Nearly 60 persons registered to speak before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority at a public hearing at Long Island City High School attended by about 300 people.
The idea, including rearranging several subway lines and adding a new V train, is to relieve crowding for the 900,000 daily E and F line riders by permanently routing the F trains through the new 63rd Street tunnel between Queens and Manhattan.
"This is New York. We don't shut down at midnight. People are going to work or getting off at 4 o'clock in the morning," said Joseph Hennessy of Forest Hills, chairman of Community Board 6. "But you tell us the V train will run neither 24 hours nor on weekends."
City Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis), in a statement read by Adrienne Williams, called for restoration of express service on the E train from 179th street to Continental Avenue.
"The express track is still operational," Leffler said. He said people in eastern Queens probably would not want to ride the V train since it would be a local.
Dr. Stephen Dobrow, president of the Committee for Better Transit, said the "connections in Queens were left out" of the new project. Dobrow said that in the past, the Transit Authority had "paid no attention" to suggestions and recommendations from the riding public.
Nevertheless, Dobrow, submitted three pages of suggestions and recommendations on how to improve the 63rd Street Connection.
Rochelle Slovin, director of the American Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, said 41 percent of its patrons arrive by subway.
"We welcome and applaud this improvement," she said, "but we must implore you to ensure that the V line runs on weekends since film screenings, a central component of our programming, take place on weekends. R service to the Steinway station must continue. It is listed in all our books and literature."
Public Advocate Mark Green said it was "curious that the MTA has no other such hearings scheduled elsewhere in the city.
"Thus, nobody in Manhattan, Brooklyn or the Bronx will have a chance to express themselves on this important matter," Green said.
Many speakers deplored what several suggested was the demise of the G line, including a group in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. "We lose our one seat ride to Queens," their statement said.
©2001 Community News Group
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