Sen. Squadron releases report showing the ‘good, bad and ugly’ of subway stations

Brooklyn's Borough Hall station ranks poorly

October 9, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Borough Hall subway station in Downtown Brooklyn was ranked as the second worst in a district survey conducted by state Sen. Daniel Squadron. Squadron was following up on complaints from constituents. Photo by Mary Frost
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State Senator Daniel Squadron released a report on Friday showing “the good, the bad, and the ugly” of the 53 subway stations in his district, which encompasses the Brooklyn waterfront from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens, and Lower Manhattan.

Squadron carried out the study over the summer after hearing complaints from his constituents about numerous unpleasant or unsafe subway conditions, including garbage, leaking water, rats and crumbling walls.

Overall, Brooklyn stations in Squadron’s district are in better shape than those in Lower Manhattan, the study found, averaging 3.8 “failures” on average, as compared to five per station in Manhattan. Of the nine worst stations in Squadron’s district, eight are in Manhattan.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The Borough Hall station (2 and 3 line section) in Downtown Brooklyn, however, was ranked as the second worst in Squadron’s district, with conditions only slightly better than Manhattan’s decrepit Canal Street station.

These include broken stairs, water leaks and “ponding,” graffiti, trash and deteriorating walls, both in the station’s lobby area and past the turnstiles to the interior of the station.

The Borough Hall station was also ranked as the worst in all of Brooklyn by the Citizens Budget Commission last month.

Other deteriorating stations in Squadron’s Brooklyn neighborhoods include the Bergan Street stop (F and G), which scored seven failures; the Carroll Street stop (F and G lines), with six failures, and the High Street station (A and C lines), also with six.

“It’s good that most stations had fewer than half of the surveyed conditions,” Squadron said in a release. “It’s bad that so many of the surveyed conditions we saw are easily fixable. And it’s downright ugly that nine of the stations had more than a 50 percent failure rate,” he added.

Squadron’s report calls for a fully funded capital plan, as well as the use of “Full Line Reviews,” an idea Squadron has championed.

Joining Squadron at Friday’s announcement were Riders Alliance, Straphangers Campaign, Tri-State Transportation Campaign and a number of community leaders.

John Raskin, executive director of the Riders Alliance, said in a statement, “The station conditions Senator Squadron has identified are a direct result of decades of underinvestment in public transportation.  They are yet another example of why we need a fully funded MTA capital program, so that we have the money we need to repair stations, purchase new subway cars, and upgrade century-old technology.”

Paul Steely White, executive director of Transportation Alternatives, commended Mayor Bill de Blasio for significantly increasing the city’s proposed contribution to the capital program.

He added, however, “At the same time, we need assurances from Governor Cuomo that that money the state contributes to the MTA won’t be vulnerable to the regular practice of raiding dedicated transit funds.”

Public Advocate Letitia James also pushed for a fully funded capital plan.

Overall, roughly 70 percent of station interiors had accumulated garbage and water ponding. In the exterior of the stations, Squadron’s team found crumbling walls and accumulated trash in 43 percent.

In stations where elevators and escalators were out of service, 60 percent of them had no signs indicating alternate ways to get around or when they would be back in service.

The full report can be found here.  

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