Jan. 16, 2014 By Christian Murray
Several Long Island City residents and business owners will be coming out Friday morning to announce that they are fed up with the patchy No. 7 train weekend service.
Tomorrow, organized by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a coalition of community leaders, elected officials and cultural groups will be holding a protest rally at the Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue station at 11 am to make their displeasure known.
The rally follows the announcement that the MTA will be shutting down No. 7 train service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for 22 weekends this year.
Furthermore, some of the local service between Queensboro Plaza and Flushing will be suspended for some of those weekends.
“22 weekends of closures in 2014 is outrageous and will hurt hundreds of thousands of people and threatens to kill our small businesses,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer. “Enough is enough.”
Rebecca Trent, who owns the Creek and the Cave at 10-93 Jackson Avenue, said the weekend service outages are devastating to local businesses. “I’m trying to elevate the scene in Long Island City,” she said, “but it’s tough if people can’t get here.”
Trent, who also runs LIC Eateries, a group comprised of a number of neighborhood restaurants, said that the members are extremely unhappy.
“The MTA just comes on in and says: ‘Here’s the schedule [of closures], now go F-yourself,” Trent said. “The MTA has to start to recognize that we can’t be treated like this—that business people have families to look after… and businesses have to survive.”
Trent said she is making up signs, contacting friends and trying to get everyone to the rally.
The cultural institutions such as the MoMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum and the Chocolate Factory are also mobilizing and will be there to protest. So too will the Long Island City Partnership.
“It is time that the MTA hears the voices of the thousands of business owners, cultural groups and residents who rely on the 7 train,” Van Bramer said. “The residents of the 26th District deserve better. We cannot continue to allow the MTA to disrupt our way of life.”
Several elected officials representing districts that will suffer as a result of the closures will be in attendance, such as Councilmen Danny Dromm (Jackson Heights) and Peter Koo (Flushing).
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and State Sen. Mike Gianaris will also be attending.
Location: Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave. station
Date: Friday, Jan. 17
Time: 11 am
How are they going to fill all those new condos?
Until developers start handing over Money to the MTA nothing is going to change. You guys got suckered into buying there.
MTA board members are hired by elected officials, and it is the citizens responsibility to maintain the dialog alive to benefit the community.
The Hunters Point community is changing dramatically, with the creation of new high density residential areas, and without a serious, focused action from the citizens and businesses it will experience great disservice in the near future.
Maintenance on the line needs to be done. That’s inevitable.
All we ask is a more inclusive role in the planning for alternative methods of transport:
Increased Ferry rides and possibility to use metrocard.
Increased communication (all languages).
Local residents hired by MTA to help communicate with commuters.
Shuttle bus thru Midtown Tunnel to Grand Central.
As a member of this community, I invite my fellow residents to consider all the options, to listen all the opinions, and to think about your community benefits before offering your negative comment.
Santino Di Renzo
Oh no please, anything! Don’t cause all of those terrible restaurants and businesses to close!
When I commuted to school as a kid, we had to take the subway every day in the snow, up hill both ways.
And to all the people that say “deal with it” try owning a restaurant in LIC with that attitude. There is NO DOUBT that sales are worse when the 7-train is down on weekends. This isn’t just people being lazy, this is business suffering that are already scraping by as it is. Think before you post.
To Erica and Meg above: unfortunately its the press that decides the times for protests like this. If they want it to be on the evening news, they need to shoot it during the day.
I moved to Long Island City in December 1997. These weekend service disruptions were a plague then. Sixteen years later, they’re even worse. I realize it’s an old line and service improvements are needed. But the MTA needs to figure out some way to do this without these endless disruptions.
Explain why it’s so “ignorant” to have shuttle bus service through the tunnel on weekends from the Vernon Jackson station.
We’ve been dealing with MTA ineptitude for decades.
I have a suggestion for you: Quit your patronizing tone. People in LIC aren’t a bunch of twats. There’s a reason why people have had it with the MTA.
I am very weary of operating the city based on populace (i.e., ignorant) demands.
The station is closed due to whatever repairs or renovations need to be made. If 22 weekends of downtime increases usability, security and safety for years to come, I am all for it.
Quit bitching and come up with solutions or walk 1/2 mile up to trains just north of us.
Screw, making our “displeasure known.” What the f_ck kind of wimpy response is that? It’s time for a much stronger response. Get out your torches and pitchforks.
Are any of our loser local politicians going to demand a shuttle bus and work with the MTA to make that happen? They need to get their asses over to MTA headquarters now and demand action.
We’re far past flapping gums on Vernon Boulevard. So sick of it and their lame responses to our problems.
How ironic that they announced this soon after the Ferry service announced that prices would go up ON WEEKENDS!
Too bad everyone will be working and won’t be able to attend this “protest”. If jimmy van bramer really wanted to protest, he’d do it at 4 or 5 pm when people can actually attend and see the protest.
The No. 7 subway system is the best rated subway in NYC. I really think the 22- weekend shutdown is to profit the MTA for overtime workers.
Nobody said MTA should stop fixing tracks but they should have better alternative services . Eg. buses to grand central, and more N or Q trains at queensboro plaza, subside on ferry services.
This article is nonsense, pure poppycock. The 7 train section being serviced is nearly 100 years old (built 1915); get over yourselves! I can’t even find time to read the newspaper, but somehow, someway, (Mayor-to-be) Van Bramer finds protesters to accompany his cause…can I get on that payroll?
Take the bus, ride your bike, maybe even try to walk it out. When I was a kid, I used to…..ahhh, forget it, I’m not taking this, I’m going home!
Protest and politicians don’t do anything to change them to not shut the train services
The politicians are useless and MTA will do what they are going to do any way
When does everyone think this work will magically get done? The L train riders endured YEARS of disruption.
Agree with Meghan. My husband and I (and several neighbor friends) work 9-5 (ok 9-7pm) weekdays. I would love to be a stronger member of the community, and I think it would definitely increase the numbers in attendance if these protests were held outside of these common working hours.
Can we please protest during non-work hours? There are those in the community who would like to have our voices heard but have jobs at start prior to 11 a.m.
The MTA can go fuck themeslves as far as I am concerned.