life in and around NYC is insane

Thursday, August 19, 2010

commuting through Ground Zero -- what a nightmare

before 9/11, commuting through the World Trade Center was....well, not exactly easy, but usually uneventful.

there was an underground shopping concourse that connected all the buildings.  On the west side of the concourse, right in fromt of One World Trade Center, you could catch the APTH trains to New Jersey.On the soputh side of the complex was the Cortland Street station for the 1 train.  On the east side, you had the cortland street station for the R train.  and on the north side, the E train terminal -- at the north end of the E train  (chambers Street) you could connect with the A, C, 2 and 3.

well, the E train (and its connections at Chamber Street) was the only station not damaged on 9/11.   A temporary PATH station was rebuilt and reopened in 2004.  the R train has a stop at cortland Street northbound (coming in from Brooklyn) but not southbound, and the 1 skips cortland Street altogether -- which makes the E train all the more crowded.

In the pre-9/11 days, the southern end of the E train exited onto the undergorund concourse, with two auxiliary staircases leading up to Vesey Street. 

When the PATH station first reopeend, a portion of the concourse reopened as well, so that you could exist the E train and walk to the PATH without climbing the stairs up to the street (and you could look into the Ground Zero "pit" while doing so).

but construction issues taking precedence over commuters, the concourse is now closed.  everyone must exist from the E train via the auxilairy stairways.  Vesey Street is closed to vehicular traffic from Church Sttreet to Greenwich Street and is now used as  a pedestrian walkway to the PATH train.

I can deal with the crowds and the construction.

what I am losing patience with?

as I said, everyone must use the two auxilary stairways.  One stairway (the wider of the two) exists on the northeast corner of Church and Vesey.  the narrower stairway exists on the northwest corner of church and Vesey. 

some genuis at the MTA decided to label this seocnd stairway as "exist only  6 AM - 10 AM" to accomoate all of the commuters existing the E train at that hour.

but there's no enforcement of the rule.

consequently, just as the commuters leaving the station are bottlenecked around the stairway, a handful of inconsidrate slobs force their way down the stairs to get to the E train.

I have seen numerous fights over this.  someone is going to be seriously injured one of these days.

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