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2 Avenue/Broadway Express·Brighton Local<86 Street

86 Street is in the intermediate stop of Phase I of the Second Avenue Subway that opened on January 1, 2017. The station is a deep cavern station located 93 feet below ground-level (making it the second deepest of the 3 stations) with a single 27.8 foot wide island platform for the two track line. The design of the deep-level cavern means no support beams are present on the platform for the full-length mezzanine above. The platform walls are grey panels with black lines and 86s in them at regular intervals. From the platform staircases, many combined with escalators along with a single elevator lead up to the mezzanine area. The mezzanine has an arched ceiling formed of concrete with white panels clearly showing the structure of the deep-level cavern the station is located inside.

To leave the station there are exits with fare control areas at either end of the mezzanine. All station exits lead off of the eastern side of the mezzanine and to the eastern side of Second Avenue. The northern exit is where the token booth is. To the west, a short-ways down a passageway, first an elevator leads directly up to the SE corner of 86 Street and 2nd Avenue. This upper landing of this elevator in a modern silver and glass enclosure is located inside a bulb-out in the parking lane of the street that extends east and is shared with the eastbound bus stop for the M86 Select Bus Service. To reach the other exit, 3 escalators lead up to a small intermediate landing below the surface (sunlight is just visible). From this intermediate landing, two sets of 2 escalators lead up to two different entrances located along the north side of 86 Street. The first escalator leads up to the NW corner of 86 Street and 2 Avenue, the second is just down the block (signed 86 Street Northside). These entrances are along the sidewalk in a bulb-out taking-up would be the parking lane. The entrances are between the driveways of the car loop for Yorkshire Towers. Originally this entrance was planned to be inside and take up the retail space of what is now a CVS Pharmacy (and was a Food Emporium during the subway line’s construction), after this idea was found to be overly expensive and complex the entrances were moved to be on the sidewalk. This didn’t stop multiple lawsuits from Yorkshire Towers, claiming that the new subway entrances would negatively impact resident’s quality of life. All of the resulting lawsuits were dismissed and the street escalators were strategically designed to be facing opposite directions on each side of Yorkshire Towers un-pedestrian friendly driveways. At the NW corner of 86 Street and 2 Avenue, in front of both the M15 Southbound Select Bus Service and Westbound M86 Select Bus Service stops is a two-story ancillary structure sitting alongside the base of an apartment tower in what were once shops. It’s too bad there isn’t an entrance (perhaps additional elevators) here to provide a direct connection to the important M86 Crosstown bus route in both directions.

The secondary exit is for 83 Street and has a bank of turnstiles without a token booth at the southern end of the mezzanine. Here a passageway leads out from only the east side of the mezzanine to a bank of three escalators. These escalators lead directly up to the surface to the NE corner of 2 Avenue and 83 Street. This entrance is inside a former storefront at the base of 303 East 83rd, a high-rise apartment tower. Directly across the street at the NW corner is a 4-story ancillary building containing ventilation equipment and an emergency exit.
All Photos: October 7, 2018

Art For Transit at 86 Street

Subway Portraits 2017

By Chuck Close

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Last Updated: November 20, 2021
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