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I think it's time for the MTA to at least consider platform barriers. Most of the world's major subway systems have them at popular subway stops to keep riders safe. The barriers don't have to be at every stop, but they could at least be at the populated ones, such as Times Square, 14th Street Union Square etc., just because of the sheer number of people there that could lead to accidents. It might be expensive, but it's growing to be a necessity.
A surge in deaths on New York City subways has some elected officials calling on the MTA to study safety features in other transit systems around the world. In 2012, 55 people were killed by trains in the subway, including two high-profile crimes in December where New Yorkers were pushed to the tracks moments before trains arrived.
In the first three weeks of January, six more straphangers were killed. Today, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer joined transit advocates to call on the MTA inspector general to consider platform barriers and safety doors, as well as signage related to safety. What do you say?
Have you changed your riding habits because of the recent spate of subway deaths? Would platform barriers work in New York City? What safety measures would you suggest to the MTA?
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I'm sure that the powers-that-be are salivating over the prospect of tens of millions of dollars to be spent on a "study" of the issue, no doubt to be directed to a company (or "think tank") with the right connections to the relevant politicians -- and the same will go for any safety gates or other measures that might ever be approved.
Upper West Side
Something along the lines of barriers or other safety measures must be implemented, especially since people are still not paying attention, many still stand too close to the platforms, often with headphones, unaware of their surroundings.
Barricades on the platforms
There would still be openings for
Entry/exit to subways cars
Upper West Side
This has already been suggested by the last MTA chief and the decision was that it would be to expensive. It's a wonder that this Stringer didn't call for the subways to be shut down. [I guess he's just one of many running for mayor] All of a sudden everyone has become an expert in solving problems that they all know nothing about.
The bus drivers are now sealed in to their area and if they ever have a bus accident then how would they get out. They are to confined.
This to me was someone's idea that didn't think about the driver having an accident and it was all done because they are now being attracted by crazy riders.
Where are we going with all of this?
The safety of the passengers went out the window when the MTA did away with token booth attendents. Now they will pay through lawsuits and safety measures. Shows just how much the MTA is concerned with passenger safety.
Stand back from the edge of the platform, from the yellow warning lanes.
Don't slow down the trains because that will lead to congestion and more people close to the edge. There, I saved the City millions of dollars.
The challenges to installing platform barriers and safety doors are:
Physical: In order for the safety doors to work properly, stations have to be straight and level, and subway car dimensions need to be uniform and standardized
Financial: It would be prohibitively expensive and time-consuming to adapt and fit the platform barriers and safety doors to 469 stations, and at least 7 different types of subway cars used in the subway system
Bureaucratic: The MTA is an extremely insular organization that is fiercely resistant to ideas not generated by a handful of senior managers, and will fight every attempt to have politicians or outside agencies impose the installation of platform barriers and safety doors
In many other countries around the world they have barriers between the the subways and platforms. It saves lives and it keeps the track clean of trash and rats.
The MTA is decades behind other major cities when it comes to safety. They could start with addressing poor lighting, tripping hazards, crowd control, and making clear announcements. Barriers would be cost prohibitive and would take decades to install.
There are already safety doors in use in the area: at JFK airport on the AirTrain platforms. They work well and people are totally safe.
As someone who spends over 20 hours a week on the subways as a straphanging commuter, I see the fewest number of people leaning over the edge at platforms that have the arrival indicating signs. This stops people from peering over the edge for the train and allows them to stand back, while being informed about the train's arrival in a safe and timely manner.
I think the city should issue tickets to all those who cross the yellow warning line in the subways they give tickets when you walk thur train cars right ? this will stop them .
New York City is simply too overcrowded, especially since the boros became Bloombergized Hipster enclaves. Also, there are too many mentally ill people roaming around, because tragically they are not seen as worthy of treatment and hospitalization.
Money can be better spent on keeping water out of the subways. Will putting walls up for sidewalks be the next idea? As always, the government cannot always protect you for the crazies.
A safe way to solve this problem would be a emergency brake that would be available to straphangers on the platform as well as awareness of transit riders Themselves by stepping away from the edge..possibly a honk from the conductor before they begin to enter the station.. would let riders know to step away from The edge..
simple: install emergency brake activators on the train platforms. Next time someone falls onto the tracks, others can activate the emergency brakes, and nobody gets killed.
Subway doors would be an ultimate protection but it does not seem to be feasible, especially on elevated platforms. MTA needs to have a competition for best safety solution (projects, of course, need to include projected costs). There are a lot of creative brilliant people out there, I am sure a solution can be found.
PS Being self-aware can do that much when someone pushes you down.
What is up with this huge rash of people on the tracks? I think it stems from the complete flooding of our city from out of towners. They seem to have had no idea as to where they were moving when they moved here. Just look at what has happened to our bodegas, mom and pop stores and neighborhoods, in general. The new Mall of America. There are instructions over the train P.A. as to how to ride the train. I've seen metal signs installed on the upper east side explaining what Curb you Dog means. There are instructions on Public Access TV as to how to live in NYC. Maybe installing some metal signs explaining that if you fall on train tracks, no one will be there to catch you. Geez.
The subway system is over 100 years old, so this isn't the first time riders have had safety concerns. While the recent pushing deaths are troubling, I don't think barriers are a reasonable solution. We've gone over 100 years without them. Why give the MTA another reason to raise fares? I would feel safer if some of those laid-off token booth operators were reinstated. How safe can a station be when there is no one to call for help in an emergency? Surely that would be more cost effective than building barriers.
Platform doors are always the magic bullet every 6 months to a year, when this comes up. The cost is astronomical. The technical challenges are staggering. This is a sad reality that comes with our traveling way of life here. Simple awareness is the only real solution.
Also, how many of these door supporters would remain when they are asked to pay for them?
I think that the ultimate responsibility is yours to keep safe. I have heightened awareness in my surroundings. I stopped running for the upcoming train or lean onto the tracks in the futile, albeit common habit of, somehow, telepathically bring the train to the station.
The MTA is never going to spend money on barriers. Something I learned after the man was run down by the train at 49th St. while people took pictures, is that if you fall or get pushed on the tracks, do not attempt to climb back onto the platform. Walk as quickly as possible away from the train. There are stairs or ladders at the end of each platform for the track workers. They are often inside the tunnel where it's dark, so people may not notice them, but they are there. It also gives train operator time to see you and stop.
My riding habits have most definitely changed. I stand perpendicular to the tracks near an iron structure beam.
I'm mainly concerned with the numerous mentally unstable people who randomly target innocent commuters.
There's also the matter of "transit rage" where people are simply not concerned with other riders safety.
The MTA needs to research the 10 safest subways in the world and implement changes that are financially feasible.
How about providing an escape route should someone fall on the tracks like mummy holes? Or deeper hiding areas between the rails.
I agree with Bonnie. Why can't the trains just be mandated to come to a complete stop before they enter the station. Do a sweep of the tracks and then proceed forward.
Maybe a train should have a loud whistle (like a locomotive) that could sound starting 100 feet or so before it enters the station. That might keep people from leaning over to see hints of headlights on the tracks to see if or when the next train is coming. It's not expensive compared to other ideas, but it would add considerably to the noise pollution in the subways and probably annoy neighbors on the elevated lines...just an idea.
How about people STOP staring at their iphones and ipads and PAY ATTENTION OF WHAT'S GOING ON AROUND THEM!!!
Upper East Side
Why doesn't the MTA just install an alarm button that people can push to signal to on coming trains that someone is on the tracks and this way the train would stop before the station!
How about a "panic button" on the platform? In the case of an emergency, pressing this could activate lights in the tunnel and warn the conductor to slow down. We shouldn't have to wave and shout to alert an oncoming train!
I thinks the solution is two fold. First, more of the electric clocks on platforms that have information about arriving trains will keep people off the edge of the platform looking for the next train. Second, would be an emergency system similar to a fire alarm systems, that are in schools or office buildings, or safety systems on college campuses. It would need to be located on every platform and can be set off whenever someone falls on the track, by simply pulling a lever or pushing a button, it will signal the train conductor, the attendant at the station and 911.
Barriers will not do anything but slow down service, and increase costs and the need for mainlanders and repairs.