Brad Lander On F-Station Closures at 15th, Ft. Ham & Smith/9th Streets
Printed below is Brad Lander’s response to the frustration of many Brooklyn strap hangers who use the 15th Street, Ft. Hamilton and Smith/ 9th Street F and G train stations, which will be closed for many months due to renovations.
You can be sure, Lander’s office is getting plenty of phone calls. On the one hand: people get that improvements need to be made and that can mean station closures. But still, imagine if your subway station was being closed down and alternatives would add time to your already laborious commute.
How would you feel?
Lander says that he will be working to “push the MTA to provide better alternative service during the project.”
I’m not sure what that means — bus service, bikes, scooters, sleds?
The P.S. to this letter is quite apt. He writes: I know this frustration comes right on the heels of the City’s deeply inadequate snow removal efforts. Kensington in particular bore the brunt of the City’s failures, with some blocks not getting plowed until the early morning of New Year’s Day.”
Lander says that he also plans to “redouble my efforts to insure that all our communities get the full level of government services they need and deserve.”
Brooklyn never felt so much like “the outer borough” as it did during the recent snowstorm. The abrupt closing of these important stations feels like another added difficulty to “outer borough” life.
Ah, urban life.
Many of you have contacted my office today after learning abruptly that Queens-bound F/G service will be suspended at the Fort Hamilton Parkway and 15th Street stations for the next five months.
This is part of a necessary project to rehabilitate the F/G line. But the MTA did not do enough outreach to provide advance notice and has not offered adequate alternative service. I will be working immediately to push the MTA to provide better alternative service during the project.
The closure is part of the rebuilding of the F line’s local and express tracks from Bergen Street to Church Avenue. The MTA is rebuilding tracks, signals, and switches along this entire section of the line. In order to complete the project, they need to detour the F train to the express tracks, which do not stop at either 15th Street or Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Unfortunately, the MTA has informed us that this means:
- Queens-bound service will be suspended at both stations from Jan 2011 – May 2011
- South-bound service will be suspended at both stations from Nov 2011 – March 2012
More information on the changes can be found at the MTA website.
The MTA has indicated that they will expand late−night bus service on the B61 to the 15th Street. However, the MTA is not currently offering any rush-hour enhanced bus or shuttle services and it is not offering any enhanced service for Fort Hamilton Parkway.
Instead, the MTA is just instructing people to go south to the Church Avenue station, and then turn around there for Manhattan-bound service (at what is already an extremely crowded station).
While this project is necessary, the fact that an alternative form of transportation is not being provided is an unacceptable hardship on people in Kensington and Windsor Terrace. In addition, too little notice was provided; as of last night, there was no notice up at the Fort Hamilton Parkway station, and the station clerk did not have information on the project.
I am calling upon the MTA to implement alternative service — either in the form of regular shuttle bus service (at least at rush hour) or by extending and expanding service of nearby bus lines. I have been in touch with MTA officials to suggest these kinds of alternatives, and will continue to strongly urge the MTA to implement them. I will of course be in touch with you as we learn more about what alternatives might be available.
P.S. I know this frustration comes right on the heels of the City’s deeply inadequate snow removal efforts. Kensington in particular bore the brunt of the City’s failures, with some blocks not getting plowed until the early morning of New Year’s Day. In addition to the City Council hearing on January 10th to get to the bottom of what went wrong, I plan to redouble my efforts to insure that all our communities get the full level of government services they need and deserve.
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