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Briarwood station

 "E" train"F" train"F" express train
MTA NYC logo.svg New York City Subway station (rapid transit)
Briarwood–Van Wyck td 18.jpg
Eastbound platform
Station statistics
AddressMain Street & Queens Boulevard
Queens, NY 11435
Coordinates40°42′35″N 73°49′11″W / 40.70969°N 73.8196°W / 40.70969; -73.8196
DivisionB (IND)
LineIND Queens Boulevard Line
Services      E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends (nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends)
      F all times (all times) <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction (two rush hour trains, peak direction)
Transit connectionsBus transport NYCT Bus: Q20A, Q20B, Q44 SBS, QM21, X63, X64, X68
Bus transport MTA Bus: Q60
Platforms2 side platforms
Other information
OpenedApril 24, 1937; 82 years ago (1937-04-24)[1]
Station code258[2]
AccessibleThe mezzanine is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but the platforms are not compliant ADA-accessible to mezzanine only; accessibility to platforms planned
AccessibilitySame-platform wheelchair transfer available
Wireless serviceWi-Fi and cellular service is provided at this station[3][4]
Former/other namesVan Wyck Boulevard (1937–1998)
Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard (1998–2015)
Passengers (2018)1,462,744[5]Decrease 1.8%
Rank301 out of 424
Station succession
Next eastSutphin Boulevard: F all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction
Jamaica–Van Wyck (Archer): E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekends
Next westKew Gardens–Union Turnpike: E nights after 9:00 p.m. and weekendsF all times <F> two rush hour trains, peak direction

Briarwood (formerly Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard or Van Wyck Boulevard) is a local station on the IND Queens Boulevard Line of the New York City Subway. Located at the intersection of 84th Drive, Main Street, Queens Boulevard, and the Van Wyck Expressway, in Briarwood, Queens, bordering Kew Gardens, it is served by the F train at all times, the E train at all times except rush hours and middays, and the <F> train during rush hours in the peak direction.

This station opened on April 24, 1937 as part of an extension of the Independent Subway System's Queens Boulevard Line. It has been renovated multiple times to accommodate the construction of and modifications to the Van Wyck Expressway.


Police station

The Queens Boulevard Line was extended from the previous terminal at Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike to a new terminal station at 169th Street on April 24, 1937.[6][1][7][8]


The station's exits were rebuilt as part of the $147 million Kew Gardens Interchange reconstruction project, which includes bridge replacement of the Queens Boulevard overpass over Van Wyck Expressway. The contract for reconstruction of the station's exit was bid on and won by Ecco and cost $9.9 million.[9] In 2011, the north entrance was demolished as part of rebuilding the interchange, leaving the southern exit bordering Maple Grove Cemetery as the sole entrance and exit.[10] A new entrance was built next to Archbishop Molloy High School on Main Street; another exit on the same site had been closed since 2010.[11] Another new entrance currently exists on the south side of Queens Boulevard between the Van Wyck Expressway service and main roads.

The station renovation was started in 2010 and was to be completed by 2016, with a new elevator entrance and rebuilt, widened mezzanine corridors.[11] However, delays abounded, including the fact that the new Main Street exit was delayed, having been pushed back from August 2012, to October 2013, and then again to March 2014; lead paint needed to be removed, costing $300,000; and plans were changed during construction, costing $1.7 million.[12] The opening of the new Main Street exit was subsequently pushed forward to February 2014, then back again to May 2014 with elevator work to begin after the new entrance opened; the elevator was to be complete by late 2014 or early 2015.[13] A new staircase entrance, on the northwest corner of Queens Boulevard and Main Street, was opened in December 2014.[14] In May 2017, officials opened the new elevator entrance, which is next to the staircase entrance that opened in December 2014. The elevator runs only between the street and mezzanine with no additional elevators or ramps to the platforms, so it is not ADA-accessible.[15]

Station layout

Track layout
G Street level Exit/entrance
M Mezzanine Fare control, station agent, MetroCard machines
Elevator at NW corner of Queens Boulevard and Main Street. Note: Platforms are not accessible
Platform level
Side platform, doors will open on the right
Southbound local "E" train toward World Trade Center weekends (Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike)
"F" train "F" express train toward Coney Island–Stillwell Avenue via Culver (Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike)
Southbound express "E" train does not stop here (weekdays)
Northbound express "E" train does not stop here (weekdays) →
Northbound local "E" train toward Jamaica Center weekends (Jamaica–Van Wyck)
"F" train "F" express train toward Jamaica–179th Street (Sutphin Boulevard)
Side platform, doors will open on the right

This station has two side platforms and four tracks. The platforms have Slate Blue columns, a Jasmine Yellow tile trim with black borders, and name tablets containing "VAN WYCK BLVD." in white lettering on a black border with matching yellow trimming. There are small tiles spelling out "BRIARWOOD" centered underneath each name plaque, with one letter to each tile, in the location where the directional exit plaques are placed in other IND stations.

The full-length mezzanine is directly above the platforms. It is separated into three sections with two black fences. Fare control is in the middle due to the requirement to have a pedestrian underpass under Queens Boulevard, so there is no free transfer between directions. The station is directly under the Van Wyck Expressway's southbound service road at this point, however.[16]

The station mezzanine has hosted the NYPD Transit Bureau's District 20 station house since the mid-1990s.


Former southern stair, demolished in 2011
Current northern stair and elevator on the same site

The full-time exit is via a long passageway to Main Street and Queens Boulevard, where there is an escalator and elevator to the north side of Queens Boulevard. The elevator leads only from the mezzanine level. Another pair of exits exists at the southwestern corner of Queens Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway service road, one on the west side of the service road next to Maple Grove Cemetery, the other on the east side of the service road adjoining the Van Wyck Expressway.[16]

Track layout

To the west of this station are track connections from both the express and local tracks to Jamaica Yard.[17]

Just to the compass south (railroad north) of this station, the IND Archer Avenue Line splits from the Queens Boulevard Line in a flying junction; trains to/from the Archer Avenue line can serve the station as local trains or bypass it as express trains. At the split, the Archer Avenue tracks split from both pairs of express and local Queens Boulevard tracks. The connection uses trackways that were constructed at the same time as the station, part of the section of the Queens Boulevard Line from Kew Gardens–Union Turnpike to 169th Street.[17]

The provision (then known as the "Van Wyck Stub") was intended to be built as part of the IND Second System in the 1920s and 1930s. The original plans had a line diverging south of Briarwood, running down what is now the Van Wyck Expressway to Rockaway Boulevard near modern John F. Kennedy International Airport. The extension was never constructed due to lack of funding.[18] The current Archer Avenue plans emerged in the 1960s under the city and Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA)'s Program for Action. It was conceived as an expansion of Queens Boulevard service to a "Southeast Queens" line along the right-of-way of the Long Island Rail Road Atlantic Branch towards Locust Manor; a two-track spur from the Queens Boulevard Line would use the original Van Wyck Boulevard bellmouths.[19][18][20][21] However, the line was only completed to Jamaica Center–Parsons/Archer, and opened several years behind schedule in 1988.[22] There are punch boxes on the Jamaica-bound track of this station to allow trains to go to either the Hillside Avenue or Archer Avenue lines.

The Van Wyck Boulevard right-of-way, which was proposed from the station's construction, is currently used by the elevated AirTrain JFK, though it makes no stops along the corridor.


Name plaque

The station's original name was Van Wyck Boulevard. Van Wyck Boulevard was the name of the wide thoroughfare that existed when the station opened. The Van Wyck Expressway was built over the boulevard in the early 1950s. The name was changed to Briarwood–Van Wyck Boulevard in 1998[23] to avoid confusion with Jamaica–Van Wyck on the IND Archer Avenue Line.[24]

Since 2008, community members had been pushing to rename the station again to simply "Briarwood" since it better reflected the neighborhood of Briarwood, served by the station, and since "Van Wyck Boulevard" does not characterize the area well (the now-expressway runs through several other neighborhoods in Queens).[23] State Senator Tony Avella and local community groups pressed for the name change. The legislation, proposed in January 2013, passed the New York State Assembly on June 19, 2014.[25] In August 2014, it was announced that the station would be renamed Briarwood.[26] The station was formally renamed on April 17, 2015.[27][28]

In popular culture

In the 1988 comedy film Coming to America, Eddie Murphy's character, Akeem, tries to persuade his love interest to marry him and go to Zamunda, a fictional kingdom in Africa. He follows her onto the Briarwood station. When Akeem jumps the turnstile, "Van Wyck Boulevard" can be seen in the background above the token booth. They board the train which next stops at the Sutphin Boulevard station where she gets off.[29] This scene, however, was actually shot at the unused platform and tracks of Hoyt–Schermerhorn Streets station in Brooklyn.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b "New Subway Link to Jamaica Opened; La Guardia, City Officials and Civic Groups Make Trial Run on 10-Car Train". The New York Times. April 25, 1937. Retrieved March 8, 2019.
  2. ^ "Station Developers' Information". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ "NYC Subway Wireless – Active Stations". Transit Wireless Wifi. Retrieved May 18, 2016.
  4. ^ More Subway Stations in Manhattan, Bronx in Line to Get Online, (March 25, 2015). "The first two phases included stations in Midtown Manhattan and all underground stations in Queens with the exception of the 7 Main St terminal."
  5. ^ "Facts and Figures: Annual Subway Ridership 2013–2018". Metropolitan Transportation Authority. July 18, 2019. Retrieved July 18, 2019.
  6. ^ * "Subway Link Opens Soon: City Line to Jamaica Will Start About April 24" (PDF). The New York Times. March 17, 1937. Retrieved June 27, 2015.
  7. ^ Kramer, Frederick A. (1990). Building the Independent Subway. Quadrant Press. ISBN 978-0-915276-50-9.
  8. ^ Roger P. Roess; Gene Sansone (August 23, 2012). The Wheels That Drove New York: A History of the New York City Transit System. Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 416–417. ISBN 978-3-642-30484-2.
  9. ^ Joe Marvilli (January 2, 2014). "Briarwood Construction End Date Pushed Back". Queens Tribune. Archived from the original on November 12, 2017. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  10. ^ Melissa Chan. "Construction to close subway entrance". Queens Courier. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  11. ^ a b Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska (May 28, 2013). "Entrance Slated To Open in Fall". DNA Info. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  12. ^ Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska (December 19, 2013). "Entrance Slated To Open in Fall". DNA Info. Archived from the original on September 4, 2014. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  13. ^ Christopher Barca (January 23, 2014). "Subway station work continues in 2014". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  14. ^ Gannon, Michael (December 11, 2014). "Briarwood subway entrance now open". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  15. ^ Kern-Jedrychowska, Ewa (2017-05-01). "Residents Welcome Long-Delayed Elevator at Briarwood Subway Station". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on 2017-05-02. Retrieved 2017-05-05.
  16. ^ a b "MTA Neighborhood Maps: Kew Gardens" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. 2015. Retrieved August 2, 2016.
  17. ^ a b "Tracks of the New York City Subway". Tracks of the New York City Subway. Retrieved October 9, 2015.
  18. ^ a b Raskin, Joseph B. (2013). The Routes Not Taken: A Trip Through New York City's Unbuilt Subway System. New York, New York: Fordham University Press. ISBN 978-0-82325-369-2.
  19. ^ Burks, Edward C. (October 24, 1973). "Work Begun on Queens Subway Extension" (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  20. ^ Archer Ave Route (proposed) Construction, Queens: Environmental Impact Statement. Urban Mass Transit Administration, United States Department of Transportation. August 1973. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  21. ^ Dembart, Lee (September 9, 1977). "A Sentimental Journey on the BMT..." (PDF). The New York Times. Retrieved July 2, 2015.
  22. ^ Johnson, Kirk (December 9, 1988). "Big Changes For Subways Are to Begin". The New York Times. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  23. ^ a b Kern-Jedrychowska, Ewa (March 17, 2014). "Change Could Be Next Stop for 'Briarwood/Van Wyck' Subway Station Name". DNAinfo New York. Archived from the original on August 21, 2016. Retrieved July 28, 2016.
  24. ^ A neighborhood association for the area in which the station lies campaigned for the name change in 1997 ("What's in a Name? All Aboard for Briarwood!". Newsday. April 13, 1997. Retrieved February 7, 2013.) A page on the Queens Boulevard line on New York City Subway Resources accessed in 1998 includes this phrase in the station's description: "This station has a new secondary name, Briarwood, that hasn't appeared on the map yet."
  25. ^ Barca, Christopher (August 7, 2014). "Briarwood station closer to renaming". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
  26. ^ Greg Mocker (April 10, 2016). "Neighbors want the name of subway station changed". PIX11. Retrieved August 27, 2014.
  27. ^ "Briarwood-Van Wyck Boulevard Subway Station Gets Simpler Name". NY1. April 17, 2015. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  28. ^ Suriel, Alina (April 17, 2015). "Briarwood station name shortened". Queens Courier. Retrieved April 22, 2015.
  29. ^ Schreil, Cristina (June 24, 2015). "Coming To America". Queens Chronicle. Retrieved April 28, 2016.

External links