MIDTOWN, NY — Subway riders with mobility challenges now have full access to the 57th Street-7th Avenue station after the completion of a major project to bring it into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We’re here to celebrate the opening of another accessible station here at 57th and 7th Avenue,” said Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development, announcing the completion at a press conference Tuesday.
“This is a project that finished early, because when COVID happened, we started to take advantage of the opportunity to do more work, to do it more quickly.”
The new ADA-compliant upgrades include:
- Three elevators installed
- Six escalators reconstructed
- An expanded mezzanine
- ADA platform improvements including
- Raised boarding areas
- Tactile warning strips at the edges
- Automatic fare control, railings, gates and turnstiles
The 57th Street station is one of 12 accessibility projects across four boroughs that the MTA finished during the pandemic, Lieber said.
Advocates have long demanded the MTA comply with the ADA. Despite the law passing more than 35 year ago, many NYC subway stations are still inaccessible to people who can’t use stairs.
“For far too long, wheelchair users like myself, riders with vision or hearing disabilities, seniors who have difficulties with stairs, parents with children in strollers, and so many others, have struggled to get around a system that wasn’t built with us in mind. That’s changing now,” said Quemuel Arroyo, MTA Chief Accessibility Officer, at the press conference.
Upgrading stations and improving accessibility is one of the biggest goals for the MTA’s 2020-24 Capital Program. Lieber reaffirmed at the press conference that “nothing is more important for the MTA and the city’s future than our commitment to ADA accessibility.”
“It has been a big very couple of weeks for major projects at the MTA. We announced that we are resuming the East Side Access project, and last week, we also got the federal government to approve the environmental submission for the Gateway Tunnel Project.”project,” said Lieber. “We had a huge milestone last week on the