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Two Long Island City Subway Stations Among City’s Priority for Improvements, Cuomo Thinks Otherwise

Queensboro Plaza (Tarek Awad – Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic )

Jan. 25, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Two subway stations in Long Island City are among dozens of stations the city has identified as priority for improvements and repairs, according to a newly-released list that counters the subway stations chosen by Governor Cuomo for over $900 million in enhancements.

The Queensboro Plaza and Vernon Boulevard-Jackson Avenue stations form part of a 25-item “priority stations” list created by the city and the New York City Transit Authority. The list, distributed during yesterday’s MTA board meeting, is part of a packet that explains why these stations are important, and contrasts them to the 33 stations Cuomo selected in 2016 under his Enhanced Station Initiative (ESI).

Vernon Boulevard – Jackson Avenue (MTA)

Stations selected for the ESI, including four in Astoria, are set to close for months of work that focus on cosmetic elements and amenities such as lighting, station finishes, wayfinding, and Wi-Fi. A couple of selected stations in Brooklyn and Manhattan have already gone through the changes, and have been open to the public for several months.

But the improvements do little to maximize riding benefits, the city says, and largely ignore problems like overcrowding, accessibility gaps, and ridership growth.

(NYC DOT)

“It appears these stations were chosen primarily based on ease of implementing the improvements,” part of the packet reads.

The city pointed to efforts currently underway to rezone several neighborhoods across the city, like the LIC Core, and labeled them as ideal opportunities to fix up stations within those areas. Seven City-NYCT priority stations, including Queensboro Plaza, are within city rezoning areas as opposed to just one station on the ESI list.

Station congestion, plaguing dozens of stations across the boroughs in varying degrees, appears to have accounted for very little of the state’s station selection. A map identifying low, moderate, and significant congestion stations, including some in Long Island City, for example, does not line up with the ESI stations map.

(NYC DOT)

The packet, distributed by Department of Transportation commissioner and MTA board member Polly Trottenberg, came as the MTA board decided to table a vote on three ESI contracts involving eight stations in the Bronx and Manhattan. The vote was tabled to allow for Andy Byford, the new NYCT president, to review them.

“I’m glad you are all tabling it,” Trottenberg said at the meeting as she encouraged other board members to read the packet. “Theres a list attached of what we think would be, potentially, some better priority stations. Perhaps we can even have a dialogue about that.”

But MTA Chairman Joseph Lhota said the stations under the ESI are part of an “initial pilot plan”, where smaller stations were purposely selected to see which methods and contractors can carry out the job best, to then be applied across the system. “We’re not ready for the busiest stations right now,” Lhota said. “It’s inconsistent with the approach that we have put together.”

 

ESI list versus City-NYCT List

 

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27 Comments

FtheMTA

it doesn’t matter what list your station ends up on as these elected officials clearly put “innovation” and amenities (e.g. wifi, fancy screens that tell me my train is late, etc) over basic table stakes (trains that actually fit all the people, AND get them to their destinations, reliably).

Until the people in charge can understand the basic needs for this massively used transportation system (notice I didn’t say digital hub, or scheduling assistant, or place of the future!), we will continue to suffer, but hey, at least we will be able to call our offices on wi-fi and let our bosses know exactly how many minutes away the next over crowded train we cannot board will arrive.




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Anonymous

Completely agree. And maybe more depressingly, knowing that the MTA, its contractors and the inept political overseers in the city and state will ultimately be responsible for managing any improvement project does not inspire confidence. The entire agency needs to be rebuilt from scratch. If we don’t get this right, and very soon I think, there’s a real risk that New York could go down the tubes.




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SuperWittySmitty

I like the countdown clocks and refer to them often so I know how long until the next train arrives. For me, they’re a wonderful improvement. WiFi isn’t as important to me but I recognize how necessary it is to many commuters. Dismissing these examples of technology do not help you make your case. Let’s not ignore the fact that the subway is a million times better than it was 20 years ago and NY is NOT “going down the tubes.”




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SuperWittySmitty

I go back and forth daily on the 7 train and have never experienced trains “not going.” Yes, I occasionally experience a delay, 5-10 minutes here or there but nothing dramatic or worse than anywhere else. Your comment is meaningless if it’s basically false.




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Hunter's Point resident

Vernon Blvd-Jackson Av. station is in dire need of renovation – it’s disgustingly dirty and rat-infested. Hopefully they’ll do the renovation smartly, bit by bit, without closures and schedule disruptions.




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Anon

Can the city stop with the bull about rezoning the area already and just address the current needs? The last thing the area needs is MORE density. Just STOP.

Transportation issues should be the number one priority before we end up with fatalities from the overcrowding on the platforms.




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SuperWittySmitty

It’s not a heavily used stop and there are only people transferring between the 7 & the LIRR during rush hour. Most of the day it’s a very quiet stop. They should skip it and only have every third 7 train stop there during off-peak hours.




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MRLIC

HC is correct at the 7 Court Square station the roof lets in water and snow. Considering the renovations are less than 3 years old , this station should be working fine. The escalators Up/Down are out frequently. Even when the shuttle buses are replacing the 7 the escalators are out. The moving walkways from the G to M/E still part of the 7 connection are also frequently out. These are a bit older but have had problems since day 1. MTA worries more about Wi-Fi than accessibility for Senior and Disable people. There are no elevators/escalators down to G-M-E trains. If the MTA just lets G run into Queens no need for many to walk through that stupid tunnel to transfer to E. The next stop is Queens Plaza and you can easily walk across the platform for the E. Save disabled people and elderly the trouble/save other riders time and effort. G train stairs are being added and widened at Court Square for L train shut down in 2019. I hope they keep the fare gates near where they were instead of walking to other side of station to get in. Joe Lhota said they are not ready for the “busiest stations right now”. They should not do a half baked job then. Trottenberg is another who will cater to developers. It’s about the LIC Core rezoning. MTA wants to look as if they are “Improving” things Gov. Corruption Cuomo too. Smoke And Mirrors all around. Why at Queens Plaza 7/ N/ Q station are there no escalators and Elevators also? We will soon see how Andy Byford works. Is he for the people or for the developers. WI-Fi over people’s real needs. Cuomo wants to give this cart before the horse agency all this congestion pricing money, he is out of his mind MTA will waste it just like everything else they touch.




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Anonymous

Hang on a minute, the MTA is considering closing the V-J station “for months” to change lighting fixtures, maybe stick up a few tiles, splash some fresh paint on the grime, and post a few new maps, and add WiFi? MONTHS???




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Jjj

Yep and that’s exactly what they’re doing to my station (30 Av) now. It’s beyond ridiculous!




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SuperWittySmitty

The vast majority of subway stations are not accessible except by stairs (I’ve NEVER lived near a stop that had an elevator or an escalator and have ALWAYS relied on stairs.) It would prohibitively expensive to make every stop accessible; for those who can’t use the stairs, they’re better served by using the buses. There is decent service between Vernon Blvd & the many subway lines at Queens Plaza.




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HB

No, that’s what the ESI stations get. The new MTA proposal is to fix crowding and other issues.




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Anonymous

HB, and what are the proposals to reduce crowding at Vernon Jackson? Nothing is mentioned in this article. Unless they extended the length of the platforms, added a new west entrance to the station, build new turnstiles and widen stairs, you’ll still have crowding there. None of this is hinted at.




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HB

They probably don’t have a plan yet, but they recognize it’s a problem at V-J, especially with so much new construction. HP stop probably shouldn’t even exist. I agree Court Square and Queens Plaza are bigger issues. At Court Square no elevator or escalator to E,G,M, only one exit for 7 that gets insanely crowded. Still no connection between Queensboro Plaza and Queens Plaza. No concessions at either major subway, it’s pretty ridiculous you can’t buy anything but an unlicensed churro down there.




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SuperWittySmitty

I hate to see concessions sold near subway entrances (and I wish they’d crack down on people illegally selling food inside the subway system. Food & beverages do not have a place in the subway or on the platform. People already spill coffee, drop food, and leave behind litter. Eat at home or in a restaurant, not inside the subway!




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Migroschrott

I mean, what a surprise. In the past 8 years that they’ve been doing weekend closures, they haven’t managed to replace the signals/switches that break about twice a month and shut the 7 train off from Manhattan. But putting lipstick on a pig seems to be where priorities lie. Facelift helps improving service how exactly? And who needs WiFi, tourists? Because everyone else has a data plan that works just fine. Of course, people in charge of these projects never actually ride the subway, so what can you expect? At least they’re putting this on hold and I hope Andy is going to make some smarter decisions for the MTA. We’ll see…




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HC

You know what station needs fixing? Court Square. Let’s start with the fact that there’s only 1 exit, at the end of the platform, it would greatly ease commuters lives to have one at the very least at the other end. Second, enclose that glass covering over the escalators, rain and snow get in, and I’m sure its contributing to half of the escalator downtime. Unless the elevators are working, the transfer from the E/M/G from results in a VERY long climb to the 7 station.
Last, but most IMPORTANTLY, the station SWAYS back and forth when trains pull into the station. That is FREAKY as hell. Please address that ASAP!




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Daniel

Another station that’ has a lot of traffic and not many exits is the Hunter College station on the 6 train.




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SuperWittySmitty

Otherwise known as 68th Street. Good luck, the neighborhood will never tolerate a noisy & messy construction project to add another entrance.




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HB

It’s a horrible loud screech when it turns past 5Pointz. With massive development you’d think they’d try to get rid of the noise.




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Marie Hanlon

Good Grief. Where is the support of our elected officials?? However, I would be frightened to have Vernon/Jackson undergo a renovation–think of our library–it could take years. Give us a train at that can make it to Times Square without incident. I am becoming very prayerful on our No. 7 train.




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LICfly

HP stop shouldn’t exist? You realize there’s a connection to another major transit line (LIRR) right? People just making statements that only serve self interest. Ugh. FYI- I never use that stop but does not mean I should ignore the importance of it.




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