April 11, 2014 By Christian Murray
The MTA might be listening to Long Island City after all.
The agency has agreed to run the No. 7 train on the weekend of May 17-18 after hearing calls from local leaders that the Vernon Boulevard block party (LIC Springs!), the LIC Arts Open, as well as the LICFlea & Food will be occurring that weekend.
Work had been scheduled for that weekend until now.
The news comes just three weeks after MTA president Carmen Bianco went to LIC to explain to residents about the closures.
However, at that meeting, Elizabeth Lusskin, the president of the Long Island City Partnership, asked the MTA to change its schedule for that weekend—citing several local events.
“It’s one weekend, one day when Long Island City is all coming together,” Lusskin said, who is organizing LIC Springs!, an event that will take place on Vernon Boulevard (between 46th and 50th Avenues) Saturday, May 17.
At the meeting, she said the loss of service that weekend was “ a body blow.”
The number 7 train was going to be particularly hard hit that weekend, with it being scheduled to be down between Times Square and 74th Street—a more severe closure than the typical Times Square to Queensboro Plaza shut down.
Meanwhile, Richard Mazda, who runs the LIC Arts Open, made it clear to Bianco at that meeting that the subway closure would hurt his festival—which features music, dance, visual art and theater —and is also of economic benefit to community.
Mazda also got Bianco to agree to make sure there was No. 7 train service for the 2015 LIC Arts Open.
“Finally the MTA has not only listened to our community on this issue, but taken action,” said State Sen. Mike Gianaris. “LIC Springs! and other events like the LIC Flea and the LIC Arts Open are wonderful displays of how much our neighborhood has to offer.”
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said that: “I am pleased this victory came out of our town hall meeting,” and said the he would continue to keep up the pressure on the MTA.
This is incredible news!… I also would like to alert people to the additional news that Josh Schnepps from the Flea/Queens Courier has agreed to still run the additional shuttle so we will also have a shuttle bus that travels from Vernon to 23rd Street [by the studio buildings] furthermore LIC-Artists will run a small SUV style shuttle to The FALCHI Building which will be packed with events and art too. SOOOooooo a 7 Train, 2 Additional shuttles…. oops gotta go that’s God on the line – I am trying to strike a deal with him and Al Roker for the weather….. I’ll keep you posted.
Good for the organizers who made this request at the meeting. I was there and was sure the MTA who just ignore them. They deserve the credit .
Not sure that Van Bramer can actually put any pressure on them for further issues. The MTA normally just does what they please, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up .
This is most likely the most we will get out of them. The meeting was full of useless stats instead of actually making any effort to help those live and work in the area.
It was a nice “show” , too bad more residents couldn’t make it.
Maybe the next time it can be a at a more reasonable time to give people time to get home from work, for a community of thousands there we maybe 60 at the meeting ,including those who had to be there,(pols,MTA)