Volume 22, Number 11 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | July 24 - 30, 2009
Transit Sam: The Answer Man
Dear Transit Sam,
I’m wondering if you have any ideas about how to make the N.Y.C. subway system more family friendly. I’ve attached a photo of a child on a crowded subway car surrounded by oblivious adults drinking hot coffee and listening to music. In addition, rush-hour crowds blocking car doors often make it hard for parents with baby carriages to even enter the train and always make it hard for passengers to maneuver in general. My suggestion is to designate a special car for families, bicycles and big packages only. This would drastically improve the quality of riding the subway for all subway riders.
Evelyn, via mail
Poor kid! I did pass your suggestion along to N.Y.C. Transit, and I have to concur with their assessment; that having a designated subway car is just not feasible in our massive system. However, the agency does its best to accommodate its variety of riders through “priority seating.” These “priority seats” must be given up when asked to do so by elderly passengers, disabled customers, pregnant women and others whose special needs may not be so evident. N.Y.C. Transit spokesperson James Anyansi also adds, “They have ongoing campaigns alerting customers to the use of priority seating and also requesting that customers give up regular, unmarked seats to the elderly or disabled as a courtesy. Also, our newer subway cars have flip-up seats in four of the eight or 10-car trains to accommodate wheelchairs.” So next time, let’s save that poor little guy a seat!
Dear Transit Sam,
I know cars are prohibited from parking in a crosswalk. Do the stop lines painted in the street mean anything as far as parking? I’ve definitely seen cars parked past the stop line but before the crosswalk lines that have tickets on the windshield. Can you clarify?
Ted, Lower East Side
Stop the ticketing, I repeat, stop the ticketing! The stop lines (or bar) only apply to moving vehicles and do not define a crosswalk, which I also stated in another letter a few weeks back. The N.Y.C. traffic rules allow vehicles to park up to the pedestrian crosswalk, marked or unmarked. The city Dept. of Transportation has been installing more stop lines, several feet before crosswalks, to ensure motorists don’t block the crosswalk and to increase safety for both parties. Thus, it’s possible, signs permitting of course, to be legally parked between the stop line and crosswalk.
Another community that has had problems in recent months was the Riverdale section of the Bronx, where scores of readers wrote me saying they were being erroneously cited for parking in a crosswalk when they were parked between the stop bar and crosswalk. (I believe things have improved.) If the wrongful citations continue, we’ll make sure N.Y.P.D. gets it right. Keep me posted.
Sam Schwartz, a former first deputy commissioner of city transportation, is president and C.E.O. of Sam Schwartz Engineering, a traffic engineering consulting firm to private and public entities including the Port Authority at the World Trade Center site. E-mail your questions to TransitSam@DowntownExpress.com