Astoria, Transportation
Apr 19, 2018

More Subway News – Elevators Are Coming, Ditmars Partially Closed, Watch Out Broadway and 39th Ave

Astoria is never without brow-furrowing subway news.

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Image source: Adam_T4 via the WHA Flickr Pool

You know what this means—more crazy subway news.

The “aging, century-old” Astoria Blvd N/W station is finally going to get elevators. This is good news for so many people—the disabled (temporarily or full time), parents with strollers, and travelers to LGA, just to name a few. Back in 2009 when I had a really bad sprain (like really bad—my whole shin area looked like I got beaten with an iron rod) and had to use a cane for a short time, I would have loved having this option at my station (which was Astoria Blvd). Glad to hear they are finally implementing the number one request (after trains that don’t break down, of course) Astorians have had for decades.

More from the April 17 MTA press release:

“MTA New York City Transit announced today that four elevators are going to be installed at the Astoria Blvd station on the N and W lines in Queens, with work beginning this summer alongside other station improvement projects in the area.”

Yes, you heard that: 4 elevators. More:

“The Astoria Blvd project includes a pair of street-to-mezzanine elevators as well and another two mezzanine-to-platform elevators. The installation of the street elevators will require the complete demolition and reconstruction of the entire station mezzanine, which will also be raised to reduce strikes by trucks driving underneath.”

Along with the demolition of the mezzanine, the Astoria Blvd station will also get:

  • Repair or replacement of structural columns and foundations
  • Replacement of damaged concrete platform surfaces
  • Replacement of street and platform stairs
  • Replacement of platform roofs and the mezzanine overpass walkway
  • ADA standards implemented regarding platform gaps, boarding areas, stairs, railings, and other elements of the station
  • Replacement of lightposts, signs and gates

This, of course, does not come without a price. What you need to know:

  • September 2018: Work at Astoria Blvd is currently expected to begin
  • February 2019: Astoria Blvd station will fully close for approximately nine months (projected reopening October 2019)

They seem a little more on the ball about “community outreach” but the bottom line is that the station will be undergoing major renovations and there’s no way they can operate out of it. Start making your alternative transportation plans—for those who live north of the Astoria Blvd station, Ditmars will be your best option; for those who live south, 30th Ave will be your option, since it should be open by June 2018.

As for Ditmars, we’ve seen that the north stairwells were closed recently and turnstiles have been removed on the north side of the station. These stairwells will be closed until August 2018 (if not longer, because MTA), and the station itself will undergo various improvements for 14 months; it will open back up to full usage by June 2019. During this time, look for staton repairs, new benches, public art, and other renovations—to the tune of $22 million.

Broadway and 39th Ave are still on track for a July 2018 closing. No doubt there is concern that what has befallen the 30th Ave and 36th Ave areas will happen to Broadway and 39th Ave. We urge you to find ways to support your favorite businesses in those parts of town.

Regarding the dissatisfaction with the subway closures, here are a few articles worth reading:

Astoria braces for more subway stations closures this spring [Curbed]
How One Subway Closure in Queens Wrecked a Community [Vice]
Astoria businesses complain of ‘slow death’ as work on 30th Avenue station continues [QNS]

About Meg Cotner

Meg Cotner was trained as a harpsichordist and now works as a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of "Food Lovers' Guide to Queens," and is a skilled and avid home cook, baker, and preserver.

4 Comments

MaMa

I don’t think that Astoria Blvd station needs 4 elevators. Two would have been good and the other remaining two elevators divided between 2 other stations, such as one on Broadway and the other on Ditmars, for example. It makes much more sense to me that way.

Reply
DLS

This shutdown has been horrible. Having to walk to either Astoria Blvd. or Broadway in heavy rain, snow, bitter cold winds, etc. has been just awful. And the MTA is a joke with the extra 102 buses. The typical scenario on a weekday morning at 8 a.m. is a long line of people waiting in front of Tradefair on 30th Avenue for a 102 bus while one of the extra shuttle buses is parked a block away, shut off while the driver takes a break. I’ve watched these shuttle drivers sit on their bus reading, eating, etc. while they gaze at the line of people waiting for them.

Plus the shuttle buses don’t show up on the bus time app so you don’t know if you should wait or walk.

Business owners on 30th Avenue should be compensated. And we residents should all get FREE 30 Day metro cards for this inconvenience.

Reply
C Los

Would these station upgrades clear the way for a “possible” (fingers crossed) AirTran link to LGA?

Reply

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