Flooding Forces UWS Subway Commuters to Travel Home American Ninja Warrior- Style

New York City infrastructure has been buckling — and breaking — in the past two weeks, and much of the action has occurred on the Upper West Side. The neighborhood bore the brunt of the July 13 blackout, and Lincoln Square was impacted by another blackout on Sunday that lingered until Monday for some people. Manhole fires, and major weekend subway outages are now all-too-regular occurrences.

The latest challenge? Just getting home from work. On Monday, as heavy rains caused flash floods throughout the city, the 79th Street station on the Broadway line filled with water. Some commuters decided not to wade through the soup, and instead climb Spider-man style along the inner gate of the station. Perhaps if they do it correctly, they’ll be noticed by the talent scouts at American Ninja Warrior. Jason Haber took the video below, after which the MTA said it would send someone to take care of the station. (That station, meanwhile, has other problems with overcrowding that have lingered.)

ABSURDITY, NEWS | 23 comments | permalink
    1. Jen says:

      Embarrassing. One of the biggest and richest cities in the world. With the subway worse than in any developing regions.

      MTA is truly unaccountable for anything. I think we had enough of giving them chances to improve; it is not going to happen. Apparently the party it answers to doesn’t hold it accountable. Time to hold that party accountable.

      • Parker says:

        Pataki withheld critical funding to the MTA for almost a decade, which is one of the primary reasons why the subway system’s infrastructure has collapsed.

        • robert says:

          Huh? Cuomo has been Gov for a decade now, not Pataki. Perhaps you should be asking him why he has repeatedly moved millions to upstate ski resorts for upgrades directly out of the MTA budget. What Pataki did was cut state funding with the understanding that the city would raise its funding levels. Something the city council refused to do.

        • Dissident says:

          What about the MTA executives? Has their pay been effected at any point during the scarcity you claim?

      • Judith Hoy says:

        Right you are! Thanks for noting this.

    2. AC says:

      Problem should be left as is. To fix the underlying problem would require complete shutdown of the station, for an extended period of time. I’ve been using this station since 1967 and the drain along that corridor continues to backup, causing it to flood. The station is over 100 years old and Band-Aid repairs will not solve the problem. Requires the below-grade drainage system to be replaced with a bigger and much more improved system. Doing so would require 3 to 4 weeks (depending on what other factors arise – reference the stair upgrade).

    3. Kiko says:

      Time to move out of the city.

    4. Margaret says:

      It’s not so much an absurdity as an atrocity.

      Sorry to be so blunt, but I’ll never stop being completely disgusted with so called community leaders like Andrew Albert and with people like Gale Brewer and Andrew Cuomo who don’t act to avoid or fix situations like this. Albert is on the board of the MTA, an ultra luxury rental goes up directly on top of this station at 80th and Broadway, and here is what his influence has brought the neighborhood. Zero.

      • Sid says:

        Gale Brewer has nothing to do with the subways or MTA.

        • Margaret says:

          Very fair point, let me clarify why I mentioned her. I am disappointed/disgusted with Gale for choosing not to use her bully pulpit on this – especially the missed opportunity to fix this during construction of 222 West 80th – and for reappointing Andrew Albert to the CB7 transportation committee again and again. I hope to see her do better but have lost faith that she will. And this is the result.

    5. Zeek says:

      Of course. Make the improvements on the UWS. The millionaires (and people getting $5000/month apartments for $500/mo) may get their Manolos wet.

      Take a taxi. Save the improvements for the outer boroughs.

      • Richard says:

        Ah yes, the classic and endless bickering between the various sides — who all have a valid argument; the perfect recipe for nothing to happen. Keep it up, fellow New Yorkers!

      • EricaC says:

        As much as there is validity to your point, there is also the issue of maintaining the tax base. Millionaires have options. If you want them to stay and keep paying taxes, you can only push so far. Is this the point at which patience runs out? Probably not (there are other, more urgent issues doing that). But you do have to kee an eye open for when that line is being crossed.

      • Marci says:

        The suggestion to only make improvements to the outer boroughs is ridiculous. Zeek, do you really think only Upper West Siders use the west side trains? That’s a myopic mindset that isn’t going to get anyone anywhere.

    6. Zanarkand says:

      No one wants to fix the issue. It would cause a complete shutdown for months or even a year or so to give these stations the attention they need. Just look at the L… Literally they warned people that the tunnel is falling apart and all people cared about was an extended commute.

    7. Alfonse says:

      It rained at a rate of 3″ per hour, what do you expect. Most subway entrances are basically holes in the ground. They put an tep up in frnt of the staircase to prevent water from running down the sidewalk into the stairwell, but the only way to stop it from raining directly in would be to directly cover ever staircase. Or dig mew drainage in that area. Not sure where you drain to other than the tracks? how much construction will there be to connect new drainage into a sewer system there?

      How many complaints were their on this site alone about how long the SE corner of that station has been closed or renovation. What will people do when the MTA proposes this project. Jeez people.

      • B.B. says:

        IIRC pumps in subway system send water up to street level where it drains into storm sewers. Don’t believe there are direct connections between subway tunnels and the sewer system

    8. Leon says:

      They are already tearing up the staircase on the SE corner of this station so while they are there, can’t they also do something about this problem?

      This station is a mess. I think people could survive getting off at 72 or 86 (or taking the bus) for a few months in order to completely shut down the northbound side and doing a complete overhaul.

    9. your_neighbor says:

      Stick a couple of $200 sump pumps and some hose in those drains to pump the water onto the tracks or up onto the street to catch the overflow before it overflows.
      Of course this will be a $200,000 job after the MTA and its contractors got through with it.

    10. Marcia Kaye says:

      Why is no one talking about infrastructure when describing this series of breakdowns,
      mainly on the UWS? Money for infrastructure
      repairs and upgrades is what Trump refused and still refuses to talk w/ Pelosi and Schumer about. People are only pointing at Con Ed; what about DC? Where’s the infrastructure story? And the influence of super high rises on this infrastructure. Coincidence it’s all happening on the upper west side???

      • Jeff berger says:

        Marcia: why should he help? The entire NY state Democratic Party, Nadler, Schumer, Como, have been trying to remove, impeach and jail him since day one! Why should Trump help NYC? You guys took down his name from his buildings! You had an opportunity. Trump is a Queens builder, the mayor, governor, members of Congress, could have sat down with him and asked for his help. Instead you screamed “resist impeachment Not our President” and here we are, the subways are falling apart and the one man who could help has no reason to do so. Too bad that you all put anger and progressive politics above common sense. But here we are.

    11. Kathy Ralph says:

      In addition to addressing the flooding, has anyone know if it is planned or if it has been suggested that two “floor to ceiling” turnstiles be installed at the exit leasing to the north side of 79th Street: one for exiting and the other for entering. A commuter can miss a northbound train having to travel to the main entrance to the platform.

    12. Lorna says:

      This NYTimes article about MTA funding has stuck with me since it was published in 2017. It really is mind-blowing how mismanaged the system was/is: