Finally moving on up.
After years of planning and two years of construction, two elevators have been installed at the 86 Street R subway station on Fourth Avenue, and a small opening celebration was held Wednesday.
The elevators travel from the street to the mezzanine and from the mezzanine to the platform level. To aid bus customers transferring to the elevator, the east side of Fourth Avenue was rebuilt to include a sidewalk bulb-out, providing seamless travel to the elevator, increasing passenger waiting space and eliminating the need for buses to pull into and out of traffic.
“It’s important to have people out here to really mark accessibility because it’s not just about people’s disabilities,” said Victor Calise, an MTA board member and commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “It’s about everyone and making sure we keep the commitment of accessibility going at the MTA.”
“This opening is extra highlighted by the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Alex Elegudin, NYC Transit’s senior advisor for systemwide accessibility. “We don’t only want to continue what we started, we want to accelerate it. We want to do 70 accessible stations in the next five years.”
“This is the first ADA elevator in the Community District 10 area along the R line,” said CB10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann. “Although originally slated for 95th Street, approximately 15 years ago, advocates, including then Board Member Jean Ryan of Disabled in Action, successfully spearheaded the effort for the ADA elevator location to be moved to 86th Street, as it is an inter-modal transfer point where subway riders could easily transfer to many more local Brooklyn and Staten Island bus connections.”
“This day has been a long time in the making and is welcome news in the community,” said Assemblymember Mathylde Frotnus.
“This is just the start,” said State Senator Andrew Gounardes. “We have a lot more work to do to make sure that every station in our systems is fully accessible.”
“We must keep pushing to improve accessibility for subway and bus riders and Access-A-Ride service,” said Councilmember Justin Brannan.