I would like to sharethe rebuttal thatThomas F. Prendergast, president of MTA New York City Transit, issued on Sept. 17 in response to my concern regarding the apparent Americans withDisabilities Act noncompliance of the ongoing construction in the vicinity of the Briarwood-Van Wyck Boulevard station on the E and F lines.
According to Mr. Prendergast, the “installation of this elevator meets ADA regulations requiring the provision of ‘equivalent facilitation’when a new stairway is built.” Since only the existingpassageway leading from the street to the mezzanine is being modified and retrofitted with ADA-compliant sloping, landings and handrails, the elevator installation with a terminus to the mezzanine level is fully compliant. Further, workers are “not replacing stairways between the mezzanine and the station platforms and this is not required to construct ADA elevators that provide access to the platforms.” The station is not eligible for ADA elevators between the mezzanine and platforms since it is not one of the 100 “key stations” in the subway system meeting MTA criteria for such an installation.
In view of alternative ADA-accessible New York City Transit stations proximal to Briarwood (and reachable via ADA-compliant MTA buses) — Jamaica Center, Sutphin Boulevard and Union-Turnpike-Kew Gardens stations — I concede that MTA New York City Transit appreciates its responsibilities to persons with disabilities. I wish to thank Mr. Prendergast for his decisive response, and I apologize to MTA New York City Transit for my misconstruction of the ADA public transit regulations as herein noted.