Feb. 26, 2015 By Michael Florio
Two thousand participants—and countless spectators—are not enough to sway the MTA to keep the No. 7 train running this Sunday for the ‘St Pats for All’ parade.
The MTA is doing track work this weekend and the No. 7 train will not be operating between Times Square-42nd Street and 74th Street, from 12:30 AM Saturday through 4:30 AM Mon.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and parade organizers have been calling on the MTA to postpone the work and to keep to its regular weekend schedule.
The MTA, however, claims that the parade doesn’t draw enough riders for it to postpone its track work.
“We looked at ridership during the parade from the past few years and it does not draw enough to warrant postponing the work,” Kevin Ortiz, an MTA spokesman, said.
Brendan Fay and Kathleen Walsh D’Arcy, co-chairs of the parade, were very disappointed with the MTA’s decision since many participants rely on the 7-train to get to the event.
“There are groups from all over the city now trying to figure out how to get to the parade,” Fay said. “People are very frustrated.”
The pair was hoping the MTA would reschedule service as it had done so for the Lunar New Year parade in Flushing.
Walsh D’Arcy said that it might reduce the number of attendees. Nevertheless, “I think most people will find other ways to the parade,” she said. “But it will be an inconvenience and costly.”
Van Bramer was clearly upset with the MTA.
“I’ve asked the MTA to suspend their work this weekend and allow the thousands who want to participate in this very important event to do so,” Van Bramer told NY1 Wednesday. “And they’ve said ‘No.’”
“They [the MTA] have made exceptions for other parades and culture events–it makes no sense. The MTA consistently fails the people of Western Queens.”
However, Ortiz said the Lunar parade generates ridership that the St. Pat’s for All parade simply cannot match.
“The Lunar parade brings ridership in the thousands and this parade is a couple of hundred,” he said.
Ortiz said parade goers can use alternative routes such as the Q32 and Q60 bus to the start of the parade. They can also take the R-train to 46th Street and jump on the Q104 bus.
Fay said that several participants have told him they plan on taking the LIRR to 61st Street, while others will take shuttle buses.
Walsh D’Arcy said she thinks many people will now drive, taking up a lot of neighborhood parking spaces.
Parade Date: Sunday, March 1
Time: Speeches at 1 p.m.; parade starts at 2 p.m.
Starts: Corner of 43rd Street/Skillman Avenue