BENSONHURST — Straphangers who enter the subway system at the 18th Avenue station on the D train line will be getting a lift…literally.
An elevator will be built at the station, according to Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials, who announced on Dec. 19 that the 18th Avenue stop is one of 20 around the city to be made fully accessible under the American with Disabilities Act.
It’s all part of the MTA’s $51.5 billion Capital Plan for 2020-2024. The 20 new stations on the MTA’s list are in addition to 48 stations slated to get elevators that the agency had previously announced in September.
The 18th Avenue station, located at 18th and New Utrecht avenues, will be the second stop on the D line in Bensonhurst to get an elevator. The MTA installed an elevator at the Bay Parkway station a few years ago.
The D train runs from Stillwell Avenue in Coney Island to 205th Street in the Bronx.
The Dec. 19 announcement included the news that the MTA plans to install at elevator at the 36th Street station where the D, N and lines run.
Other Brooklyn stations on the list include Jefferson Street on the L line, Nostrand Avenue on the A and C lines, and Broadway Junction on the A and C lines.
“The announcement of these additional 20 ADA stations is a major step forward for MTA system-wide accessibility,” MTA Chairperson and CEO Patrick Foye said in a statement. “New Yorkers deserve a subway system that works for everyone. This historic investment of $5.2 billion for accessibility in the next capital program will be life-changing for our customers.”
Local elected officials reacted with relief upon hearing the news about the 18th Avenue station.
“I heard from many Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Gravesend commuters that the 18th Avenue D station needed to become accessible,” State Sen. Andrew Gounardes said. “Now, their voices have been heard, and I am glad we successfully advocated on their behalf to get this done. I know this will make a real difference in the lives and commutes of many.”
Gounardes worked with Councilmembers Mark Treyger and Justin Brannan, both of whom represent parts of Bensonhurst, to push the MTA to include the 18th Avenue station in its capital plan.
“For years, I have been pushing the MTA to install elevators at subway stations in Southern Brooklyn. I’m thrilled that the MTA has heeded my call and will be making the 18th Avenue D-line station fully accessible. This is a major victory toward making our subway system work better for seniors, people with disabilities and families,” Treyger said.
Brannan called the news a “welcome holiday surprise” and said it’s a necessary move.
“It’s great that we are finally starting to see some attention paid to our stations here in southern Brooklyn. I trust this won’t be the last. People seem to forget that the ADA is not a suggestion but a civil rights statute. It’s not about convenience or cost, it’s about human rights,” Brannan said.
The process of selecting the stations to get elevators came as a result of public engagement events, outreach to accessibility advocates and community groups and feedback from thousands of elected officials, advocates and customers with disabilities, MTA officials said.
Meanwhile, the MTA is continuing its construction of an elevator at the 86th Street station on the R subway line. The station is located on 86th Street and Fourth Avenue in Bay Ridge.
The $36 million project, which began in 2018, is expected to be completed by the spring of 2020, an MTA spokesperson told the Home Reporter.