Really? Wow. I'm not naive enough to think this is the direct result of some of us a-squeakin' and squawkin' but sheesh...talk about nice timing! Local resident Dynishal and I met with Eugene in December and presented him with a bunch of photographs of the decrepit conditions and implored him to make this a priority. Rudy of the Parkside Prize has been featuring the sorry state of the Q station heavily in his presentations - to anyone who will listen, including most recently CB's 9 and 14. And the Q was about to put the following letter on Change.org and ask y'all to sign it as a petition. A terrific writer whose name rhymes with Moody Selson spruced up the petition quite a bit, so I can't take full credit, but I think it captures the problem pretty well. Now we just need to get MTA to add Prospect Park's station to the list, and maybe the bland headhouse of the Church stop at Caton? And by the way, we'll need y'all to show up when MTA comes out to talk, because we need to stress that more than just the structural issues should be addressed. We need to gussy 'em up and get 'em to look purty! Here's the petition that might not need to be a petition, at least not yet...Dear residents:My office has been in conversation with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) regarding much-needed renovations at subway stations throughout the district. As you know, several subway stations along the B/Q line have already undergone renovations these past few years, including the Newkirk Avenue and Avenue H stations. I am pleased to inform you that the MTA will be completing additional renovations and repairs at the Parkside Avenue, Beverley Road and Cortelyou Road stations which are scheduled to begin next year. In the following months, I will make arrangements to have the MTA come to the community to present their proposal for the projects and participate in a public discussion. - Mathieu Eugene
PROSPECT PARK EAST SUBWAY PROJECT
A Call to the MTA from the People of Flatbush/PLG
to rehabilitate the subway stations at
PROSPECT PARK & PARKSIDE AVENUE
Every weekday last year, fifteen thousand people came and went from our neighborhood by way of the Prospect Park and Parkside Avenue subway stations. Each weekend, twenty thousand visitors used these two stations to reach Prospect Park, the Zoo and Botanic Gardens, and the thriving business district along Flatbush Avenue.
The generation that built the old Brighton line understood how important these two subway stations would be to the borough, and they built them as tributes to the people of Brooklyn.
The subway stations at Prospect Park and Parkside Avenue are elegant examples of old BMT “headhouses”—more than mere caverns carved under the street, they are buildings central to the streetscape above. They were meant to be the pride of our neighborhood: like Brooklyn's armories, libraries and schools, these old BMT headhouses were a symbol of the city's honor for its citizens and for its public life.
But they’ve sadly fallen into decay. Even as other stations along the same line receive glorious makeovers and major renovations, residents and visitors to the east side of Prospect Park suffer the discomfort of an ugly welcome, and the indignity of a shabby departure.
In the fall of 2012, the first phases of Prospect Park Alliance's $73 million Lakeside Project will open to visitors. A new recreation center with an year-round skating rink, acres of new green spaces and pathways, and a newly restored Music Island will together attract thousands of new visitors to east side of Prospect Park every week. The time is now to build a better Brighton Line to welcome this influx!
CALL TO ACTION
We—the regular riders of the Q and the B—together with our local elected officials, community groups, and merchants have come together to ask our MTA to rehabilitate our two stations - in the name of safety and aesthetics. We seek:
- A complete renovation of the historic headhouses, one that honors the century-old details of these fine buildings.
- A thorough engineering review, to prevent further damage to the platforms and embankments from ground water and weeds.
- Appropriate restoration of the ceilings and roofs, the walls, stairs and columns, the lighting and signage in both stations.
- A decent paint job.
Furthermore, we call on our MTA to better maintain the public structures we have entrusted to it by:
- Committing to keep these subway stations free of litter and graffiti.
- Committing to regular maintenance to ensure that broken doors and windows get fixed quickly and properly.
- Designating a point-person to serve as MTA's ombudsperson for the neighborhood, to create better communication between our neighborhood and the public transit agency that serves it.
Finally, we ask for:
- A review of MTA's use of public land adjacent to both stations.
- Long-term commitments to turn the triangle of concrete south of Parkside Station and the parking lot north of Prospect Park Station into public parks (as envisioned by the land use plan of Community Board 9).
We know that these are goals that the NYCTA-MTA shares—because we count so many MTA employees among our neighbors, and because we have seen the tremendous commitment of the MTA to restoring and refurbishing other subway stations along the Brighton Line. In the name of safety and the very dignity of our community, we ask that you consider our requests seriously, and help us to identify ways we can partner with you to keep the stations clean, vibrant and inviting in the future.
After decades of neglect, now is our time!