Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation Project Reminder

Yesterday afternoon, MTA NYC Transit issued a reminder press release for the start of the next phase of the Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project. This phase will cause F Train & G Train trains to skip certain stations until next year:

MTA New York City Transit is making much needed repairs and improvements to Brooklyn’s Culver Line including the rebuilding of the Viaduct structure and the renewal of its tracks, signals and switches. We will also rehabilitate the Smith-9th station and restore platforms, canopies and the historic arch at the 4th Avenue-9th Street station.

This $275.5 million engineering and construction project is necessary to rehabilitate the steel and concrete viaduct first opened in 1933 as part of the IND system. The project area stretches from the tunnel portal south of the Carroll Street station to the portal south of Fourth Avenue. In preparation for this work, the G line has been extended to Church Avenue since July 2009. This current phase of the project will begin this month and continue until the Fall of 2012. During this long-term project, trains will be required to skip some stations.

In order to prepare for this phase of the project, this weekend’s F and G service (January 7 – January 10) between Jay Street-MetroTech and Church Avenue will be replaced by free shuttle buses in both directions. Then, beginning 5 a.m. Monday, January 10 through May 2011, the following changes will be in effect:

No Manhattan-bound F or Queens-bound G service at 15th Street Prospect Park and Ft. Hamilton Parkway Stations.

No Manhattan-bound F service at Smith-9th Sts Station. Queens-bound G service stops at a temporary platform.

All Manhattan and Queens-bound trains stop on the express track at Church Avenue and 7th Avenue stations.

Manhattan-bound F and Queens-bound G trains stop at a temporary platform accessed via the Coney Island-bound platform at 4th Avenue-9th Street station.

In future phases of the project, the Smith-9th Sts station will close completely for rehabilitation from late May 2011 through Spring 2012. Then from the Spring of 2012 to the Fall of 2012, there will be no Coney Island-bound F trains at the Smith-9th Street station.

In addition, from the late Fall of 2011 to the Spring of 2012, the following changes will be in effect:

No Coney Island-bound F or Church Avenue-bound G trains at 15th Street-Prospect Park and Ft. Hamilton Parkway stations.

All southbound trains will stop on the express track at Church Avenue and 7th Avenue stations.

Coney Island-bound F and Church Avenue-bound G trains will stop at a temporary platform at the 4th Avenue-9th Street station.

As one might expect, this loss of service is not sitting well with riders in the community who are upset. Normally I chalk it up to calling out the clueless & whiny people who never want their personal service affected but cry foul when it falls to a state of disrepair.

However the idiocy of these complaints goes even further if that is possible. I was doing a regular check of transit related stories on Google News & decided to check out the report on this next phase of the project on Gothamist. Their report included one of many complaint e-mails they received about the upcoming changes. Here is a highlight from the 1 e-mail posted:

I’m absolutely livid that this is happening with a week’s notice, especially in the winter. This is the first we’re hearing of this and is part of a chain of the F train messing with us (shuttles this weekend…again…whoo-hoo!)

Idiots like this are exactly the ones who don’t want their service affected but at the same time complain about the conditions. They have lived here for 2 months & did not know about the project. To them I say, learn to do complete research before moving! Whenever I move, I fully research my area & the services available that will play a role in my life. If transit is one of them, that is one of the first things I look into.

These plans were not announced with 1 week’s notice as common sense should tell you it is impossible to setup such complex plans that quickly. These plans have been openly announced since 2007! I should know as I have written extensive entries about them including the initial announcement as seen here.

Reading that e-mail reminded me of someone I used to know. For her sake I will not say her name but the story went a little something like this. She was your typical cliche hipster type who lived in the suburbs but just had to live in the trendy neighborhood of Williamsburg.

She & a friend find a place in the south side of Williamsburg near the J Train, M Train, & Z Train. At first she is extremely happy about being in the neighborhood of her dreams. However at one point we are having a conversation & she starts to complain about the subway.

I asked her what is wrong & her complaint was it was such a long walk to the Bedford Ave L Train station. I politely educated her that she has no business complaining. If you know anything about that area, you understand the desire of people to live by there. For those who don’t, it is an unwritten rule that the best part of Willamsburg is the north side & the Bedford Ave stop is smack in the middle of all the action.

I stressed to her that if it was so important for you to live by the stop, why did you not research the area & determine a cutoff point as to how far you were willing to live from the station. Now some might say, maybe she could not find anything. However that was not the case as she admitted they took it because it was listed as being in Williamsburg & that they never looked to see how far it was from the station.

When I found this out, I told her to just stop complaining to me as I did not want to hear anymore of such outright stupidity. It is completely inexcusable for them to have been in that situation & the same goes for people who have moved into the neighborhoods affected by this project since it was first announced.

With that in mind, I am not saying the MTA is completely clear of blame. They clearly should have put up notices about this sooner. While the work has been known for a few years now & have been reported in various media type outlets including this blog, it still is their responsibility to inform the public as best they can & take it from there. This is something the MTA needs to fix on their end.

In the end, the MTA needs to shore up their communication efforts & riders need to stop being so self absorbed & pay attention to things happening in their own backyard. Also enough with the b.s. complaints about it taking 20-30 extra minutes as a closer stop for you to access the service you need is not that far away. Next time pay attention to your local happenings even if it is not the “trendy” thing to do.

xoxo Transit Blogger

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