Work has begun to reopen the Bedford Avenue entrances to the Nostrand Av A/C subway station that were closed some 30 years ago in response to high crime, MTA informed us yesterday. The station is also slated to receive elevators as part of the 2020-24 MTA capital plan to make it accessible.
This is not the first time the community has had to fight for the entrances to be reopened.
The Bedford Avenue entrances were opened for rush-hour commuters in 1950s, to ease overcrowding and provide easy access to Bedford Avenue. The community had advocated for over a decade to open the entrances that were constructed yet boarded up since the station was completed in 1936, papers reported at the time. By 1981, MTA listed the station as one of the most deteriorated in the system, the entrances were closed again soon after, and the passageway was closed as one of 15 across the city to following a horrific rape in 1991 at a Manhattan station.
Beverly Dolinsky, then director of the M.T.A.’s Permanent Citizens Advisory Council, an advocacy group representing subway and bus riders, told The New York Times in March of 1991 that the move would help increase the sense of safety.
“Although it may be inconvenient for some people to walk the long way around,” Ms. Dolinsky said, “I think most riders won’t mind because of the increased feeling of safety.”
Ebony, who has been using the station since she was in high school decades ago but did not wish to be photographed, remembers when the old Nostrand Avenue Station entrance on Bedford Avenue was still open. It was “awful,” she said. She remembers the old passageway which once connected the Fulton Street entrance with the Bedford Avenue entrance the MTA plans to reopen. It was a regular hangout for the homeless community, she said.
“You’re raised here — you’re taught not to go in that way,” even though it was more convenient for her and her family at the time. It felt “sketchy,” and “dark,” she said.
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