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The Metropolitan Transportation Authority recently constructed an auxiliary entrance/exit at the Briarwood-Van Wyck Expressway E and F subway station, with a stairway not compliant with the standards for accessibility for people 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 is also non-compliant, 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 non-compliant with ADA standards effective since 2006.
Wheelchair-bound people with disabilities will be forced to dodge congested vehicular traffic along Queens Boulevard toward the Kew Gardens station, whose elevator is ADA-compliant. 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 of people with disabilities against the MTA for permanent non-compliance in Briarwood with the ADA standards for public transportation facilities. A protest of a thousand wheelchair-bound subway commuters in Briarwood with summonses and complaints heading for the Federal District Court of the Eastern District in Brooklyn would be a welcome event.
Joseph N. Manago
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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