Tag Archives: Times Square

No. 7 train service suspensions scheduled for 22 weekends in 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

File photo

Updated 5:15 p.m.

CRISTABELLE TUMOLA AND ANGY ALTAMIRANO

Another year, another round of No. 7 train suspensions.

The subway line will not run in parts of western Queens and Manhattan for over a dozen weekends this year, starting in the end of February, according to a notice from the MTA, again upsetting residents, business owners and local politicians who are fed up with the constant disruptions.

From February through July, there will be 13 weekend suspensions. Those dates are finalized, the transit agency said. There are nine tentative weekend shutdowns scheduled for August through November.

The latest round of work, including continued installation of Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC), replacement of critical track panels and reconstruction inside the Steinway Tube under the East River, is expected to modernize, improve a fortify the Flushing No. 7 line, according to the MTA. The work will also include tunnel duct reconstruction and replacement and improvements on components damaged during Superstorm Sandy.

“We understand that these service disruptions are inconvenient to the customers who depend on the No. 7 train and we appreciate their patience,” said MTA NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco. “We have made every effort to schedule these project simultaneously to get as much work done as we can during these periods.”

All the service suspensions will be in effect from 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, unless otherwise indicated.

There will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza on the following weekends: February 28 -March 3; March 7-10, 14-17, 21-24, 28-31; April 11-14; and May 2-5, 16-19.

On the following dates, in addition to no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza there will be reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza: May 30-June 2; June 6-8, with service resuming Sunday, June 8 morning for the Puerto Rican Day Parade; June 20-23, 27-30; and July 18-21.

The MTA has also released a tentative service disruption schedule, which is expected to be confirmed with a future update later this year.

The No. 7 Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside on the following weekends: August 22-25; September 19-22; October 3-6, 10-13; and October 17-20, 24-27.

From November 7- 10 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, reduced service between 74th Street-Broadway and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street- Woodside.

From November 14-17, 21-24 there will be no service between Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza, and the Flushing-bound service will run express from Queensboro Plaza to 74th Street-Broadway, with a stop at 61st Street-Woodside.

In addition to these changes, No. 7 train service will be suspended between Mets-Willets Point and Flushing-Main Street between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 and 5 a.m. Tuesday, February 18, and between 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 22 and 5 a.m. Monday, February 24.

“We have times this vital work to minimize impacts to customers, pedestrians and vehicular traffic, and to avoid dates with high projected ridership,” said Bianco. “This is far more work than can be completed during our overnight FASTRACK program, which was designed to accommodate typical subway maintenance. Work of this scope on the No. 7 line cannot be done overnight and requires more than 48 hours of continuous access to the tube and tracks.”

During the service suspensions, riders will be kept informed through notice and printed brochures, explaining the work and service changes, posted in the subway system, according to the MTA. NYC Transit will also offer a free shuttle bus along all close No. 7 stations.

Service on the N and Q train will be increased and riders could use either train at Queensboro Plaza or the E train at Court Square, according to the MTA. Riders can also transfer to the E, F or R for service to Manhattan at the 74 Street-Broadway station.

The suspensions are nothing new for those who have suffered through them for years.

But the familiarity doesn’t mean locals are not frustrated with the suspensions that have been taking place in the area on a regular basis for well over a decade.

Business owners are tired of potential financial losses and residents are sick of longer commutes.

Last fall, No. 7 train service did not operate between the Times Square-42nd Street and Queensboro Plaza stations for five weekends.

“Unfortunately we’ve grown accustomed to the MTA screwing Long Island City,” said State Senator Michael Gianaris.

“Businesses are suffering,” he added. “It’s not just the people in LIC, it’s people who are more and more coming to Long Island City.”

Gianaris said his office has suggested numerous “reasonable” alternatives to deal with the problem, for example a shuttle bus through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, but the MTA has refused to consider them and won’t give any answers as to why it won’t.

He will be rallying Friday with local elected officials, business owners and residents to call for a change.

“We’re going to continue to try to make the point to the MTA and the new administration, and hope that the new administration would do something about [the shutdowns],” said Gianaris.

“The multi-year, $550 million capital improvement project to replace the antiquated 50- to 90-year-old signaling system on the No. 7 line with state-of-the-art CBTC technology will continue into 2017,” the MTA said in a press release.

 

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Boston bombing suspects discussed Times Square attack, officials say


| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of FBI

Following the Boston Marathon attack, the bombing suspects intended to detonate additional explosives in Times Square, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly today.

Kelly said that information gathered from surviving suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had initially indicated that he and his older brother were coming to New York to “party.” Yet after further investigation, Dzhokhar said that the pair had discussed the “spontaneous” plan to explode their remaining bombs in Times Square.

“Ten days ago, our city and nation received a horrific reminder that we remain targets for terrorists. Immediately upon news of the explosions in Boston, we fully mobilized the New York City Police Department’s vast counterterrorism operations – because we thought there was a possibility that there could be a related attack here,” said Bloomberg. “We now know that that possibility was, in fact, all too real.

According to Kelly, the suspects discussed their plan while driving in a hijacked Mercedes SUV after they fatally shot an MIT police offer. Their plan ultimately feel apart when the brother realized that car was low on gas and when they stopped at a nearby gas station, the driver escaped and called the police. This led to the shootout in Watertown, Massachusetts were the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed.

During the shootout, the suspects had “six improvised explosive devices” including a pressure cooker bomb and pipe bombs, said Kelly.

Dzhokar had been photographed with friends in Times Square “on or before April 18, 2012” and was later in New York in November.

“We don’t know if those visits were related in any way to what he described as the brothers’ spontaneous decision to target Times Square,” said Kelly.

Kelly said the NYPD Intelligence Division is “actively investigating to determine Dzhokar’s movement in New York City, as well as who he might have been with here.”

There is no evidence to indicate that New York City is currently a target of another terrorist attack “stemming” from the Boston bombings, said Kelly.

Even though Bloomberg said it cannot be known if the enormous police presence and extensive network of cameras in New York City would have been enough to stop the continuation of the terror, he is grateful the brothers were stopped in their tracks.

“We don’t know if we would have been able to stop the terrorists, had they arrived here from Boston, we’re just thankful we didn’t have to find out that answer,” said Bloomberg.

 

 

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Queens businesses fear 7 subway suspension may hurt profits


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

File photo

Once more, western Queens business owners could potentially say goodbye to a profitable winter.

The No. 7 line weekend service between Queens and Manhattan is being suspended until the end of March, and many area business owners fear that this will affect the influx of customers they usually get.

The award-winning Chocolate Factory Theater in Long Island City is just one of the many organizations expecting a severe blow to their business this season.

“We [will be] unable to commission work, to present work,” said Sheila Lewandowski of the theater company. “If our audience can’t get here, what are we saying to our artists?”

The Chocolate Factory planned four shows for the coming winter months, and is expecting around 5,000 people to attend. They have artists coming in from all over the world, and, according to Lewandowski, artists who have been preparing for these shows for years.

“The No. 7 train is part of the ticket,” said Lewandowski, who fears that without the subway line, artists will have a difficult time getting to the theater, or that the number of attendees will significantly decrease.

Lewandowski also said that, had they been informed of the closures a month or two ago, shows could have been rescheduled. But, with the two weeks’ notice that the MTA gave, nothing can be done.

“Millions of people are disadvantaged and inconvenienced,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. “The people of Queens are being disrespected.”

Until March 25, the MTA will be working on tunnel, signal and track maintenance in the Steinway Tunnel, which connects Queens to Manhattan, and will replace tracks between the Court Square and Queensboro Plaza stations.

Van Bramer held a press conference on Friday, December 28, the day that marked the beginning of the closures, in front of the bustling Vernon Boulevard–Jackson Avenue train stop. He was joined by fellow Councilmember Peter Koo and area business owners, all protesting the MTA changes.

“If I seem a little angry, I am,” said Van Bramer. “Year after year this is too much to bear.”

In 2010, the No. 7 line was suspended for 12 weekends, and again for five weekends this past fall.

On December 8, Community Board 2 received a letter from the MTA, detailing the weekend closures. According to Van Bramer, there was no discussion or opportunity for input, simply a: “this is how it is, so deal with it.”

Going forward, the councilmember intends to work with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and the rest of the Council to urge the MTA to change course, and also advises that residents sign an online petition, on the City Council website, and also protest via social media.

For alternate service, straphangers can use the E, F, N and Q lines. On Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., the Q will be extended to Astoria-Ditmars Boulevard. Additionally, free shuttle buses will operate between the Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza stations during those weekends.

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

Weekend 7 subway service suspended through March


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the second time in less than six months, straphangers in Queens and Manhattan will be without the No. 7 subway for multiple weekends in a row.

Starting December 28, No. 7 line service between the two boroughs will be suspended every weekend until March 25 due to planned subway work.

Trains won’t run between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza, from 11:45 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday during those 13 consecutive weekends.

During President’s Day weekend the suspension will remain in effect until Tuesday, February 19 at 5 a.m.

For alternate service between the two boroughs, straphangers can use the “E”,” F”, “N” and  “Q” lines.

The “Q” will also be extended to Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to  7 p.m., and free shuttle buses will operate between the Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza stations during those weekends.

Along with the weekend suspensions, the No. 7 train will not run from 11:45 p.m. on Monday, January 14 until 5 a.m. on Tuesday, January 15.

According to the MTA, these service changes are so it can perform tunnel, signal and track maintenance in the Steinway Tunnel, which connects Queens to Manhattan, as well as replace tracks between the between the Court Sq. and Queensboro Plaza stations.

In the fall, the MTA also suspended No. 7 subway service for five weekends for maintenance reasons.

 

 

Suspect in deadly subway pushing charged with murder


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

The suspect who allegedly pushed a Queens man to his death at a Midtown subway station has been charged with intentional murder in the second degree and depraved indifference murder in the second degree, said the NYPD.

Naeem Davis, 30, who is currently homeless, but according to the New York Post lived in Queens until six months ago, was picked up by police for questioning Tuesday near the vicinity of the West 49th Street and 7th Avenue station where the incident occurred.

While in custody, he reportedly made statements implicating himself.

In a video taken on the subway platform right before the shoving incident, the suspect was seen cursing and yelling at the victim, Ki-Suck Han, 58, of Elmhurst.

The alleged subway pusher was also caught on camera as authorities took him in for questioning.

Though the police’s description of the suspect said that he was wearing dreads, in the footage from yesterday, Davis is bald and may have shaved his head following the incident.

Video: NBC New York

Queens man pushed to death at Midtown subway station


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of NYPD

Police are looking for a suspect who pushed an Elmhurst man onto the subway tracks of a Midtown station Monday, killing the victim when an approaching train struck him.

Authorities have classified the death as a homicide, and have released a video of the incident, which happened around 12:30 p.m. at the West 49th Street and 7th Avenue station.

In the footage, the suspect, using expletives, tells the victim, Ki-Suck Han, 58,  to leave him alone and go wait for the train.

The suspect then shoved Han onto the tracks, where he was hit by a Brooklyn bound “R” train that was entering the station, said police.

The victim was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

According to multiple media reports, witnesses said that the suspect was talking to himself before he began arguing with Han, and may have been emotionally disturbed.

Authorities describe the suspect as a black male with dreadlocks, and was last seen wearing a dark jacket, gray T-shirt and cap.

Anyone with information in regard to this homicide is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.  All calls are strictly confidential.

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Tuesday: Overcast in the morning, then mostly cloudy. High of 61. Winds from the South at 5 to 10 mph. Tuesday night: Mostly cloudy in the evening, then overcast with a chance of rain. Low of 52. Winds from the SW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 40%.

EVENT of the DAY: Copy Cat at Resorts World Casino New York City

See Copy Cat perform tonight at Resorts World. The band describes themselves as four guys who can be anyone you want them to be, playing anything from Bob Marley to Limp Bizkit to Frank Sinatra. But what we really makes them unique are the sounds of the Caribbean: Soca, Calypso, Reggae, anything that will get you off your chair and onto the dance floor. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Queens woman charged in 28-year-old cold case

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Bloomberg asked Clinton to consider succeeding him as mayor

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has long struggled to imagine a successor with the combination of star power, experience and grit to fill his shoes. Read more: New York Times

Man pushed in front of train, killed, at Midtown subway station

Police on Monday night released new surveillance video in the search for a suspect who shoved a man onto the subway tracks for a train to strike him and kill him. Read more: CBS New York

City violations an added insult to storm victims in Queens

Queens civic leaders and homeowners are furious with city officials for allowing inspectors to slap them with violations just days after Superstorm Sandy sent trees crashing into their homes. Read more: New York Daily News

FEMA has more than 100 unused, winterized trailers in Pennsylvania lot

Anthony Avena, his wife and three children managed to escape the flood waters — he said it was like “living in an action movie. But now it will be a while before they can move back into their home. Read more: NY1

U.S. Navy denies Iran drone capture claim

Iran said on Tuesday it had captured a U.S. intelligence drone in its airspace over the Gulf in the last few days, but the U.S. military quickly denied having lost any unmanned aircraft in the Middle East. Read more: Reuters

 

 

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Clear. High of 66. Winds from the NW at 10 to 15 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 57. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.

EVENT of the DAY: Free Ballroom Dancing 

Every Monday evening the Queens Library Forest Hills branch offers free ballroom dancing lessons from Jing Chen, a skilled instructor who studied dance with internationally-acclaimed dancers. Everyone from  beginners to advanced students are invited to come. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

Two Queens men die in small plane crash off Long Island

A small plane crash off the coast of Long Island on Saturday claimed the lives of two men from Queens. Read more: NY1

Long, difficult road to justice at Guantanamo Bay trials of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and cohorts

Queens resident Merrilly Noeth says she’s willing to wait for justice for her son Michael, a Navy artist killed at the Pentagon on 9/11. Read more: New York Daily News

No bomb found at Times Square subway station

A suitcase that was thought to be suspicious was discovered on the mezzanine level of the Times Square subway station at around 9 p.m. on Sunday. Read more: ABC New York

Fan hospitalized after falling off escalator at MetLife Stadium

A football fan was fighting for his life late Sunday night, after falling at least 21 feet from a MetLife Stadium escalator. Read more: CBS New York

Candidates seek foreign policy edge in 3rd debate

Still neck-and-neck after all these months, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney head into their third and final debate with each man eager to project an aura of personal strength and leadership while raising doubts about the steadiness and foreign policy credentials of the other guy. Read more: AP

Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France titles

Cycling’s governing body has agreed to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life. Read more: ABC New York/AP

No. 7 subway service disrupted for five weekends this fall, beginning tonight


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Starting October 5, No. 7 line service between Manhattan and Queens will be suspended for five weekends due to planned subway work.

Trains won’t run between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza, from 11:45 p.m. Friday until 5 a.m. Monday during the weekends of October 5-8, October 19-22, October 26-29, November 9-12 and November 16-19.

For alternate service between the two boroughs, straphangers can use the “E”,” F”, “N”, “Q” and “S” lines.

The “Q” will be extended to and from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. during daytime hours and the Manhattan “S” shuttle will run overnight during those weekends. Free shuttle buses will also operate between Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza.

 

Watch: Protester arrested after spray-painting altercation over anti-jihad ads


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Screenshot/nypost.com

Video cameras from the NY Post captured a clash many expected when controversial anti-jihad ads were placed in city subways.

Mona Eltahawy, a 45-year-old Egyptian-American activist, armed with a can of red spray paint intended to cover the contentious ad, but was met with resistance from Pamela Hall, who turned herself into a human shield.

When questioned by Hall if she had the right to vandalize the ad, Eltahawy replied, “I think this is freedom of expression, just as this is freedom of expression.

“I am expressing myself freely against hate and racism.”

The video was taken yesterday in the Times Square subway station by the NY Post as straphangers gathered around the altercation.

The controversial ads were placed in ten stations on Monday after the MTA’s original refusal to run them was overturned in court.

Eltahawy continued to attempt to spray paint the posters as Hall stood guard, an altercation that eventually culminated in Eltahawy’s arrest.

“This is what happens to non-violent protesters in America ion 2012,” she said.

As she was being taken away, Eltahawy said she “will continue to non-violently fight the hate.”

Eltahawy tweeted this morning that she was in court and is being charged with misdemeanor criminal mischief along with the hashtag, #freemona.

Queens’ Morning Roundup


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

TODAY’S FORECAST

Monday: Partly cloudy. High of 82. Winds from the WNW at 5 to 10 mph. Monday night: Partly cloudy. Low of 72. Winds from the WSW at 5 to 10 mph.

EVENT of the DAY:  Movie Night in Astoria Park

Come see a free outdoor screening of the animated movie “Cars” at the Astoria Park Lawn. Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

City crews cut down more cherry trees behind Queens Borough Hall, further angering environmentalists

The city took the axe to two dozen more cherry trees behind Queens Borough Hall on arborists’ advice, fanning the flames in a dispute between environmentalists and City Hall. Read more: NY Daily News

Middle Village residents, cemetery officials team up to clean up street

Middle village residents and organizers from All Faiths Cemetery joined hands Saturday to clean up a nearby neglected street and overgrown property. Read more: NY1

Congressional candidate Halloran on Israel trip

Republican Congressional candidate Dan Halloran is making a trip to Israel. The city councilmember is running in the Sixth Congressional District, which covers parts of Queens and has a large Jewish population. Read more: Wall Street Journal

Call for probe in jet ski JFK breach

The outraged head of the Port Authority police union today demanded an investigation into how a swamped jet skier was able to breach Kennedy Airport’s troubled $100 million security system. Read more: New York Post

Family of deranged man fatally shot by cops in Times Square upset over use deadly force

Relatives of the deranged knife-wielding man gunned down by cops in Times Square say they are upset about the NYPD’s use of deadly force in the confrontation. Read more: NY Daily News

New Yorkers celebrate the conclusion of the 2012 Olympic Games

The London Olympics are over. The flame was extinguished Sunday night at the end of the closing ceremony, signaling the end of 16 days of the games. Read More: CBS New York

Romney seeks distance from Ryan’s budget plans

In Paul Ryan’s high-energy debut as Republican vice presidential candidate, Mitt Romney made one thing clear: His ideas rule, not his running mate’s. “I have my budget plan,” he said, “And that’s the budget plan we’re going to run on.” Read more: AP

Steinway Street Swarmed by Shoppers on Black Friday


| mpantelidis@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Michael Pantelidis

Shoppers swarmed Steinway Street on November 25, searching to save some green on the “blackest” day of the year.

Black Friday took Astoria by storm, as hundreds of residents shopped at stores along one of the neighborhood’s premier streets. Among the shops that offered significant savings were P.C. Richard & Son, GameStop, Gap, Express, Foot Locker and Modell’s.  

“I think all the stores are doing really well this year,” said Renee Borys, who was shopping for clothes and toys for her nephews. “I’m very impressed with the deals. Hopefully I’ll save money today. I couldn’t get up really early this morning. I work in the city and I went to the Toys “R” Us in Times Square last night and it was crazy. It took two and a half hours to get into the electronics section. Black Friday on Steinway Street is way better, and Queens overall is better than the city.”

For some shoppers, Black Friday signals the start to “the most wonderful time of the year.”

“I’m hoping to get good deals here today,” said Martha Jacome, a resident of Ridgewood. “I love the excitement of Black Friday. For me, it means the beginning of Christmas.”

Others were unimpressed with the discount opportunities – treating one of the busiest shopping days of the year as if it were any other Friday.

“I don’t buy into this whole Black Friday thing – it is too crazy,” said Atlas Kalmeta, who was visiting P.C. Richard & Son to purchase touch-up paint. “Peoples’ priorities are all wrong. The commercialism is ridiculous. People are willing to kill each other for electronics. It is not a priority for me.”