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Queens Chronicle

MTA mistreats disabled

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Posted: Thursday, August 16, 2012 10:30 am | Updated: 10:56 am, Thu Aug 16, 2012.

Dear Editor:

The recent MTA construction of an auxiliary entrance/exit at the Briarwood-Van Wyck E-F subway station with a stairway is not compliant with the maximum extent feasibility standards for accessibility for persons with disabilities in wheelchairs.

The Americans with Disabilities Act Standards for Transportation Facilities apply to the construction and alterations of transportation facilities effective Nov. 29, 2006. Specifically, the standards for accessible routes (Chapter 4: 402) require “one or more of the following components: ramps ... elevators” for wheelchair accessibility. The projected construction of an elevator at this station also is noncompliant since its terminus will be the mezzanine, not the station platform. Therefore, upon final completion of this boondoggle accommodating the Van Wyck Expressway widening of the Kew Gardens Interchange Project, we shall have MTA essentially noncompliant with ADA standards effective in 2006. Wheelchair-bound persons with disabilities will be forced to dodge congested vehicular traffic along Queens Boulevard toward the Kew Gardens station, whose elevator is ADA-compliant at the station level. The present Van Wyck bridge and contiguous construction site is a nightmare of obstacles and dangerous vehicular traffic flow.

I suggest a class-action lawsuit by persons with disabilities against the MTA for permanent noncompliance in Briarwood with the federal ADA standards for public transportation facilities. A protest of a thousand wheelchair-bound subway commuters here in Briarwood with summonses and complaints heading for the Federal District Court in Brooklyn would be a welcome event for the MTA.

Joseph N. Manago

Welcome to the discussion.