A ‘hole’ new station

Brooklyn Daily
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

The MTA’s renovation of the Avenue J subway platform is turning neighbors’ backyards into garbage dumps thanks a new fence that allows trash to blow from the station onto their property.

Residents of the E. 16th Street — some of whom gave up five-feet of their yards to eminent domain when the transit authority began extending the platform — say that since a concrete wall protecting them from the noisy station came down earlier this year, garbage is being blown and thrown into their little pieces of paradise and the noise from the train is keeping them up at night.

“Everytime the train passes now, garbage comes into my yard,” said Benito Juarez, whose lived on the block between Avenue J and K for six years. “We get a lot of cigarette butts now.”

The MTA constructed a controversial windscreen after it removed the wall as part of its station renovation earlier this year. But slots between portions of the fence are up to four inches wide, and neighbors contend the new structure allows riders to peek through into the yards and throw trash there. On top of that, trash can easily blow through whenever a train goes by, and the fence does little to repel sound, say neighbors who claim they can now hear the conductor’s announcements very clearly whenever a train stops at the station.

“We’re having trouble sleeping,” said Juarez, who was so upset by the noise and lack of privacy that he covered up slots facing his yard with aluminum.

But even after Juarex took matters into his own hands, the MTA says the new fence is here to stay.

“There are no plans to change the design now,” said MTA spokeswoman Deirdre Parker.

But residents say they warned the MTA that the barrier wouldn’t be sufficient when the agency revealed its plans during the eminent domain process.

“We have been fighting this for years, but they haven’t listened to us,” said Maryann Caputo, who has two houses on the block that border the subway platform. “An MTA representative once told me that if I didn’t like it, I should move!”

E-mail records confirm that residents on the block had been complaining to the MTA about its plans for a Swiss-cheesey barrier since 2006.

The MTA defended the fence, which it said are part of a universal design for outdoor stations that allows rainwater to flow freely from the station.

“The new windscreen design ... cannot be customized” wrote Frederick Smith, in a letter to a resident of the block in April.

But residents say they’re getting the shaft.

“We need the MTA to do something — the new platform is nice for riders, but for us it doesn’t look good,” said Juarez.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: