When the 360 smith street project (now known as Oliver House,131 Second Place/)
project was first introduced,one of the many issues that came up was the confusion and the inconvenience posed by the proposed closing of the second place subway entrance---after all, by the MTA's own published statistics, there are approximately nine thousand (9000) riders using the
Hon. Bill DeBlasio
April 14, 2008
Dear Councilman DeBlasio,
As I understand it, the subway entrance from the
During this time people who use the subway will be expected to use the stair on the southwest comer of Second and Smith Streets. This stairway is narrow, only 5 feet wide, and descends 18 steps from street level to an 8 foot wide corridor. The corridor extends 40 feet to another stairway, this stair is 13 feet wide(a decent width) with a divider rail in the center and descends 6 steps to the lower mezzanine level. At this level where there is now only a high exit turnstile, I have been led to understand that 2 new High Exit/Entry Turnstiles (HEET) will be installed. People can enter here to access the
Based on the high volume of passengers who presently take the train at morning rush hour and can now descend from the Second Place Plaza using a generously wide (14 foot wide) stairway it is not hard to imagine that a 5 foot wide stairway would be totally overwhelmed. People would be waiting in long lines creeping towards the turnstiles, the line would probably stretch up to the street. If any of the HEET wheels were to malfunction, as sometimes happens, it could result in crowding and pushing that could cause people serious harm- MT A should prepare themselves for a lot of lawsuits. Also, as there is only space enough for 3 devices here, and it is not clear if the existing high exit turnstile is to remain or be replaced with an emergency exit swing gate-like the one opposite the token booth.
Furthermore, nowhere in the preceding scenario was there any consideration for passengers arriving at the station and wanting to exit, people who work in the neighborhood or students attending one of the many schools. Add these people to the equation and you have the potential for serious and hazardous overcrowding.
Now, imagine the evening rush hour, people streaming off the platform funneled into a long and narrow passageway leading to an even narrower uncovered stair, a stair open to the sky, the rain, the snow, the ice, hazardous for able bodied people under normal circumstances, disastrous for seniors, people with small children and strollers, class groups from any number of the local schools.
I believe the entrance can and should be kept open. Construction can take place in stages with partial shut downs. It was done at
NYC Transit knows how many people use this entrance and they have guidelines for how many people can be safely accommodated on stairs and in passageways. They have a division dedicated to Safety, let's hear from them. The community should know exactly what is planned. We should be hearing from New York City Transit's office of Government and Community Relations ..
We have a right to know what is being done. This project cannot be allowed to endanger lives in this community. It is already enough to frustrate and inconvenience the whole neighborhood and surrounding community with construction noises, dirt, sidewalk closings and traffic diversions. If there is really no alternative to closing the subway entrance for 8 months then the project should be redesigned or the Plaza property acquired by the City by Eminent Domain and removed from the building footprint.
Sincerely, Anthony Marchese
Cc: Ms. Joan L. Millman, Assemblywoman 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Mr. Craig Hammermann, District Manager CB#6 districtmanager@brooklyncb6.
Mr. Andrew Inglesby, Assistant Director, Government & Community Relations New York City Transit