Home Service Cuts Congestion pricing foes stage G train funeral

Congestion pricing foes stage G train funeral

by Benjamin Kabak

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today out of sadness for again we are burying part of a New York City subway line. As more and more people speak out against a payroll tax to save the MTA, the service cuts and fare hikes draw ever closer.

Today, at 10:30 a.m. at the Court Square subway station on the IND Crosstown line, we bury the G train’s northern extension. No longer with the misbegotten stepchild of the subway system reach from Carroll Gardens to Forest Hills. Instead, the G will permanently terminate at Court Square, doomed to leave Brooklyn-to-Queens riders searching for a transfer, another train and a faster way to travel between the city’s largest and most populous boroughs.

This is, of course, not the first time we have eulogized a train line facing its final few weeks of existence. In mid-January, we remembered the Z while we blamed this financial crisis in part on the grandstanding politicians who showed up for the Nassau Street Express’ final rites.

Two weeks ago, those same politicians buried the M and R trains in Manhattan and Brooklyn at least. The M will no longer head south of Broad St. during rush hour, and a few stations along the BMT Broadway line in Lower Manhattan will no longer enjoy late-night service. Prior to that, The Observer noted that no one will really miss the W, the city’s least reliable and dirtiest subway line. But we can’t neglect the Black Sheep of the family.

Meanwhile, the G train funeral offers much of the same. Joining the Straphangers Campaign at Court Sq. later today will be Joseph Lentol and Hakeem Jeffries, two state assembly representatives. Both of these representatives have something in common: They opposed a plan last year that would have delivered more service to the G line. Public hypocrisy, it seems, knows no bounds.

For Jeffries, this is nothing new. With an assist from Streetsblog, we took him to task last May for bemoaning the state of the G train after helping shoot down the congestion pricing plan. Lentol, meanwhile, was more guarded in his views but never really warmed to Mayor Bloomberg’s plan.

Today, these two officials are going to do what politicians do best. They are going to pander to their constituents less than a year after voting down a plan that would have accomplished just what they want to see happen today. Nothing beats a politician at a photo op. I just hope voters remember in November who killed their subway lines.

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11 comments

Streetsblog » Today’s Headlines February 17, 2009 - 8:58 am

[…] Congestion Pricing Foes Jeffries and Lentol to Stage Mock G Train Funeral (2nd Ave Sagas) […]

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AlexB February 17, 2009 - 10:20 am

Although the northern route of the G in Queens is actually quite convenient to me for travel to Queens, I have long since given up on the train ever going there. It is supposed to go there all weekend long and everyday after 8 pm. It has rarely, if ever, gone deeper into Queens on the weekend, and is curtailed most weekdays as well. The MTA never wanted to provide the G service in Queens after they introduced the lame V train. The official end of service is less a change of situation and more a recognition of how things have been for years. I was looking forward to the G being extended to Church Ave, but thinking the MTA would do something useful was just wishful thinking.

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R2 February 17, 2009 - 5:16 pm

LOL….actually took the G train yesterday after 10pm in the northern section. I swear I could see the same puzzled look on other rides as I did when I saw it pull into the station.

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rhywun February 17, 2009 - 10:32 am

> Two weeks ago, those same politicians buried the M and R trains

…whilst apparently having no idea that the R train already DOES NOT serve those stations late at night. On the other hand, it’s easy to be forgiven for thinking that the R train deserves a burial, even during the day.

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Jenn February 17, 2009 - 12:08 pm

Assemblyman Lentol never opposed congestion pricing. He did questioned the plan as any responsible politician would do for a major public policy initiative and if it had come down to it I think there is a good chance he would have voted for it. He never opposed it.

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Benjamin Kabak February 17, 2009 - 12:10 pm

I’d hardly call him much of an advocate for it either though.

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Steven February 19, 2009 - 12:48 pm

Ah, but you wouldn’t say the Straphangers Campaign opposed congestion pricing, which is what your post title suggests, as the funeral was “staged” by the Straphangers Campaign (with Lentol and Jeffries signing on). Let’s be precise.

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Alfred Beech February 17, 2009 - 2:26 pm

Weren’t the G trains shortened in order to accommodate the extension when it was added? Will the trains be lengthened back to 10 cars again with the change, to eliminate the dreaded “G train platform dash”?

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Here a Fashion Tweet, There a Fashion Tweet - City Room Blog - NYTimes.com February 18, 2009 - 2:04 pm

[…] funeral for the G train’s Northern extensionwill take place today at 10:30 a.m. at the Court Square subway station. [2nd Ave. […]

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Half the story has never been told « Club Soda and Salt February 8, 2010 - 2:41 am

[…] with NYC pols who avoid making hard decisions about transit funding, but then turn around and stage rallies with a bunch of “regular folks” about how awful all the subway cuts are, but it works. […]

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Blog Buzz: Shootings, Funerals & Slaughterhouses December 12, 2010 - 7:32 pm

[…] is a day of mourning. The G Train had a mock funeral this morning at Court Square, though the line has been pretty much on life support in Queens for a decade […]

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