When I was a kid traveling to Yankee Stadium from the Upper West Side, I would transfer from the 2 to the 4 at the 149th St. stop, and it was a mess. It’s a deep, dark station, and pipes above the old mosaics had corroded. Mineral-laden water had basically ruined the walls. Today, the pipes are sealed, but the damage remains. The station, a very busy one in the Bronx, is in bad shape, and I’m not the only one noticing.
At this week’s MTA Board meetings, Charlie Moerdler chided the MTA for allowing the Bronx stations to become decrepit. A recent study showed that the Bronx stations are the dirtiest in the system and are ripe for an upgrade. “You cannot expect people in the Bronx who work hard to deal with the fact that the subway stations here are lousy but the stations in Manhattan are pristine,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
For its part, the MTA says that rehabs at 42 at 71 Bronx stations have been completed, and 17 more are set to proceed under the remainder of the capital plan. “The Bronx,” Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., said, “will no longer be a punching bag.” The problem isn’t that the Bronx is a punching bag; it’s that stations everywhere are in disrepair. The Bronx stops might be the dirtiest, but they certainly don’t have a monopoly on chipped paint, rats or crumbling concrete.