Residents rally for second entrance to Eighth Avenue N station

After over 15 years, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is planning to reopen the second entrance/exit to the N-train Eighth Avenue station—which will also get a handicapped-accessible ramp to the platform—as part of its Sea Beach-bound N-line-stations renewal project.

The project, which spans nine stations between Eighth Avenue and 86th Street, aims to bring the highly-utilized stations, many of which are in a state of visible disrepair, “to a state of good repair,” according to NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco, in a letter to Assemblymembers Peter Abbate and Dov Hikind.

The NYCT announcement came just days before a rally in support of the station entrance reopening. The rally, on Friday, June 27 at the now-closed second entrance at Seventh Avenue and 62nd Street, drew over 150 Sunset Park residents.

Over 10,000 petition signatures have also been submitted to the MTA in support of this request.

Explaining the daily predicament for tens of thousands of Brooklynites using the Eighth Avenue station, 11-year-old Kyle Han said that, “During rush hour, it’s hard to go up or down the stairs. We’re all funneled into one exit. We need a bit more space to get out. People could get hurt.”

According to John Chan, chairperson of Brooklyn Asian Communities Empowerment (BRACE), the station was closed “due to lack of usage and security concerns,” but today, “Sunset Park’s population has exploded and turns the Eighth Avenue subway stop into one of the most congested stations” in the city.

“Dangerous situations frequently arise while hurried passengers try to fight through the crowd to catch their ride,” Chan explained. “Elderly, women with strollers and the disabled are vulnerable to be pushed into hazardous situations due to the overcrowded platform.”

Although NYCT does plan to reopen the Seventh Avenue entrance, there is no set timetable. The NYCT’s Automatic Fare Collection unit is currently housed in the space and a new location needs to be found before the project moves forward.

However, Abbate is optimistic. “It’s going to happen,” he said. “The MTA understood the need for it. The problem is getting the design, putting out the bid, and getting it done sooner rather than later. It is a major project.”

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