By Leslie Albrecht
UPPER WEST SIDE — A year and a half after a taxi tore a ten-foot gash in a fence at the West 72nd Street subway station, work will finally begin this week on repairing the broken barrier.
The parks department was scheduled to start work Wednesday on mending the iron fence, which keeps pedestrians near the 72nd street subway stop from stepping into traffic on Amsterdam Avenue, said City Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, in a statement.
A chunk of the fence was destroyed in August 2009, when a taxi jumped the curbed and slammed into the subway station, which serves the local 1 line and express 2 and 3 lines.
Officials installed a temporary barrier after the accident, but the permanent repair was stuck in bureaucratic limbo for months. An insurance claim and subsequent lawsuit delayed the project, then city agencies couldn't decide who was responsible for the fence, according to Brewer's office.
"I reached out to Department of Transportation, Parks, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, and the MTA to find the right agency," Brewer said in a written statement. "Finally, Parks stepped up and did a great job."
For a period of time last fall the temporary barrier was taken down, which left nothing to block pedestrians from hectic traffic on Amsterdam Avenue.
"We heard from a lot of West Siders worried about the danger to pedestrians at one of our busiest intersections," said Brewer.