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Knowledge on Purple Line Reaches Standstill on Kenilworth Avenue

Despite community outreach for the project, some business owners on Kenilworth Avenue are still unaware of the Purple Line's progression.

A strip of businesses on Kenilworth Avenue will likely be affected by the planned , but many business owners know little about the project, despite community outreach.  

“I was told there was some meeting about a Purple Line, but haven’t heard anything else,” said Martin Achu, owner of . Achu knew nothing about the project when asked about its details and hearing that it might push him out of business was a shock.

The shop has been around for three years, but Achu never planned to move and would be unprepared if the Purple Line interrupted his flow of business.

“That’d be disastrous,” he added.

After the Local Preferred Alternative (LPA) was approved, drafts of 21 possible stations were outlined; a few of which lie along Kenilworth Ave. was an initial concern, as the construction was said to cut to close to the front of the business. But six months ago, MTA said they had funding to assist their relocation, if necessary.

An owner at Rinaldi Lanes was not available for comment.

Now, more businesses who unaware of the construction affects are scrambling to find solutions.

“I have no idea what we’d do,” said Mario Hernandez, manager at . “I don’t think we have any alternatives. I don’t see how [construction] would affect our business, though.”

The little information that Hernandez knows about the construction is that it’s for some sort of transportation mode—he didn’t know whether it was under or above ground. Bracing to tell his father, who has owned the business for about four to five years, Hernandez explains that he’s heard a mention of a meeting to gain information about the project, but has yet to find concrete details.

Planning for the line has taken its course over the last few years, and at this stage, plans for the alignment and design are being finalized. The CKAR) has done plenty of outreach for the project, particularly going door to door to keep residents and business owners updated on it’s progression for about four years now, said Marsha Kaiser, the Purple Line communications director.  

Kaiser stressed that door hangers were placed in every business and residential area, and they’ve worked closely with the community for reorganization, noting the Feb. 12.

She’s unsure why a handful of business owners are still unaware of the project, but assures that they won’t be affected any time soon. The Purple Line is still in its beginning stages, and offers room for changes.

 “We’re in preliminary engineering right now,” Kaiser said. “So nothing is definitive.” 

Audrey Bragg February 24, 2011 at 04:29 PM
This is a great article. Please continue to investigate and keep us informed.
Pat Spray August 19, 2011 at 01:56 PM
"Kaiser stressed that door hangers were placed in every business and residential area, and they’ve worked closely with the community for reorganization, noting the Feb. 12 meeting between residents and the MTA." I live on the part of Quintana Street that the proposed wall will block. No one in the 5300 block received any "door hangers". I found out about the meeting 2 days after it was held. Other than vague references in The Riverdale Crier as to how the politicians managed to get the route shifted from downtown to "the less desirerable areas along Kenilworth", our neighborhood has heard nothing. Feeling a bit like sacrificial lambs at this point.
Sonia Dasgupta September 29, 2011 at 06:26 PM
Well it's good to know from my end... the Purple Line folks were at the last Riverdale Park meeting and there will be more community meetings. I'm trying to contact them now to get more information.

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