Church Avenue is an unholy mess!
So say pols and business leaders who are demanding a fix to the Flatbush commercial strip’s B and Q station, which they say is crumbling as the area sees an influx of investment.
“It doesn’t reflect the neighborhood,” said Lauren Elvers Collins, director of the Church Avenue Business Improvement District. “We’re trying to do all these positive new things with new restaurants and new storefronts, but shoppers and visitors are coming and it looks like a very rundown neighborhood.”
The subway stop, which neighbors a new pizza place where cocktails run $10 and a cafe where turkey sandwiches come with truffle mayo, as well as longtime green grocers and department stores, is in rough shape. Paint peels from the walls, ceilings leak, stairways have water damage, and an entire exterior wall is missing its tiles.
Collins spoke at a recent Metropolitan Transportation Authority hearing to plead for the agency to make the station’s renovation a priority, citing increased ridership. The station served 5,603,898 riders in 2013, up 13 percent from 2012 according to Transportation Authority data.
Collins also cited the renovations done at three nearby stations this year and last. The Coney Island-bound sides of the stations at the Cortelyou, Beverly, and Parkside Q stations reopened in June after months of restoration work, which followed sprucing-up on the Manhattan-bound sides.
“Three other nearby stations have been rehabbed or renovated, but Church Ave. keeps getting passed over,” Collins said. “Those stations may have been worse, but now we’re a lot worse.”
Assemblyman James Brennan (D–Flatbush) and Assemblywoman Rhoda James (D-Flatbush) wrote letters in February imploring the agency to cough up the funds to fix the station.
But straphangers who rely on the hub are less interested in its appearance than whether the trains coming on time, according to several whom we polled.
“I don’t really care how it looks. It’s the service that affects me,” said Agathina Noze, a Flatbush resident of seven years. “As long as it doesn’t smell like pee, I’m okay.”
A Transportation Authority spokeswoman declined to comment on whether renovations are planned at Church Avenue because the agency’s 2015–2019 plan is still being drafted, she said. The plan will be presented to the Authority’s board of directors in October, the spokeswoman said.