Nov. 4, 2017 by Nathaly Pesantez
WOODSIDE — Three train stations running through Woodside are slated for upgrades, and are currently in their design phases.
The stations, 52nd Street, Woodside—61st Street, and 69th Street, are slated for renewal projects by the MTA, according to Denise Keehan-Smith, chairwoman of Community Board 2 and its Transportation Committee, who made the announcement at the Nov. 2 monthly meeting.
The MTA notified the committee that plans for the three 7-line stations will be presented to the community board after the design phase concludes, which is pegged for the end of 2018.
The three stations have been on the MTA’s radar for several years for repairs, Keehan-Smith said, prior to 2015. The last time the transportation committee received an update on the project was about a year ago, she said.
Details on the types of repairs and changes coming to the stations, along with a construction timeline, are not yet known. A representative from the MTA is set to attend the transportation committee’s Dec. 4 meeting to discuss the project, along with other items.
The community has expressed concerns over the years about a number of issues with the three stations, including stairs that are falling apart at the 52nd Street and 69th Street stations, and out-of-order escalators and elevators on 61st Street, Keehan-Smith said.
All three stations appeared on a 2015 list by the Citizens Budget Commission on subway stations with more than half of its structural components, which the MTA defines as elements that relate to a station’s functionality and safety, like stairs, platform edges, and ventilators, in deteriorated conditions. Using data from the MTA, the report showed that 79 percent of the 52nd Street station’s structural components were not in a state of good repair, the most for any station on the list.
Woodside-61st Street showed a station with 64 percent of its structural components found to be compromised. The 69th Street station came in at 52 percent of the station “not in state of good repair”.
The 61st street station also came under scrutiny in 2013, when then-Long Island Rain Road president Helena Williams said one of the elevators at the station was experiencing a “vertical urinal problem”—the elevator was urinated on so much, that it was only in operation 58 percent of the time due to the urine rusting the floor and seeping into the lift’s system.
Renewal projects across the city’s stations in recent years have seen repaired street and platform stairs, new walls and floors, improved lighting, and countdown clocks.
The MTA did not immediately return a request for comment on the renewal projects.