‘High’ anxiety as MTA takes months to fix station escalator

for The Brooklyn Paper

Fed-up commuters and elected officials rallied outside the High Street subway station on Thursday, slamming the agency for failing to fix the station’s notoriously lousy escalators.

The down escalator on the Adams Street side of the A- and C-train station broke down on Sept. 9 — and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority keeps delaying the repair.

“A broken escalator is bad, but a broken promise is worse,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights). “It feels like there’s nothing you can do, because you know you’ll just be yesed along into infinity.”

An MTA spokesman said that the moving stairway would go back into service on Friday — and the long delays stemmed from the “complex” nature of the job.

“High Street is a deep-cavern station,” said the spokesman, Kevin Ortiz.

The repairs were made as promised, though at noon, the escalator was again out of service. It was fully restored by 3:30 pm.

Ortiz added that escalators have remained in service at the station’s other entrance on Cadman Plaza — but that station is inaccessible for the mostly elderly residents of Concord Village because the Brooklyn Bridge entrance ramp is in the way.

“My back is out,” said demonstrator Ken Kasowitz, one of those residents. “With the escalator down, I have to walk [a long distance] over to the other entrance. I call them the New York Transit Atrocity.”

Commuter Romilla Kanarti added that the busted escalator has been a big hassle for her and her infant daughter, Mia.

“I’ve had to strap Mia to me with a baby sling,” Kanarti said. “There’s no way I’d be able to carry her and the stroller down all those stairs.”

It’s not the first time that locals have had an issue with the MTA’s management of the station. Last year, the agency eliminated an attendant at the eastern exit, creating what some call a dangerous situation.

“Fix the escalator — and give us back our security,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg). “This is the lifeline of the community.”

And it’s also not the first time that Brooklyn Heights residents have taken issue with the MTA’s handling of subway repairs in the neighborhood. The elevators at the Clark Street 2/3 station, for example, have finally been restored to (mostly) working order after a two-year stretch in the middle part of the decade when the three elevators broke down 400 times— a pace of almost one breakdown every other day.

Reader Feedback

Shelly from Marine Park says:
Isn't it amazing how the MTA has money to buy new buses, create a "select bus service" (which is anything but select), make service cuts, and ask for a fare hike, but never fixes the "mess" that is out there.
Nov. 19, 2010, 5:03 pm
k from gp says:
Lazy rich people should walk down the stairs.
Nov. 19, 2010, 6:07 pm
ujh from Downtown says:
To "k from gp:" For your information, not only has one escalator been shut down entirely since late summer, the second escalator, which was to move people up 60 steep steps, has been out of service much of the time in the past several weeks. Just one example: I left for a trip on November 7 and had to carry my suitcase down those 60 steps and when I returned on November 12, I had to carry the suitcase up those 60 steps.

I urge you to get to know the facts before you show your ignorance ,or else keep your trap shut.
Nov. 19, 2010, 7:05 pm
k from gp says:
And you pay $150 a month for your equinox membership? Save money and fly more often.
Nov. 19, 2010, 7:18 pm
Robert from DUMBO says:
Maybe if the police would arrest those who spill stuff on the escalator it won't be broken so often.
"“Fix the escalator — and give us back our security,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg). "
If the esteemed councilman want more security at the station he should give back the bribes from the TWU and allow the mta to change the job function of station agents into security officers in charge of keeping stations clean and safe. They already get paid as if they were
Nov. 20, 2010, 5:27 pm

Enter your comment below

By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:

You agree that you, and not BrooklynPaper.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to BrooklynPaper.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Links