Friday, April 26, 2013

What's amatta with you? (updated)

This morning I went to the grand reopening of the Smith and 9th Street Subway Station.  It has been closed for about 2 years for a major rehabilitation.  This was not an easy fix because it is the highest Subway Station in the world..  Really.  For reasons I can fathom it was build over a draw bridge.  Really "With an elevation of 87.5 feet (26.7 m), this station is the highest subway station in the world.[2] This elevation was required by now-defunct navigation regulations for tall-mast shipping on the Gowanus Canal. "

Because the subway platform is actually over a road (that is over a canal) you really can't use elevators, there has to be escalators.  Well, there could be elevators but that might have added a few hundred million dollars to the cost of the project.

OK, the old station was at ground level.

It was a dump, but it was accessible to people who could not walk up or down stairs.

Now it looks great, but you can't get to the escalator without going up 3 steps.

When things were winding down, one of the advocates for the disables asked our Borough President why there are no ramps.  I heard him say "Don't worry, their not done yet."  What does he know, he has nothing to do with the Subway.  It is a New York State Agency.  What are they gonna do, rip out the new stairs to build a ramp.

Anyway, it is gonna be a tourist attraction.

(Update, after I slept on what I posted.)

I don't think those 3 steps are really a big deal. The escalators don't go all the way up to the platform.  There is still an entire flight to walk up.  Putting a ramp there wont help at all.


  1. great job, guys! only a year late, at huge cost to the area

  2. In 1976, the DC subway opened, or actually most of it did. There were only five or six stops on the "red line" to start, but the Judiciary Square station wasn't permitted to open because the handicapped accessibility elements weren't done. It's unclear, despite all this mumbo-jumbo about elevators being expensive or impossible, why an essentially new station can be opened and not ADA-compliant.
    (The City probably gets away with it by offering Access-A-Ride, but ask anyone you know about how unreliable that particular service is.)


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