Today’s news:

MTA lets weeds overgrow landmark

Some local straphangers have been asking about the virtual forest growing around the 180th Street IRT train station in Van Nest. 

The station, which serves the #2 and #5 subway lines, located on Morris Park Avenue, is surrounded by overgrown greenery.

While the Japanese maples and other trees enveloping the historic Spanish architectural landmark continue to beautify the urban transportation hub, weeds as high as four feet are deterring the area’s natural appeal.   

While most subway stations don’t require significant exterior grounds upkeep, the 180th location is a unique, large regional hub with substantial vegetation that requires constant care.

The New York, Westchester and Boston Railroad emerged as a regional rail line in 1906, guided by Charles S. Mellen, who wanted to build a new station in the Bronx to rival the then-overtaxed Grand Central Station.  The line between 180th Street and Dyre Avenue was converted to a city subway line in 1940. 

Baychester resident Elaine Smith expressed concern that the unkempt garden would send a message to the community that the area is being neglected.

“When people find a place clean, they want to keep it clean,” Smith said.  “But when a place is nasty, people don’t care; they won’t pick up trash and keep it nice.”

Satisfied that the overgrowth doesn’t impede pedestrian traffic, Smith commented, “I mean, it’s out of the way at least, but it would look nicer if they clean it up.”

A Department of Transportation spokesperson said the agency is currently looking into the situation, and that maintenance of the greenery is done “periodically.”

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