You are reading

MTA Removing Decorative Tiles From 7 Line Viaduct Citing Safety Concerns

Decorative yellow and green tiles on the 7 Train Viaduct to be removed by the MTA (Photo: Queens Post, Oct. 18)

Oct. 18, 2019 By Christian Murray

The MTA is removing the overhead tiles along a one mile stretch of the 7 line viaduct in response to the decorative strips falling off.

The agency began removing the tiles from 32nd Place to 48th Street last Saturday and is expected to complete the job by the end of the month. The work comes after at least two incidents this year where the tiles have fallen and struck cars below.

The MTA says that the work is being done as a preventive measure.

“We began removing the tiles on Saturday, Oct. 12. There is no public risk to safety but out of an abundance of caution, we are removing the tiles, which is expected to take two weeks,” the MTA said in a statement.

The Sunnyside Post reported in January of an incident when the decorative terra cotta tiles came crashing down.

Vitali Ogorodnikov, a resident, snapped pictures of his car at the time that had been parked underneath the train at 45th Street and had been damaged by falling tiles.

“It’s terra cotta turning into deadly projectiles,” Ogorodnikov told the Sunnyside Post at the time, noting that a 4-by-8-inch tile, still intact and upright, had sliced through the windshield “like knife through butter.”

The work to remove the tiles is taking place about two weeks after the MTA announced that it is spending $325 million to install netting under all elevated subway tracks to improve safety for pedestrians and motorists traveling below.

There have been numerous incidents of debris falling from the elevated tracks this year, including several incidents in Woodside, and cars have been impaled or damaged as a result.

The MTA notified Assembly Member Catherine Nolan earlier this month that it planned to remove the tiles.

Nolan said that it was good that the MTA is looking to make the public safe but wanted the decorative titles to be preserved. She is asking the MTA to save the “historic” tiles, while ensuring safety at the same time.

Nolan penned a letter to MTA Chairman Patrick Foye

“I share your concern but due to the historic nature of these decorative tiles, I would hope that they could eventually be restored rather than taken all down,” Nolan wrote. “Of course safety is paramount but I believe the MTA can work to keep the historic structure restored.”

Nolan asked the agency to took into a solution as soon as possible.

However, the MTA has no intention of preserving the decorative tiles arguing that they are of no historic value.

“These tiles do not have historic value and are purely decorative,” an MTA spokesperson said.

Letter to MTA, Tiles, 10-15-19 by Queens Post on Scribd

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
R Austin

MTA: Not historic, just decorative. That’s just plain dumb. They could easily be repurposed, if not reinstalled.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Borough president hears from community members on budget needs throughout Queens

During a two-day public hearing on the mayor’s 2024 preliminary budget, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. listened to testimonies from 14 community board representatives, community stakeholders and members of the public on where the money should be spent in Queens. 

The public hearings were held both in-person and via Zoom on Monday, Jan. 30, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at Queens Borough Hall. The testimonials will be used to develop the Queens Borough Board’s FY24 preliminary budget priorities in the coming weeks. 

‘He didn’t deserve to die’: Borough President Richards leads emotional candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards held a candlelight vigil for Tyre Nichols outside Queens Borough Hall Monday, Jan. 30 after Nichols’ death at the hands of police officers in Memphis, Tenn., made national headlines for the brutality in which the officers beat him.

Almost immediately after news broke about Nichols’ death, the Memphis police officers who beat him to death were fired and charged with murder. The police department released the body cam footage of the fatal beating on Jan. 27, but many people, including some at the vigil, have refused to watch it due to its extremely graphic nature.

Long Island City teen sentenced in fatal shooting of ‘beloved’ school teacher at Queensbridge Houses in 2020: DA

A Long Island City man on Friday, Jan. 28, was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the 2020 fatal shooting of a public school social studies teacher who was out walking his dog when he was caught in the crossfire during a confrontation between gang rivals in broad daylight, just blocks from his home, according to Queens District Attorney’s office.

Ike Ford, 19, of 12th Street, in Long Island City, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the first degree before Queens Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder. The teacher, George Rosa, 53, was shot in his abdomen by a stray bullet fired by Ford, who was just 17 years old at the time of the shooting but was sentenced as an adult given the severity of the crime, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.