Monday, November 23, 2015

[Updated] City council members talk up new L train entrance coming to Avenue A

As we posted earlier this month, an observant EVG reader looking at the 237-page PDF of the MTA's 2015–2019 Capital Plan noticed there was money budgeted (and approved!) for a second set of entrances for the L stop at First Avenue.

Now our local City Council members have issued a joint statement about the new L train entrance coming to Avenue A:

The MTA 2015-2019 Capital Plan, which was approved by the MTA Board on October 28, includes $71.9 million for a new entrance to the overcrowded First Avenue stop on the L train. The funding is part of the MTA’s $300 million Core Capacity program, and will improve both safety and accessibility for straphangers who use this station every day.

Council Members Dan Garodnick and Rosie Mendez, who represent the area, had pushed for the MTA to allocate sufficient funds for this improvement.

The current entrance creates significant bottlenecks, which lead to safety issues and can make entering and exiting the station extremely difficult. The station has also been identified by the MTA as one of 100 “Key Stations,” which experience heavy traffic or have critical connections between train lines and neighborhoods. Because of this designation, the planned new entrance will also comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and be accessible to individuals with disabilities.

“This station has gotten crowded beyond its capacity, and straphangers need relief,” said Council Member Garodnick. “A new entrance is going to make a huge difference, and will make the station infinitely more safe.”

"I applaud the MTA and I am grateful that it will be moving forward with our request for an alternate entrance/exit at Avenue A for the First Avenue L train stop. This train stop is so overcrowded that it is unsafe. Everyday individuals arriving and departing from the 1st Avenue confront a huge crowd of people rushing from or to the bus. This new entrance is needed now more than ever since there are several nearby residential development projects that will increase the neighborhood population." – Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, District 2

Not sure where exactly this new entrance will be…

In September 2014, an EVG reader spotted a crew doing a little soil sampling at this spot on the north side of 14th Street along Stuy Town … perhaps this might be the location for the entrance/exit…

[Photo from September 2014]

Updated 6:28 p.m.

Sen. Brad Hoylman's office also released a statement earlier today. It reads in part:

With the approval of its 2015-2019 Capital Program, the MTA is finally set to begin construction on a new entrance for the L Train First Avenue stop. Construction of the new entrance at 14th Street and Avenue A is an effort by the MTA to alleviate congestion and overcrowding that has long affected riders at the First Avenue stop. Senator Hoylman's statement on construction of the new entryway is below:

“I am pleased that the MTA has included a new L Train entrance at the 14th and Avenue A stop in its 2015-2019 capital budget, setting aside $40 million for improvements on the L line and an additional $59.1 million to make the First Avenue station ADA compliant.

“The western end of the platform has become a serious safety concern as straphangers mass near the station’s only entrance, creating dangerous overcrowding at the platform’s edge and potential obstruction of egress during emergencies.

“In light of Extell Development’s planned construction on the block of 14th Street between Avenues A and B, I wrote to Extell in February 2014 urging them to contribute to the construction of a desperately needed second entrance at the First Avenue stop. The MTA’s full backing of a new point of entry and exit for this station is particularly welcome news, and I encourage the MTA and Extell to work collaboratively to ensure that the construction is completed in a timely manner."

Previously on EV Grieve:
A Davey Drill and a dream

Is an Avenue A entrance for the L train in our future?

Avenue A L train entrance closer to a reality … some day


Anonymous said...

$71.9M for a new entrance to a subway station is ridiculous and a colossal waste of money.

Anonymous said...

I was surprised the price was so low! Bet the actual cost will be north of $100M and won't be done until 2020.

Anonymous said...

That's awfully convenient to say until there's a fire on a platformed train, they evacuate, four people are trampled and die then each sue the city for $50m for negligence.

I also assume you are not handicapped and therefore any progress has to be a "waste of money" because it doesn't benefit you personally.

Anonymous said...

One thing I hope comes with the entrance(s) is the possibility to reach either direction regardless which side of 14th street you use. Hopefully there is enough depth to the tracks for this to happen. Some good news.

Greg Masters said...

Great news. I hope in my lifetime.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Rosie mendez. Make the area even more attractive to developers.

blue glass said...

will they also increase the platform size so that the increase in passengers that can enter the station will safely fit?

Anonymous said...

Rosie's Xmas gifts just got FATTER.

Anonymous said...

Unless they are going to make the station''s platfom bigger they need to make the entrance smaller, since if it gets any more crowded down there people will get start to get pushed onto the tracks. Amirite?

Anonymous said...

Hey 7:47am, 4:51am here. Your hypothetical could happen in ANY NYC subway station save the part about each dead person's family being awarded 50M each (as I'm sure you meant awarded not sued for.) Oh a family could SUE for 50M but I doubt they get anything close to that.

As for handicapped people since you brought them up and accused me of not caring about them, here's an idea to accomodate them better at the First Street subway station which would cost far less than 71.9M: AN ELEVATOR like the one at the Chambers Street Station. That's all that station entrance needs.

Kindly GFY with your nasty attitude.

Anonymous said...

What one would like to see is a breakdown of the specific costs (dollar by dollar). Also, it seems ridiculous to build something that cannot be used by people with physical impairments, and I might add, the elderly who have difficulty with the long climb up. No new additions without access to these groups.

Edmund Dunn said...

Timetable please? :) The Houston Street(which is above ground) reconstruction has gone on, for what, almost 10 years now?

I see endless disruption and construction. See Second Avenue Subway. It is needed? Yes but build it and they will come. Just like highway additions, this will be over whelmed as well as the dormfication of the EV and STPCV continues at its breathtaking pace. Meanwhile, they are talking about building ferry stops at 20th street and the East River. I'm sure that NYU will have shuttle buses waiting for them as well. "The School That Ate New York".

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine how this would cost 71 million dollars. Just dig a hole in the ground, tear down some of the existing tile on the walls of the station, and build some stairs and an elevator.

The EVG community should come together and offer to do it for 65 million. Then donate the remaining 64 million to charity

nygrump said...

I think November 23, 2015 at 4:51 AM has a valid point, does it really cost $35 million to dig out another entrance?

Anonymous said...

"Thanks Rosie mendez. Make the area even more attractive to developers."
In case you have not noticed the developers are already here and the new housing going up if for people that use Uber not the L train.

As for an elevator I am certainly not against that however I noticed the elderly and persons in chairs mostly use the buses. However families with small children especially in those pushy things use the subway like the rest of us. It unnerving watching single parent making their way down those stairs.

Those of you bitching most have seen what happens when a train arrives to that station from the tons of people suddenly flooding the exits at street level. People crossing 1st get stuck in the crosswalk and are susceptible to oncoming traffic.

The neighborhood's population is only going to grow and when this station's work is done most of us will benefit from it and we be happy it happened sooner than 10 years from now.

Anonymous said...

In theory, it is a solid idea. When reality sets in, it will take quite some time and capital to finance this massive, much needed project. I think they should make the new entrance at B or even C, instead of A. It has taken the MTA numerous years to work on the second avenue subway. When one does the numbers and amount of labor for this undertaking, it will be at least until 2025. But a good idea nonetheless that needs to be issued. Fingers crossed it will happen within a decade. Hopefully then, the bros won't be here. :)

Anonymous said...

The reason why the cost is so large is because any new station entrance has to conform to the American Disability Act - Therefore an elevator has to be put in as well.

I am curious if two elevators will be install or one elevator and a tunnel connecting the two sides will be installed

Anonymous said...

So... people can stand in larger groups for that full train?

Scuba Diva said...

At 10:59 AM, Anonymous said:

As for an elevator I am certainly not against that however I noticed the elderly and persons in chairs mostly use the buses. However families with small children especially in those pushy things use the subway like the rest of us. It unnerving watching single parent making their way down those stairs.

The elderly and disabled mostly use the buses because a large percentage of stations are still not accessible; making another station accessible increases the possibility that the subway can be used by the disabled.

(To tell you the truth, watching mothers and couples carrying strollers up and down the subway stairs was what "sealed the deal" for me regarding having children. Having to carry a kid up and down the stairs would make every day into a bad day.)

What I notice with these elevators is that it's mostly ambulatory people waiting for the elevators; now, I don't want to make a judgment call because a lot of disabilities are invisible, but it seems elevators are mainly for convenience—not that that's a bad thing.

I am curious if two elevators will be install or one elevator and a tunnel connecting the two sides will be installed

If you look at Canal street, there are several elevators for that sprawling station; it's likely there will be one here for each direction.

Cory Zapatka said...

@ 11:17 AM -- an entrance at Avenue C would make no sense... that would require an additional stop on the L line. The current platform at 1st Ave already extends to under Avenue A. I'm not sure how far East it extends towards Ave A.

I don't think this project would extend the current platform, only create an additional Entrance/Exit out of the existing platform, allowing riders to exit East towards Avenue A.

$100M does sound expensive, but I'm assuming this would be for 2 new Entrance/Exits (8th bound as well as Brooklyn Bound trains), so I can see why it's a pretty large undertaking.

Anonymous said...

MTA already wasted the biggest opportunity they had sitting right in their lap, while the street work was going on; which was to construct an F train entrance on the East side of 1st Ave & 1st St.. via an underpass tunnel.
Hell, even today the "Second Ave" F train stop could be improved by the MTA simply returning the station to it's original configuration with the original platform staircases that went from various points on the platform, up to the "Second Ave to First Ave" walkway tunnel. A single staircase for each platform entrance is just insanity.

Anonymous said...

I think the elderly prefer busses and don't take the subway due to the crowds and a fair amount of light pushing and shoving during rush hours. I agree more elevators might encourage elderly and those that depend on chairs and canes to get around. The other day I took the 7 train at Grand Central and recalled about 30 years ago I and a friend carried a man in a wheel chair down a lot of stairs and a very steep ramp to get to the 7. I assume that connection has an elevator now but not certain.

Anonymous said...

I hope there's room for a beer store down there!!!

Anonymous said...

It will never happen. Too much damn money and not enough time. Not in my lifetime. And, I am only 31.

Anonymous said...

Don't stop with beer! We need chicken wings, cookie delivery, a CitiBike dock, some pedestrian seating plazas, and a pizza shop - for the pizza rat. And if you don't want theses things, I say WHY DO YOU HATE CHAAANGE!

Anonymous said...

At some point the MTA has to fix L train tunnels from Sandy. Obviously they are going to close one tunnel at a time , when they do this they will install these new entrances
Since the money is for 2015-2019 it is obvious this will happen before 2019

Edmund Dunn said...

"The MTA doesn't really need to finish the subway line* when it can just do what Tokyo does. The MTA can hire "oshiyas," outfit them in snazzy uniforms and white gloves, and have them push people onto overcrowded rush hour trains. Just think of it as an opportunity to meet, touch, and smell more of your neighbors."

*Second Ave Line

Coming to the L train as well?

Brian said...

This station definitely needs the Avenue A entrance/exit. Why it did not have it originally is crazy.

Gojira said...

Because when the station was first built the architects could not have conceived of how many people would wind up utilizing the station. You ever hit the Holland Tunnel at rush hour or on a weekend and sit for an hour waiting to get through it as 5 lanes of traffic have to funnel down to 2? Same story.

Anonymous said...

"This station definitely needs the Avenue A entrance/exit. Why it did not have it originally is crazy."

At the time this station was built I don't think the area was as densely populated East of Avenue A. There were mostly warehouses and industrial building east of Ave C as recently as the 1940's. The remains of shipping were demolished the shoreline was filled in to make the FDR and the park.

Perhaps when developers convince the city officials to sell the public housing along the East River and build 60 story luxury condo's the subway will be extended to Ave D.

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

The area was definitely densely populated when the L train was built in the 1920s. Here's an aerial photo of the area in 1924:,204650&c=GIS1924

If that link doesn't work, go to and click MAP TYPE in the map window and select 1924 aerial.

There was certainly industry around Avenue C, but the area had a lot of residential buildings.

Anonymous said...

I just hate the fact that people will be piling out on Avenue A. You can still get a reasonable apartment in Yorkville because of the walk to the subway.

Nothing like Pavonia Newport.

Anonymous said...

Everyone who's anyone supports the Avenue A L-train station. As far as it making the neighborhood more attractive, you can say that about anything, including paved streets.

Anonymous said...

@Scuba Diva: "What I notice with these elevators is that it's mostly ambulatory people waiting for the elevators; now, I don't want to make a judgment call because a lot of disabilities are invisible, but it seems elevators are mainly for convenience—not that that's a bad thing."

"ambulatory people" - yes, that would include me. If you see me waiting for an elevator, you would NOT know that I've had 3 knee surgeries and really need that elevator, even though I am fortunate not to need a cane or a walker.

You would also likely NOT guess from my appearance that I'm a senior citizen. I'm sure many people who see me waiting for subway elevators think I'm just being lazy, but I assure you that is not the case!

For many decades I could scamper up and down flights of stairs with the best of them - but that was then, and this is now.

Anonymous said...

Why does the L train bother stopping at 3rd Avenue, especially when it's so jammed at rush hour? It's a worthless stop?