Culver Shuttle

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The New York Times
Friday August 4, 1882


    Counsel for the East River Bridge and Coney Island Steam Transit Company made an application to Mayor Low yesterday for the appointment of a commission to determine the amount which the company shall be required to deposit with some designated trust company as compensation for damages before commencing to build its road. The application was made under section 51 of what is known as Mayor Low's Rapid Transit Compensation act, which is an amendment to the General Rapid Transit law of 1875. This section provides as follows:

    "Any corporation heretofore organised under the provisions of the act amended, and which has not constructed its railway and has obtained the consent of the local authorities to the construction and operation of a railway upon any or all of the parties designated for it by its articles of association, and whose rights under such consent have not terminiated, and whose proposed railway lies wholly within the limits of any city may within 60 days after the passage of this act, apply to the Mayor of such city for the appointment of Commissioners to estimate and fix the damages to be caused by the construction and operation of its railway upon and along the streets or highways as to which such consent has been given."

    The number of Commissioners provided by law is three and the amount estimated by them for damages must be deposited by the railroad corporation in some trust company before beginning operations.

    Following is the route of the East River Bridge and Coney Island Steam Transit Company:
Begining on and over Water-street at Fulton-street, then go over, through, and along Water-street to Washington street, to High street: to Pearl-street; to Willoughby-street, to the easterly side of Hudson-avenue; to Fulton-street; across Fulton-street and the square or open place at the junction of said street and Flatbush-avenue to the route of the said East River Bridge and Coney Island Steam Transit Company upon Flatbush avenue; along Flatbush-avenue to the southerly line of Atlantic-avenue; then along Flatbush-avenue to Fifth-avenue; to Second street, to Seventh-avenue; along Seventh-avenue to a point on the easterly side of Seventh-avenue, distant 56 feet south of the south-east corner of Braxton-street and Seventh-avenue. Also, beginning on and over Willoughby-street at Hudson-avenue, along Hudson avenue to Park-avenue.

   Mr. Andrew Culver is the principal promoter of the company, and the road will be a tender to his Coney Island road, which now operates on Gravesend-avenue, between Twentieth street and Ninth-avenue, Brooklyn and Coney Island. The permission to build the road was granted by the Board of Aldermen at the same time during the same session that permission was given to the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad, then and now in the hands of Receivers to extend its route so as to occupy all the principal streets in the city.

A great outcry was raised by the property-owners against both schemes, and it was claimed that money had been used lavishly to secure the consent of the Aldermen. Mayor Howell vetoed the Brooklyn Elevated Railroad scheme, but signed the resolution permitting the East River Bridge and Coney Island Steam Transit Company to build over the route selected. The Aldermen overrode the Mayor's veto, in defiance of a Supreme Court Injunction, and were subsequently convicted of contempt of court and sentenced to pay a fine of $250 each and to terms of imprisonment varying from 10 to 30 days. An appeal was taken after the Aldermen had spent one day in jail, and the case is now pending before the court of Appeals.

The Culver scheme, although it received the approval of the Mayor, was contested in the courts, and the General Term decided that the road could not be built until proper provision had been made to secure the property-owners along the route from damages. Rapid transit being a conceded want in Brooklyn, Mayor Low prepared last Winter a compensation for damages act which passed the Legislature, and is now sought to be utilized by the company named. If the property-owners are satisfied with the award for damages made by the commission which the Mayor is requested to appoint, the first elevated road will be in operation in Brooklyn, it is said, by next Summer.