(Jen Carlson / Gothamist)
The Clark Street subway station in Brooklyn Heights is one of the deeper subway stations in the city, and the only way to get from the street to the platforms (and vice versa) is by taking one of the three large elevators. Every morning and evening those elevators are jam-packed during rush hour, with straphangers squeezing in and sweating it out (it gets HOT in there) for the 30-seconds or so it takes to get to either the street or the platforms. Anyway, it’s always a game of risk, as there’s a chance one of the three elevators will decide to stop working while you’re on it. Anyway, currently they are all down, and have been since Wednesday.
On Thursday the MTA announced that the 2 and 3 “will bypass the Clark St station because the elevators are down. Use the nearby Borough Hall Station instead.” This comes a day after they posted on their site: “The elevators are down. Mechanics are on their way.”
My station is still closed. Plenty of staff at Clark St to redirect passengers, at least. @NYCTSubway is basically treating it as an exit only station with the one remaining [email protected] to the rescue today.#CuomosMTA pic.twitter.com/9ep8Ie6cgP
— Jason Rabinowitz (@AirlineFlyer) August 9, 2018
Second day of no trains at Clark St due to elevator maintenance? @MTA Come on, you close down a whole station because you can’t keep 2 of 3 elevators running?
— Meryl (@MooEsquire) August 9, 2018
@MetroNorth please look into the elevator at the Clark St stop in Bklyn on the 2 line. The ac was broke yesterday and with 50 people crammed into that small space, it’s incredibly dangerous and extremely unhealthy. I would imagine seniors fainting from the lack of air in there.
— Bobby M. (@MaurerBob) August 9, 2018
Note: there is NEVER air conditioning in those elevators.
When this happened a few years ago, former MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz told us, “Clark Street is a deep station and the stairs are emergency exits only. They are not meant for everyday use. Not to mention, if you are getting off at Clark Street, would you rather climb 10 flights of stairs or ride to Borough Hall and walk back a few blocks?” Listen Kev, I do pilates, and Borough Hall is literally collapsing, so I’ll take my chances with some stairs.
We have reached out to the MTA for more information on this week’s elevator situation, and will update if we hear back.
Update: The MTA’s Jon Weinstein told Gothamist, “One elevator is out for planned repair. One broke unexpectedly. The other works but because of crowding concerns Transit bypasses the station during the evening rush hour from 4-8. Trains have been stopping at all other times. These elevators were built in 1919, and are all scheduled to be replaced as part of this Capital Plan.”