Just six days ago, Brooklyn residents had much to celebrate with the news that the G would be making five more stops in the borough. Instead of stopping service on the cusp of the borough’s heavily populated souther half, the G will continue another five stops into Kensington along the IND Culver line. But today’s news may temper that recent announcement.
According to Newsday, those five stops (shown at left, courtesy of amNew York) may exist on the G line only because of construction scheduled for 2008. It seems that the turn-around at the Smith-9th Sts. stop will be undergoing some track work for a time. Thus, the G extension came about more because of necessity than demand.
Beginning in 2008, the G train, which normally stops at Smith and 9th Sts. will continue down the F tracks five more stops to Church Avenue. Rival “hip” neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Park Slope will now be connected with a one-seat ride.
But before riders can rejoice, New York City Transit warns that the service upgrade may be temporary. The G service could be cut again after 2009 once track upgrades near the Smith-9th Sts. stop are complete and trains can use it as a turn-around again.
The G has long been the target of subway and neighborhood activist groups. Since it’s the only direct subway link between Brooklyn and Queens, pols and community leaders in both boroughs have long called for longer trains, more frequent service and farther reaching service. In Queens, for example, the G runs to Forest Hills-71st Street only at rush hour.
With this latest news, it seems that last week’s celebrations may be short lived, but the city badly needs a reliable rail connector between two fast-growing boroughs. Maybe a successful experiment can change some minds.