Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams is calling for the swift replacement of the elevators within the Clark Street subway station after an outage trapped 17 commuters inside for nearly an hour Monday morning.
“We cannot underestimate the level of trauma some passengers would feel to be stuck in an elevator for almost an hour,” said Adams.
All the elevators in the station were replaced in 1995 and the MTA has budgeted to replace them again in its current five-year capital plan, Adams noted. The Clark Street station is particularly deep and is one of the few stations exclusively accessed by elevators.
“We’ve heard from constituents that the elevators at Clark Street seem to be in a constant state of breaking down and in need of replacement,” Adams continued. “So we can only imagine if there was a medical emergency — that it took almost an hour — that is unacceptable for 17 people To have to endure something of this magnitude.”
Adams penned a letter to the MTA, dated Tuesday, Oct. 2, calling on the authority to begin the elevator replacement before the end of the year and also immediately open the station’s emergency stairwell as an alternative for everyday use until the elevator is replaced.
“While this incident would be deeply problematic in any set of circumstances, this particular instance and the existing state of at-risk infrastructure speak to an imminent public safety threat,” Adams wrote in the letter.
Andrei Berman, an MTA spokesman, said in an email that the MTA is "beginning [the elevator] replacement in the next several months" but did not specify a date or comment to Adam’s request for opening the station stairwell.