Brewer Finds Few Pedestrian Curbs Near Accessible Subway Stations In Compliance With ADA Standards

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, with the assistance of the Center for Independence of the Disabled, New York (CIDNY), released a report today that finds serious shortcomings regarding pedestrian ramps that are located near subway stations that are accessible from Harlem to Hollis.

Leaving those stations effectively inaccessible to residents with impaired vision, and those who rely on wheelchairs, walkers, and other aids.

Of the 248 ramps surveyed, only 14 (5.65%) were found to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Of the remaining 234 ramps, 85 had one ADA violation; 83 had two violations; 38 had three; 19 had four; and 3 ramps had five violations.

Of the 248 ramps surveyed, only 14 (5.65%) were found to be ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. Of the remaining 234 ramps, 85 had one ADA violation; 83 had two violations; 38 had three; 19 had four; and 3 ramps had five violations. The most common violation was the lack of “detectable warning” that helps prevent visually impaired individuals from wandering onto oncoming traffic or unexpectedly encountering the edge of a ramp.

In the report, Brewer urged that the city prioritize the accessibility of ramps around subway stations and other transit hubs, provide greater transparency on ramp status and construction, hold city contractors and third parties accountable for out of compliance work, and establish a program of maintenance for all ramps now in compliance.

“Our investigation shows that the city has failed to meet its obligations to remove physical obstacles that restrict those with disabilities from participating fully in our city’s life.”

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer said “As we observe the 30th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, let’s measure our progress in meeting our responsibilities when it comes to accessibility. Elevators installed at subway stations are of no use if the pedestrian ramps needed to get to them are not functional, non-compliant with ADA standards, or worse, non-existent. Our investigation shows that the city has failed to meet its obligations to remove physical obstacles that restrict those with disabilities from participating fully in our city’s life. The city’s commitment on paper to make our streets and sidewalks accessible must be matched by actual improvements and we can begin by making pedestrian ramps around accessible subway stations and hubs the first priority.”

” Their surveys show that the City is well behind in its responsibilities to ensure safe streets and sidewalks for all.”

“CIDNY applauds Borough President Brewer and her staff for their diligence in surveying the City’s curb ramps and monitoring its activity on correcting non-ADA compliant barriers. Their surveys show that the City is well behind in its responsibilities to ensure safe streets and sidewalks for all. While safely crossing NYC streets may be guaranteed by court-order, implementation is key. We hope the City will act quickly to improve, replace, and install new curb ramps so that all can safely enjoy access to everything NYC has to offer, without barriers at sidewalk curbs,” said Susan Dooha, executive director, Center for Independence of the Disabled, NY (CIDNY).

“Continued oversight of the City of New York and the MTA is critical to ensure that these public entities are complying with the law and addressing accessibility needs that are critical to the lives of people with disabilities…”

“Continued oversight of the City of New York and the MTA is critical to ensure that these public entities are complying with the law and addressing accessibility needs that are critical to the lives of people with disabilities. The Manhattan Borough President’s Office is an essential watchdog on that front and we appreciate this excellent reporting,” said Michelle Caiola, Managing Director at Disability Rights Advocates.

Photo credit: 1) Ramps that are non-compliant on 135th Street and Malcolm X Boulevard, serving the 2/3 Subway Station in Harlem.



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