By Scott Etkin
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced this week that 17 more subway stations will receive accessibility upgrades in the coming years, including the W. 81st Street and W. 96th Street stops along the B/C lines. This effort is part of the agency’s 2020-2024 Capital Program, which aims to make 67 stations easier to traverse by installing elevators, ramps and other improvements. A list of the 34 stations currently under construction is available at the link.
The plans for the upgrades coming to the 81st Street and 96th stations are still in design, so specifics are not available yet. The MTA expects to have details on the changes by late 2023 and construction is likely to start early in 2024.
While accessibility construction projects are often associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the improvements assist people beyond those with physical limitations. In addition to “a large number of riders with disabilities, customers with children in strollers, and visitors with luggage will benefit by being able to get to work, school and entertainment easily,” said MTA Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo in the announcement. Arroyo was named the agency’s first chief accessibility officer in February 2021.
Local representatives on the Upper West Side voiced their support for the projects, while at the same time emphasizing that more work needs to be done to make the subway accessible for everyone.
“I am grateful and relieved that we are finally moving closer to bridging the gaps in subway accessibility,” Assemblymember Danny O’Donnell said. “There are still stations that are primed for improved accessibility, and I look forward to working with the MTA and institutional partners to continue making progress.”
“With only 135 of the City’s 472 subway stations accessible to New Yorkers, far too many people spend their days hunting for stops with working elevators, while others throw up their hands in frustration and abandon public transportation altogether,” said Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal. “While we still have a long way to go until the MTA is 100% accessible to those who most need it, this much-needed renovation is certainly a step in the right direction.”
About time! and still not enough! Hurrah!
Amen to all of the above
I’m still very angry that no elevator was part of the fairly recent W. 86th St.. station rehab. What a failure of imagination!
Well..llll was about to post a rant about how our other fave city (London) “does so much better” THEN double-checked and discovered the following:
“Currently 92 Tube stations (a third of them) and more than 60 London Overground stations have step-free access. ”
Well, guess it’s Humble Pie for din-din.
A good location for the 96th Street elevator would seem to be the northwest corner of 96th, the corner where the former Christian Science church / future Children’s Museum of Manhattan stands. There is more sidewalk room on that corner than on SW corner of 97th shown in the photo. That is next to a residential building, the sidewalk is narrower, there are three buses that stop there — so that passengers rush from bus into subway. Three lanes of traffic come out of the park, often speeding. Safer for pedestrians, including people with strollers/wheelchairs, if the elevator can be on 96th where sidewalk is wider and congestion less. People bringing strollers to CMOM will be able to enter immediately. Of course we don’t know yet about the physical substructure below pavement level.
96th B/C station needs a complete overhaul, like they did with 86th. In addition to not being ADA compliant, it just looks dilapidated. Wouldn’t be surprised if none of the cameras worked either.
While it’s good to have the accessibility an elevator provides elevators take up a lot of space. The elevator was also part of the Children’s Museum plan for access so that patrons could enter the museum from the subway station. So why does the photo show the 97th Street Station? The elevator needs to be on the 96th Street corner by the museum. What a mess that 97th corner is with the transverse coming out of the park where cars speed by. And how MTA could have put 3 buses which come often at 97th Street out of the park. Now they want to put an elevator there? Why must we have such an absence of planning in this city?
Actually the M10 comes straight down CPW, not out of the park. The M96 and M106 come out of the park. But I agree with everything else you wrote.
As stated, the plans are not yet determined. The photo does not indicate the specific location of any modifications.
The photo does show the southwest corner of 97th so it’s implied that would be the location which is the absolute worst corner for all the reasons that have been already stated but most importantly the most dangerous. There are constantly accidents on that corner.
Of course accessibility is majorly important to help older people and people with disabilities access the subway.. However, what about those of us living far from subways…. A lot of housing has been built recently on the far west side.. West End Ave. /57th street etc
Impossible to get around the City from there.
try getting around Queens
Re: “Impossible to get around the City from there.”
NOT impossible ! The M57 Crosstown bus travels CROSSTOWN (Really?? Gasp!!) all the way to York Ave, thus providing access to all subway/and/or bus lines in “Manahatta” (Lenape name for our little island).
What’s wrong with building away from public transport? If people want to live there, they may count on using car services, bikes or walking to get where they need to go. It’s not impossible to get around even if it doesn’t suit you or me.
I thought at one point they were renovating a bunch of stations on the UWS on the 1, A, and C. What ever happened with that?
They did renovate some stations on the B/C line. 72nd was one.
Does anyone have knowledge of when or whether the 1 Station at 125th Street is apt to receive some attention? It is an above-ground station and it is crumbling.
It was actually fully repainted a few years ago. Columbia University is going to improve it at their expense and add escalators when they are finished with construction on their new building on 125th Street and Broadway.
The 96th St. station used to have a 95th St. entrance/exit. It should be re-opened.