The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will install a trio of elevators at the 59th Street subway station, but to put in the long-awaited lifts, the transit authority must extend the Fourth Avenue sidewalk into a parking lane, booting coveted parking spots in the process. It is a necessary evil to get the sorely needed elevators, said one local.
“Everyone knows that parking is a nightmare around here, so no, I’m not thrilled that they’re getting rid of spots, but we need these elevators,” said Sunset Parker Cecilia Dominguez, who frequently commutes through the 59th Street station. “There are mothers with strollers, seniors, people that need this now. I’ve got bad knees and an elevator would be nice. So it’s a trade off really and I think we’re getting a good deal.”
Transit officials presented the plan at Community Board 7’s Jan. 10 transportation committee meeting, saying an elevator will go in next to the stairs on 59th Street between Third and Fourth avenues.
That lift will take riders to a mezzanine, where they can catch one of two other elevators to the Bay Ridge- or Manhattan-bound platforms.
The sidewalk extension will take up four parking spots on Fourth Avenue.
Construction will kick off early 2018, and the N and R stop will boast an expanded mezzanine, new staircases, and two new public rest rooms by the time work wraps up in 2021.
But residents have a long way to go before that becomes a reality, said the chairman of Community Board 7’s transportation committee.
“This project is a great thing. The process, however, is not a great thing,” said Sunset Parker Zachary Jasie. “It’s going to be three years that they’ll be working on this, but the station will remain open. It’s going to be a lot of construction for a while, but it’ll be worth it in the end.”