2nd Avenue subway construction protested

2nd Avenue subway construction

October 25, 2010 4:20:17 AM PDT
The 2nd Avenue subway will eventually be a great addition for city commuters. But construction has been anything but great for nearby business owners and residents who say the disruption has wreaked havoc on their lives and livelihoods. On Sunday, they took the streets in protest, pleading with the MTA to stop.

"We've been under this construction with their feet on our throats for three and a half years," Upper East Side resident Marcelo Ronchini said.

They say the 2nd Avenue subway construction is putting the brakes on their businesses, choking off pedestrian traffic and kicking up dust. They say the long-term project has slowly but surely killed the neighborhood.

Among other things, the group is calling for financial aid for struggling businesses.

They say dozens of restaurants and stores have closed since construction began. And the ones that haven't closed are losing money.

"We have a right to be here. It's completely unfair," business owner Peter Yu said.

The MTA has already promised to clean up construction areas and re-pave chopped up sidewalks.

They've also pledged to widen the walkways in front of businesses and cut down on the noise.

While this coalition of business owners and residents welcomes the changes, that alone won't keep some of the neighborhood businesses in business for long.