New York: City of Peeves #52

Swimming Upstream

spawning.jpgHabitat: Subway corridors and stairways, crowded sidewalks at rush hour

Description: Often times, New Yorkers criticize tourists for enveloping entire sidewalks in mayhem, forcing normal seasoned pedestrians to the fringe of the sidewalks, and even into the street in the myriad tourist traps of New York City. However, during rush hour, many New Yorkers seem to forget that it is their responsibility to set an example.

Example: every morning, I walk between the 4/5/6 and N/Q/R/W platforms in Union Square station. And nearly every one of those mornings, I am faced with an overflow of commuters pouring off a downtown train. Do they move to the right, like the MTA tells them to? No, of course not. Instead, they take over every square inch of walking space faster than a flash flood. The corridor is at least 30 feet wide, but this stream of inconsiderate commuters occupy all 30 feet of horizontal clearance (of course, who said New Yorkers were ever considerate?). I, travelling towards the platform they’re all coming from, end up dodging commuters around me like salmon struggling up the Columbia River. The scramble from left to right resembles a game of Frogger – and at $2.00 a pop, it’s an expensive game of Frogger, too.

Where is the outrage? Why do we not express our resentment towards these impediments of pedestrian traffic flow the same way we resent their cousins from St. Louis or Sacramento? Maybe we fear getting punched in the face. But I can’t imagine being punched in the face is any worse than getting run over by a morbidly obese office worker who will steer clear of no one.

Rating on the Peevery Scale:




Filed under City of Peeves

5 responses to “New York: City of Peeves #52

  1. Gwin

    I hear you! The stairways are also a pain: if everyone just took *one side* of the stairway, maybe you could actually GET ON the train they just got off of! This is especially a problem at the Grand Street B/D station in Chinatown. People at that stop don’t give a crap about you and what you might need. They fill up the stairways, and they shove in front of you to get on the train before anyone’s gotten off. Sheesh.

  2. Don’t get me started about Chinatown…

    Union Square can be downright dangerous during rushhour. I stay on the N all the way to 59th and transfer there for the 4/5 because I hate it so much.

  3. i can deal with it as long as they aren’t spawning.

  4. You should see the morning rush at 23rd Ely in Queens when a couple of thousand G train riders tramble on, over, and through 40 or 50 people to get to the E/V with roughly 20′ max spacing and poles all at the bottleneck.

  5. the 4 train.

    anytime of the day or night.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s