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Pastor: Subway Noise Is Disrupting, Damaging Bay Ridge Church

St. Anselm Church

The pastor of St. Anselm Church has been complaining that the R Train has been causing vibrations and damaging the church building. (Credit: CBS 2)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The pastor of a church in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn – and other residents – claimed work by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority has been causing vibrations in the building.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported Thursday evening, it is not the Holy Spirit that is moving parishioners at St. Anselm Roman Catholic Church. It is the R Train beneath their feet, according to Monsignor John Maloney.

“You sit in my church, and when there’s a period of silence, you actually – parishioners – you actually, in your pew, you feel like you’re riding the train,” Maloney said.

Maloney said the vibrations are also causing damage to the church. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority contended that its testing showed otherwise.

“But as you see, on these buildings – and as you’ll see in other apartment buildings – I somewhat question it,” Maloney said.

Ann Hennesey told 1010 WINS reporter Al Jones that her walls are shaking apart.

“The top of my house is cracking. I had a wall fixed and now it’s cracking again,” she said.

The vibrations have also drawn complaints at the Our Lady of Angels church and school nearby, officials and residents said.

Officials said the problem is a byproduct of damage from Superstorm Sandy.

“The problem with the structures and the vibrations along Fourth Avenue began with the Montague Tunnel, which shut down this past August,” said Martin J. Golden (R-Brooklyn.)

The R Train is the only subway line that goes to Bay Ridge, but the increased frequency that followed the closure of the Montague Tunnel has resulted in noise complaints, Golden said.

But officials said the problem goes far beyond the nuisance from the noise.

“It is a public safety issue. I mean, this is a school here. We have countless numbers of children that come in and out every day on a regular basis. We have adults; we have parents that come and pick them up. We have senior citizens that come for activities at the church,” said state Assemblywomnan Nicole Malliotakis (R-Brooklyn.) “This really is a public safety issue, and the monsignor has photos of bricks that have fallen in the past, and if someone was walking – God forbid – under that, they could have been killed.”

The MTA said the work it is doing is actually intended to reduce noise.

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