Build Second Avenue Subway Entrance Elsewhere, Yorkville Residents Tell MTA

By Victoria Bekiempis on June 14, 2013 8:04am 

Slideshow
 Residents of Yorkshire Towers, 315 E. 86th St., are renewing their protest of a planned Second Avenue Subway entrance in front of their building.
Second Avenue Subway Controversy Continues
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YORKVILLE — Residents of a sizable neighborhood apartment complex are renewing protests against the MTA's plan to put two Second Avenue subway entrances directly in front of their building.

Yorkshire Towers, located at 315 E. 86th St., has already filed several lawsuits against the MTA to block construction. Now they are asking the authority to expand the sidewalk and put entrances along Second Avenue rather than place a "bump out" in the middle of the block.

Previously, they had asked that the MTA put a single entrance on the corner of their intersection.

This new approach would be similar to the planned station located at East 69th Street, the south entrance for the East 72nd Street station.

The MTA recently agreed to put the entrance in a sidewalk "bump out" along Second Avenue after residents protested placing it in the bottom floor of a residential building.

These renewed demands come as the MTA moves forward with the final stages of the project. It announced Thursday that it inked a $208,376,000 contract for the East 86th Street stations.

Richard Bass of Herrick, Feinstein LLP, the consultant retained by the Towers who developed this plan, said it would address quality-of-life concerns feared by residents. Moving the entrances would prevent straphangers from walking in front of the Towers' circular driveway.

It would involve less excavating, too, he added.

"Why can't you do at East 86th Street what you're doing at East 69th Street?" he said. "This option just makes simpler sense."

If the MTA continues its current plan, he added, there will be stories five years from now about "accidents in that spot."

The MTA, however, said it is not considering the proposal.

"Enough. There is a reason why their first lawsuit was dismissed and why a judge threatened sanctions against their attorney for filing a similar, frivolous lawsuit," an MTA spokesman wrote in an email to DNAinfo New York. "The MTA has no interest in delaying a project that will benefit hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers in order to appease the parochial self-interests of a select few."

Still, residents said they they remained undeterred and will continue to press the authority about the bigger picture.

"What's the legacy that they're going to leave this community and this city?" asked Doron Gopstein, Yorkshire Towers Residents Association president. "What will happen in 2018 and 2020 and 2030, when this albatross is sitting here in the middle of the block?

"This will be the 86th Street lemon," he said.

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