posted 2012-03-22 00:31:00

MTA Designing New 68th Street Station Entrance and Elevator

New subway entrance aims to accommodate congestion

Kimberly Devi Milner

Associate News Editor

With the MTA required to make 100 of its central subway stations accessible to handicapped persons by 2020, the 68th Street-Hunter College Station is currently set to receive an elevator in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. A new station entrance will be built nearby to enable crowd flow during the construction, though the MTA has not yet announced where it would be situated. According to its website, the $67.2 million budgeted project is entering the design

stage next month and is slated to begin construction in December.

“I think the elevator and new entrance would be great since you have a lot of elderly who live around Hunter– it’s not just students,” said Studio Art major and senior Anthony Miller.

But many Upper East Side residents living near 69th Street where the new entrance was forecasted to rise were outraged with the MTA design, and formed a block association and hired lawyers

to fight the transit plan, media sources reported, claiming the new entrance would change the character of the block and crime would ensue.

The MTA slated the Americans with Disabilities Act approved 68 St-Hunter College subway station to be completed by January 2016. Hunter College was informed of the MTA project in Spring 2009, according to Acting Chief Operating Officer Leonard Zinnanti. “There should be no difficulty for Hunter students because the MTA is planning on building entrances on 69th street and Lexington [Avenue] and therefore can work on 68th street independently,” Zinnanti wrote in an email.

An MTA analyst who spoke to The Envoy on the condition of anonymity said he did not believe the new entrance would be built on 69th Street because of the community protest. The analyst said the MTA was currently examining the practicality of the subsurface utility engineering involved in installing the elevator. “We have to have enough empty room,” he said.

The MTA is also working on the Lexington Avenue-63rd Street station on the F line, and has announced underground construction will be done to allow the new Second Avenue T line to stop there. New entrances will also be built.