“Stranded By Cuomo” Flash Mob, protesting lack of elevators at the 6 line Parkchester subway station in the Bronx
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Bronx, NY — Activists, people with disabilities, mothers with strollers, and elderly people staged a “Roll-In” demonstration at the Parkchester stop on the 6 line in the Bronx, on October 16, 2017; the Parkchester subway station was renovated in 2010 to the tune of $89 million. The entrance is at ground level, and the architects of the station had the forethought to install an auto gate for passengers with wheelchairs, mothers with strollers, and travelers with rolling luggage. Yet there are no elevators to get to the train level.
Nick Holzthum, a man with cerebral palsy needed to get to a meeting at 125th street. He had to crawl his way up to the platform since the newly renovated station lacks elevators.
With only 117 out of 472 stations fully accessible, and with elevators often out of service at many of the accessible stations, Governor Cuomo and the MTA make it impossible for the almost 10% of New Yorkers that have a disability to get to work, the doctor, or to school. Direct action group Rise and Resist will lead many people affected by the MTA’s neglect in a ‘roll-in’ flash mob-style protest at the Parkchester station in pressuring Cuomo, who controls the MTA’s purse strings, to devote more resources and energy to installing and maintaining elevators.
“San Francisco, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Boston – all these major U.S. cities treat their residents better in terms of making their mass transit systems accessible,” said Martin Quinn, a member of Rise and Resist. “There’s much written about the constant delays currently affecting the system, and rightfully so, but not including elevators in building plans, and not keeping the few we do have working on a consistent basis makes living here beyond frustrating to hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers, not to mention tourists.”
In 1994, the MTA agreed to make 100 key stations accessible by 2020, part of a settlement that exempted the agency from full compliance with the American Disabilities Act. The MTA is currently working to complete the final 11 of these 100 stations in its 2015-2019 capital construction plan. Beyond fulfilling this agreement, there is no plan or policy for making the rest of the system more accessible in the future.
Century-old systems in Boston and Chicago are on their way to reach 100% accessibility. New York is settling for 25%.
Rise and Resist is a direct action group committed to opposing, disrupting, and defeating any government act that threatens democracy, equality, and our civil liberties. Previous Rise and Resist actions include a “cough-in” at Jean-Georges restaurant, and a protest at Trump Tower against the Muslim ban, the ICE raids, and the proposed border wall where 26 members were arrested.
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