Author Archives: Melanie Guaba

In Class – St. Hill & Guaba

Social issue: lack of elevators in most NYC subway stations.

  1. Why is this social issue a problem? This social issue is a problem because a lot of stations do not have elevators and therefore are not wheelchair accessible and/or ADA accessible in general.
  2. What are some of the causes and effects of this issue? People that are disabled have to find another means of transportation when their subway station does not have an elevator.
  3. Who does this issue impact? This issue impacts the disabled and those traveling with them.

Relevant keywords that were part of our search were:

  • New York City, NYC, New York
  • Transit, MTA, mass transit, transportation, subway
  • Disability, accessibility, ADA accessible

Relevant sources:

Neuman, William. “$1 Billion Later, Subway Elevators Still Fail.” The New York Times. 2008,

  • This article supports our opinion that there isn’t enough elevators in the subway system in New York City. Most stations are without elevators and some that have elevators are experiencing issues with the elevator malfunctioning or out of service elevators. That in itself is not favorable for those who rely on them.

Tangel, Andrew. “MTA Under Pressure to Add Elevators to More Subway Stations.” Wall Street Journal – Online Edition, 30 Jan. 2016. EBSCOhost,

  • This article is relevant to our issue because it says that only 111 out of the 469 NYC subway stations are accessible. People who have advised the addition of elevators to all subway stations have been turned down countless times because the MTA says that it is too expensive and that it will take an immense amount of time do get fully done. The MTA knows they have a huge problem on their hands, but they went with making buses more accessible which ended up costing them even more money than making subway stations accessible.

Blog #2 – Melanie Guaba

“Is it possible to imagine cities with a culture of participatory sharing in which public space is utilized to literally serve the public?” (Fallen Fruit, p. 228).

I think public spaces can not be utilized to serve (ironically) the public. This is due to discrimination towards factors like race, gender, age, and financial class. In Caitlin Cahill’s, “The Right to Side Walk,” she said “Historically, neighborhood public spaces were an extension of the home, a sort of outdoor ‘living room’ where you meet friends, children play, and elders watch from the stoop or the window” (97). Such spaces were once thought of as comfortable to be in and now, too many times, people feel unsafe in them. She explains that young men of color, either Latino or Black, have been consistently stopped by the police because they seem suspicious to them. The distrust is unpleasant. Being questioned and/or harassed by the police on a sidewalk discourages all of the public, including Latinos and Blacks, to even step out of their homes. This made the public realize that they couldn’t be themselves and act as such in public spaces. A park such as Zuccotti park is just as public as a sidewalk, even though it’s privately owned. After Occupy Wall Street, “the searching of those entering the park to prevent them from bringing sleeping bags and tents into the park” (Eisenberg, 84), was a bit much and therefore emphasized such distrust in the public. This made the public realize that they couldn’t be themselves and act as such in private spaces, either. Furthermore, in “Sweetness in Public Space – Fallen Fruit,” the author says that “Three forms of fruit presented themselves very quickly: the private, the public, and the fallen fruit–no one’s fruit, the waste of fruit” (228) and so if you replace the word “fruit” with the word “spaces,” you get private, public, and the fallen spaces or no one’s spaces. So, if people can’t live peacefully in public, private, or in no one’s spaces, where can they (go to) do so?

In Class – Lee & Guaba

Topic: Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping

  1. Tactic – Reverend Billy Talen and his choir would go to both populated public areas in the city, like the subway, enclosed spaces, and theaters to have their voices heard.
  2. Issues – Talen and his people get others thinking about consumerism, racism, and militarism because it is killing our planet. They talk about GMOs, police brutality, homelessness, capitalism, climate change, and the environment. They are not entertainers, they try to to make you question your way of life and decisions.
  3. Time-frame – They have been sharing their knowledge and input on these topics for the last 15 years.
  4. Place(s) – NYC subways, Starbucks, Disney stores, Macy’s, theaters like the Paul McCartney Theater, and Joe’s Pub, are just some examples.
  5. Resulting effect or change – Aside from the interested crowd that they have accumulated over the years and those who we’re sure have changed their life around because of their words, Reverend Billy was banned from all Starbucks.

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