The Federal Transit Administration has approved the first part of the Second Avenue subway, and the Post reports that it means the MTA can start using $1.3 billion (of the $5 billion it'll take to create the 63rd to 96th Streets part; $13 billion for an entire East Harlem to downtown Manhattan) for design and engineering. The quote the Post has from Representative Carolyn Maloney is "The wheels are turning on the Second Avenue subway project, that's for sure. This is another sign of the progress we're making," but Gothamist has to say the wheels are very, very slow - public hearings for the Second Avenue subway began back in 2003 (okay, we're impatient). We really doubt the 63rd-96th Street part will be done by 2012, as hoped, but what's cool is that the Q train will be connected to what we think may be the T line at 72nd, 86th and 96th Streets. In the end, the Second Avenue subway will be a good, if semi-Quoixotic experience - it'll make things like the 4/5 construction issues easier to bear, even if we'll be wearing orthopedic shoes by the time it's ready.

The MTA on the Second Avenue Subway project - reading the project history is a trip through memory lane back to 1929.