Heads up residents and merchants of Long Island City. For the next, oh 13 WEEKENDS, you can forget about an easy subway connection between Manhattan and the 7 train station at Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue. Today the MTA announced that there will be no 7 train service between Times Square and Queensboro Plaza from 11:45 p.m. Fridays through 5 a.m. Mondays during the weekends of (deep breath):

December 28-31, 2012, January 4-7, January 11-14, January 18-21, January 25-28, February 1-4, February 9-11, February 15-19*, February 22-25, March 1-4, March 8-11, March 15-18 and March 22-25, 2013 weekends. (*The mid February closure will begin at 11:45 p.m. Friday, February 15 and extend to 5 a.m. Tuesday, February 19.)

Why must the MTA inflict pain on Long Island City again when they just pulled this exact same shit in the fall? A spokesperson explains:

In 2011, we instituted a plan of infrastructure maintenance in the Steinway Tunnel to improve 7 line service reliability. We also began installation of a new signal system known as CBTC - Communication Based Train Control. This automated train control system ensures the safe operation of trains using wireless data communication that will allow for increased capacity, more frequent service and the future installation of countdown clocks.

To support this effort, fiber optic and computer equipment will be installed on the tracks along the entire line. This work requires service changes that will continue for several years. We realize this will be an inconvenience, but the work is necessary to modernize and improve the reliability of the 7 line.

Well, as long as there are fiber optics and computers involved... Obviously, there's still the old E train, which can get you to Court Square. And there will be a free shuttle bus operating between Vernon Blvd.-Jackson Avenue and Queensboro Plaza. In addition, the Q service will be extended to and from Astoria-Ditmars Blvd. during the daytime hours, and in Manhattan, the 42nd Street S shuttle will operate overnight throughout the weekend.

So there are options. And surely this will be the last time the MTA will ask the people of District 12 Long Island City to make this sacrifice!