F yeah! Architect designs second York Street subway exit

Outta here: A Dumbo architect has drawn up his own plans for a second subway entrance in the plaza at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.
Brooklyn Paper
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Call it an exit strategy.

A Dumbo architect has drawn up plans for a long-sought-after second egress to the York Street F station in the hopes of easing the insufferable rush-hour crowding at the lone doorway of the packed train terminal.

“On a daily basis the station is overly congested and feels dangerous,” said Jeff Sherman, a Prospect Heights resident who uses the station to get to and from his job at Delson or Sherman Architects on Jay Street. “It seems like a new entrance is inevitable, it’s going to happen.”

York Street station currently has only one way in and one way out — up a ramp, then a staircase, then through a single opening in a ventilation tower on Jay Street — which locals say is already too congested and would be a disaster in an emergency evacuation situation.

And it is only getting more dangerous — ridership swelled from 6,000 riders a day in 2009 to 9,300 last year, as the neighborhood’s population has boomed with an influx of offices and residential developers.

Sherman’s proposal is to construct a new staircase and elevator from the plaza at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge off Jay Street, near the end of High Street.

The location is a “no brainer,” he said, because it is empty and boring right now, and it is right near the far end of the platform — which runs underneath Jay Street — so no costly extensions to the train podium would be required.

“It’s quite spacious and thoroughly under-used,” Sherman said of the plaza. “Most people don’t even know it’s there, and putting something in like an entrance might activate a forgotten bit of public space.”

His proposal also calls for renovations to the lone current entrance, including adding three more turnstiles to the current trio, relocating the information booth to create more room, and adding lighting to the station’s tired exterior that would fade in and out “to the rhythm of calm respiration” like so:

Sherman says he dug up the original plans for the station from the 1930s, and used them to guide his proposal.

In fact, the city intended to create two entrances when it first designed the station as part of the Independent Subway System Sixth Avenue Line, with the second entrance under the Manhattan Bridge. But, as he was wont to do, urban planner Robert Moses foiled things by shoving the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in the way.

Sherman says he has sent his plans to real-estate tycoons and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in the hopes of finding backers to make it happen.

So far, he has received words of encouragement from developers but only automated responses to e-mails from the transit authority, he said.

The state-run transit body has said in the past that it wants the city to force developers to pay for station upgrades when their new buildings add a significant numbers of new riders.

The most obvious candidate for York Street would be Jared Kushner — the son-in-law and right-hand man of Donald Trump — who is in the process of redeveloping a massive five-building office complex called Dumbo Heights nearby, and is reportedly set to buy a massive empty lot next door to the station where he could build a thousand units of new housing.

Kushner Companies, however, declined to comment on Sherman’s plan.

The transportation authority did not return a request for comment.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

MJ from Bay Ridge says:
how come the design looks like a public toilet? Can MTA learn anything from overseas subway systems and make our system nicer?
June 23, 2016, 7:27 am
HONEY Pooter from Williamsburg says:
Maybe MJ doesn't get it. The architect invites the viewer into his work, both to interactively feel and navigate the space, while posing the question is the subway station a toilet? Modern audiences have been exploring toilet/subway identities, their overlaps, the uncertainties, a third identity as a posibility. Other cultures have long recognized the subway/toilet split as being a cultural construct. What appears to be a toilet on the outside, might feel like a subway station deep within. It's not up to us, or society to impose our judgements of whether this is a toilet or a subway station on this design.
June 23, 2016, 8:10 am
AMH from Harlem says:
The York St station is built beneath one of the footings for the Manhattan Bridge. It's some incredible engineering. We should be able to manage a simple new entrance.
June 23, 2016, 10:25 am
Larry Littlefield from Windsor Terrace says:
I don't think it would help in any way.

Virtually everyone using that station is coming from Dumbo, which is almost all at the north end of the station. So few would to out of their way to use a new entrance at the south end, where there currently is none.

What would be more useful, but very difficult given the station depth, is to somehow double the capacity of the existing entrance.
June 23, 2016, 11:17 am
Pedro Valdez Rivea Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
I agree with Larry. At least expand the only subway entrance in the station with more Low Turnstiles. This could be done in the matter of a couple of months for a station with a major increase of subway riders. This thanks to job access to the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.
June 23, 2016, 12:20 pm
sid from boerum hill says:
any new entrance must be ADA compliant. cost in the $15-20 million range with excavation, elevator etc if not more.. The entrance should be made to look like something that fits the neighborhood...maybe made out of cobblestones...and a BQX connector.
June 23, 2016, 3:53 pm
SID from Boerum hill says:
FYI The Jay Street/Lawrence Street rehabilitation contract was awarded in March 2007 and cost $164.5 million.
June 23, 2016, 3:59 pm
Homer from Simpsons says:
Uhhhhhmmmm toilet....... *drools*
June 24, 2016, 7:34 am
PW Herman from Fort Greene says:
Larry Littlefield, you're not thinking about the hundreds of people who commute from this station to the Brooklyn Navy Yard. With the coming expansion of workshop, office and retail space to the Navy Yard and surrounding area. This will increase the number of users of this station, who would all most likely use the new entrance.
June 24, 2016, 8:56 am
Carla from Windsor Terrace says:
No flowers?
June 24, 2016, 5:51 pm

Comments closed.

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