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Stavisky lauds MTA progress on No. 7 repairs

The embattled Main Street subway station in downtown Flushing, which has drawn negative headlines recently because of the long-delayed renovation project, has finally received some praise from state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Flushing).

"I applaud the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority for improving the condition of the subway station," Stavisky said in a statement Friday, noting that on a recent visit she had graded the station and it earned an "A" for being clean and having fully operative escalators.

Stavisky's compliment followed weeks of criticism that she and other area elected officials have heaped on the station and the MTA.

The Flushing station is the terminus in Queens for the No. 7 subway, which shuttles passengers back and forth to Times Square.

The renovation project - installation of new eastern entrance along Roosevelt Avenue, three escalators, an elevator, lighting, flooring and finishes - began in the fall of 1995 and was supposed to have been completed in 36 to 42 months.

This winter Stavisky, the borough president, Community Board 7 and other local elected officials have put additional pressure on the MTA to hold itself and the contractor, LaQuila Construction, accountable for what they claim is shoddy workmanship. CB 7 representatives videotaped examples of their complaints to send to MTA President Lawrence Reuter and other politicians have written him to express their frustrations.

On Jan. 6, Stavisky wrote to Reuter that subway riders had advised her of filthy and unsafe conditions in the Flushing station and the terminal's three escalators were continually out of service. She invited Reuter to make a site visit.

A few weeks later, during the Lunar New Year Parade, Stavisky said she and Borough President Claire Shulman took a break from marching to inspect the station again and found there had been little improvement.

In his Feb. 18 response to Stavisky, which was reported in the March 2 issue of the Times/Ledger, Reuter said he had visited the station on Jan. 19 and the problems had been or were being addressed. He said work on the station would be completed by April 30.

In her statement, Stavisky said she visited the Main Street station for a third time Friday and "conditions were much improved."

Stavisky said the station was cleaner, exposed wires had been addressed and all three escalators were in service.

Although pleased, Stavisky noted she would be keeping an eye on the site and also hoped her complaints about the lack of a full-time station manager there would be addressed.

"I will continue to monitor this station to make sure that this station keeps the 'A' grade it received today," Stavisky said.

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