Making public places more accessible is important in view of the rising numbers of elderly and people with special needs. Railway stations, in particular, need to be made accessible to the elderly, people with disabilities and those with reduced mobility as well as people with children and heavy luggage. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports that New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is planning to install an elevator at the R train subway station at 86th Street in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn.

Local officials consider this a positive step that will significantly benefit the Bay Ridge neighborhood. The area has a large population of senior citizens as well as residents with disabilities who have difficulty navigating subway stairs.

Likely to be installed next to the subway station entrance on the southeast corner of 86th Street and Fourth Avenue, the new commercial elevator will transport passengers from the street to the mezzanine level of the underground subway station. A separate second lift will take passengers from the mezzanine to the train platform.

The 86th Street station elevator will be the first one constructed in an R train station in Bay Ridge. Planners involved in the project will have to consider the layout of the street and infrastructure in the area including the underground electrical wires, gas mains and other equipment and make the necessary reconfigurations.

Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations for MTA New York City Transit Melissa Farley has announced that the 86th Street elevator is part of the MTA’s 2015-2019 Capital Plan and describes it as one that is “going to change the streetscape”.