Home Brooklyn Photo: Sneaking a peek at Smith/9th Sts.

Photo: Sneaking a peek at Smith/9th Sts.

by Benjamin Kabak

A glimpse inside the entrance to the Smith/9th Sts. subway stop. (Photo via Second Ave. Sagas on Instagram)

On Sunday afternoon, I found myself on a long stroll through Brooklyn, and my walk took me east on 9th St. from the Carroll Gardens area. As we walked past the blue construction wall currently shielding the Smith/9th Sts. subway stop from the outside world, I noticed a sizable gap in the fence and snapped the above photo. It certainly looks like there is plenty of work to be done.

Now, the MTA is toeing the line with regards to the station reopening soon. Earlier reports indicated a potential April 22 service date, and MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg promised me trains before May Day. The Culver Viaduct rehabilitation project has no track record of on-time performance, but work doesn’t have to be completed for stations to be ready for passenger use. We’ll find out how things are going within a few weeks, but no matter the outcome, the station entrance area and platforms visible from the trains look much better than they did a few years ago.

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Craig April 11, 2013 - 6:12 pm

Sure would have been nice if they had added an elevator. BTW is there an MTA policy on when and where they will add elevators. One has to wonder how they could not add one since this is the highest elevated station in the system.

Ron April 11, 2013 - 6:55 pm

They have to add accessibility to 100 key stations by 2020. http://www.nyctransportationac.....-list.html

Ryan April 11, 2013 - 7:48 pm

The commenter “Someone” discussed about this topic a few weeks ago. It’s not feasible to add regular, straight-up elevators to this station due to certain restrictions; funiculars would be required.

Jerrold April 11, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Oh, THAT kind of elevator?
Amazing how a single word can bring back such a strong (even if totally off-topic) cultural memory.

At least SOME others here must be old enough to remember “Mitch Miller and the Gang” from their 1950’s childhood.


Chris C April 12, 2013 - 8:18 am

Incorrect link!

I’m getting an article on ‘March Ridership’ from May 2009 !

Ryan April 12, 2013 - 10:38 am

Oops… Here is the correct link.

Ryan April 11, 2013 - 7:50 pm

By law it is illegal to not add an elevator during a renovation like this.

Also by law, 4th Avenue, Central Avenue, and Knickerbocker Avenue stations (all also in Brooklyn) should also be illegal.

Ned April 11, 2013 - 8:16 pm

Agreed, technically it is “illegal,” but ADA regulations are enforced through civil lawsuits, requiring a plaintiff with “standing” to come forward and file a suit once the station is open. And presumably the court would take into account the MTA Office of ADA Compliance’s plan of action which already exists. Interesting that Smith/9th isn’t one of the 100 key stations.

@Craig: I think the station height at Smith/9th may actually be irrelevant — a station is either accessible or it isn’t, whether there’s 10 steps or 100. There are escalators there, which helps with user quality-of-life, but has nothing to do with ADA, technically.

Nathanael April 25, 2013 - 6:49 pm

“And presumably the court would take into account the MTA Office of ADA Compliance‚Äôs plan of action which already exists.”

The fact that that plan completely ignores the requirement to make ADA modifications when renovating a station *would* be taken into account by the court, as further evidence of wilful violation of the law.

VLM April 25, 2013 - 10:27 pm

A few points:

1. It’s not willful violation of the law if you have Congressional approval not to follow the law.

2. Why has no one sued the MTA over Smith/9th Sts.? It reopens tomorrow. The suit should have been filed years ago if there was a case here.

Ron April 11, 2013 - 11:18 pm

For things like a building, yes. Rapid transit is only required to do it for “new and key stations.”

Nathanael April 25, 2013 - 6:47 pm

Nope. Also stations which undergo major renovations. (Only the renovated portions of the station must be made compliant.)

Routine maintenance does not trigger the ADA requirement, but ripping the thing apart to the bare steel and rebuilding does.

Dmac April 11, 2013 - 9:03 pm

the station facade from the street level has come along more in the last week than the last year. it’s pretty much complete. i going to stick my neck out there and say i think they will actually have it ready by the week of the 22nd. everything seems to be in place, so it just needs to happen

Theorem Ox April 11, 2013 - 11:04 pm

If the MTA does actually stick to their announced date, they’ll probably handle Smith/9 just like Court Square on the 7 line. A fair bit of incomplete work that’ll take an extra few months to finish.

I haven’t been to Red Hook in a long time (and probably won’t for some time), but an incomplete station open to the public would be a welcome relief for the community there.


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