Pols and Advocates: Build the Promised 7 Train Station in Hells Kitchen
Maybe this time it’ll be the lucky No. 7 train.
The MTA must finally build out an extension of the 7 train to 41st Street and 10th Avenue in Hells Kitchen in order to accommodate the growth in population and make it easier on straphangers — a plan that was first proposed in the mid-aughts as part of the city-funded Hudson Yards rezoning, but then squashed.
Now, nearly 20 years later, pols and advocates say it’s time to finally make good on what was promised.
“The station at 41st Street was scrapped at the last minute to bring the cost of the project down. That was a huge mistake and a huge missed opportunity. No more delays, no more excuses, build this train station now,” said Council Member Erik Bottcher, standing at that corner on Tuesday alongside Rep. Jerry Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, state Sen. Brad Hoylman, and Assembly Members Dick Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal.
The Flushing line extension extended the train 1.5 miles westward from its former terminus in Times Square to 11th Avenue and 34th Street as part of the Hudson Yards redevelopment project, which comprised more than a dozen residential or commercial towers and a huge retail complex. Even more towers are still slated for completion in 2024.
The 34th Street station in Hudson Yards opened in 2015, but plans for 10th Avenue never materialized.
“Still today there is not a train station west of Eighth Avenue in Hells Kitchen. People have to walk long distances to get to the train, or have to take shuttles to get to the train,” said Bottcher.
And since then, not only has there been more development, but also the population of Hells Kitchen has risen 30 percent, according to Hoylman.
“The community agreed to this massive development behind us because we were getting a new train station here on 10th Avenue. We got one station but didn’t get the second we were promised, and that has to change now. We have seen explosive growth on the westside of Manhattan,” said Hoylman, who referred to the unfinished plan as a “bait and switch.”
Bottcher, a freshman lawmaker who had campaigned on the issue, sent a letter to MTA officials earlier this summer to bring the need for the station back to the forefront. The agency listened somewhat by listing it as part of the agency’s 20-Year Needs Assessment. But Bottcher and others say it needs to become part of the Capital Program, in order to guarantee its future.
The project is shovel-ready, according to Bottcher, who says the MTA has throughout the years maintained the necessary easements in order to build the station.
Like Bottcher earlier this summer, Nadler bemoaned the city and state’s failure to capitalize on stimulus infrastructure funding during the Obama administration, and says they shouldn’t make that same mistake twice.
“The MTA can’t afford to miss out again on federal funding that I and others worked hard to secure in the bipartisan infrastructure deal we passed last year,” said Nadler. “Give this project the green light and I will do everything I can to help secure federal funding as we have in the past. The time is now to make this station a reality.”
The MTA told Streetsblog in a statement that it will look into the feasibility of a 10th Avenue station.
“While more than 80 percent of our Capital Program is dedicated to state-of-good-repair and core infrastructure needs, expansion projects can help meet new mobility needs and address transportation inequities,” said spokesperson Sean Butler. “The MTA will be using metrics to compare a projects’ opportunities on an apples-to-apples basis that prioritizes smart planning and equity.”