A stalled plan to refurbish the dour Fourth Avenue F-train station — and perhaps jumpstart a renaissance of the roadway beneath it, too — is back on track, thanks to Borough President Markowitz.
The Beep said this week that he has set aside $2 million for improvements in and around the station, which critics say shares the same aesthetic of a Turkish prison.
“This $2 million will showcase the potential to create safer conditions all along this roadway and make it a beautiful thoroughfare that better serves us,” he said.
The station — once targeted for a grand facelift as part of the $250-million reconstruction of the elevated tracks between the Carroll Street and Fourth Avenue — has been in limbo since MTA budget cuts delayed the lofty plan.
Newer plans for the station are considerably more modest — both aesthetically and fiscally.
Transit spokeswoman Deirdre Parker said the $13-million project remains in the “planning phase” and will repair only “select elements” of the station.
In May, the Beep enlisted NYU grad students to generate ideas to transform the avenue from a “traffic chute” to a “grand Brooklyn boulevard.”
Commuters welcomed anything to spruce up the station.
“It has the feel of a men’s room at an abandoned shopping mall,” said Park Sloper Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, an advocacy group. “It needs an overhaul.”
Ridership at the station — a major transfer point between the F and R lines — has been increasing ever since a 2003 rezoning facilitated the rise of residential development along the avenue, once known more for its auto-repair shops than its new high-rises.
The original renovation plan called for restoring long-painted-over Art Deco details and uncovering windows that were boarded up in the 1970s due to vandalism. Renderings released when the MTA was bullish on the project show commuters bathed in light and surrounded by bright copper metalwork as they await their trains.
Would that it could happen, said Josh Levy, a trustee with the Park Slope Civic Council.
“The station is the center point around which future development is evolving,” said Levy, who is organizing a 10-stop walking tour from Ninth Street to Sackett Street intended to solicit ideas from residents about ways to improve conditions along the roadway.
“We want to get out on the ground and see what’s there,” said Michael Cairl, president of the civic. “This is a big reason why we are doing this — it helps to take a walk.”
Moving Forward on Fourth [meet at Fourth Avenue and Ninth Street, under the east underpass of the subway station, (718) 832-8227], Saturday, Nov. 6, 9:30 am.
©2010 Community News Group
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