Sunday, March 9, 2014
ELEVATOR VERSUS LIFT AT HASTINGS
I do not have an understanding of exactly how the proposed elevator at Hastings would be paid for and who would have the responsibility for its maintenance (WPRF or UCO or some percentage combination of the two). An understanding of this and the tax liability question would be needed, of course, in deciding whether to have an elevator installed.
I can only cite my own experiences: A couple of years ago, I went twice with a friend to play pool in the billiard room at the far end of Hastings on the second floor. It was later in the evening and not too many people were about. I had just had knee replacement surgery and was using a cane, so we decided to use the lift. We made it to the second floor, but the ride was a shaky, “uncertain” one, which reminded me of the lift at our two-story condo––dependable 95% of the time but subject at times to getting stuck between floors, which I guarantee you is NOT a pleasant experience. More than once with a passenger stuck halfway down, we had to coax the lift down using the controlled gravity-fall feature from outside the lift. On one of these occasions the person inside––not an elderly, infirm person in this instance––reached a point of near-panic.
An even more dangerous thing happened one time with our condo lift (which, by the way, works better now, thanks to some innovative work by Action Accessibility, our lift maintenance company). It was after dark, and I was on the second-floor catwalk walking by the lift. I routinely checked the door to the lift to see if it opened all right. It opened all right, but the car was down at the first-floor level! Anyone opening the door intending to use the lift could have plunged down the shaft; and a 90-year-old woman lived in an apartment directly across from the lift! What a close call! We got that situation under control and the lift fixed (what was wrong is a long story), but my point is that I think our lifts are not as safe as an elevator.
Lifts are what the Village now has at Hastings, and they are down at the far end, where there are not usually many people around to respond to a call for help. Rather than risk getting stuck, we took the stairs down from the billiard room when my friend and I were through playing pool. If it’s not a terribly bad financial deal for the Village, I would be in favor of having a full-fledged elevator replace the present lifts. Eva Rachesky recommends it, I believe. I think she is right: With a dependable elevator more of our residents would use the second-floor facilities at Hastings.