As the gateway to a half-dozen subway lines, the sprawling Broadway Junction transit hub commands a prime location at the crossroads of six neighborhoods and serves as the unofficial welcome center in a fast-growing part of New York City.
The problem? It is anything but welcoming.
The dingy warren of passageways and platforms linking the A, C, J, Z, M and L are so packed that rush hour turns into a crawl. Outside, bus stops and a Long Island Rail Road station are plopped down in a depressing terrain of trash-strewn streets, chain-link fences rimmed with barbed wire and panhandlers camped out on sidewalks.
“You could do way better than this,” said Roody Fevry, 32, an exterminator who lives nearby. “It’s like nobody cares.”
Now Broadway Junction may finally get the makeover it has long needed. City officials are taking steps to create a destination stop with nearby restaurants, stores, gyms and other commuter-friendly amenities. Their aim is to turn the tired station and the surrounding area into a bustling economic center for a swath of Brooklyn that has long struggled with unemployment, poverty and crime.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation recently began a $200,000 study to identify potential avenues of economic growth in and around the transit hub — including office, retail and educational uses. A group of elected officials and community leaders has also been convened to come up with a vision for the area. The Brooklyn borough president, Eric Adams, and City Councilman Rafael L. Espinal Jr., a Democrat who represents the area, are the co-chairmen.