NYC Subways

Yes, the only solution to this problem (other than keeping deranged people out of the stations) is platform doors. People movers at airports have these, and there’s no reason they couldn’t be implemented on subways as well. It does require synchronization to ensure that the train comes to a stop in exactly the right place, but that’s not a hard technology.

14 thoughts on “NYC Subways”

  1. Well… It is expensive to install and maintain. And now you have two sets of mechanical doors to keep working instead of just one (on the train).

    At the risk of being deemed insensitive… Wouldn’t it be smarter to keep murderous folks away from society at large? In pretty much all cases of subway violence, it came as no surprise. Most perpetrators were well-know to police and security officials, and have long rap sheets and/or history of deep-seated mental illness.

    1. Treat the criminals and criminally insane like criminals and crazy?

      Go on, pull the other one

      1. Not likely in a country where a mentally ill person is made the Assistant Secretary of Health.

    2. What about protecting against suicides and distracted walkers? Tokyo Metro and JR are installing gates and barriers to prevent both.

  2. How about a “wall” that is made out of doors. Only open the ones that are aligned with the train doors?

    Soto voice: “Yes, I’m an engineer.”. …shuffles away…

    1. You could also do something akin to hanger doors that accordion to a much larger space the size of a train car. But I’m partial to the treat the criminally insane as criminals.

  3. I wondered about this as a little kid riding the Boston subways (I lived in Brighton, Brookline, and Newton Upper Falls, so buses, streetcars, and subways were a certain part of my little life). Once, some woman tripped and fell headlong off the platform as a train was pulling in. One of my uncles, who must have been a senior in HS, jumped down and pushed her back up on the platform, then ducked under the maintenance overhang as the train went through. I guess it made the papers (though I must have been about 4, so who knows). I only rode the NYC subways a little as I was there alot in the 1990s (business mainly, but my second wife was from the Bronx), because I had a zippy little car (a 1992 Tercel) and access to private, off-street parking. Manhattan is surprisingly walkable. Or was. I haven’t been back in this century.

  4. My impression is that London has been gradually getting platform edge doors retrofitted into more underground stations. My last trip was several years ago, and it was quite a shock to come down the escalator into what had been a familiar station and see such a dramatic change.
    In some cases there, the screen is not floor to ceiling, but only to waist-high. My reading indicates that the lack of ventilation “systems” in older stations means that there would not be adequate A.C.H. to maintain healthy air if the platforms were not open to the tunnels and to the air moved by piston effect of the trains within them.

  5. There’s a little tiny flaw to the thinking that this would solve the problem; it won’t.

    Even if this was installed and worked for the stated purpose, there are places in NY and elsewhere that are not in subway stations. They are called roadways, and on those roadways there are often large moving objects (trucks, cars, etc). These roadways have people walking beside them. Those people can be pushed just as easily there as subway stations.

    Better, by far, to simply address the problem, rather than its symptoms.

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