An easy answer to the F train problemsBy
The F train, the F train. What do about that the F train? That always seems to be the question, doesn’t it?
In Brooklyn, the train snakes a path from Coney Island up McDonald Ave. through the southern parts of Park Slope and north up Smith St. toward Manhattan. For much of that ride, unused express tracks taunt riders stuck on one of the city’s most crowded rush hour trains. In Queens, meanwhile, it runs nominally express but has been slowed by track work.
Today, though, we’re concerned with that stretch of Brooklyn that runs from Kensington and Windsor Terrace to Park Slope and through the Carroll Gardens/Boerum Hill/Cobble Hill. As Gersh Kuntzman reported yesterday in The Brooklyn Paper, State Senator Daniel Squadron has, at the urging of his fiancee and other constituents, urged the MTA to review performance along the F line. Writes Kuntzman:
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has begun a full performance review of Brownstone Brooklyn’s underground lifeline after repeated complaints that the train’s name was actually the grade that most riders would give it. The “performance and infrastructure” review, which goes beyond the agency’s normal oversight of the Coney Island to Queens line, came after state Sen. Daniel Squadron cornered the MTA’s Albany-based lobbyist and demanded action.
“I have been getting increasing complaints about the F line from my constituents and, no less important, my fiancee,” Squadron told The Brooklyn Paper. “So I asked the MTA to do a full review, and they agreed.
“There was definitely a sense in March and April, judging from the e-mails to our office, that something was wrong — the delays were longer, the trains more overcrowded,” Squadron added. “When I brought it up to the MTA, they did a quick search that suggested, at first glance, that something was wrong.
While The Brooklyn Paper hasn’t yet heard back from the MTA about the cost of the review or the last time the line was reviewed, I have a suggestion and an observation that will address this problem. Taking a page from the F Express Plan — on hold due to work on the Culver Viaduct — the MTA could simply extend the V train out to Church Ave. or beyond.
Right now, the Culver Line isn’t close to being at capacity. It could easily support the V train running out to Church at rush hour, and as one person commenting on Gersh’s article notes, the MTA could probably even run the V along the A/C through Lower Manhattan to pick up Wall St. commuters bypassed by the F. In one felt swoop, the MTA would make travel easier while alleviating congestion on the Culver line through Brooklyn.
The second solution — an observation — is a call for those people impacted by this service to just wait. On July 5, the MTA will extend G train service south to Church Ave. While not ideal, those who cannot get on the F train due to congestion can ride the G to Hoyt-Schermerhorn and transfer to the A or C. It’s not nearly as convenient as extending the V, but it may serve the same function.
There you go. One problem; two solutions. Who needs a full study anyway?