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Subway station for Brooklyn cultural icons now ADA compliant

A Cultural Transit Trifecta for Access To Museum, Botanic Garden, Library

December 21, 2020 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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The Eastern Parkway-Brooklyn Museum subway station is a gateway to some of the most important cultural institutions in Brooklyn — namely, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the Brooklyn Public Library’s main branch at Grand Army Plaza. However, it didn’t include access for the disabled.

That situation, however, was remedied on Friday as elected officials, representatives of those cultural institutions and community residents gathered on Friday to announce the completion of new accessibility features, including three new hydraulic ADA elevators, at the station.  

The project, which was completed within budget, achieves full ADA compliance and improves access for straphangers. The ADA improvements include a street-to-mezzanine elevator on the Brooklyn Museum side of the station, along with two more elevators from the mezzanine to both the Brooklyn and Manhattan-bound subway platforms.  

“The Brooklyn Museum strives to be a more accessible and welcoming place for its visitors, so we’re excited that these ADA-compliant elevators present more opportunities for people to use the MTA and visit the Museum,” said Brooklyn Museum Director Anne Pasternak, who called the Brooklyn Museum and the Brooklyn Botanic Garden the most accessible cultural institutions in all of New York City thanks to the newly accessible subway station.

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“We are elated to have a new accessible station on the doorstep of Brooklyn Botanic Garden. All New Yorkers and visitors should be able to access the Garden, Brooklyn Museum, Prospect Park and the other cultural, commercial, and residential amenities this neighborhood offers, and ADA-compliant public transit options are fundamental to ensuring that access,” said Brooklyn Botanic Garden President Adrian Benepe.

The new elevator, seen here at the mezzanine level, takes passengers, disabled and otherwise, up to the street level. Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

In addition to the three new elevators, other improvements completed as part of the project include:

  • New and widened/rebuilt staircases at street level
  • A new ADA boarding area at the platforms and new tactile tiles on platform edge 
  • A new closed-circuit television security system
  • Refurbishment of the station-agent booth for ADA compliance
  • A new Passenger Station Local Area Network (PSLAN) to support the rollout of the new OMNY fare payment system 

“Over the past several months we have been able to complete 10 accessible station projects including this one, even with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrating that we can deliver work that makes a difference for our customers,” said Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction & Development. “Out-of-the-box thinking is enabling MTA C&D to deliver projects better, faster and cheaper.”  

Borough President Eric Adams shakes the hand of Victor Calise, commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. Marc A. Hermann / MTA New York City Transit

“I am pleased to see the MTA’s continued commitment to accessibility with yet another station unveiling — the second in Brooklyn in a week,” said Victor Calise, MTA board member and commissioner of the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities. “Elevators and other accessibility improvements benefit everyone.”

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said: “There is no reason you should have to map out your life based on you utilizing public transportation to get to and from our cultural institutions, visiting your loved ones and your neighbors. This is a crucial step forward, but is only the first of many steps. And again, congratulations to the great advocates, community leaders and all who came together to make this happen.”

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  1. Demi Monde

    This truly is fantastic news for New Yorkers, and visitors to these Brooklyn treasures! I was a long time Prospect Heights resident, and was heartbroken my aged mother and her husband couldn’t visit my home because of accessibility issues at my station. This is a welcome remediation!! Hooray, and congratulations MTA!!