17, No. 17
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
The New York City Transit Riders Council released its survey of subway
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
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
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
The MTA plans to replace the station's mezzanines, canopy roof, windscreen
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
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
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
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
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