"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Monday, October 24, 2016

Community's Opposition To Proposed Local F Train Cuts Grows

from  MTA's "Feasibility and Analysis Study of F Express Service in Brooklyn" here 

Back in May of this year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority proposed the implementation of express F Train service between the Jay Street-MetroTech and Church Avenue stations (with a stop at 7th Avenue Park Slope) in the fall of 2017, with half of all F trains running express each way during peak morning and evening rush hours.
The change in service would not involve adding new trains to the line.

Though this may save time for many F train riders, the proposal would mean 50%  fewer trains for riders in Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Boerum Hill and Gowanus since express trains would bypass the Bergen Street, Carroll Street, Smith Street/ 9th Street and 4th Avenue stations.
In recent years, ridership has steadily increased at these stations and the platforms are dangerously overcrowded during the morning rush hour.  This, predictably will become an even bigger problem with planned development in this highly desirable area.

The reaction to the proposed change amongst local residents has been overwhelmingly negative.
Our local officials almost immediately expressed their dismay by "the utter lack of process on the part of the MTA ."

A Don't Cut Local F web site and petition was set up by Carroll Gardener Erin Lippincott to inform local residents and "to build a voice and the support of our political reps as well as let all of the residents and groups across the affected residents know what's at risk."
This past September, Erin brought our elected officials together with concerned  residents, business owners and local school representatives to discuss what the F Train changes will mean to many in the community. 
She was kind enough to recap the meeting for PMFA here.

Opposition to Local F Train Cuts in Brooklyn Grows
by Erin Lippincott  of Don't Cut Local F

On September 29th, residents, parents, business owners, school administrators, and community leadership from across the areas threatened by the MTA’sproposed cuts to F Train service in Brooklyn met with elected officials. City Councilman Brad Lander, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Assemblywoman Jo Anne Simon pledged to fight the cuts and listened to attendees express the myriad ways these cuts would cause hardship.

Natasha Campbell, executive director and founder of the Summit Academy Charter School in Red Hook, said her school will not survive if the cuts go through.  Dr. Eric Kenworthy, a private practice physician in Cobble Hill, said not only his patients but also his staff depend on timely F Train service. Peter Freeman, co-owner of Carroll Gardens’ Brooklyn Farmacy, said any cuts to F Train service would be devastating for local businesses and their employees.

The MTA has proposed to its board a 50% cut in peak, Monday-Friday rush hour service at the following F Train stops in Brooklyn: Fort Hamilton Pkwy, 15St-Prospect Park, 4 Ave-9 St, Smith-9 St, Carroll St, and Bergen St stations. These cuts would start sometime in 2017. The MTA claims the cuts are needed to facilitate the return of the F Express. But the MTA’s own report shows that the local F Train cuts would hurt more people than the express would help. It also predicts that population growth in Brooklyn will be focused in the very neighborhoods for which it is proposing cuts.

The proposal was sent to the MTA Board and leaked to the media before public officials, community boards, or other public representatives were aware of it. A joint press release and petition released by local elected officials expressed anger and disbelief.

Attendees at the September 29th meeting formed two committees. One will work with transit and other specialists to review the MTA’s report proposing the F Traincuts (the MTA report is available at DontCutLocalF.com).  The other committee will continue outreach within the communities that would be affected. To that end, Assemblyman Ortiz organized a meeting on October 20th, which brought together Red Hook school principals, PTA leadership, and representatives from the community outreach program at Santander Bank to discuss how to fight F Train cuts.

One parent, near tears, told the room how she suffered when the Smith-9 St station was closed for years of renovation and that she continues to struggle because there is no elevator in the new station, which is elevated and has dozens of stairs. The new plan to cut F Train service at her station, she said, is unthinkable.

DontCutLocalF.com was founded to join communities together to fight these cuts and demand transparency from the MTA and its board. In its petition, it states: These cuts will have serious and negative ramifications across several neighborhoods; from long waits and overcrowding at the even now over-packed stations at Carroll and Bergen Streets to reducing subway access for the already under-served residents and businesses in Red Hook and the ColumbiaWaterfront to leaving our infrastructure unprepared for large-scale developmentsuch as what is planned for Gowanus. If the MTA wants to add the F Express, that is great, but it should not do so by stranding residents and businesses via cuts to local service.

Learn more, sign the petitions, and get involved at DontCutLocalF.com or email DontCutLocalF@gmail.com


Ben U. said...

The F express is a good idea -- the tracks were built for it originally for a reason -- but it needs to be done right. I'm sure ridership has increased on the stops deeper into Brooklyn, too, and the people who live there deserve better service, not just us richer folks who can afford to live closer to the city. Overall I think it's a good idea, not "overwhelmingly negative"... just needs to be thoroughly thought through.

Anonymous said...

Yes the Express trains a great idea to improve service to the outer reaches of Brooklyn, but how is the 50-50 split fair given the present density of use from the proposed "local" stops?
And couldn't they provide better express service by thoughtfully scheduling, say, 25% of the trains as express trains that make stops only at the outer reaches of the system and the Jay Street and York St stops?

Anonymous said...

F Express is a good idea if there are no cuts to other stations to implement it. The last four stops to be cut are nearly the last before Manhattan. They are already packed at rush hour. I have two kids who take the train to school every day. It they have to skip a train or trains because the literally can not fit another person in (you know if you've tried to transfer to the F at Jay Street at evening rush hour)they will be late for school. Tardiness is taken very seriously as it should be. The "train was too full" will not cut it.

Anonymous said...

The majority of ridership on the F is the last half the line before it gets to Manhattan. Those express trains are not going to be that crowded.

Anonymous said...

Then bring back the mf V train and extend it to Brooklyn during rushhours, duh

Editor said...

Awful. Agreed bring back the V. Neighborhoods that have dense traffic have an express and a local. Cutting doesn't cut it. Overall the MTA is cuts of service and more expensive metro cards because they don't have enough money each year. Really wealthy people don't take the subway so they don't care. It was awful that they cut the Smith/9th St service off for as long as they did and it's awful they are trying another BS move with this latest attempt at "fixing" the congestion problem.