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Flub-way! Sunset Parkers steamed about lack of fliers, shuttles for 53rd St. station closure

Thumbs down: Locals want to transit authority to offer shuttle buses to neighboring stations while the stop is shuttered.
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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority blindsided Sunset Parker straphangers by offering negligible notice of the 53rd Street station’s impending six-month closure, say locals.

The agency posted only a few fliers — all in English — at the station less than a week before the March 27 shutter, and now local leaders are railing against the silent treatment.

“They did a shoddy job at communicating to our community — our diverse, immigrant community with multiple languages,” said Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Sunset Park) at a press conference on March 23. “ ‘Do you know that the MTA’s station is closing?’ This is a question I’m asking people this morning and everyone is saying, ‘No.’ ”

What’s more, the agency isn’t beefing up bus service or offering shuttles to neighboring stations during the half-year lock-out — despite months of demands from those in-the-know — and riders are steamed about that, too.

“To be without a subway station is one thing, to be without direct access to the next is something else,” said Sunset Parker Melissa Delvalle. “Our bosses don’t care if the subway station is closed and will not have a problem firing someone if it happens one too many times.”

The station is the first of 31 stops getting new entrances, platforms, and countdown clocks under Gov. Cuomo’s scheme to give the city’s aging transit system a face-lift.

The project has been in the works for nearly a year, but the transit authority didn’t issue a press release with details about the closures until March 22 — five days before 53rd Street is set to shutter in both directions.

Earlier this week, workers taped two English-language fliers to the stop’s entrance rattling off a list of upgrades straphangers can look forward to once the station reopens this fall.

As always, readers of this paper were informed about the closure well in advance, and kept apprised of the latest developments.

But others are so confused, they’re looking to local bodegas for answers.

“People have been coming here asking what’s going on,” said Ahemed Suliman, who owns a Fourth Avenue deli beside a 53rd Street subway entrance.

The transit authority responded to the outcry by saying that it has been speaking about the closure with Menchaca’s staff and the local community board since January.

But locals say they expect the agency to keep them in the loop about service changes — as it has in the past.

“I lived in Sheepshead Bay before and when they did renovations, the MTA put signs all over the place in English, Spanish, Russian, Polish — everything,” said Suliman. “Here it’s nothing.”

Still, Menchaca and his staff plan to take it upon themselves to plaster the area with notices translated in Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.

And they’re also demanding the transit authority organize a shuttle to neighboring 45th and 59th street stations come Monday.

“We want buses, we deserve that,” said Menchaca.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at cspivack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2523. Follow her on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 11:59 am, March 24, 2017
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Reasonable discourse

ty from pps says:
they should give bikes to everyone.
March 24, 2017, 8:51 am
roberto from sunset park says:
politicians creating drama over nothing for publicity... menchaca knew about this since january? he could have: put a notice about closings in his newsletter the city pays for with taxpayer money; posted notices and reminders on twitter/fb/insta/e-mail blasts; informed local business owners and made a simple print-out for them to put up in their windows; etc. etc. etc. not to mention there is an express subway stop 6 BLOCKS AWAY - not exactly an arduous trek.
March 24, 2017, 9:22 am
Pedro Valdez Rivera Jr. from BS, BK, NY, US says:
At least during the planned shutdowns, the MTA should make each of those chosen stations that are renovating ADA accessible: We are getting old these days.
March 24, 2017, 9:35 am
Sunsetcita from Park says:
No one called me, or sent a text or anything! I'm so confused? Where am I!
March 24, 2017, 9:47 am
MJ from Bay Ridge says:
no need for shuttle buses - people can walk to the next stations easily.
March 24, 2017, 9:54 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
If it's not in Manhattan, the MTA has shown time and time again it doesn't give a crap.
March 24, 2017, 10:09 am
Mike Quill from Hell says:
Most of the outdoor Manhattan bound N train station platforms have been closed for renovation since last fall and soon the project is scheduled to switch to the Coney Island bound platforms. They do not have shuttle buses. They have to backtrack or take the regular buses. There are buses in Sunset Park on 3rd and 5th Avenues. This demand for shuttle buses to cover 8 blocks in one direction or 6 blocks in another is ridiculous. And that goes for the future closing of 69th Street and Prospect Avenue also.
March 24, 2017, 11:38 am
Brenda from Williamsburg says:
What about people who don't live near this station? I'm in a different part of Brooklyn, and don't really use this station - how will I be informed about this???
March 26, 2017, 12:02 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
It would be nice if the MTA gave better notices online on their official website and even text alerts. This way, riders can plan better and not be stuck in anything. Just last week when I was going to the Nets game, I parked in another area where I had to get some kosher stuff for my family afterwards, I took the subway, and didn't even notice that the F train wasn't even running past Church Avenue. At least I was still allowed to go to the token booth clerk to renew my Metrocard's expiration date as well as add money to the card since the vending machine wasn't working over at the Kings Highway Station. They told me some routes and then mentioned the shuttle bus that was running the rest of the line in both directions. Coming back was also annoying because the Bay Ridge bound R train was running express from Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center to 36th Street. In order to get to 9th Street to transfer to the F or G trains to Church Avenue and use the shuttle bus to get back to Kings Highway, I had to switch at 36th Street for the Queens bound R just to get that stop, which was the case for any of the other stops it skipped. Had I known about that sooner, I should have just parked by the arena and just drove down after, but I chose to use the subway because it had that unlike where I would go after a Mets game in Queens to similar kosher stores over there. The only thing I knew from the MTA's website on that day was that they were doing renovations on the tracks, but they didn't say that they weren't running any trains there at all for that duration, which they could have easily mentioned there.
March 26, 2017, 3:27 pm
Peter from Brooklyn says:
God forbid you have to walk a few blocks Tal.
March 27, 2017, 5:17 pm
Ricky from Sunset 53rd street says:
If they going to renovate the station they should put a elevator for disable people and oldet folks that can mot walk up the stairs.
March 30, 2017, 10:16 pm

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