Tag Archives: 7 train

NYC subway, bus ridership highest in over 60 years


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

BY ANTHONY O’REILLY

Total ridership for New York City Transit buses and trains are at their highest in more than 60 years, according to the MTA’s 2012 Ridership data report.

Total annual ridership increased 0.9 percent from 2011, despite a five day span of no service and free fares following Sandy.

Weekend ridership increased 3 percent from 2011, matching its highest ever level achieved back in 1946. Weekday ridership increased 1.8 percent, excluding the five day disruption following Sandy, from 2011, reaching its highest level since 1950.

According to the report, the busiest station in Queens was the Flushing-Main Street stop for the No. 7 train.

For specific data on ridership in different boroughs and stations, click here.

 

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Landscapes of industrial life in Long Island City


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

painting 1

Looking out every window in her life, Diane Sipprelle finds life, beauty and inspiration.

Born in Knoxville, Tennesse, the young southern artist made her way to the big apple in the early 1980s to chase her dreams of being an artist. After a few years of traveling, Sipprelle made her way into Long Island City where she was able to move into a “large, airy” apartment.

Once her surroundings blocked her views of the world around her, she moved looking for a larger space and views to Dobbs Ferry where she now overlooks the Hudson River.

“It’s important for me to have something I find interesting to paint from these windows. “ she said. “It’s like living in the painting.”

Working a day job, she finds it easier to be able to paint from her windows before and after work. During her time in Long Island City, her inspirations would come from the industrial landscape that surrounded her every day.

“I had such wonderful views of the 7 train which ran within a couple of arms lengths from my windows.” she said. “It was hilariously noisy but this was a perfect painting situation for me.”

Beginning her process of bringing the painting to life, she would take photos of the scenes that caught her eye, trace it onto a canvas, lay in the outlines and then color in like a coloring book.

“I particulary like oil paintings because you can change your mind, add and subtract layers as you feel more acquainted with your home view,” she said.

One of the works that can describe her best views from her Long Island City apartment is called “LIC Train Workers” and can now be found at the Diego Salazar Gallery. This oil painting, created straight out of her pajamas, details the hard work of train workers under a nice blue sky surrounded by the industrial city.

“It’s a reflection of me and me is a reflection of where I live, being a domestic person I was painting my life,” she said.

She recalls a specific mentor in her life in the early 1960s, who had a studio right off her kitchen. While the mentor would be cooking dinner for the present dinner party, she would also go about checking her painting in the studio.

“My first memories are of art and I always felt most in my element when I was with artists,” she said.

Among her inspirations are women who were considered to be eccentric and kept true to themselves in life and in their art works. Some of her influences include, Emily Carr, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keef, Marjorie Portnow and many more.

“I’m a slow thinker and I mull things over and like to push things too far and then I can reconsider and rub that off and repaint. Push and pull.”

 

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Video released of suspect wanted for groping girl at Woodside station


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police have released the video of a suspect wanted in connection with forcibly touching a 12-year-old girl on Friday, March 8.

According to the NYPD, the suspect approached the girl around 7:40 a.m. on the southbound 7 train platform of the Woodside station. He started to touch her from behind, then got on the train.

The suspect is described as a 28- to 35-year-old Hispanic man between 5’4″ and 5’6″, and was last seen with a red messenger bag.

Suspect wanted for forcibly touching girl at Woodside station


| tcullen@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect wanted in connection with forcibly touching a 12-year-old girl.

The suspect approached the girl around 7:40 a.m. yesterday on the southbound 7 train platform of the Woodside station. He started to touch her from behind, police said, and then got on the train.

He’s described as a 28- to 35-year-old Hispanic man between 5’4″ and 5’6″, and was last seen with a red messenger bag.

Anyone with information on this matter is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS.

 

Queens subway pusher indicted, found fit to stand trial


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

subway pusher

The woman accused of shoving a 46-year-old man to his death at a Sunnyside subway platform last month has been indicted by a grand jury for second-degree murder as a hate crime and ruled mentally fit to stand trial, announced Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

At the time of her arrest, Erika Menendez, 31, allegedly told investigators that she pushed Corona resident Sunando Sen into the path of a No. 7 train at the 40th Street-Lowery Street station because she hates Hindus and Muslims and has been beating them up since 2001 when “they put down the twin towers.”

Witnesses said they saw Menendez muttering to herself before shoving Sen off the platform.

On Monday, the same day that she was indicted, it was also announced that, following a court-ordered psychiatric exam, Menendez had been deemed fit to stand trial.

Despite the ruling, Menendez’s lawyers are expected to argue that even though she is mentally fit enough to understand the charges against her, she wasn’t mentally sound when she committed the December 27 crime, reported the Wall Street Journal.

Menendez, who faces up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted, is scheduled to return to court on January 29.


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Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Overcast. High of 37 with a windchill as low as 19F. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 20%. Monday night: Overcast with a chance of snow and a chance of rain, then a chance of snow after midnight. Low of 32F with a windchill as low as 25. Winds from the West at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 20%.

EVENT OF THE DAY: Resorts World New Year’s Eve Bash

Ring in 2013 at Resorts World Casino’s New Year’s Eve Bash from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., where there will be live music, champagne and giveaways. Click here for more info or check out more New Year’s Eve events in Queens

Driver charged with DWI in fatal Queens crash

The driver of a car that overturned into the marshy waters near John F. Kennedy International Airport early Sunday morning, killing a 25-year-old woman, has been arrested. Read more: NBC New York

2 charged with teen’s murder in Far Rockaway

Two suspects were charged Sunday in connection with a shooting this weekend that left a 17-year-old boy dead outside a low-income housing development in Far Rockaway. Read more: CBS New York

Psychiatric test ordered for subway shove suspect

A woman accused of pushing a man to his death in front of a subway train told police she did so because she blamed Muslims for the Sept. 11 attacks, and because “I thought it would be cool,” prosecutors said at a court hearing. Read more: ABC New York/AP

President Obama’s determined to get a gun-control law in place early in his second term

President Obama called the Newtown school massacre “the worst day” of his presidency as he reiterated Sunday his determination to sign a gun-control bill into law early in his second term. Read more: New York Daily News

Hillary Clinton hospitalized after doctors discover blood clot

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton was admitted to a New York hospital Sunday after the discovery of a blood clot stemming from the concussion she sustained earlier this month. Read more: AP

Fiscal cliff: Biden, McConnell make major progress

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Vice President Joe Biden made major progress toward a year-end tax bill overnight. Read more: Politico

Cops release sketch of suspect in subway push death


| brennison@queenscourier.com

DCPI

A man was killed after being pushed in front of an approaching No. 7 train in Sunnyside last night, the second incident of its kind in New York City this month.

Sunando Sen was pushed as the Flushing-bound train approached the 40th Street station at approximately 8 p.m.

As the train pulled into the station, the suspect rose from a nearby bench and shoved the man, who did not notice her, witnesses said.

The suspect fled out of the station after pushing the victim and was caught on surveillance near the train. There are no security cameras in the station, a situation Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer said he will push to change.

“It does strike me that in a post-9/11 world that there are no cameras at any stop,” Van Bramer said.

She is described as Hispanic, 5-feet-5-inches tall, weighing 190 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue, gray and white jacket and Nike sneakers. Police are offering a $12,000 reward for capture.

The suspect reportedly was seen mumbling and pacing on the platform before shoving the man.

Ki-Suk Han, 58, of Elmhurst, was killed on December 3 when he was pushed in front of a Q train at the 49th Street-Seventh Avenue station.  Suspect Naeem Davis was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

- Additional reporting by Maggie Hayes

Man kills wife, leaps off 7 train platform


| brennison@queenscourier.com

A Sunnyside man fatally stabbed his wife this morning before leaping off an elevated train platform along Queens Boulevard.

The domestic assault happened after 8 a.m. near 39th Place and 47th Avenue in Sunnyside, police said. The woman was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.

Later in the morning, the husband leapt off the platform of the No. 7 train at 40th Street, according to authorities.

The suspect was taken to Elmhurst Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

 

Residents to get relief from pigeon poop under No. 7 train


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

File photo

Woodside resident Rosa Gil has been pelted with pigeon poop for the last time.

The 42-year-old Borough Hall employee and thousands of others living near the No. 7 train, who have long suffered through the splattered sidewalks, sickening stench and stained shirts, will soon receive relief along their commute, thanks to a push — and financing — from Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer.

The official allocated $250,000 in discretionary funds for a new pigeon mitigation system, designed to deter the birds from roosting under the elevated subway tracks and littering the underlying walkways with their foul feces.

“My constituents have been living with this mess for decades and have been asking for a solution for just as long,” said Van Bramer. “It’s a serious quality of life issue.”

Van Bramer said the droppings, while smelly and unsightly, are also a serious public health issue. According to the councilmember, the entrance to the 52nd Street station is most in need of a cleanup.

Jihee Kim, a 35-year-old Woodside resident who works at her family’s nearby fruit market, is excited about the prospect of a cleaner neighborhood.

“I’m absolutely for it,” said Kim. “If we can approve a person making these efforts, I’m for it. I would support [Van Bramer] in any way I can.”

Van Bramer passed the funds along to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) which will oversee the alterations.

Deirdre Parker, a representative, said the MTA plans to establish several pigeon-deterrent devices at various stations. According to Parker, the 46th Street and 61st Street stations are currently protected by spikes and netting and the 52nd Street stop’s Bird-B-Gone — a shock track electrical system — deters pigeons from parking.

Parker said the MTA is considering adding extra bird-repelling devices. At 46th Street, it will add 2,700 linear feet of pigeon-deterrent wire along and over the four entrances to the station. At 52nd Street, it will install bird spikes and slopes to prevent perching, bird netting and an ultrasonic device, silent to humans, that creates high-frequency waves, intended to repel birds. At 61st Street, the MTA wants to install a sound device, broadcasting recorded distress and predator calls of actual birds that would repeat every 10 minutes.

According to Parker, these alterations would cost an estimated $259,600. While the MTA has a general outline of changes it hopes to make, it has yet to establish a timeline for when these systems will be put in place.

Top Headlines From Around the Web


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

DA: Mother Will Not Be Charged In Son’s Bathtub Drowning

The Brooklyn district attorney’s office on Monday announced it has declined to prosecute the mother of an eleven-month old boy who apparently drowned in the bathtub. A spokesman with the Brooklyn district attorney’s office says while the death of Elijah Pardella was tragic and accidental, it doesn’t rise to a level of criminality. Investigators say officers were called to an apartment located at 148 Pennsylvania Avenue in East New York just after 3 p.m. Sunday and found the 11-month-old unresponsive. Sources say his mother, Angelica Huertas, 24, was giving him and another child a bath. Read More: NY1

 

 Yankees GM calls AL East ‘a toss-up’

A year after naming the Red Sox as the team to beat in the AL East, Yankees GM Brian Cashman called the division a “tossup” this season and added the Rangers should be the team to beat in the American League. “Texas is clearly the favorite in the league,” Cashman said Tuesday before the Yankees played the Mets at Digital Domain Park. “They’ve won it two straight years. But Anaheim and Detroit have made significant improvements. Read More: New York Post

Manhattan Councilman Sets Sights On 2013 Comptroller’s Race

City Councilman Dan Garodnick told supporters Monday he’s running for City Comptroller and plans to take on incumbent John Liu if necessary. In an email to supporters, Garodnick said New Yorkers have to be focused on finding ways to make city government as productive as possible without distractions. In a video message posted online Garodnick said, “We have some very difficult budgetary challenges coming down the pike. New Yorkers need an independent voice that they can trust in the comptroller’s office.” Read More: NY1

 

MTA chief says Bloomberg’s dream of extending No. 7 train to NJ is ‘not going to happen’

The No. 7 train isn’t going to New Jersey anytime soon. Mayor Bloomberg’s dream project of extending the line across the Hudson River isn’t happening anytime soon — if it ever does at all, the head of the MTA said today. The subway extension to New Jersey likely is “not going to happen in our lifetime,” MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said at a New York Building Congress forum. He added, “It’s not going to happen in anybody’s lifetime.” Bloomberg has long supported a proposal to bring the 7 train to Seacaucus, NJ, a colossal effort that would cost billions to accomplish. Read More: New York Post

 

 

Chase Banking Glitch Causes Double Charges On Accounts

If you’re seeing double charges on your Chase bank account today, the bank says it’s aware of the problem. A Chase representative says some debit transactions in our area are posting twice. The rep says it’s unclear how many people have been affected. A customer service recording is alerting account holders to the problem and says accounts will be updated today. Read More: NY1

 

One dead, two injured in Brooklyn construction collapse

A construction worker was killed today when a home under construction collapsed in Brooklyn, authorities said. Rescuers were called at 11 a.m. to 38 Frank Court in Gerritsen Beach after the building’s second story, roof and walls fell in. A 25-year-old man, who was not identified by police, was pulled from the wreckage and rushed to Lutheran Hospital. He died a short time later from his injuries, police said. Two other workers were treated at the scene for minor injuries, police said. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation. Read More: New York Post

Court Sqaure station reopened


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy the MTA:

Court Square station is ready for riders again.

After being closed on January 21 in order to facilitate a substantial rehabilitation project, “7” trains resumed making stops at the Long Island City station on Monday, April 2.

The revitalization plan included platform and windscreen replacement and the enhancement of accessibility features – which will make the station compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A new platform composed of fiberglass and resin was also constructed, making it lighter and corrosion resistant.

“Returning Court Square station to revenue service will once again allow our customers to take advantage of the recently completed in-system free transfer, and with full rehabilitation work nearly complete, the fast-growing area of Long Island City will have a refurbished and updated complex that will be fully accessible,” said NYC Transit President Thomas Prendergast.

Expansion joints, tactile warning tiles and four new track drains were also installed along both platforms during the closure, and the mezzanine was rehabilitated as well. Other improvements include new stair stringers and treads connecting the mezzanine to both the Queens and Manhattan-bound platforms and new conduits to accommodate relocated fare collection equipment.

Although the project is close to completion, the MTA continues to work on the “upgrade and modernization” of the “7” line. Project updates can be viewed at http://www.mta.info/nyct/service/building7update.htm.

Travel Advisory for Flushing Lunar New Year Celebration


| jlane@queenscourier.com

The Asian Lunar New Year will be celebrated in Flushing this weekend with a parade and fireworks display set for Saturday, February 4. No. 7 trains will operate between Queensboro Plaza and Flushing-Main Street, but will be suspended between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square-42ndStreet.  Parade-goers coming from Manhattan should take the “N” or “Q” to Queensboro Plaza and transfer to the Flushing-bound No. 7.  There will be extra “N” service and “Q” service will be extended to Ditmars Boulevard to provide more connections to the No. 7.  Customers may also take the “E” or “F” to Jackson Heights-Roosevelt Avenue and transfer to the Flushing-bound No.  7.

The parade kicks off at 11 a.m. on 39th Avenue between Main Street and 138th Street.  It proceeds east on 39th Avenue and turns right on Union Street traveling south to Sanford Avenue and then east to Main Street.  From there, the parade travels north on Main Street to conclude at 39th Avenue.  The fireworks display will take place at the Queens Crossing Mall at 39th Avenue beginning at 12:30 p.m.

The following bus routes operate in the area of the parade route and may be subject to reroutes:  Q12, Q13, Q15/15A, Q16, Q17, Q19, Q20A, Q20B, Q25, Q27, Q28, Q44, Q48, Q50, Q58, Q65 and Q66.

For more information visit www.mta.info.

Weekend No.7 Train shutdown begins


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Queens residents that want to travel into Manhattan this weekend — or any of the next 11 weekends — will not have the No. 7 train as an option beginning at 11:30 p.m. tonight.

Tonight marks the beginning of the weekend No.7 train shutdown leaving many residents without an easy option to get into Manhattan.

The train will be on hiatus every weekend until April 2, shutting down at 11:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

In lieu of the No. 7 train, commuters will have to utilize the “E”, “F”, “R”, “Q” and “N” trains with increased service to get around, or the above ground option of shuttle service which will run frequently with buses every five minutes throughout the day.

MTA officials said the shutdown is necessary to remove silt and muck build up, repair water leaks, rails, concrete depletion and lack of workable space, among other problems plaguing the line.

Residents voice concerns over weekend shutdown of No. 7 train


| squigley@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Sean P. Quigley

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer hosted a town hall meeting in order to give frustrated residents a chance to rail against the MTA, focusing specifically on problems with the No. 7 train.

Close to 100 residents showed up at Sunnyside Community Services to voice their concerns at the January 11 meeting, with the MTA assembling what Van Bramer called an “army of officials.” These officials answered questions, defended themselves and explained the upcoming 11 weekend long complete shutdown of the No. 7, as well as the countless subway shutdowns to come over the course of the next five years.

Between January 21 and April 2, the No. 7 train will be on a hiatus every weekend starting at 11:30 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday morning.

The primary questions asked by Van Bramer were, “why 11 weeks, why now, why in the dead of winter, why is it so important and why is it taking so long?”

Joseph Leader, vice president and chief maintenance officer of the MTA, and Demetrius Crinchlow, assistant chief officer of the No 7 line, both cited water leaks, obsolete signals, silt and muck build up, rail repairs, concrete depletion and lack of workable space as just a few of the many problems plaguing the line.

In lieu of the No. 7 train, commuters will have to utilize the “E”, “F”, “R”, “Q” and “N” trains with increased service to get around, or the above ground option of shuttle service which will run frequently with buses every five minutes throughout the day.

The MTA’s main objective is to update the Steinway tubes with Communication Based Train Control (CBTC), a $500 million project which Crinchlow calls “the wave of the future.” Scheduled shutdowns for this project are predicted to continue up until 2018.

Although contentious at times, Van Bramer said that this meeting was an overall positive step forward.

“People are going to continue to be rightfully frustrated, but it’s important to give them the opportunity to speak to those in charge face to face,” he said. “I think we did make some progress tonight.”

Scam fam sent off to prison


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

Scam fam sent off to prison

A seething Queens judge walloped three members of a crooked Richmond Hill family yesterday, sending them upstate to serve a combined 418 years for a brazen immigration and real-estate scam. The mom, dad and daughter — dubbed “The Ramsundar Gang” by Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder — paid a shocking price for defrauding 19 families of $1.8 million over six years. Holder said his harsh sentences are nothing compared to the street justice the Ramsundar family would have faced back in their native Trinidad. Read More: New York Post

Body of man found in garbage pile fire outside Furniture Zone store

A man’s charred body was discovered in a burning pile of garbage in Brooklyn Thursday morning, police said. Firefighters who were called to a blaze on Hendrickson Street in Marine Park shortly before 4 a.m. made the grisly discovery. The body, believed to be that of a white male, was lying on top of several boxes and had been burned beyond recognition, sources said. The fire erupted at the side of a Furniture Zone store in an area frequented by vagrants, according to a taxi stand manager who works in the area. Read More: Daily News

Queens Residents Brace For 7 Train Disruptions

It’s going to be a long winter for the several thousand western Queens residents who rely on the 7 train to get around town on the weekends come January 23. That’s when an 11-week service shutdown begins, which means no trains on Saturdays and Sundays until the spring. “This is not a neighborhood that has five different places where you can use instead. We’re very isolated there,” said Queens resident Moitri Savard. The MTA says the work is essential to make critical infrastructure improvements and upgrade tracks and switches. It also needs to clean the tracks of muck it says have accumulated over the years. Read More: NY1

Elevators in building where Manhattan ad exec died had numerous problems

Elevator problems were an epidemic at the building where a Manhattan ad executive died in a horrific accident last month, newly revealed Buildings Department records show. City inspectors wrote 11 violations against 13 elevators at 285 Madison Avenue in the immediate aftermath of the December 14 tragedy that killed Suzanne Hart, 41, the public records show. Investigators are still trying to determine the exact cause of the malfunction that killed the Brooklyn resident. The elevator that killed Hart so far has only been cited for a paperwork problem — it was among several elevators in the building that lacked a “certificate of compliance” with Buildings rules, the records show. Read More: New York Post

Pedestrian hit on FDR

A taxi passenger was struck by a minivan on the FDR last night after he impatiently hopped out of the cab in heavy traffic and darted across the roadway, police sources said. The unidentified victim was headed northbound near East 105th Street at around 11:30 p.m. when his cab hit congestion, the sources said. He left the vehicle and was struck in a southbound lane by a Toyota minivan. The victim was rushed to Metropolitan Hospital in unknown condition. Read More: New York Post

New arrests at Zuccotti

A gang of Occupy Wall Street protesters skulked back to the park yesterday, racking up three arrests. The 2:20 a.m. arrests came about seven hours after cops took down barricades that were erected when the group was evicted from the park on November 15. All three were charged with trespassing, and two were also hit with resisting arrest. Read More: New York Post

St. John’s loses to Marquette

For all the freshman mistakes and youthful inconsistency, St. John’s has played hard this season, rarely had its effort called into question. But last night it wasn’t so much questioned as flat-out criticized, the Red Storm folding in the second half of an 83-64 beating at the hands of No. 24 Marquette. The bowed heads and slumped shoulders and palpable frustration told the tale. The Red Storm (8-8, 2-3 Big East) have lost all six of their games against ranked teams, and with a chance at a breakthrough, what it got was a breakdown. It let Marquette shoot 67.7 percent to turn a second-half lead into a blowout loss. Read More: New York Post