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MTA ‘Destroying’ Woodside Businesses With Months-Long Work Along Roosevelt Avenue, Leaders Say

Near Roosevelt Avenue and 58th Street earlier this month (Queens Post)

Jan. 26, 2018  By Nathaly Pesantez

Enraged Woodside residents, business owners, and community leaders are demanding that the MTA stop wreaking havoc on the neighborhood—once again—as the agency snarls Roosevelt Avenue and surrounding streets with its work along the 7 line.

The MTA has been working to repair the express and local tracks at the 61st Street station since Jan. 5, but the multiple cranes clogging up traffic and sudden no-parking regulations for hours on end have put a dent on small businesses and establishments along the avenue.

“We need safe, reliable transit,” said Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Woodside) outside Donavan’s Pub at the corner of 58th Street and Roosevelt Avenue. “But you can’t destroy a neighborhood in the process of saving a train line.”

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Woodside).

Jimmy Jacobson, co-owner of the longstanding corner pub, said the MTA barely communicates with him and other business owners as it takes up parking spots which costs him customers.

Jimmy Jacobson, co-owner of Donovan’s Pub in Woodside.

The Donovan’s Pub co-owner said that just this week, the MTA put no-parking signs up right in front of his pub for several consecutive days, yet no work was performed near these spots. He also recalls the agency leaving equipment on nearby streets for months at a time. “We want some answers,” Jacobson said. “The MTA simply doesn’t care.”

The recent track work has also affected St. Sebastian’s Church at the corner of 58th Street and Roosevelt Avenue, as its made traffic unbearable for parishioners.

“People aren’t able to come out,” said Rev. Kevin Abels, the pastor at St. Sebastian’s. “Our senior citizens that use Access-a-Ride aren’t able to come out to the church.”

Rev. Abels also recalled a recent mass for two community members that saw several late attendees, due to the heavy traffic and decrease in parking spaces nearby.

Traffic signage outside St. Sebastian’s Church in Woodside.

Local leaders said the MTA has a history of “disrespecting” Woodside, pointing to roughly a decade of constant delays and service changes along the 7 line as the agency continues to install an updated signal system, which was supposed to be completed late 2017. With this track project, expected to go on until March, the trend continues.

“This inefficiency is unacceptable,” said Denise Keehan-Smith, chairperson of Community Board 2. “The MTA should be working with our local business owners with a plan that is actionable for everyone’s best interests.”

In a statement, the MTA said the current track replacement work project is critical to maintain safety and improve service on the 7 line, and that work must go on.

“We have been in constant contact with elected officials and the Community Board on this project and we look forward to continuing that engagement,” said Jon Weinstein, a spokesperson for the MTA. “This equipment is essential for critical state-of-good-repair work on the 7 line and we simply must do maintenance to ensure safe, reliable service for Queens.”

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29 Comments

LIC Neighbor

Another JVB photo-opt and to get his name in the papers. Let the MTA do their job finish thee repairs and stop complaining about truck and lack of parking.




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Phil

First of all, I don’t understand how lack of parking is affecting Access-a-ride patrons since they aren’t parking. As for driving, there’s a parish every few blocks. Beyond the disabled, who’s driving to church?

Second, the twin Jimmys main complaint seems to be that they can no longer encourage drunk driving. All the Blue Lives Matter regalia in there, I wonder who’s doing the drinking and driving and no one seems to mind….Wow, I’m not too sympathetic with that!

As someone who actually lives in Woodside and doesn’t drive in, I’m glad to have less air pollution and. If you want the city lifestyle move back here from Long Island and actually pay taxes and contribute to the community.




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Anonymous

well actually patrons from Donovan’s park in the church’s parking lot – many people do — so what are they talking about – and also church people do too –




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SuperWittySmitty

I go to Donovan’s regularly but it’s about 20 blocks away from where I live. I would use my bike or take the bus/train. Folks that live around here generally do not rely on their cars to get around and rarely expect there to be parking available when visiting a business on Roosevelt or Queens Blvd. People need to be realistic- this is a neighborhood where cars are like dinosaurs- there’s no room for them and they’ve become less and less efficient as a means of getting around. In a few more years, there will be fewer cars on our streets as people wise up and realize there’s are no more parking spaces.




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Oscar

Other people live here (and drive) and have a different lifestyle than you. We all can’t live like you. If you want to ban cars, go ahead and have the guts to say so. But don’t ever take a cab again. Do you think a business owner who runs an establishment in full view of the public would complain just to hear the sound of his own voice? Obviously it’s an issue to him, because at week’s end, he’s crunching the numbers. Any activity that hinders business (small, medium, or large) in our neighborhoods kills the lifeblood of our neighborhoods.

And how in hell is there a “parish every few blocks”? Who are you to tell people where to go to church?

All people are asking is some community interface with the MTA when they clog up the streets unexpectedly. Other utilities do a much better job, even if it’s not perfect. The MTA has no accountability, therefore no vested interest in giving a crap. Break it up and sell it off.




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SuperWittySmitty

Cars already clog up our streets on a daily basis and too many drivers drive too fast and disregard the safety of pedestrians as they zip around our crowded neighborhood. I’m all for banning cars- it will happen eventually or at least the cost of owning a car will become prohibitive to the average middle-class citizen. If you want to live in a car-centric neighborhood, move to the suburbs!




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Oscar

“If you want to live in a car-centric neighborhood, move to the suburbs!”
The same smugness that gets Donald Trump back in the White House in 2020.




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SuperWittySmitty

No, it’s not. What a ridiculous statement. Woodside/Sunnyside have NEVER been car-centric neighborhoods and silly statements like your add little to the discussion.




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Anonymous

Classic City Hall attitude… “We’re gonna do work here, and we don’t care about your business. We still want your tax dollars though.” #TooBadForYou #WeDontCare #JustGiveUsYourMoney




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Anonymous

Where was Mr. JVB all these years regarding this — never once was there a meeting held on this or even a photo-op ever — “We have been in constant contact with elected officials and the Community Board on this project and we look forward to continuing that engagement,” said Jon Weinstein, a spokesperson for the MTA and yes they have been in contact with all of the queens counsel people – this is true —




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Tree of Liberty

JVB a government spokesman telling a government agency to be more efficient and reliable, lol…try being more efficient with my tax’s….




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Anonymous

JVB should be more honest and reliable with his constitutents like he should be – which he is absolutely NOT — and people are finally seeing what a phony person he is – a
a shame there wasn’t someone running against him




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SuperWittySmitty

The plural of tax is “taxes.” No need for a possessive apostrophe. (Sounds like the tree of liberty needs some remediable English classes! lol)




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Tree of Liberty

Superwittysmitty…I might not agree with some comments on Sunnyside Post, but I let be. I am not also bothered by someone responding to my comment to say that they disagree. I never go back and forth to argue my point. But what bothers me is someone questioning one’s intelligence to make their point.. I have only one comment for you…How You Make Others Feel About Themselves Says a Lot About You…




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SuperWittySmitty

I teach English and literacy is a topic close to my heart. Use SpellCheck and stop misspelling simple words; otherwise, your posts will not have any impact whatsoever because you will come off as uneducated and illiterate.




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Tree of Liberty

Super dim witty…Of course I talk like a idiot, how else could you understand me. You know everything except when to shut up. Oh yeah I just typed this with my middle finger. My middle finger salutes you…




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gilgo

As I stood listening to all rightfully complain about the length of time and disruption to the business community, I looked up saw that the steel structure was in need of some rehab work. Hopefully the MTA has included the need for a scrap and paint job in the current process. It would be outrageous and an affront to the community to come back in 2 years and put the community through this again.




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Carbie Barbie

Why doesn’t NYC have complete control of the subways and buses? This is a “home rule” issue. The MTA has been underfunded by both democrats and republicans. Surely one thing we can agree on is letting the city control its own transit system.




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Carbie Barbie

Wow, some down votes here suggesting the city should NOT control its own transit system? Amazing!

Okay, I’ve changed my mind. Let’s return to the divine right of kings!




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SuperWittySmitty

It’s a long and complicated story that all took place in the 70s. Do a little research and you will find the answers to your questions. (PS – it has nothing to do with the divine right of kings.)




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Park Ranger

I am glad this is getting attention but does anyone really think this will hault all the planned maintenance over the next 2 months? The MTA did the same thing in 2017 from January to May. You weren’t allowed to park on Roosevelt Avenue from Wednesday to Sunday. They have been working on the tracks between the 52nd Street and 61st Street Station since 2009. There is always an army of MTA goons just standing around on the tracks doing nothing.




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Anonymous

The line is almost a hundred years old. Better get this done now before a packed rush hour train gets the West Side Expressway treatment.




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