F Train Rattles Coney Island Residents

Brightwater Towers in Coney Island. Kouichi Shirayanagi/Bklyner.

CONEY ISLAND — Residents of Coney Island’s Brightwater Towers, located near the West 8th Street subway station, are so upset about noise from the elevated F train that 500 residents of the two buildings signed a petition to MTA President Andy Byford asking his agency to work on solutions to mitigate the regular screech made by trains making turns near their building.

Activist residents have found working with the MTA to be a frustration, however, after more than one month after submitting their petition to the MTA no one in New York’s transit organization could tell the residents who was reviewing the petition or what action could be taken.

Some residents have measured train sounds as loud as 100 dB from their balconies, while a 2010 city study commissioned after the city crafted it’s 2005 noise ordinance recommends that no balcony noise from elevated trains exceeds 45 dB. 

The Brightwater Towers buildings on 501 and 601 Surf Avenue are located less than 100 feet from the subway line.

Angela Kravtchenko, who started the group of seven residents who gathered the 500 signatures, known as the Stop the Noise Initiative Group, measured train noise exceeding 75 dB from her 21st-floor balcony on 601 Surf Avenue.  

“The noise has me worried about my family’s health, regular noise is known to impact the human heart, nervous system, and cardiovascular system,” Kravtchenko said. “It is almost impossible for us to use our outdoor balconies, I can’t sleep with the windows open. We can’t watch TV or have a conversation with an open window.”

About a year ago, the group met with Councilman Chaim Deutsch to address the train noise and the effort was fruitful in that the MTA started to lubricate the tracks regularly to dampen the screech. However, Kravtchenko said residents in Brightwater Towers now want the MTA to explore other solutions, “[The noise] got about 10 dBs lower but it didn’t solve the problem.”

The group has invited other elected officials to tour their building to hear the noise, including Assemblywoman Mathylde Frontus, who told Bklyner she would help with making calls to MTA officials on the residents’ behalf.

At a quality of life town hall meeting sponsored by Congressman Hakeem Jeffries on Saturday, Kravtchenko was the first member of the public to ask a question and asked MTA Assistant Director for Community and Government Relations Charvey Gonzalez about the status of her petition. While Gonzalez acknowledged his agency had the petition, was well aware of the problem and other MTA officials are willing to meet with the group, he could not give specifics about any recent solutions considered by the MTA. 

The MTA appears set to encounter many more noise complaints in the area if it is unable to come up with a long-term solution to mitigate the noise from the elevated track. New residential developments in the immediate vicinity’s pipeline include a 41-story, 575 unit residential apartment tower on Neptune Avenue and West 6th, known as Neptune/Sixth developed by Cammeby’s, as well as a 20-story, 114 unit residential apartment tower on 271 Sea Breeze Avenue developed by Rybak Development known as Sea Breeze Tower. 

Coney Island is a major New York City tourist destination, with the subway used to shepherd a number of tourists to the area’s famous amusement district each summer. According to the Parks Department, 7.4 million visitors came to the Coney Island beach during the summer of 2018. 

Kravtchenko measures the noise level of a train. Video courtesy of Angela Kravtchenko.

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  1. This has been problematic since the early 90’s when we were tenants, perhaps years before. Good luck to the association in getting a response from the MTA and City officials.

  2. Why would you even consider living so close to a subway? When I lived in Coney Island, we lived on W. 36 St & Canal Avenue & in the still of the late nights and early mornings, you could hear the trains. I couldn’t imagine living that close. Realistically speaking, what do they really expect the MTA to do to mitigate the situation???

  3. Always an issue. Need one point out that the train was there first, and that no one moved there without knowing they were so close to that train turn?

  4. Coney island has become a hunting ground for criminals. Especially after dark off season. I was sitting in Nathans enjoying chili cheese dogs and chili cheese fries myself was almost strong-armed by a very super aggressive young thug panhandler wearing a maroon and white hoodie and sweatpants and black and white Adidas slip on slippers and white socks

  5. You moved there knowing the train was there. People probably moved there because it was near public transportation. Now people wanna complain. Then move. This Brooklyn, we have noise. That’s life..

  6. I lived at 601B on the 23rd floor. The trains lulled me to sleep. Maybe a little WD 40 on the tracks might help!

  7. I live at Bay 50 (13 years now) right on the bend, I hear trains and the squeal as they go around the bend, I moved there I knew the trains were there it is the sound of NYC and I deal with it, I also used to live near an airport same thing it was there when I moved in, some newbies move in and wanted flight paths change, difficult with just one runway, and less flight’s, so why the hell do folks move to these places and complain? Is just something to do because they can?

  8. I agree with Janet. The trains were there before the apartments were built. Before renting, all someone had to do was stand outside and listen to the trains and the noise. Then decide if it was something you could or couldn’t live with.

  9. Ummmm…so…I think the train was there first. As others have aleady stated…why move near an elevated train and then complain about it?? This is something to consider when looking for an apartment.

  10. Was like that since I lived there in the 70s. They just noticed? Lol… grow a set of balls, you ‘re from Brooklyn for goodness sake!!!

  11. That subway has been there for more than 80 years. You just realized that noise might exist there? Really? I find it hard to believe it just dawned on you . You should blame the developer they were very well aware of the noise factor.. Live with it or move there’s nothing they could do about the noise

  12. Damn. That totally sucks. I’ve driven past there many times. I have never considered you guys would have such a problem. Perhaps since we are living in the future. Maybe an underground train should be built. Ha ha. Give that goal 50 years to 1000 years to implement. I’m currently a snowbird. I have a place in Florida where the highway is noisy. But I get used to it. My wife’s house in Staten Island is much quieter. But the Sheepshead Bay station was 3 plus blocks from our apartment. So I think you are doing the right thing by trying to take action. Maybe you need more signatures on your petition. Like 20,000 or more.

  13. I live on Cortelyou Road and the noise from sirens continues day and night. FDNY seems to try and modulate the sound of horns and sirens. Not so Maimonides ambulances. Can hear the from McDonald to E 18th st. Drivers and attendants must be going deaf. Private ambulances – do you need a siren to transport a patient to dialysis?

  14. The comments for this article are full of bias, prejudice and hatred towards the tenants. It’s disgusting and baseless.

  15. I find this topic & petition to be mind boggling. As others have mentioned – the trains have been there for 115 years. If the noise bothers you, then move to a rural area where you can have your peace & quiet .. not NYC .. let alone a building right NEXT to the train. You know, I hear sirens day in & day out .. being that theres a police station & firehouse behind 601 Surf. Maybe a petition should be started to reduce siren noise as well ??‍♂️ maybe even move the firehouse & precient further away from the almighty Brightwater towers ?? ?

  16. Hey, Michael. Could you provide an example of where there’s any bias, prejudice or hatred towards any tenants in the comment section? All I see are people posting factual statements & the basic common sense of knowing your surroundings, prior to moving into a building next to the train & then complaining about it.

  17. Majority of these comments sum it up. You want peace & quiet? Move else where. Other than that, I see no bias, prejudice or hatred towards anyone .. just plain & simple common sense.

  18. Grew up in Brightwater Tower. Moved there when it was first built. Everyone moving in back then was well aware of the trains. It’s all the new people that paid thousands of dollars for these now co ops that are bitching it seems. We were grateful to be living in such a beautiful, affordable place. Most of us couldn’t afford to live there note. So take your foreign money and sound proof your hundreds of thousand dollar co ops. Our big deal was being kept up by the barking seals.

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