Subway Surfer Killed in Washington Heights (155th Street)

Rumor has it that a 21 year old was “thrown from a train” up in Washington Heights, and killed.  Details are very hard to come by because police are not being very forthcoming at this time.  Also, details are hard to get late at night when the majority of the press are home in bed.

The kid was on (literally) a downtown C train.  Witnesses say that he may have been train surfing.

What the hell is train surfing?  It’s riding on the top of the subway cars like an old western movie.  Possibly one of the dumbest ideas ever.

The “victim” was on top of the train, according to witness reports, when the train went under an overpass.  You can fill in the blanks from there.  I will insert the sound effect:  SPLAT!

I know, I know.  I’m going to get chewed apart in the comments for being insensitive.  I don’t care.  Folks, this is Darwinism at its best.  As a species, our future is a little better of than it was yesterday.

If it turns out that the kid accidentally fell off an overpass, onto the top of the train, and then surfed it downtown, I will retract my statement.

All the details are/were unconfirmed at the time this was posted.  However, my secret sources say this is pretty much a closed case.

Subway Spillage

seat.jpg 

We’ve discussed on previous occasions that eating on the subway is a little odd.  Not completely unheard of, but a bit strange nevertheless.  Hand in hand with eating on the train is the much more common practice of drinking on the subway.

No, I don’t mean funneling beers and body shots.  I mean coffee, soda, herbal teas, etc.  Every now and then, you find a huge puddle in a seat or series of seats.  It happens at a somewhat alarming rate.

It just goes to show that there are a lot of idiots that ride the train.  The only way I can think that the entire contents of a beverage could end up on the seat of a train would be if the owner placed the open container on the seat.  Some rocket scientist must place their open container on an empty seat so that they can have two free hands with which to show their cheeseburger in their face. 

Shockingly, the train hits the brakes!  Then the unattended drink goes flying down the row of seats. 

It’s even more annoying are the people fighting to get to the wet seat.  Then, they get there and see the puddle.  They look around at the others standing there as if we had something to do with it.  Meanwhile, grandma has knocked down people to get at that seat only to be sorely disappointed. 

As if we were all packed like sardines onto this train, and none of us wanted to sit down.  Yes, I am pressed up against the woman in front of me so hard I can feel things that I really don’t want to feel.  Yet none of us feel the need to sit in an empty seat?  Yeah, think about it.  It could be one of many things, not the least of which include a mess in the seat, a fat person on the left or right, a smelly guy, etc.

And there I am without my squeegee.

“Jumper” at 72nd Street on Uptown 1 Track

SUBWAYblogger can pretty much confirm that there were was most definitely a jumper at 72nd Street (and Broadway). And let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.

Today’s uptown trips on the 1, 2, and 3 line were a nightmare. You had to catch a train somewhere below 42nd Street. Then, most of the trains went express to 96th Street and points north.

As I rode by on my train, you could see over to the other tracks. Police detectives on the tracks wearing rubber gloves just about explains it all.

Anyway, our sources say that the call went out on police radios as a jumper. Later the code went out for a body removal.

Maybe someone “fell” or was “pushed,” but it was most likely a jumper as initial reported.

Have you ever been a witness to something like this?

UPDATE:  Turns out someone did witness it:

My wife was on the 1 train when this happened. She said the train slammed on its brakes so hard that many people fell over. They had to stay on the train for 20 minutes before they were let out. My wife saw emergency personnel on the tracks with a stretcher, but not body, blood or parts.  (from the comments)

Subway Murder Suicide

Ohhh the plot thickens.

In the wee hours yesterday morning, you may have heard that 2 train service was all messed up in the Bronx “because of police activity.”  Translation:  Dead guy found on the tracks.  This all happened in the Farms Square-East Tremont Avenue station .

Here’s where this whole thing turns into the next episode of Law & Order…

Police investigators found a small piece of paper on the man with a woman’s name.  So, they decided to get in touch with her hoping that she could possibly identify this guy.  They showed up at her apartment only to find that she had been murdered!  [cue dramatic music]

The police said they were investigating the deaths as a possible case of murder and suicide, but emphasized that they had not definitively linked the man to the woman or to her death. [NT Times]

Mercedes Mesa, 62, of 1050 Anderson Avenue in the Bronx, was found to have been killed due to head injuries. 

The only thing that would make this more dramatic is if they find out that this guy was thrown onto the track by someone else.  Either way, that’s how it will play out on Law & Order in a few months.  Can’t wait.

New Fare Options Not Fair?

Extra credit points to the Post for their cheeky headline:  “MTA Won’t Treat All Riders Fare-ly”

I guess I can give the Post partial credit for putting together their fare increase “calculator.”  I use the term loosely.  It’s just a table, but whatever.  Let’s see if I can do it better.

First, read the back-story here.

Option #1:

Single Ride        –  New Cost:    $2.25
Unlimited Card –  New Cost:  $79.00

Option #2:

Single Ride        –  Peak Fare:    $2.25
Single Ride        –  Off-Peak Fare:    $1.50
Unlimited Card – Peak Fare: $82.00
**Single Ride Off-Peak Fare discount only applies with $6 minimum purchase.

Clearly an off peak discount would be cool for single riders, however, it ends up being us Unlimited Ride users that pay for it!  So boo to option 2.  Also, that’s way too much to keep track of.  You’ll end up having change on your MetroCard.  So you could end up with only $0.50 on your card, which then you would have to recharge.

That will make it hard to keep track of (mentally) how much you have left on your card.  Right now, if you have $10 on your card, you know you’ve got 5 rides…period.  With a peak/off peak system, you could end up getting 6 and 2/3rds rides.  That last $1.00 on your card isn’t going to get you anywhere.  So you would have to add an additional 50 cents or dollar to your card to get a full fare.

If we need to do something, let’s hope we end up with Option 1.  It’s a fare hike.  We don’t need to get cute with it.

Can we all agree that Columbus Day is the most pointless holiday of the year?

Honestly, it really is.  It’s like a fake holiday.  The damn kids have school off, but we don’t get the day off from work.

Let’s look at a quick holiday breakdown:

St. Patrick’s Day:  An excuse to get wasted in the middle of the week.  And who doesn’t love green beer?

Valentine’s Day:  This one’s for the ladies, but it gets men laid.  And women get chocolate.

Labor Day:  Hey, no work!

Memorial Day:  Honor the troops.  Hey, and another day off!

President’s Day:  Still, more people get the day off than Columbus day.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day:  Celebrate racial equality, and yes, another day off from work.

Then, there’s Columbus day.  Only kids in public school and teachers get the day off.  The rest of us have to go to work.  Yeah, there’s a parade, but even that’s pretty lame.  The Italian community latches onto this guy like a saint.  I mean yeah, he “discovered” America, and was alleged to be Italian, but even that’s up for debate.

Besides that, he is widely known as causing the most massive slaughtering of human life in history.  The exploration and settling of Columbus’ voyages displaced, enslaved, and killed millions of indigenous American people.

Columbus, and the people he brought to this continent “…caused the deaths of millions of American indigenous peoples, in what can only be described as one of the greatest tragedies of all time.”

Ok, now that being said, let’s get back to the kids.  They were everywhere today!  The day off from school meant that thousands of teenage students were turned loose on the city.  The trains were super crowded with teens huddled in small groups all over the trains.

Since the parents still had to go to work, they were left to their own devices.  So why not hit the city for the day and do…things.

I have no idea where all these kids are on the weekends because you never see them out like this on a random Saturday.  Something about having a day off from school brought them all out, thus making the commute a nightmare.

Of course, they were not out of bed yet for the morning commute.  But the afternoon ride…WOW!

Just Now Getting Around to Prosecuting Graffiti from the 1980’s

Here’s how you know they will never crack down on today’s defacement of the subway. The feds are just now getting around to cracking down on notorious subway graffiti artist from the 1980’s.

He claimed that he had moved beyond graffiti, exhibiting his art in galleries, lecturing at universities and working as a commercial artist, but yesterday, as part of a three-borough plea bargain with prosecutors, the legendary 1980s graffiti creator known as Alan Ket pleaded guilty in Manhattan to leaving his art on subway cars from 2004 to 2006. [NY Times]

Ket (aka Alain Maridueña) is going to pay $12,000 in fines to avoid jail time.

The police actually served him with a warrant (13+ years later) to search his home. They seized his computer and a variety of other “graffiti related materials.” Apparently, some of them were collectors items from the 60’s and 70’s.

So rather than go after current offenders, they are more worried about getting those 80’s punks before a judge.

This Just In (for like the 4th time this year): The Subways are Crowded As Hell

New numbers recently released show that subway ridership in the first 6 months of 2007 was 4% HIGHER than the same time period in 2006.

Only 4%?  That’s not much, right?   Wrong!

When you figure in the actual raw numbers, it’s huge.  There’s already been about a billion subway rides this year.  BILLION!

The PATH train’s growth was 7%.  That only goes to show that populations are growing in areas like Hoboken.  More and more people are choosing to live outside in these areas, and simply make the short commute in.  If you work in lower Manhattan, it’s almost more convenient than living on the Upper East or West side.  You just hop on the PATH and get dropped off in the heart of the financial district.  Just pick up your bags of money, and head back to your slick Hoboken loft.

If you had to guess, how many people would you think ride the subway on a normal weekday?  If you said 7.2 million people, you would be correct.  That, or you read the same Newsday article I did.

Bloomberg Wants Cameras on Subway Cars

Paris Subway Security Cameras 

Mayor Bloomberg went on a little trip to London this week.  He liked what he saw in their public transporation system.  All of their busses and subways have 2 to 3 cameras in each car.

I think it is a great idea.  It will hopefully make us safer…that’s obvious.  But what I’m really hoping it will do is cut down on the graffiti and defacement of the subways. 

Bloomberg also enjoyed their community bike program.

I hate all that etched crap that those asshole wannabe artists/gangsters tag on the windows.  This would catch them on tape.  Of course, this all assumes that there would be some sort of enforcement associated with the taping.  It will not do any good if the police don’t follow up on what they see.  So I guess that’s just another challenge. 

Unfortunately, Bloomberg said something that I know is going to come back to haunt him almost immediately: 

“We just have to do something here to make the city safer. Sadly, it is a little bit of an infringement on your rights,” Bloomberg told a news conference. [Reuters]

Some NYC busses have cameras mounted in them.  However, you don’t often hear of many bus related crimes for some reason.

Anway, our subway survelance security is pretty pathetic.  There’s entire stops that have one or no cameras at all.

There’s a reason that there’s cameras every 8 feet in casinos, banks, federal buildings, shopping malls, etc.  They help protect the people and the property. 

Protecting the people has its obvious benefits.  Protecting the property protects what Americans value most…their money.  Lowering vandalism will actually save tax payer/fare payer money in the long run.