On April 1, 2017, I had the very good fortune to meet up with a team of New York City Angels. We all are Google Localguides and some of us are even Google Trust Photographers. I too am a localguide and trusted photographer, so this venture is important to me. Previously, through the good folks at Google NYC, I set up a Google Meetup to convene to map New York City subway locations, entrances/stations. Another important initiative, was to bring awareness of those locations, entrances and stations, which are not accessible to our New York City neighbors who are physically challenged.
We did this by taking regular photos with our smartphones and our digital cameras, both of which are GPS enabled, that is, which report the longitude and latitude of the particular location. Now that the NYC transit system is fully WIFI enabled, photos including panoramic views and videos, report the GPS location once they are added to Google Maps and Google Street view.
The image below is of one of the entrances of the 14th Street Union Square station. Note that this entrance is not accessible to our physically challenged neighbors, although there is braille directions on one of the support beams of the entrance. Across the park near Broadway is the accessible entrance.
Here are some other photos, most of which are panoramic views which I shot using the RICOH Theta S on a Google Inc provided selfie stick.
This is the 14th Street and 8th Avenue Station which has an operating elevator and is therefore accessible.
Here is one of the many entrances at 14th Street and 6th Avenue. There is the L, F, M, passageway to the 1, 2, 3 and PATH and of course, no accessibility.
Here is the hub for the 1, 2, 3 and an underground passageway to the L, F, M, PATH trains but alas, no accessibility. We shall call this the superhero stop since superheros scale buildings in single bounds but we humans use mobile chairs, walkers, etc.
Here is our final pep talk before we go forth and Map. (Photo courtesy of LocalGuide and Googler Corrie Davidson)
Here is a photo taken by LocalGuide Becky Curran of the signage at 14 Street – Union Square Station and shows accessibility information
On our way to our next station location, localguide and Googler Sasha Blair-Goldensohn took this photo at ground level to show the accessibility challenges above ground while simply trying to negotiate a street crosswalk.