WTF is *WITH* the escalator at 3rd and 52nd? (NYC Subway)

The Lexington Avenue stop on the E/V line has exits to 3rd Avenue on the east end as well as the Lex Ave exits to the west. If you get out at the 3rd Ave end and bear left as you leave (as one would if one were headed downtown-wards), you come out from underneath the rather angular building next to the Lipstick Building.

There’s the famous long long long long long escalator that brings you up from the nether regions of the earth’s mantle up to the level where the MetroCard vending machines and the turnstiles are at. This rant isn’t about that one. It’s usually working, and the folks riding it are even usually compliant with “climb on the left, ride on the right”.

No, it’s the short mundane little escalator that goes from that level up to the sidewalk level. It’s not a horribly imposing distance to climb steps the old-fashioned way, but if one is going to insert an escalator into the works, would one not generally have at least a residual interest in having it work?

I’ve lived in the area, both south and east of 3rd @ 52nd, for a decade, and hence exit from that particular mouse-hole on a regular basis. I would estimate that I’ve seen that escalator turned on and running perhaps one day out of every 600.

For months on end, it’s not running, it’s not being worked on, people climb up and down it as an auxiliary set of steps when the regular steps are crowded during rush hours.

Eventually, yellow tape or wooden barricades blockade entrance or exit, or occasionally an entire workspace structure is built around it. Wow, they are finally fixing the bloody escalator. (Either that or replacing it with a waterslide.)

Then the construction paraphernalia disappears. Escalator stands there, not running. People revert back to using it as an auxiliary set of steps.

Two years & seven months later, one day: well hello, live workers, things all ripped up, gears visible, lanterns in deployment, toolboxes abound. They’re really fixing it this time!. Another day, another day. Hmm, no workment, but it’s all blocked off with construction tape.

Then the tape disappears, eventually. People revert back to using it as an auxiliary set of steps.

Count forward a year and eleven months. Wow! Look! It’s WORKING, it’s RUNNING! (Too bad it’s roped off behind a construction barrier preventing anyone from getting ONTO it yet, but presumably that will come down soon, they’ve got it RUNNING! Who’da thunk it?)

Weekend goes by. Hmm, not working any more. Still boxed up inside wooden barriers.

Eight months go by. Snowstorm. Oh look someone has ripped aside the construction barriers so they can go up or down the stalled escalator.

Soon people revert back to using it as an auxiliary staircase.

Three years and a month go by. Oh, look, they’ve got the escalator cordoned off with contruction tape and someone has ripped up the bottom 12 steps and you can see gears and stuff!

End Loop, Repeat until “hell” = “frozen over”.

Aw, c’mon dammit! Just admit it: you do not have a fucking escalator. It has never been a fucking escalator. Quit cordoning it off, it makes the steps more crowded during rush hour. If you want to do something USEFUL, rip it out and put in a third flight of steps. Bloody hell.

If the folks responsible for the long long long long long escalator below can keep it running pretty much in perpetuity, what in the name of Cthulhu’s barf bucket can be so wrong with this short little one that y’all absolutely positively CANNOT get it to run? Whatever…give it up. If it requires skills, you obviously ain’t got 'em. Maybe you need to hire an exorcist, I dunno. But drop the pretense that you’re fixing the escalator. We know better.

I got nothin. G’damn people eater. Every other week I stare at that thing.

Your post inspired me.

I apologize in advance.

Call 311 every day. Insist on getting a complaint number, then follow up. Do you know the name of your local Assembly person? State Senator? They live for things like this, if only so they can have something to put in their self-congratulatory newsletter every other month.

Tell your friends and neighbors to call 311, and the local politicians. Start a movement.

I had a transportation issue a few months ago in Brooklyn, and made it my life’s work to call 311 every day. I called various politicians’ offices every day. I called the Mayor’s office on a random basis every now and then, just to have the same secretary hang up on me each time. It only took a few minutes each day. Short story made longer, my problem was resolved.

My Assemblyman’s secretary told me, in confidence, that The Powers That Be actually told her they helped me only so I would STFU.

YMMV (and good luck!)

Your spermatozoa looks scared!

Naw, he’s cute.

Spermatozoon. Singular.

(Sounds cooler, too.)


It’s like that “moving” sidewalk between the E and the G – hell, it’s like the actual G.

This is the only thing I can see when I look at your post; “Waaaah, I am a pooooor Manhattanite, living in Manhattan! Woe is me, wahh wahh wahh!”
Juuuust kiddin’. I feel your pain. It’s the same thing at Snowdon, half the gee dee time. :wink:

And of course because I posted the rant, today, this morning, what do you suppose? It’s working! People actually riding on the thing. Wonder if it will still be working when I get home tonight. And how long it will last.

I wanna live in Manhattan…is that so much to ask?

I had a job on Third Avenue around 52nd Street between early 1983 and the fall of 1984.

Escalator worked fine back then. Whadja do to it?

Am I the only one who slam-danced into this thread with the Ramones playing in his head? Sure, it’s one block away, but in New York, that’s pretty close. :slight_smile:

Wow, there is an escalator near where I work that is out of service about 50% of the time. And to think I thought that was bad. I’ve got nothing on you sir.

It’s been almost 12 years since I moved from NYC. Thanks for reminding me what I’m missing. What I like are the long escalators that rise from the sub-sub-sub-sub basement to the street, that never work, and people shlepping their baby carriages and toddlers and groceries up all the stairs.

It’s been almost 30 years since I moved from NE Ohio. What you’re missing is, you’re missing really really good pizza.

It was still running this evening when I came home and I actually rode on the thing. Put my little commuter-feet on it and just stood there on it and rode to the top!

I’m trying to remember the last time that happened. I’m guessing '05? Possibly '04 but more likely '05. In the winter, because there was all that snow when they pulled the tape off from around it a month or so after it quit then…?

It’s silly to keep a running commentary on it if it’s going to actually function as an escalator (can I take the credit? Can I?) but I will post [del]when[/del] if it stops working again soon.

Holy crap, AH3, I live just south and east of 3rd @ 52nd too! Are we neighbors?

Naturally, I am totally familiar with that escalator. Yes, it once worked like a dream, years ago. Then it died and was boarded up. I’m delighted to hear it’s functioning again.

“Even bad New York Pizza is better than a lot of good things.” --Wilton Barnhardt

Hey, be happy you even have escalators that go from the platform level to the street level. Over here, we have escalators that go from the platform level to the turnstile level…almost. And then we have to climb another 100 or so steps. That’s not the half of it, either. While the station restrooms do have stalls equipped for those in wheelchairs, the folks in wheelchairs still have to negotiate steps to get into the station restrooms.

It’s down again. Not moving. Uptime was 1 day. Make it 36 hours, I guess.