If you build it, they will come. So goes the logic in Field of Dreams.
And now for the MTA's version: if you don't build it, but you make it possible to eventually build it, then maybe they'll come.
Such is the fate of a proposed stop at 10th Avenue and 41st Street, which supporters want as a vital link for residents of Clinton/Hell's Kitchen. The problem is, in recent months both the city and the MTA have said they can't afford to add this station on top of a $2.1 Billion extension of the 7-Train to the Javits Center.
Engineers have estimated the 10th avenue stop would cost an additional $550 Million.
And the Mayor's office has been especially opposed to the stop, since the city is funding the project. Officials hope future tax revenues from the yet-to-be-developed Hudson Yards will more than return the investment.
But today, the city reversed course. “We’re confident we’ve found a way to keep the prospect of a future Tenth Avenue station alive without delaying the current extension," said Mayor Bloomberg, who said passengers will be able to board the new line by the end of 2013.
The plan, devised by engineers, would allow the addition of that 10th avenue stop at some point in the future, if and when the MTA finds the cash.
"The City is in no position to step in and pay for a Tenth Avenue station too," said Mayor Bloomberg, "but it will be good news if we can finish the current extension without closing off the possibility of it happening in the future.”
Added a mayoral spokesman: "we were gonna lose an opportunity forever if we didn't do it now."
MTA officials say someone will have to come up with that half-billion dollars to make the 10th Avenue Station a reality. Otherwise, the first and only stop west of Times Square on the new 7 Train will be 34th street -- and 11th Avenue.
"The MTA is fully supportive of the Mayor's proposal to seek federal funding to study the viability of building out a Tenth Avenue station in the future," an agency spokesman said in a statement. "While neither the City or MTA can fund the station due to financial constraints, we should not preclude the possibility of a station in the future. We will continue to work together to complete the extension of the 7 line on time and on budget."
Riders' advocate Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign says the potential addition is all well and good, but he'd prefer more money spent instead "on the badly under funded core of the transit capital, such new subway cars and buses, track and signals and station repair. The MTA is $10 billion short on what it needs to the basics."
Meanwhile the federally funded Second Avenue Subway is on track to open -- in 2016.