The West 4th Street station is the nexus point of the IND, the point where the 6th and 8th Avenues lines come together on two separate levels. From here, trains travel north to Inwood along Central Park West, and into Queens along Queens Boulevard to Jamaica and along the Grand Concourse in the Bronx. They also travel south into Brooklyn, reaching Coney Island via several separate routes.
While waiting for a D on the West 4th Street platform, I noticed some white enamel signs from the dawn of the IND in the 1930s, hidden in plain sight, dozens of them. Where can they be found? On the pillars in the center between north and southbound tracks. Apparently the MTA just considered it a pain in the neck to remove or replace them; they still get the job done, after all.
The station also had these on platform pillars, as seen here, but in the 1970s and 1980s they were replaced by now-standard black signs with white type reading “W 4 St.” which is more accurate, even though there are no entrance/exits on West 4th…just West 3rd and West 8th. There may have been staircases at West 4th at some time in the dim past.
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