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Today's Headlines

Monday’s Headlines: Railing about Railings Edition

We found out about new subway platform barriers and asked about it — then the agency put out a press release. Plus other news.

12:00 AM EST on January 22, 2024

Photo: Friend of Streetsblog|

The barriers went up on Friday and Saturday nights.

Great press shops think like great minds, we suppose.

How Streetsblog previous covered the issue.Photo: Streetsblog

On Sunday, a Friend of Streetsblog sent us hot pictures of what appeared to be platform edge barriers at the 191st Street 1 train station — the kind of simple railings for which we advocated back in 2022. So we immediately reached out to the MTA press office to find out what was going on.

Next thing we know, the agency put out a press release about it. (You're welcome.)

The news?

The barriers were installed in house on Friday and Saturday nights as part of the agency's "platform safety pilot program," which will soon include W. Eighth Street in Coney Island, Clark Street in Brooklyn Heights and a fourth station that hasn't been determined. After studying the improvements, officials will determine "if the concept could be scaled up."

Here's another angle.Photo: Friend of Streetsblog

“This is about finding creative ways to improve safety,” said MTA Chairman Janno Lieber, referring to prior incidents of people being thrown or falling onto tracks. "It’s still in an experimental phase. ... If the barriers are effective at deterring track intrusions without interfering with passenger circulation ... we will be ready to deploy widely.”

As our photos and the MTA's pro shots show, the barriers are located on the platform edge but still have gaps where train doors will open, so it remains to be seen how much violence they'll contain.

“This is a terrific move by the MTA,” "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz said in the MTA statement. “You could be sure I will be standing behind these barriers where ever they are provided.” (amNY and Gothamist also covered.)

In other news from an oddly quiet weekend:

  • Gross: Soon after taking office, the city's Probation Commissioner bought herself an $80,000-plus SUV, because, as we all have learned over the years, city officials can't be expected to get around town like virtually all of their constituents and certainly can't conduct office business in a regular sedan. (NYDN)
  • It's going to be cold for another day or so, so why not read The City's primer on icy sidewalks?
  • Carnage in the Bronx caused by a reckless driver. (NYDN, NY Post)
  • "Transportation architect" Jonathan Cohn critiqued the teachers union suit against congestion pricing in a Daily News op-ed.
  • And finally, over the weekend, Streetfilms auteur Clarence Eckerson let us know about a nearly catastrophic crash on McGuinness Boulevard a day earlier. We called the NYPD for details, but the agency didn't have any because there were apparently no injuries. Yep, just another inches-away-from-death incident that may not end up even being reported. Last year, according to city stats, there were more than 96,000 reported crashes (or 263 every single day). We wonder how many more simply aren't reported like the one on McGuinness (which was supposed to be made safer, but the mayor flip-flopped).

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