N train at 30th Ave Station via Wikimedia
Thousands of straphangers on the Upper West Side and Astoria will have to rethink their daily commutes come spring, as the Metropolitan Transportation Authority plans on closing some stations for up to six months for repairs and upgrades. The station makeovers fall under the MTA’s Enhanced Station Initiative, a plan to improve the reliability and customer experience inside the subway system. Planned enhancements include installing digital countdown clocks at subway entrances, glass barriers, LED lighting and adorning station walls with artwork.
Rendering of upgraded 110th Street platform via MTA
In Manhattan, stations at 110th, 86th and 72nd Streets on the B and C lines will close starting in April until September or October. Although more than 30,000 passengers use these stations daily, the MTA has not released a plan to mitigate the effects of the closures.
And all B-C stations between 59th and 125th Streets will be closed on 18 weekends and 40 weeknights. According to the West Side Rag, the MTA will place vinyl signs about the service updates in the stations about two or three weeks before the closure.
Rendering via Governor Cuomo’s office
The Astoria- Ditmars Boulevard station will undergo a 14-month revamp beginning in April, adding to the number of subways undergoing major construction in the neighborhood. The N and W line at 30th Avenue and 36th Avenue stations have been closed since October for mostly cosmetic fixes, but will wrap up this summer (h/t Curbed NY). Later this year, Broadway and 39th Avenue stations will totally close for renovations. The upgrades to the four Astoria lines will cost $150 million.
Thanks everyone who attended our rally against the MTA construction at Ditmars Blvd Station! Since the project doesn’t include subway service improvements or ADA accessibility updates, we can’t support it. You can still participate by signing our petition https://t.co/iOcpxFNH0n pic.twitter.com/ryvxuiUVl6
— Costa Constantinides (@Costa4NY) February 12, 2018
Council Member Costa Constantinides, who represents the Queens neighborhood, has objected to the station upgrades at Ditmars Boulevard because the MTA has plans for cosmetic changes only, instead of adding a much-needed elevator to the station. Earlier this month, Constantinides rallied with other public officials, local business owners and community leaders against the planned construction. An online petition is currently being circulated, demanding better accessibility.
In January, the MTA board delayed a vote on construction contracts to renovate two stations in the Bronx and six in Manhattan after a member, appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, objected. During the meeting, some members questioned why so much money was being put towards unnecessary, cosmetic improvements at stations that are in decent condition already, instead of funding signal and track repairs.
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