In November, I had read a post on Loge 13, assisted by photos from NYMDan at Mets Refugees, about the tearing down of the ramp from the 7 Train stop at Shea. I have to admit that it was rather shocking, considering not only the heavy foot traffic it had seen over the past years, but the tradition of the ramp itself. But there it was, gone, nothing left but a heap of scrap metal. That's kind of a shame. I didn't even know that my last trip over it following the last game of '07 would be my last trip over the ramp. My last trip was, needless to say, an angry, indignant stomp, rather than a victory march.
More recently, I had seen photos from NYMDan of the Walk-Up ticket booth by Gate E, a familiar meeting spot, no doubt, with its trees and benches and Newsday booth. That's pretty much gone, too. The benches and trees pulled up, the area now barren.
But it was the absence of that ramp that was digging at me. I wrote, last Opening Day, about how the crowd crush on the ramp was ridiculous. But, still, it was the best way out of Shea, and directly onto the subway platform. The crush had gotten better once the MTA had figured out the proper traffic flow, moved the turnstiles and put Express service into Manhattan after games. Then, they tore down the ramp! I was puzzled as to why they would do that now, as opposed to re-building it altogether after the 2008 season. Were we, then, supposed to cram ourselves by the dozen into the puny little sidewalk entrance onto Roosevelt Avenue?
The answer was, of course, no.
Here, again courtesy of NYMDan and Mets Refugees, we see that they are, indeed, building a new ramp from the platform to the street. But there is one thing that concerns me. And I'm sure I'm not the only one who is concerned. As of March 15th, this ramp is still pretty skeletal. Opening Day is April 8th. Less than a month away. Now, I'm not 100% sure who's in charge here, whether it's the Mets, or the MTA, as far as the ramp is concerned. It's safe to say that I'm a staunch advocate of re-designing the station altogether, and perhaps adding a second, more convenient exit to ease the bottlenecking that goes on. But they seem to only be replacing this one ramp, and at the rate they seem to be going, it might not be there by the time people start showing up. I can only imagine that I'll be sauntering into the Shea stop at 10:30AM on April 8th and stepping in wet concrete. That's if I don't walk out the door and fall directly onto Roosevelt Avenue. Hopefully, they'll work this all out. Hopefully, the ramp will be designed with a better traffic flow in mind. We'll see how this works out. I'm skeptical.