Tag Archives: 7 line

Woodside 52nd Street station among 16 Queens subway stops in poor shape: report

| rpozarycki@queenscourier.com

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Updated 5:02 p.m.

More than a dozen subway stations across Queens are falling apart, according to a report from the nonprofit Citizens Budget Commission (CBC).

The 52nd Street stop on the 7 line in Woodside leads the list, as 79 percent of the components within the station itself were rated by the MTA as not being in a state of good repair.

It was one of 16 Queens train stations which had 50 percent or more of its components — such as painting, tile, stairwells and platform edges — in a deteriorated condition, the CBC found.

The report, titled “Sisyphus and Subway Stations,” examined conditions at subway stations across the city and recommended ways to improve the conditions, as described by the MTA.

The report included data from the MTA’s own station evaluations conducted upon completion of its 2010-14 capital plan, in which individual components are rated 1 through 5, with the higher scores indicating worse conditions. At 52nd Street, according to report author Jameson Dague, eight components had ratings between 4 and 5; conditions with a rating at or close to 5 require the MTA to make immediate improvements.

Along with 52nd Street, three other stops on the 7 line ranked in the top 10 of crumbling Queens train stations: 103rd Street-Corona Plaza (with 68 percent of components not in a state of good repair), 111th Street (66 percent) and Woodside-61st Street (64 percent).

Four stops on the N and Q lines in Astoria also ranked among the worst in Queens: 30th Avenue (72 percent), 36th Avenue (67 percent), Astoria Boulevard (66 percent) and 39th Avenue (64 percent). Two stations on the J/Z line in Woodhaven — 85th Street-Forest Parkway (74 percent) and Woodhaven Boulevard (67 percent) — rounded out the top 10 list.

During the last capital plan, the MTA embarked on a “station renewal” program that brought much-needed aesthetic and structural improvements to some of the most deteriorated stations in the subway system. The program included repairs at the Fresh Pond Road, Forest Avenue and Seneca Avenue stations on the M line in Ridgewood and the 88th Street, Rockaway Boulevard, 104th Street and 111th Street stations on the A line in Ozone Park.

But the MTA currently repairs 280 station components per year, a pace that the commission claims is not keeping up with the rate of depreciation and causing a work backlog. Further complicating matters, the report noted, is the yet-to-be resolved $15 billion budget gap in the MTA’s 2015-19 capital plan. According to the MTA, $3 billion of the total $32 billion capital plan is devoted to station improvements.

The commission offered a list of recommendations to expedite station improvements, such as shifting resources away from more ambitious expansion projects outlined in the capital plan, instituting greater oversight on projects to prevent cost overruns and exploring partnerships with the private sector to inject additional capital toward station repairs.

An MTA spokesperson told The Courier in a statement that, while the CBC’s analysis is appreciated, the authority disagrees with the commission’s “recommendation to reduce spending on expansion projects.”

“We are pursuing opportunities to squeeze costs from our 2015-19 capital program by using negotiated and other innovative procurement methods,” the spokesperson said. “At a time when growing ridership is leading to crowding and delays, we must pursue expansion projects that will accommodate more customers as well as provide new connections and opportunities for our customers.”

The MTA added that it is in the process of completing “design work” for improving stations on the N and Q line in Astoria.

Click here for an interactive subway station map from the report.


7 line is ‘endless nightmare’ for western Queens community

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Angy Altamirano

The western Queens community is demanding that the MTA make drastic changes in hopes of soon waking up from the “endless nightmare” that the 7 train has become.

Local elected officials, community leaders and residents gathered Wednesday morning underneath the elevated 7 train at the 40th Street station in Sunnyside to rally against the MTA and the deteriorating service of the subway line.

Along with ongoing weekend disruptions, in the past months the 7 line has seen trains breaking down, constant signal malfunctions and overcrowded platforms.

“We as a community are trapped in a bad dream that never seems to end, but worse than not ending, it has gotten much worse,” Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said. “This bad dream has turned into an endless nightmare, one that we cannot wake up from.”

During the rally, which comes a little over a week before the MTA base fare increases to $2.75 a ride, commuters shared their stories of riding the subway line and its impact on their daily lives.

“I am just very concerned. I understand that it must not be an easy job for the MTA, but on the other hand we need to get to work,” said Charlotte Neuhaus, a lifelong Sunnyside resident who uses the 7 line almost every day. “I hope that [the MTA] makes changes. They seem to come in, make some changes, but they aren’t dealing with the core problem. The fundamental problem is not being solved.”

Neuhaus said she has dealt with numerous train delays, signal problems, and long waiting periods.

Fellow subway rider Linda Burns said that for the 10 years she has lived in Sunnyside, almost every year has been met with deteriorating service on the 7 line. Some days instead of waiting for the train she decides to take a bus and walk to her job in Manhattan.

“[The MTA] keeps saying they are making these improvements but in fact the service has gotten worse,” Burns said. “It doesn’t really feel like they’re being honest with us.”

Van Bramer called the subway service problems “painful” not only for riders but also local businesses and communities.

“My question to the MTA, if you are spending billions and if you are forcing us to have no train service on the weekend for the purpose on improving 7 train service reliability, why is it that in the past four months service has sunk to lows we’ve never seen before?” Van Bramer said. “It has been outrageous, it is potentially dangerous, [and] the level of service is disgraceful. Why is it getting worse and not better?”

At the rally, riders and local leaders asked the MTA to be more transparent in their decisions and to open communication with the communities being affected by the 7 line subway disruptions and service issues.

“Unacceptable just isn’t the word with what is going on with the delays, overcrowding and maintenance issues,” said Patrick O’Brien, chair of Community Board 2. “The MTA might call it the 7 line but for those of us who live here, it’s the lifeline that gets you back and forth to work, kids to school, doctor’s appointments, all the activities of daily life that are essential to the quality of life.”


Why the city plans to build a second Long Island City ferry dock

| lguerre@queenscourier.com

Map and chart via the NYCEDC Citywide Ferry Study

The city plans to build a second ferry dock on the Long Island City waterfront to cope with the overwhelmed 7 train and a projected flood of new residents to the neighborhood in years to come.

The new stop will be a completely new dock separate from the existing Hunters Point terminal, which is part of the East River Ferry network, but will be necessary as thousands of new housing units are completed in the area.

The proposed citywide ferry system Mayor de Blasio unveiled earlier this year shows the new ferry stop, called Long Island City – North, which is already receiving cheers from residents and experts, although it won’t be operational until 2017.

“Expanding ferry service along the lengthy LIC waterfront is a must and in fact we need two more stops, not one, to maximize the benefits of our waterfront both culturally and economically,” said Elizabeth Lusskin, president of the nonprofit Long Island City Partnership.

The new landing doesn’t have a definite site yet, according to a representative from the city’s Economic Development Corporation. But the city is “working closely with property owners to determine the exact location,” which will be a newly constructed landing paid for from a portion of the $55 million for the citywide ferry system capital investments.

That’s the official word today, but the EDC’s September 2013 Citywide Ferry Study indicates that the Long Island City – North dock would be somewhere near 47th Road and Center Boulevard. This is notable, because the nearest train station, Vernon Boulevard on the No. 7 line, is about a 10 minute walk away.

It will be beneficial for future residents, especially since the population will balloon in coming years.

More than 10,500 residential units will be built by 2018 around the proposed Long Island City – North ferry landing, according to the Citywide Ferry Study.

LIC north stats new

The study also forecasts that the Long Island City north dock to the Pier 11/ Wall Street stop would be the most popular for riders in the proposed new ferry routes, accommodating an estimated 1,542 daily patrons by 2018, because of “ambitious development projects.”

Despite the potential of the ferry service, residents don’t want the city to believe just implementing more ferry service will be the only thing they can do to improve transportation for the booming neighborhood.

“It’s critical that these transportation policies are part of a whole strategy, not just separate transportation pieces,” said Long Island City resident Jeff Foreman, who is a member of the Hunters Point Civic Association. “In our neighborhood each piece must be analyzed for its impact on a transportation infrastructure that is otherwise totally dependent on the 7 train, which simply has insufficient capacity for what is here and currently being built, much less the tens of thousands of units being planned along the 7 line.”


Queens’ Morning Roundup

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


Wednesday: Partly cloudy. High of 36 with a windchill as low as 16. Breezy. Winds from the WNW at 15 to 20 mph. Wednesday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 25F with a windchill as low as 12. Breezy. Winds from the West at 15 to 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Mid Winter Nocturnal Hike

Explore Alley Pond Environmental Center’s trails in search of evening animals. The special early evening hike will include APEC’s live nocturnal animal demonstration, hot cocoa and munchies. For children ages 7 and up. Pre-registration required. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Rape suspect caught after jumping subway turnstile

A Queens man wanted for an August rape was apprehended after he was arrested for subway fare evasion, said police. Read more: Queens Courier

NYC school bus service set to resume for first time in a month

New York City school buses will roll in force on Wednesday morning, for the first time in a whole month. Read more: CBS New York

Raw sewage spilling onto Queens block causing a stink among baffled neighbors

One bad neighbor is causing a major stink for a Queens community. A Woodhaven house has been spewing raw sewage onto the street from a faulty drain pipe for over six weeks, and neighbors are frustrated that city agencies have been unable to compel a fix. Read more: New York Daily News

7 line back to normal after power outage

Things are back to normal on the No. 7 line Wednesday after a power failure to the switches made for a commuting nightmare Tuesday night. Read more: ABC New York

Mother of beach-slay victim received eerie text from daughter after she disappeared

The mother of a Queens woman whose bound body washed ashore over the weekend received a single, startling text from her daughter’s phone the day she disappeared, the Daily News has learned. Read more: New York Daily News

DOE may let some city students who fail state tests move on to next grade

The Department of Education plans to change the policy requiring students who fail state tests to pass summer school or repeat a grade level. Read more: NY1

China says U.S. hacking accusations lack technical proof

Accusations by a U.S. computer security company that a secretive Chinese military unit is likely behind a series of hacking attacks are scientifically flawed and hence unreliable, China’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. Read more: Reuters

Suspect sought in 7 train theft

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

7 train thief

The NYPD is looking for the man who swiped a smartphone from a No. 7 train straphanger last week.

On Tuesday, February 5, at 11:30 p.m., a 36-year-old woman was on the subway near the 111th Street/Roosevelt Avenue stop when the suspect grabbed the victim’s iPhone out of her hand and fled the train, said police. There were no reported injuries.

Police describe the suspect as Hispanic, 18 to 20 years old and 5’9″ tall with a stocky build.

Anyone with information in regards to this grand larceny is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 800-577-TIPS. The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers Website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or texting their tips to 274637(CRIMES) then enter TIP577.




Q, 7 rated top subway lines, N, R worst in Queens

| ctumola@queenscourier.com


The NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign released its fifteenth annual “State of the Subways” Report Card today, and several Queens subway were rated the best in the city.

The report, which profiled 20 subway lines and rated 19, was based on how often they run and breakdown, seat availability, cleanliness and announcements.

The Q, which connects Astoria to midtown Manhattan, was given the highest “MetroCard Rating,” $1.60. Tied for second were the 7 and J/Z lines at $1.55.

It was the first time since 2001 that the Q train topped the list. During rush hour it was rated at or above the system’s average in every category except for how often it runs.

No Queens lines were at the bottom of the list. The lowest rated lines in the borough were the N and R, tied in seventh place with a rating of $1.20. Only 36 percent of N passengers were likely to get a seat during rush hour, compared to 44 percent system wide. The R line’s worse rating was for how many times it broke down.

For the fourth year in a row, the C line, which runs from Washington Heights to East New York, near the Brooklyn/Queens border was dead last at 85 cents.

Overall, the New York City subway system had some slight improvements. Car announcements were up at 3.4 percent and breakdowns improved 1.5 percent. Cleanliness, however, dropped 4 percent.