2ND AVE SUBWAY HORROR

April 12, 2019 at 4:30 am

If the M.T.A. extends the Second Avenue subway line into East Harlem, will some New Yorkers be left without a job and a home?

Aired on April 11, 2019. 

Transcript Print

>>> GOOD EVENING.
WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."
FOR DECADES, TALK OF THE SECOND
AVENUE SUBWAY SEEMED TO BE JUST
THAT.
TALK THAT CHANGED WHEN IT BROKE
GROUND IN 2007 AND THEN AGAIN
WHEN THE AUTHORITY WAS NUDGE.
THE TRANSIT AGENCY IS NOT
PLANNING TO STOP THERE EITHER.
IT IS PART OF THE NEXT PHASE,
THE SUBWAY IS SUPPOSED TO HEAD
FURTHER UP SECOND AVENUE THROUGH
EAST HARLEM THROUGH EAST 125th
STREET.
THE MAN'S COULD PUT HUNDREDS OF
WORKERS OUT OF A JOB AND
DISPLACE DOZENS OF TENANTS.
THE CITY, THE NEW NONPROFIT NEWS
OUTLET, RECENTLY TOOK A CLOSER
LOOK AT THAT POSSIBILITY IN A
PIECE TITLED, EMINENT DOMAIN
PUTS LOCALS ON EDGE.
RACHEL HOLIDAY SMITH JOINS US
NOW.
>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.
>> YOU WRITE ACCORDING TO MTA
PLANS, THE SECOND PHASE OF THE
SUBWAY EXPANSION SHOULD BE DONE
THAT I 2029.
HOW REALISTIC AT THAT?
>> A BIT OF A TOUGH SELL.
THAT'S ACCORDING TO THE MOST
RECENT DESIGN.
THAT WOULD REQUIRE THEM TO TART
WORK BY THE END OF THIS YEAR.
THAT WILL BE PRETTY TOUGH FOR
THEM TO HIT.
THAT'S THE IDEA.
2029.
>> SO THAT'S NOT REALISTIC.
WE WERE TALKING BEFORE YOU GOT
HERE.
THE LIKELIHOOD UNLESS SOMETHING
HAPPENS UNEXPECTED, THIS
EXPANSION WILL HAPPEN?
I THINK THAT'S SAFE TO SAY.
UNLESS THERE IS CATASTROPHIC
FUNDING ISSUE.
IN THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ERA,
THAT COULD HAPPEN BUT THE MTA IS
VERY SERIOUS ABOUT MAKING THIS
HAPPEN AND THIS IS THE SECOND
PHASE.
THERE IS A THREE AND FOUR THAT
GOES ALL THE WAY DOWN.
>> AND WE'LL TRY TO TALK ABOUT
IT AS IT GOES DOWN.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN IN SOME DETAIL?
WHAT THIS EXPANSION IS PLANNING
TO BUILD?
>> YES.
FOLKS ARE PROBABLY FAMILIAR WITH
THE STATIONS UP TO 96th STREET
RIGHT NOW.
THIS WOULD ADD HUGE TRAIN STOPS
ON 106th AND THEN CURVE OVER
WHERE THE METRO NORTH STOP IS
NOW.
>> YOU TOOK A CLOSE LOOK AT THE
NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO COULD BE
OUT OF A JOB AS A RESULT OF THIS
EXPANSION.
AND PEOPLE WHO COULD BE OUT OF A
HOME BECAUSE OF THE APARTMENTS.
>> THE NUMBERS ARE PRETTY
STAGGERING AND THEY'RE QUITE A
BIT MORE.
IT IS LOOKING LIKE MORE THAN 500
WORKERS MAY BE DISPLACED,
MEANING THE BUILDINGS THEY'RE IN
NOW WHERE THEY WORK WILL BE
REPLACED BY WHAT I SAID.
SPRANSS, EXITS, AND 140 TENANTS
WHO, THE MTA HAS IDENTIFIED
LIVES IN THESE SAME AREAS OR
BUILDINGS OR PROPERTIES.
I SHOULD SAY, THOSE ARE PRETTY
BIG NUMBERS.
BUT THE MTA WILL SAY THOSE MAY
BE TWEAKED SLIGHTLY.
THIS IS A LIKELY PLAN THAT THEY
HAVE.
THEY HAVE IDENTIFIED THESE
PROPERTIES.
THERE IS NOT A FINAL DESIGN YET
FOR THE WHOLE PROJECT.
BUT THIS IS AN ENVIRONMENTAL
ASSESSMENT THAT WAS APPROVED
LAST FALL BY THE FEDS.
AS I WAS TALKING TO PEOPLE IN
THE NEIGHBORHOOD, PEOPLE WHO
DIDN'T GET INTO THE STORY
THEMSELVES, THEY WERE SAYING,
OH, MY BPODEGA WILL BE GONE?
AND PEOPLE LIVING ACROSS THE
STREET ARE CONCERNED.
PEOPLE ON 125th WHO DO QUALITY
OF LIFE ARE CONCERNED ABOUT
WHERE THE WILL GO.
>> SO THE PEOPLE WHO MAY BE
AFFECTED BY THE SECOND PHASE,
HOW DO THEY FEEL ABOUT HOW THE
MTA HAS DWELT THE PROCESS?
>> I WOULD SAY OVERALL, THEY'RE
PRETTY UPSET AND THEY FEEL A BIT
IN THE DARK.
ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO THE
TEN ANTS, THE COMMERCIAL
TENANTS, PEOPLE WHO OWE
BUSINESSES, APARTMENT DWELLERS.
THEY HAVEN'T BEEN GIVEN ANY
NOTIFICATION ABOUT THE
POSSIBILITY THAT THEIR BUILDING
WILL BE REPLACED.
THE PROPERTY OWNERS, I'VE TALKED
TO A COUPLE OF THEM WHO HAVE
GOTTEN LETTERS WHO SAY THIS IS A
POSSIBILITY THAT IT WAS SOMETIME
LASTIER.
WHETHER THEY IS SIGN A LEASE OR
NOT.
IF THEY SHOULD TRY SELL THEIR
BUSINESS AND GET OUT.
THERE'S NO WAY TO KNOW.
>> HAS THE MTA OPENED AN
INFORMATION CENTER?
>> THEY HAVE.
>> ANYONE WITH QUESTIONS CAN GO
THERE?
>> YES.
SOME OF THE FOLKS WHO HEARD
RUMORS, BEFORE I SPOKE TO THEM.
THEY DID GO TO THAT STORE FRONT.
AND THE MTA HAS TOLD ME THEY
OPENED UP THE STORE FRONT
BECAUSE IN THE FIRST PHASE,
THERE WAS NOT A PLACE PEOPLE
COULD GET READILY ACCESSIBLE
INFORMATION.
SO THEY SAID WE'LL HOPE THE FROM
THE BEGINNING.
YOU CAN WALK IN AND GET AS MUCH
INFORMATION AS YOU CAN.
BUT NOT A LOT OF INFORMATION
ABOUT WHAT ENGINEERING WILL GO
ON.
AND THE GENERAL TIME LINE.
ARE WE GOING TO TAKE YOUR
BUILDING AND REPLACE WITH IT A
VENTILATION SHAFT.
THEY CAN'T SAY THAT YET.
>> SO WHAT COMPENSATION IS THERE
FOR BUSINESSES OR PROPERTY
OWNERS WHO HAVE TO GIVE UP THEIR
PROPERTY TO THE MTA?
IS THERE ANY COMPENSATION FOR
TENANT WHO'S MAY LOSE THEIR
APARTMENTS?
>> THE LAW DOES PROTECT THE
PROPERTY OWNERS.
THEY WILL GET COMPENSATED, PAID
OUT BY THE MTA AND THEN THE
TENANTS, IT IS TRICKY.
COMMERCIAL OWNERS, THEY'LL HAVE
MORE RIGHT TO GET COMPENSATION
FOR THE DISRUPTION OF THE
BUSINESS AND HOW MUCH THAT'S
WORTH.
AN ATTORNEY WHO WORKS IN EMINENT
DOMAIN REPRESENTS FOLKS IN THE
UPPER EAST SIDE.
IT SAYS RESIDENTIAL TENANTS HAVE
VERY LITTLE CLAIM TO GET ANY
COMPENSATION.
IT WILL BE ROUGH FOR THOSE
APARTMENT DWELL HERE'S ARE IN
THAT AREA.
THEY GET RELOCATION COSTS.
>> THIS MIGHT BE THE LAST
QUESTION.
DID YOU SPEAK TO ANYONE WHO
THOUGHT THIS MIGHT BE A GOOD
IDEA?
THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
NOT UNEQUIVOCALLY.
YES, THIS IS GREAT.
THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE MOY
BUILDING.
BUT THERE WERE PEOPLE IN THE
BUILDINGS WHO SAID THIS IS
REALLY BAD FOR ME.
THIS WILL DISRUPT MY LIFE BUT I
GET THIS IS A GOOD THING FOR
EAST HARLEM OVERALL.
IT IS A TRANSIT NEIGHBORHOOD AND
IT HAS BEEN FOR YEARS AND YEARS.
>> SO WHAT DOES THE MTA SAY THAT
WILL HAPPEN POSITIVELY TO THIS
AREA AS A RESULT?
>> RIGHT.
THEY SAY THE SAME THINGS.
THEY SAY THIS IS SOMETHING WE'VE
BEEN WORKING ON FOR GENERATIONS.
THEY REALLY WANT TO BRING IT AS
SOON AS POSSIBLE TO EAST HARLEM.
THEY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT IT WILL
NEGATIVELY AFFECT THEM.
>> THIS IS A CONTINUING STORY
AND WE'LL BRING YOU BACK TO GIVE
US UPDATES.
THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

WNET

© WNET All Rights Reserved.

825 Eighth Avenue

New York, NY 10019