So there’s been a buzz around the blogs lately about the subway smelling really bad. Old news? Yeah, like who didn’t already know that?
Never fear…as per usual, AMNY is on the case of obvious news. They did a story about straphangers having to hold their noses at some subway stops. (BTW, AMNY.com has a new look. Glad to see Newsday finally made the move out of the early 90’s.)
So as we all know, this kind of story is the bread and butter of papers like Metro and AMNY. Since their entire existence depends on the city’s transit system for circulation, stories like this are good for a slow day I guess. However, it seems that the blogs have picked up on it for some reason.
It seems that Herald Square (34th Street) seems to get the award for smelliest station. That’s no surprise to anyone that has gone through there. There’s one stairwell to the 1 train that always smells like a dead body that got pissed on.
Cleanliness is a serious subject for New York City Transit, and as part of a new customer service initiative, about 350 more cleaners will be on the roster by fall to keep stations fresher, trains cleaner and platforms and tracks clearer and safer. They’ll also be able to respond to specific stenches faster. (AMNY)
Uhh…no. That’s not the problem. The trash, dirt, etc is not what’s causing most of the smell. It’s the homeless bums using the subway as a toilet. Just the other day I was standing on the platform on my way to work. Just 8 feet away, a bum steps up to the edge and whips his schlong out, and lets loose. He then proceeded to yell at everyone standing around him.
Then there’s the guy that shits in the subway stairs. At one of my stops, there’s one of those “Exit Only” stairwells. Some guy goes down there every night to take a shit, since there aren’t likely to be other people around. Sometimes, he puts down some newspaper to shit on. However, his aim isn’t that great. Sometimes, he doesn’t even bother with the newspaper. So every day, in the same spot, is a fresh pile of poo.
Some of them pee of the edge of the platforms. Some of them pee in the corner. Other’s look for a drain in the floor. So what the hell do you expect from a puddle of piss fermenting in the heat of the summer in NYC? That smell travels my friend. Also, the bums themselves have such an offensive odor. Have you ever boarded a train in the early morning when they are still sleeping on the train? One homeless guy can stink up a car so badly that the smell will linger with you hours afterwards.
THAT my friends is what is causing most of the odor problem. Clear out the homeless people, and the smell will quickly improve.
Instead of hiring more janitorial staff, there needs to be a police task force with the sole responsibility of removing the homeless people from the subway system. Yeah, they’re going to find a way back in. But eventually, the aggravation is going to force them elsewhere. The sad truth is the society would actually rather just keep them underground. Out of sight is out of mind.
Have you ever gone into Penn Station late at night? There has to be a few hundred homeless people sleeping in there. They’re everywhere. In Penn Station itself, in the subway, in all the halls, etc. No wonder it smells so badly.
The interesting part is that no one has picked up on this. The smelliest stations are going to be the most heavily inhabited stations. Period. Think about it. Come back to the smelliest station you can think of early in the morning or late at night, and you’ll find out exactly why it smells like a toilet.
Oh and yeah, the photo is a bottle of pee left on a subway platform.