By Philip Newman
A ramshackle Queens subway station that transit officials have judged the city’s worst along with 18 other neglected stations in the borough have been chosen for restoration.
The New York City Transit Authority says its new budget includes major money for the Seneca Avenue station on the M line in Ridgewood, designated the worst of the subway’s 468 stations.
The Seneca stop is a straphanger’s nightmare of graffiti, crumbling stairways, platform cracks, stained walls and ceilings, unstable stair rails and floors of dubious stability.
Repairs have also been ordered for rickety and rundown stations at Ditmars Boulevard, Broadway, Washington-36th Avenues, Beebe Avenue and 39th Avenue — all N and W lines.
Also, 111th Street (No. 7), 90th Street/Elmhurst (7), Hunters Point (7), 121st Street (J/Z), 104th Street (J/Z), 21st Street (G), 80th-Hudson Streets (A), 88th Street-Boyd Avenue (A), Rockaway Boulevard (A), 104th Street (A), 111th Street-Greenwood Ave. (A), Lefferts Boulevard (A), Fresh Pond Road (M) and Forest Avenue (M).
The New York City Transit Authority said 25 of the designated stations were due to be renovated over the next five years at an estimated average cost of $10 million per station, but no priority list has been formulated as to which stations would get the first attention.
The worst maintained stations were overwhelmingly in Queens and Brooklyn with one in Manhattan and one in the Bronx.
Independent engineers assigned by the New York City Transit Authority rated the decrepit stations according to degree of need for repairs, considering platforms, stairs, walls, other components and overall condition.
The inspectors ranked stations from No. 1 for satisfactory to No. 5 representing the worst condition. The Seneca Avenue station was at least 3.5 (bad) in 86 percent of items rated. Hunters Point station on the No. 7 line was next worst at 74 percent.
Gene Russianoff, attorney for the transit advocacy agency Straphangers Campaign, said “it feels like the land that time forgot at these stations. So it’s critical that Albany provide sufficient funds to fix them.”
Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at email@example.com or phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.