PUBLISHED BY MOSHOLU PRESERVATION CORPORATION

Vol. 17, No. 17 Aug 26 - Sept. 8, 2004



     
 

D and 4 Stations Rated City's Worst

By GARY PANG

A citywide advocacy group released a survey confirming what most local residents have known for years: the No. 4 and D subway stations in Norwood and North Fordham are in awful condition.

The New York City Transit Riders Council released its survey of subway station 
conditions on Aug. 4. It ranked the 205th Street and Kingsbridge Road stations on the D-line and the Mosholu Parkway station on the 4-line among the five worst subway stations out of 50 city stations surveyed by the Transit Riders Council. 

The advocacy group held a press conference at the 205th Street station. "That station is representative of subway station problems," said William Henderson, associate director of the Council. "It is very deteriorated and has every type of defect, from structural ones to having one trash can located only at the end of the station."

Peeling paint chips and missing wall tiles are common sights at the 205th Street station. Henderson said that many beams lost their masonry coating, exposing layers of rust. 

Water often leaks into the station and floods the tracks. "They've put up lots of drip shields to keep water from dripping on passengers," said Henderson, adding that the shields do not fix structural defects. The leaks are so bad that stalagmites hang over the tracks, formed by mineral deposits from years of water dripping.

"The damage that occurs out there doesn't happen overnight," said Henderson. "It's most likely decades of neglect that led to this condition."

The Mosholu Parkway 4 station was ranked worst of all 50 stations. Parts of Mosholu's roofs are missing or falling apart. Customers also complain of problems with station lighting at night. "There's mildew hanging from the ceiling," pointed out commuter John O'Rourke. "The bathrooms are never open here or in any of the other stations. I don't really care, but a lot of people have to use the bathroom, like old people and my mom."

Help is on the way for the No. 4 train station. The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) will renovate Mosholu, beginning probably at the end of this year through January 2007, as part of its capital plan.

"We want to bring all these stations in the Jerome Avenue line into a state of good 
repair," said MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker. "Because Mosholu has steel encased in concrete, that makes it more difficult than the other stations."

The MTA plans to replace the station's mezzanines, canopy roof, windscreen for 
platforms, lighting, signs, and new warning tags on platform edges. It will also repair control areas, agent booths, and customer waiting areas. It will also work with Arts in Transit to install permanent artwork at the No. 4 stations.

But for now, riders of the B and D are out of luck. "205th Street, Bedford Park Boulevardd, Kingsbridge Road, and Fordham Road are not in the plan at this point," said Parker.

Pat Logan of the Fordham Bedford Housing Corporation (FBHC) called the MTA's decision to leave out 205th Street and Kingsbridge Road "unacceptable."

Logan said the MTA needed to re-examine its priorities. "Before they think about the Second Avenue project, they need to repair stations that they currently operate," Logan said, referring to the MTA's plans to build a new subway line in Manhattan. "It costs the same to buy a MetroCard here as someone buying it down on Park Avenue. There should be the same service."

According to Parker, the capital plan could change depending on how people respond to public hearings the MTA will schedule between now and December, when the MTA board will meet to vote on the plan.

An MTA statement called the Transit Riders Council's survey was biased. "The Transit Riders Council utilizes data collection at only 50 stations (11 percent of the system) to create a negative portrayal of New York City Transit stations."

Regardless, commuters at the 205th Street station said something had to be done. "Look at it. It's decaying, dirty, and smells bad," said Shirley Brown, who came from Harlem to visit Montefiore Medical Center. "It's a depressing station. It needs to be brightened up, cleaned up and repainted."


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