A big transit disaster looms for this weekend as deep thinkers at the MTA cancel all subway services. Cherry blossom season’s end on Roosevelt Island comes in a couple of days, but getting here — or leaving — threatens disaster.
By David Stone
With blossoms just a little past peak and rain reducing volume, Roosevelt Island’s cherry trees still stand as a major tourist draw.
Fair skies and mild temperatures act as magnet boosters for bringing visitors here.
So, why the hell did the MTA pick this weekend as the one for shutting down all subway service? From Friday evening through Monday morning?
In 2019, the last Cherry Blossom weekend before the pandemic shutdown, the line for the F Train. What will they do, this year?
And where’s RIOC, MTA’s sister agency, that’s supposed to help us avoid debacles like this one? Their bloated, five — yes, five — person communications team seems unaware of the approaching mess, let alone up to doing anything about it.
The MTA’s big transit disaster, in their own words…
Yesterday afternoon, the MTA released this notice…
Apr 16 – 19, Fri 9:30 PM to Mon 5 AM
F trains will not serve 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St, and 57 St because of signal modernization.
F trains will run via the E between Queens Plaza and 5 Av/53 St in both directions.
Free shuttle buses will run between Queens Plaza and Roosevelt Island, stopping at Queensboro Plaza and 21 St-Queensbridge
For 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, transfer between E/F trains and shuttle buses at Queens Plaza. .
We ran this through our government-speak translation equipment:
TRANSLATION: No subway service at all, this weekend, during cherry blossom season. But you can catch a shuttle bus to or from Queens Plaza, although we’re not saying where it picks up passengers, during what hours or how frequently
NOTE: Late Friday, RIOC announced that it would also chip in, running an hourly shuttle bus between Tram stations to supplement services, beginning at 11:00 a.m. at the Roosevelt Island Tram Plaza with the last shuttle leaving 2nd Avenue at 7:30.
The only thing missing was the Jersey salute they probably forgot but had in mind.
But, hey, folks, you can always stand in line for hours for a jam-packed ride on the tram. And the one bright light is that people coming from Manhattan will be so discouraged they’ll give up, reducing the congestion.
We’re not alone…
When the MTA delivers its big transit disaster, this weekend, Roosevelt Islanders who need the subway and tram for basic needs will not suffer alone.
If you need to shop for groceries, attend a class and, God forbid, if you’re physically challenged, you’ll be stuck along with all those cherry blossom lovers.
RIOC announced no plans for mitigating the stress here. The most likely reason is, they don’t know anything about their sister agency’s plans for a big Cherry Blossom Weekend disaster.