By Philip Newman
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) and other city officials have appealed to transit officials to reinstate service on the No. 7 subway line for the Manhattan St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Saturday, March 16.
“While we appreciate the effort being made to improve the 7 trains, the MTA’s decision to close this vital lifeline for 13 consecutive weekends for repairs has been a terrible burden on residents and businesses particularly in Queens,” the officials said.
“The lack of service caused tremendous hardship and frustration on the Lunar New Year and we don’t want to see that happen again when the city hosts the 251st St. Patrick’s Day Parade – one of New York’s oldest and most celebrated cultural events – on March 16th,” Quinn said in a letter to the MTA.
Others who signed on to the appeal were Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), chairman of the Council’s Transportation Committee, and fellow Council members Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) and Peter Koo (D-Flushing).
Koo and other elected officials from Flushing asked the MTA to restore service for Flushing Lunar New Year’s Parade earlier this year to no avail but have received a pledge that the agency will suspend repairs on the No. 7 line for next year’s Lunar New Year events.
The Quinn letter said more than 1,000 New Yorkers had signed onto an online petition demanding that the MTA reinstate weekend service on the No. 7 line.
“Shutting down the 7 train on yet another holiday weekend will not only harm business owners in Queens and Manhattan. It will also create and unnecessary hurdle for Queens residents planning to attend the St. Patrick’s Day parade and celebrate their Irish heritage.
The MTA has been cutting off service between Queensboro Plaza and Times Square for the weekend repair project.
The appeal was addressed to Thomas Prendergast, interim executive director of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.