of Livingston street to some point preferably to the south and out of the way of the proposed new Livingston street surface line;
And, further, That the said company be required to complete on or before October 1, 1907, the work upon the surface of Flatbush avenue from a point approximately 100 feet south of Nevins street to State street: that all back filling, sidewalks, curbs and street paving be completed by that date with the exception of the shafts at Livingston street and Lafayette avenue, which are to be neatly enclosed, and a ventilating opening at Lafayette avenue, the work upon which is confined to a smaller space;
And further, That said company be required to employ night shifts of workmen, if necessary so to do, to complete this work by October 1, 1907;
And further, That after October 1, 1907, all material of any sort shall be removed from Flatbush avenue from a point approximately 100 feet from Nevins street (except that the space at Journeay & Burnham's former store may be used as long as that is vacant), and also the following side streets: Livingston street. Third avenue, Schermerhorn street. Lafayette avenue, Rockwell place, and that these streets shall be and remain entirely clear as to sidewalks, car tracks and pavements.
Commissioner Bassett here stated that the Commission had power to enforce this clearing-up process and that the only probable cost to the Commission would be in the removal of the boiler plant.
George S. Rice stated that when the contractor commenced on that work he submitted a plan and secured a permit to put his plant where it is in the
Commissioner Bassett stated that the street is under the Commission's control, and now that Livingston street has been widened the plant stands exactly where the new trolley tracks are to be laid, and this resolution is virtually a command to a contractor of ours to do certain work.
The resolution was adopted August 23, 1907.
Commissioner Bassett then presented the following resolutions:
Resolved, That the Nassau Electric Railway Company be required to complete all of its work on the new Livingston street-Lafayette avenue surface line, including the laying of tracks, erecting of poles or stringing of wires, and the relaying of all street pavement from a point approximately 200 feet from Flatbush avenue on Livingston street through Flatbush avenue and to a point approximately 200 feet from Flatbush avenue on Lafayette avenue, on or before September 25, 1907.
The resolution was adopted August 23, 1907.
Resolved, That no street openings of any sort shall, while subway construction is going on, be made in Fulton street or Flatbush avenue, after the pavement is once reset over the subway, without a special permit from this Commission.
The resolution was adopted August 23, 1907.
Condemnation Proceedings under the Rapid Transit Act.
[Condemnation proceedings under the Rapid Transit Act are unduly expensive. The Commission is obliged to pay fees and expenses of commissioners after they have been taxed by the court.]
The following reports were made and discussions had concerning expenses of condemnation proceedings.
Commissioner Bassett presented the following report, which, on motion, duly seconded, was adopted:
On the occasion of the presentation of the bill of Mortimer K. Flagg for $100 for the month of July, 1907, for services as clerk to the condemnation commission appointed to appraise easements taken for rapid transit work along Southern boulevard and Boston road, The Bronx, the entire subject of condemnation under the Rapid Transit Act was referred to me, as a committee of one, for investigation and report. Since that time I have conferred with a large number of officials, some in our office, some in the corporation counsel's office and some in the office of the comptroller.
Condemnations initiated by the Public Service Commission, as successors to the Board of Rapid Transit Railroad Commissioners, are governed by paragraph 40 of the Rapid Transit Act and subsequent sections. This Board is directed to prepare maps and certify them to the corporation counsel, whereupon the corporation counsel applies to the Supreme Court for the appointment of a commission, usually suggesting one name.
The law provides that the Commissioners shall receive as compensation the sum of $10 per day for each day actually employed, and they may employ the necessary clerks, stenographers and surveyors. The charter provisions governing condemnation of streets, parks and sites for public buildings do not apply in any degree to rapid transit condemnations.
A custom has grown up whereby commissions to condemn property under the Rapid Transit Law take advantage of the latter provision to appoint a clerk to the Commission at $100 per month. While it is possible that in large and intricate proceedings this may be desirable, it still remains the fact that in ordinary cases the amount of work does not demand any such expenditure. It is customary for the Commissioners to pass a resolution employing a certain clerk and fixing his salary at $100 per month. It should be noticed that the law gives the Commissioners no power to fix the salary; but a later provision states that all such expense must be taxed by the court after notice to the corporation counsel and paid by the Rapid Transit Board. Therefore, when the bills of such condemnation commissions are taxed by the court, whether for this or any other lawful purpose, it becomes obligatory upon the Public Service Commission to pay them. Our only method of bringing the matter up would be to request the corporation counsel to oppose such items.
There are two condemnations now proceeding wherein such clerks are employed; one which has been working about three years on the easements along Joralemon and other streets, in the borough of Brooklyn (in this proceeding George N. Young has been, and is, acting as clerk at $100 per month); the other is the proceeding
See footnote, page 9.
in The Bronx, wherein Mr. Flagg is clerk. Both of these proceedings are intricate and involve a very large number of parcels, and would justify the employment of clerks if such employment were ever justifiable.
In some months there are numerous meetings and considerable work for the clerk to do between meetings; in others, and during the summer months, there is practically no work, but the pay continues. It should be remembered, however, that single clerk should cover the entire proceeding, and that it would be difficult to put his pay on a per diem basis.
The Finance Department, in order to save expense on such condemnations other than street openings, which are in a large bureau under J. P. Dunn, organized a distinct bureau, called the Commissioners of Estimate and Appraisal, having offices at No. 257 Broadway, Manhattan, and occupying a position, to some extent, intermediate between the comptroller and corporation counsel. This bureau, now under the charge of Joseph M. Schenck, attends to the clerical work for the various commissions appointed on school sites, docks, etc. Several minor condemnation proceedings under the Rapid Transit Act have also been attended to by this bureau without outside assistance. This bureau makes a pro rata charge against the various boards for which it works, but thus far has made the expense materially less than if each commission had continued to employ its own clerical assistants. It is clearly in the interest of economy to use this newly organized bureau wherever possible, although the absolute power of the condemnation commissions appointed under the Rapid Transit Act to select their own clerical help must be recognized. To this end I have had a conference with Joel Squier, Esq., assistant corporation counsel in charge of rapid transit condemnations, and he has agreed that so far as he is able he will see that no more special clerks are appointed, and that in general the new bureau shall be used to the utmost possible advantage. I think that, with the co-operation of the corporation counsel and our counsel, and an oral interview with the various commissioners as soon as appointed by the court, this can be accomplished. It does not seem advisable to me that we should formally request the corporation counsel to protest against the bills of Messrs. Young and Flagg.
The duty of favoring or protesting against these and other similar bills rests with the corporation counsel, and while it would certainly be our privilege to protest against any flagrant charges, I do not consider that it would be wise to make these specific items the subject of protest at this time. I believe that we can accomplish more by co-operation with the corporation counsel along this line.
The Brooklyn commission referred to has now been sitting more than three years, and, although it should be recognized that this work has been enormous, it would seem entirely proper that we should communicate with the corporation counsel urging that this work shall be completed and final report filed at the earliest possible date. To this end I recommend the passage of the annexed resolution.
The city charter has recently been substantially amended with a view of hastening street and park condemnations and lessening expense. Provision has been made that $5 instead of $10 shall be the compensation for each commissioner in sessions lasting less than half an hour; a limit of time has been placed upon proceedings, and the power of the commissions to select clerks has been taken away. The provisions of the Rapid Transit Act giving unnecessary powers to the commissioners, such as employing clerks and surveyors, etc., is now unique, and, as far as I know, does not apply to other condemnations in this city. It will be well, in my opinion, to see that an amendment to the Rapid Transit Act in this respect is submitted at the next session of the Legislature.
Dated, September 24, 1907.
Commissioner Maltbie-"I have three bills here for stenographic services, in connection with condemnation proceedings, in favor of C. N. Cronyn: One for $474 even; one for $465.40, and one for $411 even. In each case I consider the charges that have been made are above the market rate. and would not justify payment for the sums in the amounts called for. These bills have been taxed by the court. Payment is mandatory upon us, and regardless of the fact that they are high, they must be paid, and so, in view of these facts, Mr. Chairman, I move that they be paid."
Commissioner Bassett "I should like to express my concurrence in what Mr. Maltbie has said, and to state further that, under the Rapid Transit Act, the