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Lower East Side–Second Avenue is a subway station on the IND Sixth Avenue Line of the New York City Subway. Located at Second Avenue and Houston Street in the Lower East Side neighborhood of Manhattan, it is served by the F train at all times. It is also the southern terminal of the V, which runs on weekdays only.
The station has two island platforms and four tracks. The wall tiling is purple with dark purple border and lacks name tablets; the columns are concrete, and there are especially large columns with built-in benches at the centers of the platforms. Despite the station's name, the exit and mezzanine at Second Avenue is only open part-time and is quite dim; a full-time booth is located at the First Avenue mezzanine. As part of the 1929 plans for the Second Avenue Line—which would have run directly over Second Avenue station—room was left for the anticipated right-of-way above the Sixth Avenue trackways and between the two mezzanines. A large, open space is still visible over the tracks and platforms.
West of Second Avenue, the center tracks are connected by a scissors crossover before merging with the local tracks; this allows the station to be used as a terminal station for short runs such as the current V service, as well as E service when it is rerouted along Sixth Avenue during construction. East of the station, the local tracks continue along Houston Street before curving south into Essex Street and continuing through Delancey Street station. The express tracks also continue along Houston but stub-end at about Avenue A, just before the turn into Essex; it was planned that these tracks would continue under the East River to the South Fourth Street Line, part of the never-built IND Second System.
Second Avenue opened on January 1, 1936, as part of the Houston/Essex Streets subway—the portion of the Sixth Avenue Line between West Fourth Street–Washington Square and East Broadway. At that time, all four Sixth Avenue tracks ran continuously from West Fourth Street through Second Avenue, as the local tracks still do. During the construction of the Chrystie Street Connection in the 1950s and 1960s, the express tracks at Broadway–Lafayette Street were severed from the express tracks at Second Avenue and rerouted to the Chrystie Street subway, running through Grand Street station to the north side of the Manhattan Bridge. The express tracks at Second Avenue were then tied into the local tracks just west of the station, becoming available as terminal tracks. The express trackage east of the station was previously used for train storage but became an oft-frequented spot for the homeless; the tracks were cleared out in 1990, and false walls were installed at the east end of Second Avenue station to seal the tunnels.
- M15 via First Avenue to Spanish Harlem, or via Allen Street / Park Row to City Hall or Allen Street / Water Street to South Ferry (limited-stop service north of Houston Street)
- M21 via Houston Street / Avenue C to Bellevue Hospital Center, or via Houston Street to SoHo
- nycsubway.org — IND 6th Avenue: 2nd Avenue
- Station Reporter — F Train
- Station Reporter — V Train
- Abandoned Stations: IND Second System unfinished stations