NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Whose bright idea was it to plan signal modernization on the No. 7 subway line on the same weekend when it will be crammed with costumed characters heading for Comic Con?
CBS2 sent reporter Dave Carlin on Thursday to see how the attendees plan to cope and to find out why the the Metropolitan Transportation Authority claims skipping this weekend was never an option.
The way subway system upgrades are colliding with a big weekend event should make the MTA glad the costume characters at Comic Con don’t have heightened super powers.
CBS2’s Carlin spoke to some women who were surprised to learn that getting to the Javits Center on Saturday and Sunday will have to be done differently. They won’t have the 34th Street-Hudson Yards stop just a few steps away.
“Everyone’s probably going to get lost and have to walk. Women at night when they got to go home, it’s not safe,” said Tracy Walker of Bedford Stuyvesant.
The 7 line is suspended from Queens Borough Plaza to the Javits Center, replaced by free shuttle buses, or a walk less than a mile from Penn Station.
MTA employees told Carlin extra notices are up at the stations.
“We have a lot of information everywhere,” an employee said.
Some Comic Con attendees told Carlin the least the MTA could do is make the signs bigger.
“I walked right past it in the Grand Central Station,” White Plains resident Shonda Witherspoon said. “I was like, wait a minute, what? So I had to do a double take of it.”
“It really wasn’t a smart decision,” said Tiffany Walker of Clinton Hill.
The MTA said new communication-based train control signals must be installed no matter what. CBS2 found subway riders who said crowds have been coming to Comic Con long before the station existed, so they’ll manage.
“I’m sympathetic, but I think the MTA has to do what it has to do,” said Tom Ireland of Greenwich, Connecticut.
The MTA said delaying work for Comic Con might mean doing the same for every other event, and signal modernization, which puts more trains on each line, might never get done.
Leaving Comic Con-ers to practice the power of patience.
The MTA said the signal upgrades all along the 7 line will be a game-changer for hundreds of thousands of subway riders, including those attending Comic Con next year.