The Metropolitan Transportation Authority quietly reopened a long-closed entrance at a Brooklyn subway station earlier this month to handle crowding from the ongoing M train closure and the L train shutdown set for 2019. But riders shouldn’t expect more shuttered entrances to be revived anytime soon, and it’s because the MTA’s foot-dragging on elevators has embroiled it in a legal morass.

For decades, the only entrance to the Flushing Avenue station on the J, M and Z lines was at the busy corner of Flushing and Broadway. As of July 1st, riders can now use the other end of the station, at Fayette Street.

“The reopening of the entrance at Fayette Street and Broadway includes a new turnstile area and a total of four reopened staircases: two platform staircases and two street staircases,” MTA spokesperson Kevin Ortiz said in an email.

A group of local residents had been pushing the MTA for the past couple of years to reopen the entrance. Alan Minor, a South Williamsburg resident and chair of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, a North Brooklyn non-profit, is writing his master's thesis about closed subway entrances at Pratt Institute city planning program, He connected with WNYC, which had received MTA data showing that one in four stations had shuttered entrances. The authority didn’t provide much information beyond that.

“They claim they don’t have records of when the entrance was closed, but some of the people in the shops, the longtime businesses around there, say they think it’s been closed since the late ‘70s,” he said of the Flushing Avenue entrance.

The area was very different then, and subway ridership was plummeting. Now, the MTA is once again the source of negative headlines, yet the authority was hush-hush about this small ray of sunshine for beleaguered straphangers.

“I was trying to find a press release on the MTA’s website but I couldn’t find anything. It’s weird that no formal announcement has been made,” Minor said. A spokesperson for State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan said his office only learned about the MTA’s decision in a late June update from the authority on the M train shutdown.

Why isn’t the MTA shouting from the rooftops about this new subway entrance? Perhaps it’s because other stations with shuttered staircases are unlikely to get the same treatment anytime soon.

The MTA is facing a class action lawsuit from advocates for the disabled who say it runs the least accessible subway system in the country and isn’t doing enough to fix the problem. Just 23 percent of stations have elevators, advocates found, and they’re often broken.

The authority is in the process of rehabilitating 30 subway stations, but that project isn’t adding new access for the disabled. Embarking on bigger improvements, like reopening staircases if there isn’t an elevator, could expose the MTA to additional legal action, since a federal appeals court ruled in 2011 that Philadelphia’s transit authority should have also installed elevators when it made upgrades to subway stations.

The MTA did not respond to questions about subway access for the disabled.

Unlike the Flushing Avenue J train stop, other stations affected by the M and L shutdowns with closed entrances — like Hewes Street on the J and Lorimer Street, Broadway and Flushing Avenue on the G — lack elevators, making their reopening unlikely.

Despite the quiet rollout, Minor and elected officials are happy to see progress at Flushing Avenue.

"With the current work on the M train and the upcoming L train shutdown, more people will be riding the J train, so we need to look at all solutions to making this experience better, including opening closed station entrances,” Council Member Antonio Reynoso said in a statement. “The opening of the Flushing entrance is a good start, and I've encouraged the MTA to look at options at other stations as well."

“I’m not sure how much credit I should get because I don’t know if anything that I did made a difference. They may have been planning this all along and didn’t say anything. But you know what, I’ll take credit,” Minor said with a laugh. “I’ve been working on this issue for a while.”