All of Stuyvesant’s escalators are undergoing an overhaul program to improve their safety, which requires them to be closed for several weeks at a time. The program is anticipated to be completed by the end of February.
The overhaul program is taking place due to new citywide regulations for elevator and escalator safety. Since the regulations affect all of New York City, buildings that are part of city agencies, like the Stuyvesant building, have been closing and upgrading their escalators.
The upgraded escalators will have a device located every five feet that will halt the escalator if anything gets stuck or jammed. The device already exists at the ends of each escalator, but the upgraded escalators have more of them for redundancy. The Otis Elevator Company has been hired to do the overhauls. They were originally expected to be fully complete by the end of the school year, but that has been moved ahead to the end of February by using two teams of technicians instead of one.
However, the overhauls are meant only to make the escalators safer, not to alleviate the problem of rampant escalator breakdowns. “The best way to keep the escalators running is [to] treat them with respect,” Assistant Principal of Safety, Student Affairs, and Health and Physical Education Brian Moran said.
Many escalator stoppages are caused by students who jump off the escalators; doing so triggers a safety feature that immediately stops the escalator. Other actions that can cause escalator breakdowns include sliding on the handrails, sitting on the escalators, or littering on the escalators.
Elevators and escalators citywide are regularly inspected to ensure that they are safe. “I speak with the custodians all the time to make sure that we are up to date with all the inspections, and currently, we are,” Interim Acting Principal Eric Contreras said. “[Elevators and escalators] get inspected on an ongoing basis.”