The MTA is making a big mistake by considering cutting back the G train’s extended route in Brooklyn. So we’re glad District Leader Lincoln Restler has started a petition to save it. “The G is our lifeline to so many Brooklyn neighborhoods,” he wrote on his Facebook wall. The extension allows residents of Red Hook, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace and Kensington to have easy access to Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, Bed-Stuy, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, and Queens (and vice versa)—access that otherwise would be a lot trickier.
This all started in the summer of 2009, when work began on the MTA’s Culver Viaduct Rehabilitation Project, affecting several Brooklyn stops on the F line. As part of the project, the MTA extended the G line five stations south, making its terminus not Smith-Ninth Street but Church Avenue.
From an efficiency standpoint, it never made sense that the G line didn’t already extend at least to Fourth Avenue-Ninth Street, as that’s an important connection between the F and the R. But, hey, the subway system was designed to ferry passengers from the outerboroughs to the city and back again. In recent years, however, New Yorkers have begun to bypass Manhattan entirely, traveling, say, from one Brooklyn neighborhood to another. This can be difficult by subway; for example, though DUMBO and Williamsburg are almost neighbors, a train ride takes at least half an hour, and includes a trip across the river. (A ferry ride takes about five minutes.)
The G train is the only line in the whole system that doesn’t go into Manhattan. These days, the MTA should be looking to expand such non-Manhattan-centric interborough travel—not restrict it.