|Photo from LIC Post
Harsh words and bad feelings toward the MTA have begun anew following the first of 22 weekends of suspended service on the No. 7 subway line into and out of Long Island City.
In announcing the date of a town hall meeting March 27 but not the time or location, Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Kevin Ortiz provided an update on the marketing campaign that was promised to help boost the local businesses that would be affected by the service shutdown.
“Re the marketing campaign: The ball is in their court. We haven’t received any creative content from the LIC team yet and the deadline was last week,” Ortiz wrote.
Rebecca Trent, owner of the Creek and the Cave Restaurant and comedy club, at 10-93 Jackson Ave., and the founding member of the restaurant association LIC Eateries, was furious.
“We have met every deadline when the MTA gave us specs on what to send. The problem was that they usually gave us 36 to 48 hours’ notice to send images without answering our questions regarding use, duration of campaign and distribution. They also said they needed releases to accompany images, but no matter how many times we’ve asked for them, we still don’t have them,” she said.
City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) followed with a statement that said, “Now is not the time for finger-pointing that the MTA has chosen to engage in with the local community. The Long Island City community is hurting as a result of the 22 weekends of closures on the 7 line. The least that the MTA could do is work actively with the community on the promises that they have made.
“Instead, we have seen the MTA add insult to injury by suggesting that the slowness of implementation of a campaign is on someone other than themselves. This simple suggestion is shameful and arrogant.”
One restaurant did better because of the suspended service, OpenDoor, at 10-09 Jackson Ave.
Owner Nick Guitart said, “We had our best weekend in six months.”
He explained that LIC residents don’t normally dine locally, preferring Manhattan restaurants near their workplaces.
“Some of the folks that never go out here had no choice but to try out the local restaurants because they couldn’t get to Manhattan,” he said.