Bushwick commuters who hop aboard the J train at its Gates Avenue stop are petitioning for a long-closed entrance at their station to be opened by the MTA, citing both convenience and safety as key factors driving interest in the opening.
“It’s time to open the gates at Gates!” reads the petition, which received its first signatures last Friday and which currently has 17 supporters publicly listed on its page (the goal is 1,000 signatures).
Currently, the Gates Avenue station is accessible by a single entrance at Quincy Street and Broadway, a block down broadway (or two blocks, counting Linden Street, which only meets Broadway on one side of the major corridor) from the street for which the station is named.
Petition creators say they often miss trains they could have caught had the locked entrance been available and note that walking the extra block in bad weather is unpleasant. They also question whether the single entrance model is safe.
The Gates Ave J station is one of several stations along the elevated line with a closed entrance at one end: the Kosciuszko Street J station, one stop northwest of Gates, also has a sealed entrance, and other local stops beyond Myrtle-Broadway also feature the arrangement.
Opening up locked gates at several Bushwick subway stations is one of the strategies the MTA has considered employing in the next several years to offset decreases in subway service as Bushwick’s public transit options get a major shakeup.
Starting next summer, M train will undergo extensive work for nearly a year, which will cause changes to service on the line. Following the M train work, the L train will not run into Manhattan for a year and a half.
Other possible options for expanding service on the J line during the M and L service changes include adding more cars, or more trains, along the line.
Organizers plan to send to send the petition to Mayor Bill de Blasio at an as yet unannounced time.
Bushwick Daily has reached out to the MTA for comment on the petition and will update as further information is received.