Queens retailers brace for No. 7 train shutdown

MTA's track, signaling system overhaul to disrupt service through July

No. 7 train in Queens
No. 7 train in Queens

Queens retailers are bracing for planned reductions and shutdowns of the no. 7 train, slated to begin May 2.

The MTA is tackling the overhaul of track and signals all along the 21-station line, meaning there will be no service between Times Square and 74th Street-Broadway in Jackson Heights from May 2 to 5 and May 16 to 19. The work encompasses three projects, including the installation of a new signaling system, Sandy-related repairs in the Steinway train tube and track replacement.

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Merchants in locations accessed only or primarily by the 7 train are putting together strategies to combat the anticipated customer drought, such as luring customers via Tweets and Facebook postings. Others are embracing the transportation snafu as a positive. With Manhattan less easily accessible, they believe area residents may frequent local restaurants and shops more often.

“It’s a big impact on business, especially our retailers,” Rachel Thieme, executive director of the Sunnyside Shines Business Improvement District, told Crain’s. [Crain’s]Julie Strickland