Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Late though it was, when these great projects were presented, the Commissioners felt that they should not reach their own conclusions until they had assembled and exhaustively studied every plan from whatsoever source it might appear, and until there had been applied to it the same measure of analysis and economic test that had been applied to the studies of the previous Bi-State Commission.

Port Area.

The Port of New York embraces the largest body of sheltered waters of any port in the world. Its shore lines measure about 800 miles with much of the adjacent land as yet undeveloped and available for industrial and commercial needs. Its natural advantages, therefore, for expansion and for the service of the commerce of the nation, are almost unlimited.

Principles of Remedies.

It is manifest, without argument, that only by a well devised and comprehensive plan can such a great expanse of natural advantages be properly developed and coordinated so that all portions may have their free opportunity, and also, that only by such means can there be avoided the mistakes of the past and be prevented the creation of new points of congestion that would occur again in the future. by leaving the various districts unrelated.

If scientific knowledge, example and experience are not applied to the development of these natural resources, handicaps rather than advantages may result, and this has been so in the Port of New York. There is a widely held but mistaken view that water transportation is always the cheapest and that the existing system of car floatage and lighterage is, therefore, the best. It is true that long-haul traffic by water, with full loadings, is generally cheaper than rail transportation, especially when carrier and commodity are well adapted to each other. It is not true where commodities and cars have to be handled and rehandled

between classification yards and final destination, and where, through lack of consolidation and unified operation, light loading and duplication of effort and equipment are unavoidable. There are some exceptions in the case of certain bulk commodities, like coal and grain, but in the main, water service as now conducted, is one of the most expensive of the complex movements which compose the burden that commerce has to bear in this port and many other ports are not free from this difficulty.

The Port as a Whole.

The Port Authority had to consider the interests of the whole port, as well as the relations of each part. It had to suggest plans for prompt relief and project larger plans for future development as far ahead as the process of reasoning could foresee, so that each part of the port in the development of its local projects and its growth might properly coordinate them with the whole.

Crossing State Boundaries.

As the boundary between the two States must necessarily be crossed, it is essential that the crossing should be so located that the consent of municipalities will be readily secured and so that the assent of the States may likewise be obtained, and this would be most easily done through the adoption of the comprehensive plan.

66

The Comprehensive Plan.

The keystone to the arch of the structure which we term the " comprehensive plan " is the medium of connection between the two sides of the port. This keystone is, therefore, the necessary belt line connecting all of the nine railroads on the westerly side of the port, together with a tunnel under the bay and belt line to connect them with the three trunk lines on the easterly side of the port. In locating these there are two main factors to be considered i. e., the purely physical factor and the service factor. The

location of this belt line on the westerly side and of the tunnel was determined by many impelling reasons and only after very intensive study.

The chief reasons are:

(a) That in this location can be made the shortest connecting link between all of the railroads terminating on the west side of the port;

(b) That it lies adjacent to and easterly of the existing breakup and classification yards of each of those railroads, with which it can be readily connected;

(c) That the cars from trains broken up and classified in those yards will then continue to move to this shortest connecting belt line by the shortest and most direct route and in the right direction;

(d) Conversely, that the same principle applies to westbound movements;

(e) The proposed tunnel from Greenville to Bay Ridge is the straightest, shortest and most direct course from that belt line to the easterly side of the port. It is the most favorable location for construction, for freedom from interference by moving craft during construction, for under-water depth below which any permanent structure must be built, for absence of curves and for easy grades.

Considered, therefore, merely from the physical aspect of tunnel construction alone, this location has the most advantages. Considered from the question of short connections and approaches, both the physical and operating elements make it the best.

It is by means of this same belt line that at appropriate locations there can be established suitable facilities for the consolidation of the car float and lighterage movement that must continue.

The belt line on the easterly side forming the through connection is an existing unit. Many other belt lines will be necessary to promote and serve industrial developments and water fronts. These form an essential part of the comprehensive plan and their location has been fully discussed

with and generally approved by the various localities to be served. They are located so as to co-relate their local improvements.

A full description of the routes and purposes of each of these belt lines will be found in the appendix identifying them with the map. It will be seen from the map of the comprehensive plan and from its accompanying descriptions that the plans conform to the fundamental principles previously enumerated, i. e., to permit of unification of railroad service, to bring cars from all railroads to all parts of the port, to permit of industrial development and to establish the most direct distribution of freight to its respective destinations and the most direct and economic interchange between rail and water-borne commerce, without previously breaking bulk.

Manhattan Service.

The insular position of the Borough of Manhattan, its intensively built up area, its peculiar topography with its greatest centers of congestion in its narrowest part, presented more involved problems and conditions peculiar to itself. The studies of traffic movements of the previous BiState Commission disclosed the fact that three-fourths of the local freight traffic of the twelve trunk line railroads was handled below 14th Street. Within these narrow confines are centered not only the great financial and administrative business offices, but also the great markets for food supplies, to which custom, for a century past, has drawn all those concerned with these enterprises. While it was early apparent that it was imperative to provide means by which the transportation of commodities originating in or destined to other sections of the port could be transported direct without passing through and congesting the streets of Manhattan, it is also certain that the customs. and trade of a century cannot be ruthlessly uprooted and could not immediately be readjusted, even to a more economic situation, without disorganizing the services upon which the public must depend and without the destruction of much invested capital.

Manhattan's service also involves questions of important. public policy affecting both New York and New Jersey, in relation to their respective water fronts on the Hudson river.

At present a large majority of the west water front of the Hudson river is occupied by terminal and float bridge yards of the New Jersey railroads, and a large part of the easterly side by the pier stations to which their floating equipment is brought for discharging and loading east and west-bound freight.

Operations as at present conducted bring to Manhattan quantities of freight not intended for consumption or use on the Island of Manhattan, thereby involving unnecessary congestion and long truck hauls. Similarly, large quantities of freight not originating in Manhattan are at present trucked to the receiving stations on Manhattan, intensifying those conditions. It is very difficult to determine and no one can safely forecast exactly what effect the diversion by more direct means of communication as outlined on this plan will have upon the tonnages remaining to be handled to and from Manhattan. The ideal condition would be to have only that which is necessary for consumption in or for shipment from Manhattan itself handled on the Island of Manhattan, and this ideal has been kept in view in a study of the comprehensive plan. Manhattan must continue to be supplied with all those things necessary to the support of its people and the maintenance of its business and home life, and until other and better means than now exist are provided the waterfronts of the Hudson river on both shores unavoidably will be compelled to furnish space for the needed rail terminals.

Public Policy and Economics.

Public policy, however, as well as sound economics, prescribe that the waterfront should be free for its natural and more normal uses by shipping. Highly specialized industries and services are located in that immediate neighborhood, such as refrigerated perishable products

« ПретходнаНастави »