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Western Queens Leaders to Protest No. 7 Train Weekend Closures

Photo: iStock

Jan. 16, 2014 By Christian Murray

Several Long Island City residents and business owners will be coming out Friday morning to announce that they are fed up with the patchy No. 7 train weekend service.

Tomorrow, organized by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, a coalition of community leaders, elected officials and cultural groups will be holding a protest rally at the Vernon Blvd/Jackson Avenue station at 11 am to make their displeasure known.

The rally follows the announcement that the MTA will be shutting down No. 7 train service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza for 22 weekends this year.

Furthermore, some of the local service between Queensboro Plaza and Flushing will be suspended for some of those weekends.

“22 weekends of closures in 2014 is outrageous and will hurt hundreds of thousands of people and threatens to kill our small businesses,” said Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer.  “Enough is enough.”

Rebecca Trent, who owns the Creek and the Cave at 10-93 Jackson Avenue, said the weekend service outages are devastating to local businesses. “I’m trying to elevate the scene in Long Island City,” she said, “but it’s tough if people can’t get here.”

Trent, who also runs LIC Eateries, a group comprised of a number of neighborhood restaurants, said that the members are extremely unhappy.

“The MTA just comes on in and says: ‘Here’s the schedule [of closures], now go F-yourself,” Trent said. “The MTA has to start to recognize that we can’t be treated like this—that business people have families to look after… and businesses have to survive.”

Trent said she is making up signs, contacting friends and trying to get everyone to the rally.

The cultural institutions such as the MoMA PS1, the Noguchi Museum and the Chocolate Factory are also mobilizing and will be there to protest. So too will the Long Island City Partnership.

“It is time that the MTA hears the voices of the thousands of business owners, cultural groups and residents who rely on the 7 train,” Van Bramer said. “The residents of the 26th District deserve better. We cannot continue to allow the MTA to disrupt our way of life.”

Several elected officials representing districts that will suffer as a result of the closures will be in attendance, such as Councilmen Danny Dromm (Jackson Heights) and Peter Koo (Flushing).

Queens Borough President Melinda Katz and State Sen. Mike Gianaris will also be attending.


Location: Vernon Blvd/Jackson Ave. station

Date: Friday, Jan. 17

Time: 11 am

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Frustrated in LIC

[Please disregard my previous post and replace with the below.]

@Southside Johnny: on what planet do you live? There are no “numerous options for those who need access to/from getting from Manhattan” from LIC. No buses, no other close by train lines, and only an out-of-the-way ferry that costs twice the ride of a subway! Please correct me if I’m wrong. All I know is that years ago I was warned about moving out here from Manhattan, but never in my wildest dreams (nightmares) did I imagine 22 weekends/year without train service. It is beyond outrageous for residents, local businesses, cultural organizations, and potential occupants. How can you sell a neighborhood with such limited mass transit? LIC Flea is a great weekend idea, but would they offer free frequent shuttle service from Queensboro plaza or Court Square?

Out of curiosity, does anybody know why there isn’t a bus stop in Long Island City on the way to Manhattan? So many westbound buses pass through here.


@ Reality Calling- I don’t see how you can connect closures for maintenance on the #7 line with the scandal over the lane closings in NJ; the MTA has nothing to do with that. Joe Public really doesn’t know how the MTA operates and we all think it could be done better. Transparency is missing and needs to be restored so the public does not assume the worse. But asking the general public to elect all of these officials means you will be getting politicians clamoring for these positions, as opposed to qualified and already-involved candidates. Admittedly, patronage positions should not be allowed, but already, voter turnout is low, and polls of voter do not indicate that many of them are making “informed” decisions on each and every candidate they vote for. Usually, the leaders we vote into office are better and making these appointments than you or I would be.

Reality Calling

I agree with Dog Lover, we’ve seen under the mask of how things get done int he MTA inner workings with the Fort Lee scandal. It’s simply a bad idea to have people assigned to these type of roles without elections, because they never have to contend with their voters over bad decisions.

Unfortunately I doubt we can change the how the MTA is structured and controlled (or can we — I don’t even know!).

South Side Johnny

Ergo? Seriously, Sunnyside is far from being over-populated (and our “problems” are pretty low-key, compared with what some pepple put up with.)

People have been criticizing the transit authority for decade regarding the endless repairs on the #7- suddenly Van Brammer is going to make some changes in how this is done? Don’t hold your breath- the MTA does thing their own way.

Fortunately, there are numerous options for those who need access to Manhattan besides the 7 train, so we should vount our blessings. Just think of thos poor people in Brooklyn who only have the L!

Greg @ 40th & Qns Blvd

This is outrageous, but stronger action will be needed if anything is going to get done. Jimmy Van Bramer knows this perfectly well – sue the MTA – seriously!

chris christies right hand man

great, now the political enemies of JVB are closing the 7 train because he didn’t support them!! and now WE suffer!!

43rd & 43rd

One spotter I understand. Five spotters, usually sitting down bullshitting nowhere in the area, I don’t understand. Maybe they’re performing the vital function of holding down the tracks.

The Grimster

Classic Construction Crew one person is down in the ditch and you have pointers pointing down into the Ditch.

John Z

While id like to agree that its 1 person or working and the rest watching, you never know exactly why its set up that way. I have a job where people don’t understand why we have a spotter or etc..
But I was just thinking from the jobs of the past I’ve seen, why couldn’t court sq get its new platform while hunters point received its new tiles and vernon Jackson was repainted all at the same time? All I’m asking is for better use of the time. Have more crews on. And yes that comment about more N n Q trains would be huge. I can’t stand waiting on that platform in the freezing cold!. And I totally agree with the empire state building comment, but I do think maintaining is different from new construction.

House of O'Shea

What happens when you overhype your community?
Its called overpopulation!
More trains have to be run; ergo, the need for frequent repair of track and signaling.
Is jimmy kidding? This protest is stupid.
Increased city trash collection, water consumption, asthma to the outer boroughs, and more release of raw sewage from sunnyside into our waterways is what jimmy should consider.
Take a ride during rush hour jimmy.


This is not “temporary” – this is endless and it hurts businesses in the LIC area. For Van Bramer, Gianaris, Katz, this is just another photo op. Sick of it.


it took 1.5 yrs to build the empire state bldg, and the clowns at the MTA have been shutting down the 7 train on wknds for decades. dumb and slow.

JVB holds a mid work day press conference because he wants to b on tv at 5pm

its all lip service, politicians have been holding these toothless protests for years, they mean nothing.


@ John Z – Have you seen the MTA “working” on the tracks? As is, you have 1 person working and 5 watching/standing around. The assumption that more workers = higher productivity @ the MTA is incorrect.


I would say Sunnyside Sucks but this affects other areas too.

MTA sucks will be my next name.


I don’t get it … everyone wants better service/facilities but nobody is willing to accept temporary closures.

John Z

This is just an act. We all know the MTA is going to just go ahead with whatever they want. What I would like to see done is to flood the job with workers all over the place. Why have 6 people work a shift when you can have 12 n get twice as much done twice as fast. When they have workers in the tunnel I rarely see them at court square or queensboro. Why not have work at all the stations assigned that need to be done instead of dragging out the job. If it can’t be done van bramer, find out why… I’m curious.

Maybe set up bus stops that can keep you dry when it rains and have friendly bus drivers . If all else fails, pray the mets make it to play offs so they keep the trains running.


It’s a photo op for the politicians. The photos almost always show them coming down on the right side of the issues but it does very little. City Council and State Assembly have very limited powers, even the Mayor does too, compared to the Governor and the “Authorities”, MTA, PANYNJ, etc, but they can investigate, subpoena and sue. All we can expect from City government are dog runs and parades and film crews obstructing the streets. Meanwhile, there are limited public library hours, few after school programs and no Pre K, not to mention no Health Dept. enforcement against dog waste.

woodside guy

same old thing. Nothing will come of this protest just like last year an
d the year before and….


Jimmy gave the MTA $250,000 for pigeon abatement and we got the jungle sounds at 52nd St. Anybody see any improvement? Unless he uses the powers of his office to sue the MTA we’re going to be victims like the residents of Fort Lee who were screwed by another “Authority”


Are you kidding me? 11am on a workday? Thanks Jimmy, you’re really thinking of the mass transit using residents. How could nobody on your staff have possibly thought to host it on a Sunday early afternoon to hit the shopping and brunch traffic?


yeah, thats totally unfair. In an effort to minimize the inconvenience, they should do some of the repairwork between midnight and 6am. Oh, let me guess – that’s probably not allowed in their current union contract…..


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