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F and G Brooklyn straphangers brace for longer commutes

subway

subway Photo Credit: Theresa Juva

For some F and G Brooklyn straphangers, the aggravation starts Monday.

More than 15,000 riders who use the 15th Street-Prospect Park, Ft. Hamilton Parkway, and Smith-9th sts. stations will face service disruptions and longer commutes when transit officials begin the latest phase of their $275.5 million Culver Viaduct Rehab Project come Monday. The changes will be in effect through May.

“I’m furious,” said Cortney Easterwood, 36, of Windsor Terrace. “I never would have bought my house in the neighborhood in the last year if I knew they were going to do this.”

At the 15th Street and Ft. Hamilton Parkway stops, there will be no northbound F and G trains, meaning that riders will have to go south to Church Avenue and then catch the Manhattan- and Queens-bound trains. At Smith-9th sts., there will be no northbound F service, though the G will still be operating.

“For people to go backwards when they are on their way work seems to defy the New York attitude,” said Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman.

Local councilman, Brad Lander, had asked the MTA to extend or increase service on a number of bus lines to help commuters more easily get to fully-operating stations. Transit officials said they had no immediate plans to do so but would monitor the routes and add buses if necessary. The MTA is also looking at adding bike parking to the Seventh Avenue and Church Avenue stations.

The four-year rehab project, slated for completion in 2013, will affect other service at the three Brooklyn stops after May, so riders will have to strum up some patience.

Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign rider advocacy group said bus routes should be beefed up, but pointed out that “backriding” is a common practice the MTA uses during subway construction.

This year “is going to be the year of riding in the wrong direction for many riders,” he said.

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