July 24, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Brand new elevators at the Astoria Boulevard N/W station opened to customers today, after many months of construction.
Two street-to-mezzanine elevators and two mezzanine-to-platform elevators were put into service today at the station.
Local leaders — who have pushed for elevators at the station for years to make it ADA accessible — celebrated their opening.
“The long wait for new subway elevators at Astoria Boulevard is finally over,” State Sen. Mike Gianaris said. “While there is more to be done to have a truly accessible subway system, today’s achievement is a step forward for all transit passengers.”
#AstoriaBlvd elevators are fully operational pic.twitter.com/QzzAf9exB6
— Sen. Mike Gianaris (@SenGianaris) July 24, 2020
Council Member Costa Constantinides also applauded the accomplishment.
“All stairways and newly installed elevators at the Astoria Blvd station are now open,” he tweeted. “Glad to see this work completed and hope we can still make every station in Astoria accessible to everyone.”
Transit advocates said the elevators will help many more Queens residents get around the city.
“The elevators at Astoria Boulevard opening today will give neighborhood residents with disabilities, parents with strollers, and older riders in Astoria more access to life in New York City,” said Colin Wright, Senior Advocacy Associate at Transit Center.
The Astoria Boulevard station underwent a major station revamp and was shuttered from March 2019 through December 2019. The former mezzanine was demolished and completely rebuilt.
The station reopened in December, while construction teams continued work on the elevators.
NYC Transit has been repairing and rehabilitating the entire elevated Astoria N/W line since 2017 — repairing both its tracks and station interiors.
The MTA has come under fire in the past for not including accessibility upgrades like elevators in station renovations. In 2018, Gianaris issued a report rating the MTA subway system the least accessible major transit network in North America.
As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary for the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), here are two ways the MTA can obtain financial support to pay for bringing more subway stations into compliance. The MTA receives $1.4 billion in annual assistance from various Federal Transit Administration grant funding programs. Why not ask any major business, college or hospital who benefit from subway stations adjacent to their facility to sponsor installation of elevator(s). Let them split the cost 50% with the MTA NYC Transit in exchange for naming rights to the elevator(s). The MTA needs to make some difficult decisions as to what other projects and programs may have to be canceled or reduced in the $51 billion MTA 2020 – 2024 Five Year Capital Plan which is no longer financially viable. This is necessary to find funding for installation of ADA compliant elevators at more subway stations.
(Larry Penner — transportation advocate, historian and and writer who previously worked for the Federal Transit Administration Region 2 NY Office. This included the development, review, approval and oversight for grants supporting billions in capital projects and programs on behalf of the MTA, NYC Transit, MTA Bus, Long Island Rail Road, Metro North Rail Road and NYC Department of Transportation along with 30 other NY & NJ transit agencies).
That’s great! We’ve recieved a lovely, useful ‘gift’. Much appreciated! God bless!😁👍
Great! Acting like this is the lunar landing is a politician’s job! Now the homeless have another bathroom! great job everyone
How many subway lines China built during we built 2 elevators in 2 years??? Someone has to make this city great again before crime, dirt, inefficiency settles in for good. We lose otherwise