A group of Park Slope activists are begging the MTA to make minor repairs at the dour Fourth Avenue subway station because they don’t believe that the cash-strapped transit agency will make good on its promise to fully renovate the station.
A complete overhaul of the F- and R-train station at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street — an increasingly busy station, thanks to rapid development in the area — was supposed to happen this year, but it was recently pushed back to 2010–2014.
The delay encouraged the Park Slope Civic Council to ask the MTA for a quick fix that includes reopening a long-shuttered entrance on the east side of Fourth Avenue and improving the dim lighting.
“It’s become clearer that NYC Transit is not going to do a rehab of the Fourth Avenue station,” said Michael Cairl of the Civic Council. “So we were considering ways to do something a little more modest, and at the same time to reduce the number of conflicts between cars and pedestrians at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street.”
Opening up a second entrance to the station would ease commuters’ burden each morning and night, Cairl said.
The proposal also calls for new retail space underneath the “dank and depressing” overpass, and displaying local artists’ work in the station, Cairl said.
But the MTA quickly quashed those dreams, preferring to stick to the plan of doing a complete renovation by 2014, said spokesman Jeremy Soffin. The full-station renovation includes a plan to reopen existing windows along the elevated platform, and fully repaint, clean and update the station.
Plans do not include constructing the new entrance, Soffin said.
“That’s something that we’re not contemplating at this point,” he explained. “The point is that [the project] is fully designed, and so making any changes in the new entrance is a major change.”
Any additional advertising or retail space would be discussed after renovations are completed, he said.