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Union Tpke

(7) line extension to 34 Street-Hudson Yards station opening day saga continues...

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ADA laws mandate otherwise. Station has to be open with FULL accessibility or face a lawsuit

I'm not a lawyer, but it's plain as day that exceptions have been made before in the form of ADA waivers. I'm not saying waivers can apply in this case since it's a brand new station, but bending the rules seems to happen frequently. The MTA used blue lights for a while on SBS buses until some Staten Island politician raised a stink about it being illegal, which it technically is. It sounds stupid, but everyone gave in because not having blue lights was a bell/whistle they could do without anyway. But to bar a fully-functional extension from operating because of ADA accessibility? 3 months is understandable and people can feel why it's important. 6 months is going to raise some questions. If they don't get this one thing functional after month 12, some rule-bending is in order, and anyone who opposes opening of the station merely on ADA inaccessibility is going to get the ire of the public. A law has power only when it's enforced.

 

We're looking at a 3-month delay, so everyone's going to play by the book unless some much bigger delay with the elevators comes up.

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I'm not a lawyer, but it's plain as day that exceptions have been made before in the form of ADA waivers. I'm not saying waivers can apply in this case since it's a brand new station, but bending the rules seems to happen frequently. The MTA used blue lights for a while on SBS buses until some Staten Island politician raised a stink about it being illegal, which it technically is. It sounds stupid, but everyone gave in because not having blue lights was a bell/whistle they could do without anyway. But to bar a fully-functional extension from operating because of ADA accessibility? 3 months is understandable and people can feel why it's important. 6 months is going to raise some questions. If they don't get this one thing functional after month 12, some rule-bending is in order, and anyone who opposes opening of the station merely on ADA inaccessibility is going to get the ire of the public. A law has power only when it's enforced.

 

We're looking at a 3-month delay, so everyone's going to play by the book unless some much bigger delay with the elevators comes up.

 

The difference is that the lights law was a state law on the books that no one knew anything about until someone decided to start digging through the legal code.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that designates the disabled as a protected class. The MTA has actually been sued multiple times in court for non-ADA compliant rehabs, most recently with Smith-9th Sts. Then, the MTA could at least claim that it wasn't structurally feasible, but that clearly is not the case here. This law exists to protect the less able-bodied of society and allow them to participate as the rest of us do, and to open the station early would be grounds for a civil rights suit that the MTA would definitely lose.

 

I don't understand what the big rush to open it is anyways; Javits has been handling crowd transportation fine for decades, and none of the Hudson Yards towers is actually open yet.

Edited by bobtehpanda

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The rule generally applies to NEW stations, station amenities, buses, waiting areas, etc built after 1990. Things built before that date are exempt from the ruling, but it is recommended to at least try to get up to date.

 

It gets complicated with all these waivers, exempt clauses, and whatnot, but that's more or less the whole sinplified gist of it.

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The difference is that the lights law was a state law on the books that no one knew anything about until someone decided to start digging through the legal code.

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act is a federal law that designates the disabled as a protected class. The MTA has actually been sued multiple times in court for non-ADA compliant rehabs, most recently with Smith-9th Sts. Then, the MTA could at least claim that it wasn't structurally feasible, but that clearly is not the case here. This law exists to protect the less able-bodied of society and allow them to participate as the rest of us do, and to open the station early would be grounds for a civil rights suit that the MTA would definitely lose.

 

I don't understand what the big rush to open it is anyways; Javits has been handling crowd transportation fine for decades, and none of the Hudson Yards towers is actually open yet.

When this goes on long enough, this law that protects the disabled will simply end up harming both the public and the disabled alike.

 

I'm not saying it should open now or by July if it's not ready, but if this goes on for another year solely due to ADA compliance, at that point the MTA should just say "**** it. Let's open up." If it were delayed long enough to draw negative attention, it wouldn't be a shocking move for the MTA to just open the station with the inclined elevator barely meeting the legal threshold of "operational" only to close it down after opening for "maintenance." Do you agree (your opinion, not the law) that the station should barred from operating after a reasonable time extension if the station is still ADA inaccessible?

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@bob, agreed. Basically the 7 to 34th is useful to those coming from the bronx and other stations north of 42nd. For riders from the south, we'd probably just get off at 34th and either take the m34sbs or walk. They really blew it by not even putting a station shell for the 10th av stop. The m42 is a pos. the 7 extension does nothing for me if i wanted to go to the intrepid or such on the west side.

Edited by Grand Concourse

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What this basically shows is that a law like this one, while very well-intended (and was very well needed as it does help the disabled) sometimes has unintended consequences, in this case delaying the opening of a new station that is very well needed and sometimes preventing new stuff from being built because of the added costs.

The real problem was that when many of these lines were originally built way back when, there was no thought of the disabled or even the concept of an Americans with Disabilities Act.  There needs to be allowances for situations that are sometimes beyond the control of those building and so forth, especially where the overwhelming majority of people are essentially being penalized (in this case, not having a subway station that already will have been delayed more than 15 months) because of situations that in the past would never have delayed an opening as long as every realistic good faith effort possible has been made to that point to accommodate the disabled.

Edited by Wallyhorse

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I'm surprised that they were able to drill through the 42 Street Lower Level Station fast but not being able to BUILD a station that fast.

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I'm surprised that they were able to drill through the 42 Street Lower Level Station fast but not being able to BUILD a station that fast.

Problem was that the 41st street - 10th avenue station would have been so deep that they'd need to 

a) use side platforms with no connection between the two

b) not be ADA compliant

c) have exits to individual platforms so far away from each other that... well... why?

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When this goes on long enough, this law that protects the disabled will simply end up harming both the public and the disabled alike.

 

I'm not saying it should open now or by July if it's not ready, but if this goes on for another year solely due to ADA compliance, at that point the MTA should just say "**** it. Let's open up." If it were delayed long enough to draw negative attention, it wouldn't be a shocking move for the MTA to just open the station with the inclined elevator barely meeting the legal threshold of "operational" only to close it down after opening for "maintenance." Do you agree (your opinion, not the law) that the station should barred from operating after a reasonable time extension if the station is still ADA inaccessible?

 

Who exactly is it harming? Nothing new has opened at Hudson Yards, and the park the entrances are located in isn't even close to finished yet, so the station would be opening into a construction site. It would've been like opening the WTC Hub in the middle of the pit at ground zero with no other buildings finished.

 

I do agree with the letter of the law. This station is projected to be the MTA's busiest by 2020, and is also going to be one of the deepest in the system at ten stories into the ground. If a brand new office building was opened as a ten-floor walkup because they couldn't finish the elevator on time, that would be outrageous, and the MTA should be held to the same standard. (Granted, the station has escalators, but given that the ones at Fulton broke within the first week and the record the MTA has with escalator maintenance, I wouldn't hold my breath.)

 

I'd also like to point out that in this case (if you read the original post), the elevators are actually already in place, but now the fire alarms are holding up on-site testing of everything else including the elevators, and I would be very afraid if the station opened without working fire alarms.

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What this basically shows is that a law like this one, while very well-intended (and was very well needed as it does help the disabled) sometimes has unintended consequences, in this case delaying the opening of a new station that is very well needed and sometimes preventing new stuff from being built because of the added costs.

 

The real problem was that when many of these lines were originally built way back when, there was no thought of the disabled or even the concept of an Americans with Disabilities Act.  There needs to be allowances for situations that are sometimes beyond the control of those building and so forth, especially where the overwhelming majority of people are essentially being penalized (in this case, not having a subway station that already will have been delayed more than 15 months) because of situations that in the past would never have delayed an opening as long as every realistic good faith effort possible has been made to that point to accommodate the disabled.

 

The problem with this thought is that the MTA, and New York City, are probably the least disabled-friendly major transit agencies in the country. In other cities, all stations being rehabbed have all of their platforms converted to train height and elevators installed, no questions asked. In New York, disabled advocates have to beg for conversions, and in some cases file a lawsuit, and the best they get is a one-car hump and an elevator that works some of the time. The rest of transportation in New York is not much better; there have been many proposals to switch out AAR for taxi vouchers, but the disabled are suing the city because the only taxi that drivers are allowed to buy is not wheelchair accessible.

 

Exemptions would work in a fairytale world where the disabled are not fully integrated into society and just live off of welfare. By denying them transportation we deny access to jobs, healthcare, and cultural needs for these people, and doing that in the greatest city in America is just downright shameful.

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Who exactly is it harming? Nothing new has opened at Hudson Yards, and the park the entrances are located in isn't even close to finished yet, so the station would be opening into a construction site. It would've been like opening the WTC Hub in the middle of the pit at ground zero with no other buildings finished.

If it harms nobody, then opening it anyway would only be a legal problem. But of course, considering the rest of your post…

 

 

I do agree with the letter of the law. This station is projected to be the MTA's busiest by 2020, and is also going to be one of the deepest in the system at ten stories into the ground. If a brand new office building was opened as a ten-floor walkup because they couldn't finish the elevator on time, that would be outrageous, and the MTA should be held to the same standard. (Granted, the station has escalators, but given that the ones at Fulton broke within the first week and the record the MTA has with escalator maintenance, I wouldn't hold my breath.)

 

I'd also like to point out that in this case (if you read the original post), the elevators are actually already in place, but now the fire alarms are holding up on-site testing of everything else including the elevators, and I would be very afraid if the station opened without working fire alarms.

This is the kind of problem that would get unanimous agreement, because it's in everyone's interest to have functional safety systems.

 

 

The problem with this thought is that the MTA, and New York City, are probably the least disabled-friendly major transit agencies in the country. In other cities, all stations being rehabbed have all of their platforms converted to train height and elevators installed, no questions asked. In New York, disabled advocates have to beg for conversions, and in some cases file a lawsuit, and the best they get is a one-car hump and an elevator that works some of the time. The rest of transportation in New York is not much better; there have been many proposals to switch out AAR for taxi vouchers, but the disabled are suing the city because the only taxi that drivers are allowed to buy is not wheelchair accessible.

 

Exemptions would work in a fairytale world where the disabled are not fully integrated into society and just live off of welfare. By denying them transportation we deny access to jobs, healthcare, and cultural needs for these people, and doing that in the greatest city in America is just downright shameful.

I'm not advocating that the MTA drag its feet and give the middle finger to people with disabilities every time ADA accessibility comes up, but pointing out that in the case of long delays directly related to the ADA law it's unreasonable to hold everyone back. As it stands, the part that forbids infrastructure from opening without full accessibility is functionally equivalent to ensuring that the infrastructure is as inaccessible to everyone else as it is to the disabled. "If we can't use it, neither can the rest of y'all."

 

And again, I got your point that it's a safety problem and not the ADA that's currently holding the station back. Funny that they allowed Mayor Bloomberg in there anyway.

Edited by CenSin

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I am starting to think that the (MTA), and the Port Authority needs to be under Federal Investigation. This horrible job shows how corrupt these public agencies are. It shouldn't take this long to build something. Robert Moses did it in 10 years. Sure it was expensive, but he did it. Yet the (MTA), and the Port Authority can't. No this can't happen any longer. It's been happening for way too long. Time to put a stop to this mismanagement.

Edited by Roadcruiser1
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I am starting to think that the (MTA), and the Port Authority needs to be under Federal Investigation. This horrible job shows how corrupt these public agencies are. It shouldn't take this long to build something. Robert Moses did it in 10 years. Sure it was expensive, but he did it. Yet the (MTA), and the Port Authority can't. No this can't happen any longer. It's been happening for way too long. Time to put a stop to this mismanagement.

See the thing with Robert Moses, he had this whole "f--k your house and whatever else is in the way, I'm building it anyway" mentality. That's why his projects were done in such a quickly manner

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I am starting to think that the (MTA), and the Port Authority needs to be under Federal Investigation. This horrible job shows how corrupt these public agencies are. It shouldn't take this long to build something. Robert Moses did it in 10 years. Sure it was expensive, but he did it. Yet the (MTA), and the Port Authority can't. No this can't happen any longer. It's been happening for way too long. Time to put a stop to this mismanagement.

The feds are the reason why they are so slow. The state and the city too. Various laws enacted since the golden age of subway expansion has made building anything excruciatingly slow. Let the MTA say "screw you" to public opinion and NIMBYs, and give them all the powers they need, and the MTA will give you results much more quickly.
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The original IRT was built in four years.

 

There were no disability requirements

 

There were no environmental impact statements.

 

There were no alternatives studies.

 

There were no public hearings.

 

There were no arguments over bidding.

 

You wanted to build something, you freaking built it.

 

 

All these rules and requirements are what are slowing us up.

 

ADA needs to be reworded because it is badly written, borderline unconstitutional, but no one has the guts to stand up and fix it.

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The original IRT was built in four years.

 

There were no disability requirements

 

There were no environmental impact statements.

 

There were no alternatives studies.

 

There were no public hearings.

 

There were no arguments over bidding.

 

You wanted to build something, you freaking built it.

 

 

All these rules and requirements are what are slowing us up.

 

ADA needs to be reworded because it is badly written, borderline unconstitutional, but no one has the guts to stand up and fix it.

I think that not ALL stations need ADA accessibility. 34 Street-Hudson Yards is a bad example but the long lost 10 Avenue station is a good one.

And if ADA accessibility is not finished, just face the facts, open the station, and finish it asap. People expect too much nowadays.

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It's really funny that you guys think that all this regulation is nonsense, considering that before they was enacted, we had rivers so polluted they would catch fire and a highway builder wantonly destroying neighborhoods to ram through highways (and the IND wasn't much better than that).

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act is not unconstitutional, if unconstitutional means something other than "something I don't like". It directs all levels of government to accommodate the disabled, and that's not really unreasonable given that the disabled are members of society as we are. Who is it actually inconveniencing to have this station delayed, besides a bunch of railfans? Nothing is actually open around it, and Javits has had successful conventions without a subway stop for decades now.

 

The issue is not federal regulation. Many other places are building subways or light rail at a reasonable cost, on time and on budget, despite federal regulations and ADA accessibility. Heck, this project isn't even delayed because of that; the current issue is fire alarm testing, and no one on this forum is about to say "scrap the fire alarms". The MTA hasn't even started testing the extension by running trains on it, and you guys are acting like this station to nowhere not opening on the dot is the end of the world. Some of y'all need a reality check  <_<

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It's really funny that you guys think that all this regulation is nonsense, considering that before they was enacted, we had rivers so polluted they would catch fire and a highway builder wantonly destroying neighborhoods to ram through highways (and the IND wasn't much better than that).

All regulation is nonsense? You didn't hear that from me or anyone else—only that they each slow things down. Cumulatively, they slow things down a lot, and what we're suggesting is that some of these regulations be modified—ADA being one of them.

 

 

The Americans with Disabilities Act is not unconstitutional, if unconstitutional means something other than "something I don't like". It directs all levels of government to accommodate the disabled,

Unconstitutionality is for a court to decide, but we're all free to make arguments.

 

 

and that's not really unreasonable given that the disabled are members of society as we are. Who is it actually inconveniencing to have this station delayed, besides a bunch of railfans? Nothing is actually open around it, and Javits has had successful conventions without a subway stop for decades now.

Anyone who wants to use the station in inconvenienced. Current regulation basically says that if disabled people can't use it, neither can anyone else, and nobody will for as long as it takes to make it accessible (which could be any length of time to to the end of the universe). Things should be made available as soon as they are useable and after all safety checks are OK'ed. If ADA accessibility is delayed, then it's delayed but nothing else.

 

 

The issue is not federal regulation. Many other places are building subways or light rail at a reasonable cost, on time and on budget, despite federal regulations and ADA accessibility. Heck, this project isn't even delayed because of that; the current issue is fire alarm testing, and no one on this forum is about to say "scrap the fire alarms". The MTA hasn't even started testing the extension by running trains on it

This might not even be about the fire alarms anymore.

http://nypost.com/2014/12/15/7-train-opening-delayed/

 

And what is this? :)

 

 

 

and you guys are acting like this station to nowhere not opening on the dot is the end of the world. Some of y'all need a reality check <_<

The point isn't to bemoan the lack of an opened station there. It's to point out all the stupid things that get in the way of these projects.
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The problem with this thought is that the MTA, and New York City, are probably the least disabled-friendly major transit agencies in the country. In other cities, all stations being rehabbed have all of their platforms converted to train height and elevators installed, no questions asked. In New York, disabled advocates have to beg for conversions, and in some cases file a lawsuit, and the best they get is a one-car hump and an elevator that works some of the time. The rest of transportation in New York is not much better; there have been many proposals to switch out AAR for taxi vouchers, but the disabled are suing the city because the only taxi that drivers are allowed to buy is not wheelchair accessible.

 

Exemptions would work in a fairytale world where the disabled are not fully integrated into society and just live off of welfare. By denying them transportation we deny access to jobs, healthcare, and cultural needs for these people, and doing that in the greatest city in America is just downright shameful.

Don't get me wrong, this SHOULD open with full access to all, and hopefully, they will have this in order.

 

My point was, there sometimes are unintended consequences caused by well-intended and obviously needed regulations that no one could foresee.  Obviously, there is a lot of wiggle room here because the Hudson Yards project is far from finished, which gives the (MTA) time to properly do this and open this station as ADA-compliant, no matter how much some whine about it taking too long.

 

And as it turns out, other situations out of the hands of the (MTA) have bought the (MTA) time to get this right.

Edited by Wallyhorse

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The Americans with Disabilities Act is not unconstitutional, if unconstitutional means something other than "something I don't like". It directs all levels of government to accommodate the disabled, and that's not really unreasonable given that the disabled are members of society as we are. 

sections of it have already been declared unconstitutional. And it is very reasonable to modify or get rid of it. 

 

For starters, it works on the level of "If I can use it, no one can." If a bus's wheel chair lift breaks en-route, then the bus has to be taken out of service. What if it's the last bus of the night, and now everyone is stuck having to find their own way home on their own dime.

 

The law requires people to pay out of their own pockets to make changes. It requires them to make modifications to their private property for the sake of others. 

 

There are areas where it "accommodates" one group by forcing inconvenience on all other groups. 

 

I used to work at the Transit Museum. I spent a lot of time on my feet. One day, I was hoping on the bus to head home. my legs were hurting from being on them all day. I was sitting in the front of an RTS, in the inward facing seats*. A guy crawls onto the bus and plops down next to me. He then proceeded to try to shove me out of my seat, repeating over and over "Excuse me, I can't walk". The entire ride, shoving me over and over into the pole because he wanted my seat on top of his own. 

 

(* your beloved ADA does not apply to inward facing seats that do not double as wheelchair seating. You only MUST give up the first row of forward facing seats. That's why the inward facing seats say "please")

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All regulation is nonsense? You didn't hear that from me or anyone else—only that they each slow things down. Cumulatively, they slow things down a lot, and what we're suggesting is that some of these regulations be modified—ADA being one of them.

 

Unconstitutionality is for a court to decide, but we're all free to make arguments.

 

Anyone who wants to use the station in inconvenienced. Current regulation basically says that if disabled people can't use it, neither can anyone else, and nobody will for as long as it takes to make it accessible (which could be any length of time to to the end of the universe). Things should be made available as soon as they are useable and after all safety checks are OK'ed. If ADA accessibility is delayed, then it's delayed but nothing else.

 

This might not even be about the fire alarms anymore.

http://nypost.com/2014/12/15/7-train-opening-delayed/

 

And what is this? :)

 

 

The point isn't to bemoan the lack of an opened station there. It's to point out all the stupid things that get in the way of these projects.

 

From the article: " The deadline was then pushed back throughout this year after delays with the station’s incline elevators, as well as snags in testing the fire alarms."

 

There's a difference between running one train into a station (in which you don't need a working signalling system or switches, since there's only one train running anyways), and having the system tested to run the (7) at full capacity. Does the (7) even have enough cars to maintain headways with the extension open right now?

 

sections of it have already been declared unconstitutional. And it is very reasonable to modify or get rid of it. 

 

For starters, it works on the level of "If I can use it, no one can." If a bus's wheel chair lift breaks en-route, then the bus has to be taken out of service. What if it's the last bus of the night, and now everyone is stuck having to find their own way home on their own dime.

 

The law requires people to pay out of their own pockets to make changes. It requires them to make modifications to their private property for the sake of others. 

 

There are areas where it "accommodates" one group by forcing inconvenience on all other groups. 

 

I used to work at the Transit Museum. I spent a lot of time on my feet. One day, I was hoping on the bus to head home. my legs were hurting from being on them all day. I was sitting in the front of an RTS, in the inward facing seats*. A guy crawls onto the bus and plops down next to me. He then proceeded to try to shove me out of my seat, repeating over and over "Excuse me, I can't walk". The entire ride, shoving me over and over into the pole because he wanted my seat on top of his own. 

 

(* your beloved ADA does not apply to inward facing seats that do not double as wheelchair seating. You only MUST give up the first row of forward facing seats. That's why the inward facing seats say "please")

 

The only part of the law that was ruled unconstitutional was the provision allowing individuals to sue states for money damages. None of the actual law regarding facilities has been declared unconstitutional (and in fact the Supreme Court has expanded its reach in this area, saying that stadiums must include disabled-friendly seating in all sections).

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We should not be fixing buildings to make life easy for them, we should be fixing them to make life easy for the rest of us.

 

I keep getting told "the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few", by a number of hard left leaners to justify their opinions. Why is this suddenly not the case. We are the many, they are the few. It can't be sometimes yes and sometimes no. It must be yes or no, period. no wiggle room.

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