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MTA to spend $150 million revamping four Astoria subway stations, critics ask why no elevators

October 20, By Tara Law

Four Astoria subway stations on the N/W line are about to undergo a $150 million overhaul with the MTA installing new turnstiles, digital screens, LED lights, benches, and a staircase– but no elevators.

The upgrades are part of an initiative by Governor Cuomo to overhaul 30 stations across the city. The renovations will include structural repairs, a revamp of the mezzanines and platforms, a new staircase at the 30th avenue station, new countdown clocks and security cameras.

Renovations of the 30th and 36th Avenue stations will begin on Oct. 23, and the two stations will be closed until spring 2018.  Following their completion, the 39th Avenue and Broadway stations will then be closed for seven months for their revamp.

Members of Community Board 1, which covers Astoria, voiced concern that elevators were not being added to the stations at its monthly meeting Tuesday after the MTA presented its plans.

Board members claimed that the MTA was neglecting the elderly, disabled, and parents with young children, many of whom depend on elevators to use the subway.

Luke DePalma, an MTA representative who spoke to the board, said that four new elevators would be added to the Astoria Boulevard station in coming years. In addition to the elevators, he said, the MTA’s fully-accessible bus fleet provides service across the neighborhood – including connections to other accessible stations on other subway lines.

But this was not enough for most board members.

“I think your response about ADA accessibility at the other stations is pretty poor, with all due respect,” said board member Katie Ellman. “And I think it’s pretty disheartening for community members who have disabilities, and also people with children that may need to use strollers.…”

Community board member Daniel Aliberti said he was frustrated that the MTA had not consulted the community before deciding not to install elevators.

Alberti said he is worried that the MTA is not “leveling the playing field for all citizens” in a neighborhood with a high concentration of elderly and disabled people. The improvements may be intended to improve the traffic flow, Aliberti said, but these changes will leave out many people.

“They’re not enhancing the flow for these 40 to 50 percent of people who need accessibility,” Aliberti said

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37 Comments

Poparoo

Hey I’m poparooo maaaannn and I’m stoned out of my mind man. Somebody beat me to a pulp man cause I’m a loser maaaannn




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Melissa Wolf

Okay. I’ve had it with the trolls and the jerks here. You are cruel and unusual and not considering that people who have a disability that doesn’t allow them to even take public transit means that they can’t get and hold a job and afford what you guys can. They need the entitlement benefits – as they are really called. One day you may become disabled after working hard all your life and have put money into those benefits and they will be there for you. If you have nothing good to say then just don’t! That’s the unspoken rule of the internet and you are making yourself look like complete and total idiots. Here more than any other place online.




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Jon

Can you clarify your situation?

Your wife was rejected from Access-A-Ride after a city appointed doctor evaluated her? I don’t know how this process works but I want to.




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Disappointed!

Okay, I am not upset about the elevators that much because I believe all elderly have access to Access-A-Ride and should take advantage of that. I understand the strollers is an issue but it’s just way too costly to implement in this environment. This elevator would lead upwards while most elevators usually go downwards. Upwards = much more expensive.

What I am annoyed by is the fact that we are waiting MONTHS for upgrades that are just for image. We don’t care about glass windows or fancy artwork! We care about creating a more efficient system. If you can’t give us elevators, give us ESCALATORS. If you can’t give us escalators, are you guaranteeing the service and efficiency of these stations will be improved? Because I don’t care how old this station looks.. if it works better than a new station, then that is all we care about. Also, do something about more seats on the station.. absolutely ridiculous that people are waiting 10 minutes for a train ride and there are only TEN seats!




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John

I hate to break it to you, but all elevators go down and up.

If it only went one direction it would really be the most useless elevator.




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Melissa Wolf

I also hate to break it to you but the MTA is completely and totally averse to Access-A-Ride. Our primary care doctor put it well when he told us that he had a patient who had only one leg and they denied him. My wife applied and I assure you that she desperately needs it. They rejected us and we appealed. The doctor in the room was such an a-hole. I wanted to say to him on the way out “Doctor what Medical School did you go to? Acme Medical School?” My Father was an amazing Doctor who practiced successfully in NYC for fifty years. I wanted to slap him and they still denied her. The MTA acts like the Americans with Disabilty Act doesn’t exist and it sounds like you feel the same way. Time to get a bit more compassion dude!




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Poparoo

The disabled get plenty already. 1/2 price train or bus access a ride. All kinds of discounts. Maybe a elevator is needed but the neighborhood didn’t have it before so maybe we don’t need it. Let it go for now you can always add it later on maaaaaaaaaaaan.




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Poparoo 46

The disabled get plenty already. 1/2 price train or bus access a ride. All kinds of discounts. Maybe a elevator is needed but the neighborhood didn’t have it before so maybe we don’t need it. Let it go for now you can always add it later on maaaaaaaaaaaan.




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Disappointed!

I understand your frustration but you’re using emotions rather than what is logical. MTA is already cutting dry with all these costs. For them to approve of this budget was already years in the making. You can’t expect them to install elevators when it doesn’t feasibly make sense. Like I said, I understand your frustration but when it comes down to costs, someone has to pay for it. There simply isn’t enough funds. My grandma is disabled and hasn’t taken an MTA for years. Her daughter just drives her everywhere. That’s just the reality of it for some people..




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Disappointed!

Didn’t think it needed clarification. Going underground to base level is less expensive than going up to then, base level. Especially when the stations are already tight and there is barely any walking space. It might work at Astoria Boulevard but in the rest of the Astoria stations, no, it would not be cost-effective. It’s better off being invested elsewhere.




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GetOutOfAstoria

Did you really just say that? People are concerned about the well being of the elderly, disabled, pregnant, etc and all you are worried about is what the picture LOOKS LIKE?? Go back to California you yuppie.




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Great Grandma Ginny

I just don’t understand how they get away with it. It is just so wrong. How do these people sleep at night?




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ann

Skip the cosmetic improvements and spend the money on making these stations more accessible. The MTA has done a terrible job in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here is a chance to improve. These stations need elevators.




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jam

“In a neighborhood with a high concentration of elderly and disabled people.
40 to 50 percent of people who need accessibility,” FU Cuomo, MTA!
why so we need unnecessary things like touch screen & wifi.
countdown clocks? when someone can just make an app for it.




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Sandi Leibowitz

The problem is real. I can no longer handle the subway steps–yet I was denied Accessaride. I can take buses within Astoria–but are you kidding with taking 3 or 4 buses to get to somewhere in Manhattan? It would take hours. And in winter or at night? Why not have elderly and disabled people sitting–or standing, where there’s no bench–in the snow, waiting for their third connection? Why put in 3-4 at Astoria Blvd. and none at the other stations? Of course–for the people going to the airport. Meanwhile, the rest of us can just stay home. It’s appalling that a multi-million dollar revamp includes unnecessary frills like wifi but not essentials like accessibility.




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Melissa Wolf

Did you know that you can apply for access-a-ride again? I highly recommend that you try. You need to be a drama queen when you’re in there. Unless you look like you’re really struggling you’ll be denied. You can and should apply. Just so that you also know there is a Civil Rights lawsuit against the MTA going on at the NYS Supreme Court. They act like the ADA doesn’t exist and it’s Time they were held accountable.




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Melissa Wolf

Like a disabled person could actually do that? I don’t think so…. I don’t think you are aware of just how insensitive that comment really is.




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Poparoo

Zzzxxxxxxxxxxxxzxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Take uber or lyft.




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Melissa Wolf

The problem with that is that people who are so disabled that they can’t ride public transportation can’t get to work or hold a job so they can’t afford Uber or Lyft. Honestly some of the comments here are getting insensitive and seem to come through a place of ignorance. Really? Think about it.




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Jenastoriat

Good to know. I hope something happens with it. It’s not just 30th Av station — it’s most of the city. There needs to be some viable solution that doesn’t require less mobile people to take 3 buses over half of a day to get somewhere.




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My thoughts

Agreed!!!! Elevators and escalators should come first before all the rest of that baloney. It’s like offering silk sheets to someone sleeping on a broken cot. No one cares about your damn touchscreens when we can’t even get up the stairs.




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Bill Alger

this is a joke and a sin against the handicapped. Not one station on this line has handicap access!!! Screw the modernization. As long as it functions it works. But to ignore the plight of those with canes, wheelchairs, scooters, BLIND, is so so WRONG!!!! GREED BLINDS YOUR EYES AND COMMON SENSE.




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Melissa Wolf

Right on! No elevators, in probably THE easiest stations to do it in, is reprehensible. This is personal for me. My wife has chronic kidney disease and it’s at late Stage Four. This makes it hard for her to go up all of those stairs. The bus lines do not cover the entire neighborhood and are just not enough. The MTA treats the disabled like they don’t exist. It’s tome for major change in their attitude. We even applied to Access-A-Ride and were denied, even after an appeal. It is so ridiculous. The MTA needs to be held accountable to the ADA like everyone else.




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Melissa Wolf

I don’t think it’s in their preview to do that. A social worker is a better way to go. We’re applying again.




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Jenastoriat

Lack of elevators is very disappointing. However, because these stations are basically suspended over a roadway, there are probably some expensive challenges there.




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Anonymous

Editors: in the future, it would be great if you could link to the sources of your images. I see maps that are illegible and images like the ones posted here that I’d like to see more of.




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Never Left Astoria

I like the rendering of the kid with a balloon – what year is this? Where’s the IPad?




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