Joint Letter Sent to MTA Chairman Jay Walder
QUEENS, N.Y. – Senator Michael Gianaris and Assemblymember Aravella Simotas sent a letter to Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Jay Walder responding to the MTA’s announcement of a major, month-long construction project on the N and Q subway lines in Astoria, Queens. The legislators noted that while the project—which will include track panel removal and installation—will increase train performance, it will severely inconvenience commuters. The repairs will affect the N and Q Manhattan-bound lines, extending from Astoria Boulevard to 35th Avenue, as well as the streets below the tracks, covering close to 10 avenues in Queens and five subway stops (Astoria Boulevard, 30th Avenue, Broadway, 36th Avenue and 39th Avenue).
Manhattan-bound trains will run express between Astoria Boulevard and Queensborough Plaza.
Senator Gianaris and Assemblymember Simotas are calling on the MTA to provide shuttle buses from 30th Avenue to Queensborough Plaza to cover the restricted areas and reduce the inconvenience for commuters. Both legislators are also calling for the MTA to focus this construction to off-peak hours, especially during weekends. The construction project is scheduled to begin February 2 and end March 13.
Senator Gianaris said, “Western Queens residents rely heavily on convenient mass transit options. As necessary track repairs occur, the MTA must work with our community to identify solutions that minimize the disruption for affected riders. Safe and timely transit service must be maintained during construction without unnecessary delays or detours.”
Assemblymember Simotas said, “At a time when travel in our community is already extraordinarily difficult thanks to the effects of recent snowstorms, major construction on one of our main transit lines will only increase the burden on commuter. Providing shuttle service in affected areas and restricting construction to weekends and off-peak hours are responsible, common-sense measures that will minimize this project’s impact on the working people who rely on the MTA for their daily commute.”
The MTA has said that the construction project will take place from 8 a.m. to 4 pm on Wednesdays through Fridays and from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. New York City Transit has requested permits to place cranes and equipment next to the subway tracks at the locations listed below and to close the streets at each crane location. Construction on the tracks will cover two street lanes during weekday and weekend operations along 31st Street. Parking will be restricted at each street crane location and at the north and south curb lanes of 31st Street during crane operations.
1) Astoria Boulevard between 31st Street and 30th Avenue – February 2nd to February 6th; February 9th to February 16th.
2) Newtown Avenue between 31st Street and 30th Street – February 2nd to February 6th; February 9th to February 20th; February 23rd through February 27th.
3) 30th Drive between 31st Street and 30th Street – February 2nd to February 6th; February 9th to February 20th; February 23rd through February 27th.
4) 34th Avenue between 31st Street and 30th Street – February 16th to February 20th; February 23rd to February 27th; March 2nd to March 6th; March 11th to March 13th.