State of the 7 Train Line

Woodside/Sunnyside Subway Status Updated

The ongoing work on the 7 train line will continue to cause issues for Sunnyside straphangers, but an MTA official assured the United Forties Civic Association (UFCA) at its Thursday, Mar. 8 meeting at the St. Teresa Parish Center that the work will pay off in the end.

The MTA’s Joseph Raskin (at podium) tells the crowd at the Thursday, Mar. 8 UFCA meeting in Woodside about the state of 7 train line repairs, as UFCA President Don McCallian (right) listens closely.

Joseph Raskin of MTA New York City Transit presented an overview of the construction at the Court Square 7 train platforms and on the train line in general.

At Court Square, the MTA is replacing the platform walls, first on the Queens-bound side, then on the Manhattan-bound side.

Work is also ongoing on the Hunters Point Avenue and Vernon Avenue-Jackson Avenue stations, with new tile and platform edges being installed.

Raskin added that the agency is continuing to install a Communications Based Train Control (CBTC) system along the 7 line, which will allow for newer trains to be run on a more frequent basis per hour, alleviating rush hour crowds.

So far, 47,000 feet (about eight miles) of cable has been installed.

“We’re making this line more of a 21st-century line than it has been,” he noted.

However, the gains will come with short-term pains, as the agency must periodically cut off service between Queens and Manhattan. The reason for this, Raskin explained, is because the “Steinway tunnel” that connects the two boroughs was originally a trolley tunnel, and is too narrow for workers to safely continue operating on the line while trains are passing through.

As part of the project, the MTA will also be replacing track near the Court Square station. Shuttle buses will be used to ferry passengers to working train stops.

Putting a historical perspective on the project, Raskin said of the 7 line that “when it was first planned, no one expected it to serve the amount of people that it serves.”

The MTA’s original plan, he added, was to build train lines ahead of population growth instead of catching up to need.

108th Precinct update

Capt. Terry O’Toole, the 108th Precinct’s executive officer, admitted that the command had “a bad 28 days,” with robberies, felony assaults, burglaries and larcenies rising compared to this time last year.

“When we have these bad weeks and bad days, we adjust our personnel, we move some people around and we try to apprehend these [criminals],” he told the crowd.

Many of those robberies were iPhone thefts, O’Toole stated, advising residents to keep their smartphones in their pockets.

As for burglaries, O’Toole stated that he caught a career criminal for the crime and have seen no burglaries since his arrest.

Finally, tours have been changed on the anti-crime team to abate the thefts of tires and rims. O’Toole said that the availability of battery-powered torque wrenches make the removal of tires and rims akin to a NASCAR pit crew.

He urged any resident with information that could lead to an arrest to call 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).

O’Toole also told the crowd that if they are a victim of a crime, they should not disturb the crime scene and allow the NYPD’s Evidence Collection Team to investigate.

“It ain’t CSI,” he said, but the team can find information that can be used to find the perpetrators of the crime.

P.O. Louis Sorrentino of the 108th Precinct Community Affairs Unit also suggested that residents write down the serial numbers of their electronic devices. If they are stolen, officers can investigate area pawn shops looking for the goods.

“You really have to protect your own property,” O’Toole stated.

He added that Transit District 20, which covers the 7, N/Q and E/F/G/R lines, has devoted extra resources to combat cellphone thefts on train stations, with good results-“year to date, they’ve doubled their arrests in this precinct.”

One resident complained of students (possibly from Queens Vocational High School) who have been seen loitering and urinating on their property. O’Toole advised the resident to call 911, and added that he will send officers to the location.

Other news

Security expert Mike Stemmer gave the crowd an overview of the various security services that are available for residents.

New security systems include voice commands, energy management tools, WiFi access and protection from fire and floodings. Wireless, motion-activated cameras are also available.

Residents who install such a system can receive 30 percent off their homeowners insurance, he noted.

The United Forties Civic Association usually meets on the second Thursday of the month at St. Teresa’s Parish Center, located at 50th Avenue and 45th Street in Woodside.

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