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.
©2016 Community News Group
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