Dyckman St., shown here in 2005, is in dire need of a station rehabilitation. (Photo via flickr user masck)
Back in the day, I used to ride the 1 train from 96th St. north to its terminal at 242nd St. on a daily basis. It would take me to high school, and as the years worn on, I grew familiar with the stops north of Dyckman St. where few people would get on or off. The route map — 207th, 215th, 225th across the water but part of Manhattan, 231st, 238th, 242nd — is ingrained in my memory, and although I haven’t made the trip in nearly a decade, I still have a soft spot for these stations.
Now, these stops are gearing up for a rehab, and those commuters coming from Northern Manhattan and the Bronx are in for two years of service changes and weekend delays. The work — two simultaneous projects — are a bit of a $47 million effort to rehab the oft-neglected parts of the 1 line is not without controversy.
The problems themselves are fairly straightforward. The biggest piece is a complete rehab of the Dyckman St. station. Similar to the schedule along the Brighton Line in Brooklyn, the southbound and northbound platforms will both close for stretches of ten months as crews deconstruct and reconstruct the station. Work at the stop will include the restoration of the concrete wall along Hillside Ave.; replacement of stairs; repairs of the ceiling; reconstruction of the platforms and canopies; and new windscreens and guardrails. Additionally, the tracks around the station will be replaced as well.
Starting in September, the northbound platform will close for the work, and that closure will last until June 2011. Then, in July 2011, the southbound platform will close until August 2012. Per Transit, “During this time people will have to walk to the next station or ride back to Dyckman on the opposite platform.”
Beyond Dyckman St., the station work will go on during weekends only. At the five stations to the north, Transit will engage in some component-based work as platforms, canopies and stairs will be rehabilitated. As of now, Transit plans to shutter those stations for 14 weekends between September and June 2011 and then in additional 14 from July 2011 to August 2012, and every station from 242nd to 181st St. will be closed.
This sounds simple enough, but a few interesting details have raised some eyebrows. First, the Dyckman St. station will not become fully accessible during the rehab. Transit officials say the money isn’t there to bring elevators or ramps to the stop. They also claim that the station “does not fit the criteria for a key station” and is not on the list of 100 “key stations” to become ADA-compliant by 2020. Dyckman, said Deirdre Parker to DNAInfo, is “not a terminal point, is not a transfer point to other bus or subway lines, is not near any major activity centers and ranks 185th out of 422 stations in ridership.”
Advocates for the disabled dispute these findings and bemoan the state of accessible stations in Northern Manhattan. “It is an area that is really underserved by mass transit as it is,” Michael Harris said. “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to deprive an entire community of the subway.”
To compensate for the service outages, the MTA will run shuttle buses from 242nd St. in the Bronx to 207th St. on the A and will allow free boardings on the M3 from 168th St. and north. The agency however won’t add more A trains during the work, and many Inwood residents fear overcrowding. Despite these inconveniences and relatively low ridership, these stations have needed the work since my high school days, and the 1 will be better off for it.
After the jump, a rendering of the new look for Dyckman St.