Sept. 23, 2019. By Shane O’Brien
The MTA announced last week that two stations in Astoria would receive ADA compliant elevators as part of its 2020-2024 capital plan– but Council Member Costa Constantinides said that more are needed.
The MTA plans to add ADA compliant elevators to 70 stations across the City by 2024 under its 2020-2024 capital plan and has named 48 of those stations. The agency said it has yet to decide on the remaining 22.
The MTA has announced that the Broadway N/W station – which recently underwent nearly eight months of repair work – and the Steinway Street M/R station will both receive elevators.
Constantinides said that two stations, while a positive development, is not enough. He said that there will still be several stops in Astoria where the elderly, the disabled and parents with strollers will still struggle to gain access to the platforms.
The Council Member said that the N/W line is in particular need of elevators. None of the N/W stations in Astoria are currently ADA accessible, although elevators are being installed at the Astoria Boulevard station. Those elevators should be in place by the end of the year.
Constantinides also lambasted the MTA for its previous decision to not install elevators at Broadway when it carried out repair work at the station between July 2018 and January 2019.
The work led to the closure of the station and Constantinides questioned why the elevators were not installed when the station was stripped down to mostly beams. The Council Member said that there will likely be more closures to install elevators at the station.
“Commuters and small businesses along this corridor were just forced to languish for eight months, and are now likely to be subject to more neighborhood disruption during this installation.,” Constantinides said. “This just seems like poor planning, more wastefulness, and more disregard by the MTA.”
Constantinides called for control of the subways to be taken away from the MTA and handed over to the city as City Council Speaker Corey Johnson suggested earlier this year.
In February 2018, Constantinides rallied for elevator access at the Broadway station–and others along the N/W line– ahead of the planned overhaul. His calls went unanswered.
The MTA has revamped the Broadway, 30th Avenue, 39th Avenue, 36th Avenue and Ditmars stations over the past two years–and didn’t add elevators to any of them.
Elevators are a GREAT idea, however, what has this neighborhood been through so far? We haven’t had normal service on the weekends since something like 2016-2017, albeit for a weekend here and there! That impinges on us going to other boros as well as business coming here. As much as I would like these elevators too, there should be a break for Astoria to have a steady-state of ops normal for a little bit finally to recover. It’s literally has been years of messed up service as a result of the renovations, which really have done nothing for us except look pretty (as egress from the train is still forever on the stairs and just as long of a line). Hopefully if in the MTA capital plan it’s a in a few years so we can reap the benefits of it eventually, but also enjoy normal weekend train service for a while to get back in stride. While needed, we need a break of normalcy for a little bit. Like many said before, this should have been done when the renovations were being done, and we can’t deal with another economic and time impact immediately again despite the benefits. We haven’t had normal train service for YEARS.
Trust me, I hear that — but people with disabilities aren’t even able to get to Astoria on the subway, let alone be annoyed by poor service. It gets very difficult to repeatedly hear that our strides toward equality inconvenience people. Normal train service will resume once everyone is granted the privilege of even being able to get on the subway.
The MTA is not the bad guy as a whole. Granted there are numerous union issues that seem outrageous but those union contracts were ok’ed by the Governor and MTA management. If you were a union worker you would be all for the perks, if you’re not then it seems ridiculous. There a lot of things that could’ve/should’ve/would’ve been done or to be done but you get what you get and you don’t get upset. In regards to elevators and escalators not being in place you have to keep in mind that the subway system is over one-hundred years old. So when it was built it was considered a luxury item at the time. There are a lot of logistics involved in putting those kind of complex moving parts to an existing infrastructure. So those union guys sitting around might look bad it’s all for a specific reason they are waiting for material, maybe an inspector to show up, or maybe they’re just on a plain old break. Pat hit the nail right on the head if Costa would put more attention to more important issues like this article instead of dog parks and issues that might only help a select few versus many. To one gentleman that says he’s been riding the N for 35 years to nowhere and always late the fact is that train delays are mostly caused by customers not equipment related. All in all you have to realize that even if running late to your destination to ride the subway for the price you pay is cheaper than any other alternative.
How about if this was plan properly it would be done correctly. Do they think people are not going to get old , we have handicaps and mom with babies.
Every station needs them but you tend to pick and choose what is convenient.
Please explain how you choose what station you decide to put an elevator in? Hmmm
Not surprised that it wasn’t done during the renovation. Now more union guys can sit around the station for 6 months collecting OT. Maybe if there wasn’t so much corruption all of the stations could have elevators.
Had occasion to use Broadway station coming from Manhattan the other day because as usual the weekend Fast Track repairs which have been going on I think for at least 11 years had the Steinway station closed. My first reaction was wow do they need an elevator here. Glad I was walking down and not up. Hope they put in elevator soon. Thanks.
It’s all good , that should of been done at the same time renovation was being done, but please don’t forget 30th.Ave & 31 St..
Theres alot of person in area that can’t climb the stairs.
I don’t like a dog run on concrete and the elevators issue should have come up while the reno work was being done. Not even Queensborough plaza with 5 stories have an escalator or elevator is torture for elderly and disabled.
Please don’t close Broadway station again!! We just went through it being closed not even a year ago. Why wasn’t it done when the renovations were being done. I’m very angry about this! It is such a huge inconvenience!
How about less focus on “capital programs” and more focus on running trains on time? I’ve been riding the N train to nowhere for 35 years now. Always late.
With 30th Avenue being the station for mt. Sinai queens, the need for elevators there should be obvious.
I agree. Everyone needs a way to get away from Sinai as fast as they can. With that said, rolling your bed down 30th ave and onto an elevator is not such a bad idea.
Besides an elevator at ditmars they should have widened the platform or at least put a guard rail on both sides of the platform near the steps. It is soooo narrow. Especially when one of the staircases is closed.
Sad that it was not done the first time. I look forward to having an elevator at the Broadway station so I will once again be able to ride the subway.
30th Ave station needs elevator badly.
The stairs at Ditmars stationare to long for elderly or any disabled person to walk down. As well any person carrying a baby carriage or shopping cart. It would be of great advantage to have some elevators at Ditmars station and any other station w such long stairs. Ty
They should do an elevator on Ditmars because it is the first and last stop on the train
How about 36 avenue??
Clueless Costa-useless as ever. You had your chance to shine when the other stations were being renovated. Instead you focused on a dog park, or greenhouse gases. Meanwhile Steinway street is fast becoming a ghost town and haven for bums, miscreants, and filth. Marauding mopeds ride recklessly through the streets to deliver food. Complaints to his office go unanswered. Vote this bum out
The MTA is the bad guy here, not Costa. You do know he doesn’t make these decisions, right? Blame the bum Cuomo, he runs the MTA. Or at least when it’s a good photo op for him!
Dog park was voted on by your neighbors.