Home Asides Bronx stations come under fire

Bronx stations come under fire

by Benjamin Kabak

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.

You may also like


Alex C July 28, 2011 - 3:23 pm

BMT Culver and BMT Sea Beach say Hi, Mr. Diaz.

Lawrence Velázquez July 28, 2011 - 3:52 pm

21st–Van Alst. Vernon–Jackson. Hunters Point.

Queens represent!

Lawrence Velázquez July 28, 2011 - 3:48 pm

“Pristine”? Does this guy even ride the subway? Manhattan stations might be in better condition overall, but “pristine” is hardly the word I’d use.

Henry Man July 28, 2011 - 3:50 pm

Pristine? What borough is East Broadway in?

John-2 July 28, 2011 - 4:05 pm

Chambers Street on the J, 100 yards from the mayor’s office in City Hall. Game, set, match for any idea that all Manhattan stations get first call on renovations (though if Chambers had any trains that ran uptown, instead of no further north than Delancey Street in Manhattan, it probably wouldn’t have that decrepit “Station That Time Forgot” look).

Andrew July 28, 2011 - 7:46 pm

Rector and City Hall on the R? The two Spring Streets? The entire 14th/6th/7th complex? 50th and 8th? East Broadway (as Henry Man points out)? Most Central Park West stations? Need I even mention 181st?

There are plenty of Manhattan stations that cry out for rehabs.

matt July 28, 2011 - 5:25 pm

149th st grand concourse in my opinion is the most disgusting station in the whole system. i hope i’m alive to see that station renovated, and i’m 25. i have never NOT seen a rat on the lower level tracks. comforting.

Staten Island July 28, 2011 - 5:37 pm

The Bronx is a punching bag? Right…..Staten Island has got all its transportation needs and never gets a beating….Grow up!

Alon Levy July 28, 2011 - 10:45 pm

If 72nd Street on the 1/2/3 were any hotter, you could roast meat on the railings.

On the other hand, then the rat problem would be solved.

Andrew July 28, 2011 - 10:50 pm

For the first time in a while, I had to use 72nd last week. Glad to see I wasn’t imagining the heat.

Does it have any ventilation gratings at all? Some sort of ventilation system would have been nice as part of the recent rehab.

Alex C July 28, 2011 - 11:31 pm

Ventilation systems for subway stations are pretty expensive. I’ll be shocked if they’re not eventually dropped from the 2 Ave subway station plans to save money.

Andrew July 29, 2011 - 12:00 am

They can’t be dropped. Sidewalk grates wouldn’t meet current safety standards even if SAS were as shallow as the IRT – and, of course, it isn’t. If there’s no emergency ventilation system, the line won’t open.

At 72nd a bunch of openings and fans would probably do the trick. (Obviously easier said than done.)

Alex C July 29, 2011 - 12:12 am

Didn’t realize there were standards for that now. Excellent.

Andrew July 29, 2011 - 6:18 am

Fire code. The issue isn’t comfort – it’s smoke.

Henry Man July 30, 2011 - 2:17 am

Please even Chambers Street (and Bowery) still looks decrepit and it’s right in the heart of the Civic District.


Leave a Comment