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Why are so many NYC subway entrances closed to riders?

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Plus, actress Awkwafina will be making announcements on the 7 train—and more intel in today’s New York Minute news roundup.


Good morning, and welcome to New York Minute, a new roundup of the New York City news you need to know about today. Send stories you think should be included to

A call to reopen the hundreds of NYC subway entrances closed to riders

In 2015, there were 119 subway entrances across 472 stations that were closed to riders—and only eight of those have been reopened since, according to NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer.

This week, as Gothamist first reported, Stringer sent a letter to New York City Transit president Andy Byford, asking about the large number of closed entrances and the MTA’s plan to reopen them. In the letter, Stringer said that many entrances were shuttered during the 1970s, when the subway system was experiencing declining ridership (in an effort to save money). But with almost six million daily riders last year, “it is far past time to move beyond that era and invest in a more equitable and accessible transit system,” Stringer said. Reopening the locked entrances could help alleviate crowding at stations where congestion has become a problem.

ACCESS, an advocacy group, recently found that roughly more than one million New Yorkers lives or works closer to a closed access point than an open one. “That has impacts on, not only commute times, but economic opportunity,” Alan Minor, the group’s co-founder, told NY1 in November.

And in other news...

  • The owner of Tender Buttons, an Upper East Side store that shuttered last summer, has donated a lot of the store’s surplus supply—even buttons that date back to the 1930s and 1940s—to a NYC program called Materials for the Arts.
  • A group of preservationists is leading another effort to try to save the Frick Collection’s music room.
  • The city “de-pedestrianized” a play street outside of a Park Slope middle school.
  • Starting today, Golden Globe-winning and Queens native actress Awkwafina will be making announcements on the 7 train. “This is Hudson Yards-34th St. Hope you like weird architecture!” is one of the pre-recorded messages riders will hear.
  • A new report by the Manhattan Institute says Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program is falling short, among other things, by focusing its rezonings on low-income communities, rather than the strongest housing markets in the city.