Wednesday, April 30, 2008

You Know What Grinds My Gears? MTA Escalator Edition

Last week Curbed posted a story about the broken escalator at Union Square (which is supposed to be maintained by the Zeckendorf Tower owner). Not only has the escalator been left broken for months on end, but the management has FENCED IT OFF . . . so that no one can use it, forcing people to use a narrow, cramped staircase. This type of stupidity is enraging to the commuters who have to look at the broken escalator every day . . . after all as the late comic Mitch Hedberg observed, "an escalator is never temporarily out order - it's temporarily stairs."

Notes a commenter:
The Zeckendorfs were able to build much larger than usual, and therefore the public had to deal with the extra shadows on the park and on the street, in exchange for providing this public amenity in the form of an improved subway station entrance. It is the Zeckendorfs' responsibility to make sure everything is functioning, and it is their responsibility to keep the area clean. They got a bonus worth tens of millions of dollars for providing the improved subway entrance. They NEED to fix it. Those escalators have been broken for YEARS not months. the City should fine them big time.

Sunday, I went to the Pottery Barn up on 59th and encountered another fenced off, broken escalator, and an extremely long one at that.

Today AMNY fuels my rage with another article about broken escalators, this time at 53rd and 3rd. Again, the escalator is supposed to be maintained by a developer who reaped substantial benefits from the City (to the tune of $3 million a year in rent).
Over the decades, it's been a common practice for the city, NYC Transit and its parent agency, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, to forge deals that would give valuable floor space to real estate developers in return for subway improvements. In the case of the escalator at 875 Third Ave., a deal worth $3 million a year in rental income for the developer was forged more than 20 years ago. Today, after the property has changed hands several times over and the city and transit officials who struck the deal have moved on, the agreement seems forgotten, leaving no one accountable for maintaining it.

This has become an epidemic. Socialized costs in the form of lower quality of living for the sake of private profit. Mr. Bloomberg, where is the enforcement? How long will this continue?

And until then: a broken escalator is still a perfectly functional set of stairs! What the hell is wrong with these people?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The idiocy is greater than just the subways. It also includes places like Penn Sation where escalators are used. (Instead of using better designed ramps like 'Grand Central'.) I take the train weekly to Upstate NY. I can tell you that over 60% of the time you get into Penn Station either to have non working escalators or escalators moving in the direction opposite the flow of passengers.

Somehow you would think that this low tech equipment could be better utilized, maintained and repaired