Sunday, February 7, 2021

Bedford Avenue Entrance To Nostrand Avenue Station (IND Fulton Street) Reopens After Three Decades; Quemuel Arroyo Becomes The First-All Accessibility Chief Officer


Bedford Ave entrance to Nostrand Ave station in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn
Credit: Marc Herman/NYCT 

On Thursday, the MTA New York City Transit reopened the Bedford Avenue entrances to the Nostrand Avenue (A)(C) train stations in the Bedford Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. That entrances were closed due to high-rise in crime back in 1991 and has been closed for three decades. This comes just nearly one year after the announcement. The entrances provide a quicker path to trains for pedestrians coming from west of the station, facilitate the station’s connection to northbound B44 Select Bus Service and local bus service, reduce crowding as trains depart from the station, and provide a free in-station transfer between the northbound and southbound platforms. The entrances, at the northeast corner and southeast corner of Bedford Av and Fulton St, are more than 1,000 feet, or nearly a quarter mile, to the west of the entrances at the corner of Fulton St and Nostrand Av.

Inside the station, workers scraped and repainted surfaces, repaired and replaced tile, rehabilitated stairways and installed new LED lighting, OMNY-enabled turnstiles and security features such as Help Point intercoms and cameras. On the sidewalk level, workers installed sidewalk entrances in accordance with current New York City Transit design standards. The tunnels also provide shelter from storms, snow and rain. The project cost approximately $2 million. Of that total, approximately $1 million came from MTA New York City Transit, $750,000 was provided by former Assembly Member Wright and $250,000 was provided by former Senator Montgomery. All work was performed by New York City Transit staff.

Former Senator Velmanette Montgomery said this in a statement: “I am so pleased and greatly appreciate the work by MTA NYC Transit forces to get this work done in such a short time and in such difficult circumstances. This is a huge win for the Bedford-Stuyvesant community.

Assembly Member Stefani L. Zinerman also said this in a statement: “I am excited about the reopening of the Bedford Avenue entrances to the Nostrand Av (A) and (C) Subway Lines. This additional access point to the trains in my District will help to alleviate congestion, support social distancing and offer a timely and comfortable commute. I want to thank my predecessor, Tremaine Wright, for her hard work and forethought in ensuring the needs of the community were addressed by supporting the opening of this station. Transportation is the lifeblood of our city and we need a safe and efficient MTA to ensure the needs of all commuters.

The Bedford Avenue entrance to the Nostrand Avenue station along Fulton Street in Brooklyn is a very nice addition to the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood. It connects to the B25, B49, and the northbound B44 Local and B44 +SBS. Whenever trains run express in either direction, you do not have to use your MetroCard to enter the station on the opposite side of the platform where trains are making all stops. You can use the east side of the station to enter either side of the platform. It is a win-win for the neighborhood and the (A)/(C) customers at Nostrand Avenue. Thank you, Andy Byford


Quemuel Arroyo

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced back on Thursday the appointment of Quemuel Arroyo as the Authority's first all-agency Chief Accessibility Officer. Arroyo, who starts work in his new role, will have primary responsibility for all matters pertaining to accessibility and will report directly to MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick Foye. The appointment advances the MTA's commitment to increasing access and ensuring the system meets the needs of all riders, including those with disabilities. In addition to fashioning Authority-wide policy and initiatives in the accessibility space, Arroyo will serve as a key point of contact for the region's diverse community of disability rights advocates. Arroyo previously served in a similar capacity at the New York City Department of Transportation and most recently was Interim President and Global Head of Community for GetCharged Inc, overseeing strategic partnerships and government relations.

Here is a background story on Quemell Arroyo. He spent five years at the New York City Department of Transportation as Chief Accessibility Specialist and ADA Coordinator/Disability Service Facilitator. In these roles, he established the agency’s strategic plan on accessibility policy while representing NYCDOT on all matters of accessibility locally and internationally, including speaking at the United Nations and Chairing an International Summit on Sustainable & Accessible Transport at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. Most recently, Arroyo served as Interim President & Global Head of Community for GetCharged Inc, overseeing government relations and strategic partnerships.

Born in the Dominican Republic, Arroyo immigrated to New York in 1997. He holds a Master of Public Administration degree in Management and Leadership from New York University’s Wagner School of Public Policy. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Design & Architecture Studies from New York University. Arroyo currently serves as a Board Member for New York City Outward Bound and previously served on the Board of NYU’s Alumni Association. The Authority has, in recent years, launched the most ambitious set of capital goals in its history with respect to expanding the number of ADA accessible stations and Arroyo will support MTA Construction & Development in advancing and completing these critical projects. Arroyo also plans to take on initiatives that assist those with cognitive, visual or hearing disabilities and to improve the ways in which the MTA communicates to customers with disabilities. In this role, he will serve as a vital conduit between the MTA board, its leadership, the disability community and the public.

Chief Accessibility Officer Quemuel Arroyo said this in a statement: "I'm eager to begin my work at the MTA. I am a New Yorker and this is an opportunity of a lifetime. Over the last few years, New York City Transit has made huge strides in assisting riders with disabilities. I look forward to building on the great work already being done and also to expanding the way we think about accessibility so that we can incorporate the commuter railroads into more of our initiatives as well. 'Accessibility' encompasses many areas of our operations and means different things to different people. Part of my job will be reshaping the way in which we conceive of accessibility as a public authority and working closely with the public to broaden our impact across the region."

Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of the Transportation Committee said this in a statement: “I’m proud of Quemuel Arroyo, who served as the former Chief Accessibility Specialist for the New York City Department of Transportation and now will serve as the new first Chief Accessibility Officer for the MTA. In my role of Chair of the Transportation Committee I have worked closely with Arroyo and it brings me great joy to know he will be taking on this role. I am confident he will serve and advocate on behalf of the over one million New Yorkers that experience some kind of disability. Having previously worked with the DOT and now with the MTA I am confident that our goal remains the same: to continue expanding the accessibility of our transportation system for all New Yorkers.”

In his new role, Arroyo will place a strong emphasis on deploying technology solutions that can be utilized by both New York City Transit and the commuter railroads. He'll also work to expand public awareness around what constitutes a disability and the various ways in which different disabilities can impact transit riders. A representative of the disabled to inform the public about disability and oversee elevator construction for subway and commuter railroad stations. Arroyo will perform well at his post. But before all of that can come into order, we still need funding that is needed to complete these projects. The MTA of New York joined multiple transit/transportation agencies across the USA to ask for $39.8B worth of funding from Congress to keep service running. Lastly, Pete Buttigieg becomes the new US Secretary Of Transportation and Hank Guttman becomes the new NYC Department Of Transportation Comissioner. 


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