In other words, “That’ll fix ’em for bein’ homeless… tired, sick, pregnant, old, or disabled in the first place” typed the latest state agency vying to be cruelest in town.
Four days later, on February 9th, MTA spokeswoman Abbey Collins addressed Jeremy’s tweet over the bench removals from the 23rd Street F/M station in Chelsea. She told WNYC reporter Stephen Nessen that JP’s reply was “posted in error.” Further, she explained that
The subway is not a substitute for a shelter and homeless New Yorkers deserve much better care. We have been working with the City… to solve the homeless crisis that has been exacerbated by the [Covid-19] pandemic.
Yet, as Mr. Nessen illuminated in a story for Gothamist, Ms. Collins “refused” to deal with the actual content of JP’s tweet. She wouldn’t confirm or deny that the benches at 23rd Street were carted away to bar homeless people “from sleeping on them.” Nor would she say which other “stations” around the City were also relieved of their seating.
Then, on February 10th, a new bench was erected at 23rd Street. Mr. Nessen inquired when that decision was made, and the MTA responded with
After being deep cleaned and disinfected due to an unsanitary condition, New York City Transit is replacing the benches at the 23rd Street/6th Avenue Station.
But if the MTA planned to extract the seats there for some “deep cleaning” all along, why not be explicit about it from the start? Ms. Collins could have simply come out and said, “Don’t be ridiculous. We removed the benches to clean them, not keep anyone from using them. They’ll be back soon.”
Sounds like JP was right after all. This time, though, somebody noticed.
Screenshot courtesy of the Riders Alliance Twitter feed. February 5, 2021.