I love it when the MTA’s efforts at painting make the news. Last July, we saw the MTA paralyzed by indecision because they couldn’t figure out which stations to paint. Seven months later, in February, the MTA finally announce plans for an absurdly slow plan to paint every station. Today’s news is just as entertaining but fairly alarming as well.
According to a report in The Brooklyn Paper, three stations in Bay Ridge may be getting skipped over for paint jobs because they are in such a bad state of repair that a paint job wouldn’t do anything for them. Some of this report seems to be conjecture by Gersh Kuntzman’s paper, but I think they may be on to something.
Ben Muessig reports:
While the peeling and flaking 77th Street R train station is about to get a new paint job, The Brooklyn Paper has learned that Bay Ridge’s other grimy stations may not get one because they suffer from such serious infrastructure problems that a paint job would offer only an inconsequential uplift.
The MTA says it’s including 77th Street in a $52-million project that will put a fresh coat of paint on stairways, platforms and mezzanines throughout the city — but the gritty Bay Ridge Avenue, 86th Street and 95th Street stations will not be included in the job.
In choosing which stations to repaint, the MTA did not consider stops that suffered from larger problems — like water leaks, transit spokeswoman Deidre Parker said. “It depends on when they were last painted, or if they were rehabbed recently,” she said. “If they need other extensive work, they’re not going to paint over existing problems.”
While Parker had, according to The Brooklyn Paper, no further information about the decision to omit the Bay Ridge stations from the painting plans, it seems as though deeper questions surrounding the infrastructure and state of the stations may be in play.
The story in The Brooklyn Paper comes out one day after Thomas Friedman urged the nation to invest in transportation infrastructure, and the timing couldn’t have been better. For the MTA and for this city, this news is one more alarming sign that we need some serious levels of investment in the subway system. It’s state is precarious, and as more stations fall into disrepair, the system will suffer.
The trains may be new; the tracks may be in good shape; but the stations are starting to fall apart. How far this will go is up to the politicians holding the purse strings. Sadly, they don’t seem to be in a rush to do much of anything about it.