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Queens Chronicle

More 7 train debris gets nets approved

MTA OKs as metal chunks narrowly miss pair of Woodside pedestrians

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2019 10:30 am | Updated: 12:31 pm, Thu Jun 13, 2019.

Following the latest incident — the fourth this year — involving people narrowly escaping injury by debris falling to the street from the elevated No. 7 subway tracks in Queens, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has agreed to examine the efficacy of netting that residents and elected officials have been calling for since February.

On Monday, Erin Koster and another woman were walking along Roosevelt Avenue in Woodside when a train rolled along the tracks overhead. Koster estimates two chunks of metal fell less than 10 feet from them.

In an email to the Chronicle on Tuesday, Shams Tarek, a spokesman for NYC Transit, said the matter has the attention of the highest level of MTA leadership.

“We are working to quickly put into place an initial deployment of netting to understand if it can be used to contain debris while also still providing enough visibility and access to perform regular inspections,” Tarek wrote.

He said the 7 line has undergone multiple inspections in recent months, and the debris from Monday appears to have broken clean recently with no signs of deterioration or stress that would have been visible earlier.

“We’re glad that no one was hurt and look forward to seeing the results of a netting pilot which will be deployed in limited locations around the city including the 7 line,” he wrote.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) is claiming a victory for residents of Woodside — sort of.

“After five consecutive incidents this year of debris crashing down from the 7 train and nearly hitting pedestrians and drivers, I am thankful that the MTA has finally agreed to start installing protective netting under parts of the elevated 7 train in Woodside,” Van Bramer said in a statement issued by his office. “This is a hard-earned victory after months of advocacy, but it is also just the start.”

He said similar incidents have happened in the Bronx and elsewhere in Queens recently, and called for the entire No. 7 line to be netted. The Chronicle has reported four incidents on the 7 line and one on the A

In a letter to Van Bramer on May 13, NYC Transit President Andy Byford wrote that the agency and contractors have been doing constant inspections above and below the tracks, clearing debris and fixing loose materiel. But he also wrote that any netting system could not impede access to or close-up inspection of the tracks.

The agency nevertheless is examining engineering possibilities and possible costs.

The Chronicle was unable to reach Koster for comment prior to its publication deadline on Wednesday.

Byford ordered all tracks inspected after the first incident on Feb. 21, when a piece of wood fell from the tracks in Woodside and penetrated an SUV’s windshield. A second vehicle was hit on March 6 while traveling on Roosevelt Avenue near 62nd Street.

A third vehicle was dented by falling metal on March 15 near Queensboro Plaza in Long Island City.

Another claim, this one from the A train line in South Richmond Hill at the Lefferts Boulevard station, was reported to authorities on March 18.

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1 comment:

  • pvrjr posted at 1:09 pm on Sat, Jun 8, 2019.

    pvrjr Posts: 315

    The critical money from the congestion pricing plan couldn't come soon enough to fix the deteriorating subway system, especially for the elevated portions of it. [wink]