The 7 line, immortalized by John Rocker, is one of the most popular and important subway lines for the city. It transports hundreds of thousands of passengers from Flushing through Queens into the heart of midtown Manhattan with connections to nearly every other subway line along the way.
And now the MTA will be shutting it down on weekends for the next few weeks as the line is set to undergo some major maintenance and signal work. Riders are none too pleased either because this 7 shut-down will interfere with the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day parade as well. The Daily News reports:
Starting Feb. 10 and continuing for the following six weekends, the No. 7 will be largely shut down as Transit Authority crews do signal and track work, officials said.
The first weekend there will be no trains between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza. After that, there will be no trains from 74th St./Broadway in Queens to Times Square.
TA spokesman Paul Fleuranges said the work is part of the agency’s long-term plan for maintenance and upgrades, including replacing tracks, signals and rickety trains.
Riders in Queens are upset because the work is scheduled to run through March. Thus, Manhattan’s St. Patrick’s Day parade will be largely inaccessible unless the 250,000 weekend 7 train riders who live in Queens want to take two trains or a shuttle bus.
What the article doesn’t mention is the poor timing of this event for the new exhibits at the Queens Museum of Art. Just this past weekend, in conjunction with the city-wide Robert Moses exhibit, the Queens Museum reopened the amazing panorama of New York after a $750,000 renovation project. Since the 7 train services the museum, visitors — such as, well, me — won’t be able to go for a few weeks.
While folks in Queens are complaining about the work schedule, the truth of the matter is that these upgrades had to be done now. With baseball season right around the corner, the MTA is under the gun to get the 7 train up and running on the weekends before April 14 when the Mets square off against the Nationals in their first weekend home game of the 2007 season. For once, the MTA might actually complete a construction project on schedule.