Raising the call: Demands going up for 86th Street subway elevator

Heavy lifting: The Ponce family is unhappy there is no elevator entrance at the R train 86th Street entrance to make using a stroller easier.
Brooklyn Daily
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They could use a lift.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority must get rolling on a plan to build a much-anticipated elevator at the 86th Street R train station in Bay Ridge, locals are demanding. The authority will spend nearly $29 million to construct the lift — scheduled for completion by 2020 — but state documents reveal that the money may be available as soon as 2017, and so transit honchos should get cracking, leaders and riders say.

“I am hoping for that elevator as soon as possible, we’re all really anxious about it,” said Josephine Beckmann, district manager of Community Board 10. “The community really needs this to happen.”

The project is still in its design phase, and officials have not awarded a contract for construction yet, but Beckmann is hoping that too will take place within the year. It’s a wonder that it has taken this long just to reach the design stage, some locals say.

“They’re moving like molasses,” said Danny Perez, who has no choice but to carry his family’s baby stroller up and down the stairs almost every day. “At the rate they’re going my kid won’t need the stroller by the time they’re done.”

Transit authority officials would not say when the actual construction will begin, but preliminary work has started — in April the agency drilled test holes near the station’s entrances to find the best place to site the lift, according to Beckmann.

Once that report is in, the authority will be able to select a location and get to work, she said.

Reach reporter Caroline Spivack at or by calling (718) 260–2517. Follow him on Twitter @carolinespivack.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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