Home Asides Business owners bemoan start of Bleecker St. renovations

Business owners bemoan start of Bleecker St. renovations

by Benjamin Kabak

Finally, the MTA is restoring order to the underground mess at the junction between the B, D, F, V and 6 trains at the Broadway/Lafayette-Bleecker St. station on Houston St. I first highlighted the planned renovations nearly two years ago, and recently, the MTA has begun work that will finally connect the uptown 6 with the rest of that station.

But as with any surface work the MTA has to do come complaining business owners. The Daily News’ Rich Schapiro spoke to a bunch of Lafayette St. owners who say the MTA’s construction efforts are harming their businesses. Take, for instance, Mia Kwon of Save Khaki. “It’s a lot of noise, a lot of dust – all day,” she said. “With the economy the way it is, they couldn’t have picked a worse time. And this is just the beginning.”

The economy, of course, has nothing to do with it. The MTA has to move the uptown 6 platform southward a few hundred feet to connect it with the rest of the station, and these owners would have complained in boom times as well. That’s just nature of things in New York. People like to complain about the inadequacies of the subway system, and they like to complain when the MTA temporarily inconveniences them in an effort to make the system better. NYC Transit spokesman James Anyansi summed it up: “We regret the inconvenience, but this is work that has to be done.” As heartless as that sounds, Anyansi is right. This is long overdue work. C’est la vie.

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Al W April 14, 2009 - 6:25 pm

I hope the MTA can use the current economic climate as leverage to keep the contractors on their toes and ensure timely completion of this project. That’s the best way for the MTA to avoid hurting these business owners any more.

Adam G April 14, 2009 - 10:10 pm

I’m amazed at how rapid the progress on this has been. There’s some serious trenchwork going on on Lafyette St for the platform extension.

Think twice April 15, 2009 - 9:00 pm

Other station transfers to create would be:
• Between the Atlantic/Pacific complex and Fulton & Lafayette stations to finally connect the G & C to the 2, 3, 4, 5, B, D, M, N, Q, R, and LIRR. Which would probably mean opening up Saint Felix St or Fort Greene Pl. A handful of businesses but lots of homeowners.
• Between Jay St–Borough Hall and Court St–Borough Hall to connect the A, C, F to the 2, 3, 4, 5, M, and R. A real godsend to the F train riders trying to get to the East Side. However, this transfer might actually make Lawrence St (M, R) redundant as a station.

transern April 16, 2009 - 10:38 am

There is already tunneling underway to connect Jay St-Borough Hall to Lawrence Street. These projects take years to design and complete, but once in place, we can’t imagine the system without them.

Jerrold April 15, 2009 - 10:34 pm

Just like recent opening of the new South Ferry station, this improvement is something that should have happened decades ago!
Anyway, I’m sure glad that they are finally doing it.


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