The MTA unveiled the rehabbed stations last week, with New York City Transit president Andy Byford on hand to tour the new stops and check in with local business owners. Some neighborhood residents and shopkeepers were unhappy with the station closures, which they said hindered access to the neighborhood and hurt businesses. (As we previously reported, some small shops even closed due to the lack of walk-up traffic caused by the closure.)
The repairs addressed both cosmetic and structural concerns. Both stops got revamped entrances, including stairs and canopies; new security cameras; fixes to the mezzanines and platforms; and better wayfinding, including digital signs that have been rolled out at other subway stops. New art pieces, by Stephen Westfall (at 30th Avenue) and Maureen McQuillan (36th Avenue) were also part of the repairs.
One thing that wasn’t included: improving accessibility at both stations, neither of which have elevator access despite being elevated trains. Though the MTA has promised to add new elevators to the Astoria Boulevard stop—and, if Byford’s Fast Forward plan is actually funded, accessibility improvements could be carried out more widely in the system—it’s certainly a noticeable absence.
Similar improvements will soon begin on the Broadway and 39th Avenue subway stations, which will close on July 2 to facilitate repairs. The Ditmars Boulevard stop, meanwhile, is in the midst of its own renovation, though it remains open while work is ongoing.