Friday, September 11, 2009

Subway Reading

The Sunday New York Times last week had a great article on what people read on the New York subway. My kind of piece. I wish I had written it. It turns out, too, that the Times article was inspired by a blog written by a New York lawyer who has been keeping a careful catalogue of what people have been reading on the subway for the past two months. Here's the link to that blog:

And here is one of his early posts that actually has nothing to do with reading but is good advice for all pedestrians navigating the busy streets of New York:

"OK, not technically subway related, but if you’re on the subway, you end up on the sidewalk at some point.

"I work close to Times Square and spend a lot of time dodging tourists, especially on my evening walk to the subway when they tend to be out looking for dinner and/or a show. I don’t need to tell you all the annoying things tourists do on sidewalks, nor how frustrating slow or stopped traffic can be when you just want to get home (or at least onto the train to read a good book).

"So here’s what we need to teach tourists: I’m not joking about calling it “traffic” on sidewalks. Our sidewalks are like your highways – we take short trips to the store, commute and go out to dinner via sidewalk for some or all of the trip. Just like a highway, a large percentage of people are trying to get where they’re going pretty quickly. But it’s fine if you’re on the scenic route, just translate everything you know about driving to the sidewalk. Want to go slow? Stay to the side. Want to stop, take pictures, check the map, make out? Pull over. Yield to faster movers. Stay alert. Don’t try to go 3 or 4 abreast! If you can’t follow the rules, at least stay out of rush hour, which is a bit later here than back home. Sleep in or have an earlier dinner, just don’t debate where to eat at 7pm in the middle of the sidewalk."

I couldn't agree more!

1 comment:

  1. Maybe post some signs in the subway about sidewalk etiquette. Most tourists, at one point or other, venture into the tunnels, and most don't have a good book as they are occasional riders. So while they furtively survey the scene, and between glances at the subway map and guidebook, they look up and read the ads. A subway PSA on walking rules...might help.