Subway Ventilation Work Foments Dangerous Conditions on Forsyth Street, Neighbors Say

Posted on: August 12th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

As construction proceeds on the new subway ventilation system beneath Forsyth Street, conditions above-ground are deteriorating.

Neighbors allege that the staging area – opaque dust tarps, chain-link fencing, and plywood boards – creates blind spots and a “tunnel” conducive to illicit activity. Sex, drug use, and passing out are already commonplace on the block, no matter the time of day.

This is only the beginning, too.

As previously reported, the infrastructure fifteen feet beneath the roadbed along the Sara D. Roosevelt Park perimeter was identified as the eighth-highest priority level out of roughly 250 sections. (The original unit was reportedly built in 1962.) Construction of this new Emergency Ventilation Plant isn’t slated to conclude until August 2022. And that’s just the initial projection, likely to over-run.

In it for the long haul, several residents on the block are communicating with the MTA, but the response appears lackluster. For example, the group requested removal of dust tarps during off hours. The response – installing weak solar-powered lights (that don’t work), even though the activities in question aren’t just at night.

These issues and more were the subject of the second meeting with MTA officials earlier this month, where residents requested increased police patrols in the vicinity.

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