Monday, October 12, 2015

Allan Rosen and the 34th Street Herald Square elevator

Blogger's note:  After this post was made, it was brought up at through this post that Sheepshead Bites terminated their relationship with freelancer Allan Rosen - - and subsequently Mr. Rosen placed a Facebook comment on his last known article from September 1st.  While this happened more than a month prior to this blog post and I was at that time unaware Mr. Rosens's termination, I still apologize for the oversight.

In blogging, it takes research and facts to make sure what you post is accurate.  Blogging is no different from news reporting.  Sometimes the facts in a blog are either distorted or incomplete - - let's take a look at one example.

Allen Rosen is a former NYCT employee who worked in Operations Planning in the 1970s and was the architect of the massive southern Brooklyn bus route changes in 1978.  Today, Mr. Rosen writes a op-ed column for Sheepshead Bites, a Brooklyn neighborhood newspaper (and the word bites come from Sharks, the name of Sheepshead Bay HS sports teams and my alma matter.)  Mr. Rosen, like me is highly critical of NYC Transit, especially Select Bus Service, and he has made some links to a few of my blog posts about NYCT's inaccuracies.  

One of Mr. Rosen's posts details about the street to mezzanine elevator to the 34th Street-Herald Square NYCT portion of this complex.  The elevator is located on the west side of Ave of The Americas (6th Ave) between 34th and 33rd Streets - - it is currently out of service  until January, 2016 for a complete replacement.  Mr. Rosen claims that the PATH elevator one block south, in front of Manhattan Mall, can be used to access the passageway from the PATH station to the 34th Street full time fare control area.   He blasts NYCT because PATH operates this elevator then NYCT does not want to provide this information to their customers even though they could have requested permission from PATH to include this elevator in their service notice.  Mr. Rosen claims that by taking the PATH elevator, they can still access the B/D/F/M/N/Q/R lines at 34th Street.   Let's take a look to see if Mr. Rosen's assertions are true.

The elevator to the PATH level may be available 24/7 but the passageway to the IND/BMT side is not.  That passageway is closed overnight.  Here is the street entrance outside 6th Ave

This is a poorly zoomed shot as I had to be standing on the NYCT stairwell by JC Penney - - Port Authority of NY and NJ  regulations (that's the folks who operate the PATH system)  prohibit ANY photography (even tourist photographs) while standing on their property, unless you have a permit or are tied to a leash and escorted by a PANY&NJ employee  - BOOO!!! The grainy photograph shows that this passageway is closed - - what this picture does not say that this passageway is closed overnight - - which does not make it ADA accessible because one of the requirements of ADA accessibility is 24/7 open access when the station is open 24/7 (and you now wondered why now that weekend J train service is now running to Broad Street, so it can serve an ADA accessible station, Fulton Street  - 24/7.)

Then lets say that the passageway from PATH side at 32nd Street to the NYCT full time booth at 34th Street side is open 24/7 - - the ramp has a very steep grade which would prohibit ADA access.  The NYCT elevator which is under complete replacement, is behind the temporary blue construction wall in the first picture.

An ADA accessible ramp shall not have a slope steeper than 6 inches from a ratio of greater than 1:10 to 1:12.  While this is technical stuff, even for myself - - it clearly shows that the high degree of slope on this ramp must be the main reason why NYCT never suggested using the PATH elevator because mobility impaired customers would have difficulty in navigating this steep ramp.  At Times Square, the 41st Street underground passageway from the 7 line upper mezzanine to the 8th Ave A/C/E mezzanine area has a steep ramp as well - - thus NYCT claims that ramp is not ADA accessible.

Conclusion:  NYCT is correct in not suggesting the PATH elevator as an ADA alternative entry/exit point to the 34th Street Herald Square complex.  While Mr. Rosen's contented that customers should use that elevator, the overnight closure as well as the steep ramp are two things he should look at first while doing his research before blogging about this..

1 comment:

  1. The PATH elevator has two issues:
    1-The passageway to the subway is closed overnight and ADA access must be 24/7.
    2-The ramp from the PATH fare control to the subway is too steep and is not ADA compliant. Both stations, assuming the elevators are working are ADA complaint. Customers using a wheelchair , assuming the elevators are working, must exit to the street and re-enter using the other station's elevator
    If you will note, the ramp from the E at the WTC complex to the A has had to be rebuilt to add hand rails and level landing area. The ramp from the A/C/E to the L at 14th and 8th is also non-compliant but there is an elevator to access all platforms.
    ADA requires full access to all areas of a station. Herald Square meets this requirement