Things of Your Day


Scott Rubin, the 21st Century’s Henry Clay (in the good way).


Regardless of whose fault it is, this is unacceptable. A friend of mine is wheelchair bound and life-long NYC resident. He often speaks of the inaccessibility of the city, and if this forces a reasonable timeline for necessary changes then it is awesome.


I expect sadly that the presence of fully compliant buses with equal geographic coverage will be seen as a mitigating factor.

Keeping the existing elevators in repair is a good likely outcome at least! That just takes money from the state. Money alone is why they keep failing.

Some stations might literally be impossible to retrofit. (Unless you tear down buildings and shut down service crippling the commute).


From a legal standpoint, it will be difficult for them to argue that the buses provide enough of an alternative option.


Can you find the camoflauged snek in this pic? It took me a few minutes, but now I can’t un-see it.


If there wasn’t a snake there I was gonna be real mad.



[quote=“Apreche, post:408, topic:36”]
Can you find the camoflauged snek in this pic? It took me a few minutes, but now I can’t un-see it.
[/quote]Nearly instantly, as soon as I saw it a bit larger. It’s the consistent pattern among random noise.


That actually just happened with a relative when he was walking the dog. Only difference was location (rocky desert) and the snake (rattler).


I had the scale all wrong. It’s way smaller than I expected so it took quite some zooming.


I now want to watch this film.


Heineken does political ads right.


I did some research on the subway ADA thing.

It appears that a good 1/4 of the subway stations in New York are physically incapable of supporting an ADA compliant elevator: full stop. There literally is not enough space to put in an elevator. ~100% of those stations are served by an equivalent ADA compliant bus.

The required budget for already-planned upgrades/repairs to existing elevators, as well as adding some elevators to stations that can actually support them, is a paltry $1.7 billion. But there’s a budget shortfall even before you take that into consideration. Fares can’t be raised (since that’s just a dangerous regressive tax on the city’s poor), and the state still refuses to fully fund the MTA.

I really hope the lawsuit succeeds, but the best possible result is:

  1. Some more stations get elevators (but some stations will literally never have elevators)
  2. The state is forced to pay up big

A weird side effect is that many subway entrances that were forced closed by the hurricanes have never been re-opened. The reason? Per the ADA, if they are renovated, then they have to be made ADA compliant. But, there isn’t any budget to make them compliant (and again, a couple can’t physically be made compliant under any circumstances), so the MTA is forced to keep them closed.

Apparently one station was renovated, at considerable expense, but did not get an elevator. It’s not clear if this is because the elevator was impossible, or if there just wasn’t budget for one. Trying to figure out the story there.


@Rym, I’d like to see your sources. It seems pretty astounding that given the relatively small size of modern elevators that it is impossible for engineers to find a way to install one in existing stations, but I am not an engineer so that is just a lay impression.

It seems that not being compliant may be costing the MTA some much needed federal funding ( As for funding, if this forces the State to finally adjust tax levels such that the incredible wealth of the State (much which comes from the City) such that it can truly invest in infrastructure, then, I say again that is great. Most of the constraints appear to be economic in nature. Given that, should either or both of the lawsuits succeed (or even reach a point of settlement), then such funding would be forced through.


[quote=“Kate_Monster, post:417, topic:36”]
I’d like to see your sources. It seems pretty astounding that given the relatively small size of modern elevators that it is impossible for engineers to find a way to install one in existing stations, but I am not an engineer so that is just a lay impression.
[/quote]It’s the stations that are under the street, mostly in Manhattan. They have narrow channels on either side for stairs, and all the other space is filled with building foundations, actual buildings themselves, and other ancient infrastructure.

They can’t replace an existing stairwell with an elevator, since:

  1. Severe fire code problems due to loss of egress in already extremely crowded stations (there’s nowhere else to add a new stairwell)

  2. There isn’t a full vertical channel anywhere that can access the station: angled stairwells and tunnels provide all current access

  3. Direct platform elevators are literally impossible because they would put the elevator in the middle of the street.

  4. Those old stations are often separate for uptown and downtown, so even if you can solve these problems for one platform, you have to do double the work for the second platform.

The stations affected by this are tiny and sit in the middle of a ton of existing infrastructure. Short of eminent domain and removing existing buildings, there just isn’t anywhere to put an elevator.

Uptown, there’s the opposite problem. There are stations so deep that stairs are considered too dangerous from a fire code perspective: they’re elevator only. But, the extremely high throughput of those stations now means that the elevators can’t clear the platform as fast as arriving trains fill it sometimes Elevators (especially the pneumatic ones that need to be used in these situations) can’t give enough throughput.

I believe all of the major hub stations can be made compliant: cost is the sole limiting factor. Same goes for most of the stations outside of Manhattan. It’s the ancient Manhattan ones that are intractable problems They’re barely fire-code safe as it is, with a small number of long, twisting stairwells providing sole access. They’d be shut down in any other city, but they’re too important to the daily commute to do so despite the danger.

I really want to see that lawsuit force faster progress. The stations I’m talking about are only a quarter of the system, so even if you ignore them, there are still a couple hundred stations that COULD have elevators but don’t for no reason but budget.

I do, however, take umbrage with the comparisons to other mass transit systems. It ignores the inaccessibility of all the cities that don’t have any usable mass transit to speak of. It also compares the biggest mass transit system in America to MUCH smaller systems. DC has less than 100 stations, mostly built in modern times, and less than 1/5 the ridership of the NYC subway. The DC system also provides far fewer service hours and much lower train throughput.

It can shut down entire lines at night and on weekends for maintenance. Meanwhile, New York is shutting down ONE line for hurricane-related repairs, and it’s projected to cause shocking economic damage affecting millions of people.


I love me some eminent domain. Put the elevator right in the lobby of some fancy building. It goes into the building’s basement and goes right out into the subway. Just like the K-Mart on Astor Place. Force that lobby to be open 24/7. Rich building owning guy can just deal with it.


I should note that when I say “impossible” I assume we can’t do something awesome like steal the buildings from the rich people.


I didn’t make such a comparison.


[quote=“Kate_Monster, post:421, topic:36”]
didn’t make such a comparison.
[/quote]No, but half the articles about this I found doing some research did. They compared “percent of stations that are compliant” between American cities. Easy for DC’s brand new system to get “100%” when it doesn’t run nights or weekends. :wink:

I found a case study. The Time Square Shuttle station (serves the smallest line in the entire system) costs $28.93 million to be made ADA compliant with what appears to be a single elevator, and it requires the removal of an entire platform, as well as the loss of linking tracks currently used for maintenance.

Also, to veer back into “things of your day”, here’s a great map showing what the NYC Subway looks like if you’re in a wheelchair.


At home we can’t stop doing this specific Jimmy Stewart impression:

Recently we added this Phil Silvers impression to the rotation: