NEW YORK — A judge did not make a decision on the lawsuit to have elevators installed in every New York City subway station.
Despite Judge Schlomo Hagler forcefully saying the MTA should and must be accessible for all, he wants to do more research on the situation and answer questions as to whether or not he has the authority to make the decision.
With less than 20% of the stations accessible to those with disabilities, advocates argue that stations with elevators are dozens of blocks from each other.
Those calling for elevators also note that the fight is not just for people with disabilities.
Earlier this year, a woman carrying her baby in a stroller died after falling down the stairs of a Manhattan subway station.
On January 28, Malaysia Goodson walked down five flights of stairs to the uptown B, D and E platform at the 7th Avenue-53rd Street Station when she fell while carrying her daughter in her stroller.
The baby was unhurt.
Authorities later attributed Goodson’s death to pre-existing medical conditions, but the incident still increased demands to increase accessibility on the subway.
The plaintiff’s lawyers argue that the average New Yorker depends on subways everyday.
“The City’s subway system has long been City’s lifeline, enabling over 6 million people per day to participate in its economic, political, cultural and civic life. Indeed, an average resident of New York depends on subways to carry out a vast array of essential tasks every day of his/her life.”
“For people with disabilities, however, meaningful access to the subway system has remained all but illusory. The rare accessible stations tend to be spaced out by at least 30 blocks and constitute less than 20 percent of the total number of stations. In numerous parts of the City, residents with disabilities have no access whatsoever. As a result, they remain completely barred from a mode of transportation that has shaped City’s life in a way that is unparalleled elsewhere in the country,” the lawyers said.
The judge is expected to announce whether or not he made a decision on June 5.