January 4, 2012

Subway escalator is needed

 To The Editor:

Re “C.B. 2 gives thumbs down on upzoning for Rudin plan” (news article, Oct. 27):

Thank you for your continued coverage of the plans to redevelop the former St. Vincent’s properties. I was happy to read the part of your article mentioning Community Board 2’s request to have the developers, Rudin Management, install an elevator/escalator at the 12th St. and Seventh Ave. subway station. What a blessing this would be!  Easy accessibility to the train would be a ray of light for many residents, myself included, and prove a necessity for those using the new health facility.

However getting this escalator/elevator isn’t a done deal, So far, the Rudins have not agreed to take on this part of the redesign and may avoid having to do so unless lots of Village residents speak up and say they would benefit from an elevator/escalator at this stop.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s Office is taking names of Village residents that would like an escalator/elevator installed, and it is my hope that this newspaper’s readers will call and make their needs known and let their block associations know to support this idea.  This may be our last chance for a while to get this stop made more accessible.

The M.T.A. has no plans to add any wheelchair accessibility to this station. I called and spoke with an M.T.A. representative who told me because of the access at 14th and Eighth Ave. and at Union Square we don’t need it at this station. This thinking is flawed. People that require escalators and elevators often weigh how many blocks they need to walk in one direction or another to reach their destination. For people who find stairs challenging, every extra block becomes a reason making it harder to leave the house. I speak from experience.

I often have trouble climbing the subway stairs, especially when carrying a laptop and so on and when taking the bus isn’t always a viable option. The simplest bus trip from the Village to Times Square can take 45 minutes and that’s after the bus arrives. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for the bus for 30 minutes in the cold after the theater, only to watch it drive by and not stop for you. This happens more than you would think.

So let’s spread the word about this proposed elevator/escalator and work together so that Village residents are aware of this option. Please encourage your readers to call the Council speaker and their block associations and spread the word among other folks whose quality of life could be positively impacted by an escalator/elevator. This could make the difference for some people being able to stay in New York or not. It is one positive for residents after what will be years of listening to pile driving.

Elisabeth Yapp

What now for Iraq veterans?

To The Editor:

Our troops are now home from another foreign war. Left in their wake are more than 4,000 American troops dead (not counting civilian mercenaries, like Blackwater, Halliburton and all the other corporate profiteers), more than 32,000 Americans wounded or maimed, and more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians dead. You can rest assured these are low estimates that will continue to grow. Also left behind are countless orphans and widows and a puppet government with a weak military that isn’t likely to survive.

Now that they are home, they can join the 67,000-plus vets already begging on the streets and living in the shelter system. Now, they too can face the 11.1 percent veteran unemployment rate. And you can rest assured these are low estimates that will continue to grow.

All of this while our government / corporate structure is checking everything they are doing, from their library records and the Internet, to keeping tabs on their shopping habits.

Even here, in one of the most liberal cities in the country, they will be subjected to random bag searches on the trains and random stop-and-frisk procedures on the street based on the color of their skin — and heaven help those who won’t be able to produce papers proving who they are and where they live. All I can say is, Welcome back to the “Land of the Free” and let’s all thank George W. Obama for bringing our troops home from yet another foreign war.

Yippie! We are the 99 percent!

Jerry The Peddler


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