To The Editor:
My husband and I decided to move to Sunnyside more than two and a half years ago. There were four factors weighting our decision:
• It was affordable;
• It was a real community
• It was close to Manhattan
• It had one of the best trains in New York, the reliable and frequent #7, awarded the best train of the year because of its cleanliness and scheduling.
It is with sadness and frustration that we came to the conclusion that the train was not for us. In order to get to the platform, you have to climb more than 60 steps in a steep incline, and we are no longer young people. I am in my early 70s and my husband is in his early 80s, and he has a history of heart problems. Getting to the train involved being exhausted before the trip even began.
Since then I have been ruminating the injustice of the situation. The areas between lower Woodside, plus Sunnyside, plus Long Island City, have no access unless you climb those arduous stairs. We are talking about, at least, a third of the population who are either elderly, handicapped or have young children in carriages, and they have no access to the #7 train, and have to content themselves with much slower buses. While getting to Grand Central Station from the 40th Street station takes less than 20 minutes, doing it by bus can amount to 45 to 60 minutes, depending on traffic conditions.
There are no elevators or escalators until you get to 61st Street. That is a very long section of the city without senior or handicapped access.
It has become almost a Darwinian division: The strong and fittest on the train, and the old and weaker in the bus. A sad state of affairs.
Diana Seal, Ph.D,