Subway Elevator Rally

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Disability Advocates: Why Aren't Elevators Part Of Subway Station Renovations?

May 07, 2018 - 1:40 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- As WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported Monday, advocates for the disabled are asking why.

Jackie Goldenberg of the group Rise and Resist said she has been going up and down the subway steps for 43 years.

“Oy, sorry to kvetch. My knees are killing me,” Goldenberg said. “Thanks, Governor Cuomo.”

Colin Wright of the nonprofit TransitCenter had a message for the MTA.

“Stop overhauling station without adding elevators, and show riders a plan for 100 percent accessibility,” he said.

Advocates for the disabled and elderly rallied outside the boarded-up B and C train station at 72nd Street and Central Park West, where state Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) demanded to know why elevators were not included in a multimillion-dollar renovation.

“When only 23 percent of this city's subways have elevators, we know it's not good enough,” she said.

The new president of New York City Transit, Andy Byford, has listed accessibility as one of his four top priorities.

An amendment to the MTA capital plan will pump $300 million into 17 stations to make them compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Rosenthal said the work is not being done fast enough.

“At the current pace of installing new elevators, New York City subways would not reach 100 percent accessibility until 2100,” she said. “We need to speed this up.”

For now, the stations along the B and C lines, Byford said, are falling apart and need urgent repairs.