Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Inside The Fulton Street Transit Center: Gothamist

Inside the Dey Street passageway, signs wait to be pressed into service.

I am so looking forward to the completion of the Fulton Street Transit Center next year.  Last week I had an opportunity to go behind the scenes (a dream come true for any transit geek) with a group of transit professionals to see how progress is going at the site.   Been dying to post some photos but now the MTA has posted a set of their own. Via Gothamist:
Today the MTA dropped a sweet gallery of photosupdating New Yorkers on the project, specifically focusing on the gorgeous detail work that has gone into restoring the Corbin Building on the corner of John Street and Broadway. That skinny slip of a building hasn't looked this good in ages. Look at these restored details!
It's easy to get caught up in the delays and outrageous expense of the project - and the fact that the project does not add system capacity. But I never forget what a miserable, depressing warren, what a stale, urine-soaked dungeon this station used to be.

Aesthetics, accessibility and convenience are hugely important. When you spend a key part of every working day (or vacation, for our guests) passing through the subway system, the experience you have is going to impact your opinion of transit and your general outlook on life.  A miserable commuting experience endlessly repeated just grinds a person down.  By contrast, a bright, easy-to-navigate station with amenities can leave a person in a good mood for the business of life.

That's my experience anyway.  So despite the cost and the delays, I really can't wait for the rest of this station to open up and I'm glad the resources were applied here.  It's an amazing improvement over what was there, and it will have a tremendous quality of life impact for everyone that uses it.

I'll admit to initially being a Dey Street passageway skeptic - certainly there were other uses for the money. But particularly on cold or rainy days, I think it will actually see a lot of use.  Those teeming hordes the PATH train deposits at the WTC will have a host of new commuting options without setting foot above ground. 

And the Corbin Building - the care and restoration of which was forced on the MTA by LPC at significant cost - turned out to be a beautiful addition to the project.  The Corbin Building (8 floors) is available for lease as commercial space.

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