Brooklyn’s subway riders should expect to see a new name on the map next time they are underground.
This week, the MTA officially renamed Newkirk Avenue Station along the 2 and 5 lines to Newkirk Avenue-Little Haiti. The change comes after local politicians and advocates pushed to have the Flatbush’s Caribbean population recognized and memorialized within the city’s transit system.
“As a longtime Brooklynite, I am keenly aware of the significance that this neighborhood plays as a center of Haitian-American life and culture,” said MTA acting chair and CEO Janno Lieber. “This is an exciting day for the entire borough and for Haitian-Americans across the city.”
The proposal to rename the station was formally submitted by Assemblywoman Rodneyse Bichotte Hermelyn and State Senator Kevin Parker. New signs and alterations to maps in the station and on subway cars will reflect the name change, as well the audio systems on platforms and in trains.
“Having grown up in Canarsie, I’ve always understood that each and every local subway station is ingrained in the fabric of its neighborhood,” said New York City Transit interim president Craig Cipriano. “With new signs, new maps, and updated audio announcements, it will be crystal clear to all who pass through here that this station is in Little Haiti.”
The renaming event occurred on November 18, the same day as the Haitian celebration of the Battle of Vertières in 1803, the last major battle in the successful Haitian Revolution.
“This subway renaming is not just timely but symbolic of our blossoming diverse community,” said Congresswoman Yvette Clarke. “From the arts to their great music and cuisine, Haitian Americans have shaped us with their unique culture and make us who we are as Brooklynites and Americans.”