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MTA still has no ‘Hewes’ for station entrances

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Stairways to heaven they ain’t.

A pair of long-closed subway entrances at the Hewes Street J and M train station are a constant annoyance to Williamsburg commuters, who say the locked gates force them to walk blocks out of their way — and often miss their trains.

Both of the above-ground station’s entrances near the corner of Montrose Avenue and Broadway have been shuttered for years, forcing straphangers to shuffle more than a block to either of the operable entrances near the corner of Hooper Street and Broadway.

Though the closures add just a few hundred feet to commutes, they can cause big delays for straphangers.

“It is an inconvenience because you have to walk down all that way if you’re coming from [the east],” said Williamsburg resident Ariel Garcia, who told The Brooklyn Paper that he misses the train “all the time” as he hustles the extra block.

Williamsburg resident Michael Roma echoed his sentiment.

“I live the opposite way, so I have to walk a lot more when I’m getting on and when I’m getting off,” he said. “I don’t get why it’s not open.”

Unfortunately for straphangers, New York City Transit has no plans to reopen the staircases, according to spokesman James Anyansi, who said that the egress and exits were closed to keep commuters safe during more dangerous times decades ago.

“At that time, we went around the system and shut down some part-time entrances because of crime,” said Anyansi, who noted that the shuttered entrances are equipped with electromagnetic sensors allowing station agents to unlock them in case of emergencies.

This isn’t the first time that commuters have called on the MTA to re-open obstructed subway entrances. Park Slope straphangers sparred with the agency over closed entrances to the Seventh Avenue B and Q train station near the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place.

Last fall, the MTA nixed a similar proposal to unlock a long-closed staircase in the Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street station of the F, R and M trains, despite claims from neighbors that unsealing the entrance could improve passenger safety by allowing straphangers to enter the subway stop without crossing the bustling boulevard.

— with Jared Foretek and Shannon Geis

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Reader Feedback

Teresa Toro from Greenpoint/Williamsburg says:
It's true that crime made certain station entrances unsafe years ago, but things have changed - for one thing, usage has increased at stations that used to be lonely at night. Brooklyn Community Board 1 asked the MTA to reconsider the overnight closing of the Driggs Avenue entrance at Bedford Avenue. The MTA saw that the station is busy and well used (!) at all hours, and was able to make the Driggs exit open 24/7. I'll ask the MTA to do the same at Hewes Street.
Aug. 24, 2009, 2:07 pm
Tom Rodeheaver from Park Slope says:
The idea is to make it less convenient to ride the subway... not more, thereby saving money. I'm puzzled though... the MTA wants to get rid of station agents so isn't that equally unsafe?
Aug. 26, 2009, 12:41 am
Tom Rodeheaver from Park Slope says:
The idea is to make it less convenient to ride the subway... not more, thereby saving money. I'm puzzled though... the MTA wants to get rid of station agents so isn't that equally unsafe?
Aug. 26, 2009, 12:41 am
keithcooper from Williamsburg,Brooklyn says:
9-2-09
To Whom It May Concern,
I live in Williamsburg
and have lived there most of my life.What I can`t fathom is the fact that the entrance to the Hewes Street trainstation down the block
from the building I live in does not have the
entrance to to the station open.It is public
knowlege in the neighborhood this is so.But my question to you is what strategies are there
or how does MTA reopen train stations?Or once
they are closed are they closed forever?
Signed,
Keith Cooper
Sept. 2, 2009, 8:37 pm
Michael Cairl from Park Slope says:
You really ought to research your stories better. In fact the MTA will be reopening the long-closed east station house at the 4th Avenue station (F and G lines). This has been in work for several years and NYCT made this announcement earlier this year.
May 4, 2011, 10 am

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