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Why the renewed attention to subway-related deaths?

Posted By Angie Schmitt On January 23, 2013 @ 10:36 am In Featured | No Comments

While you were enjoying a three-day weekend, a drunk 26-year-old from New Jersey decided to take a nap in the crevasse next to a set of active subway tracks early Sunday morning. He awoke when his leg splayed out and an E train drove over it. He survived but will live with one leg. On Monday morning, a man or maybe a woman leaped in front of an oncoming 2 train [1] at Times Square. He or she was DOA in a suicide.

These are but the latest in what seems to many like an uptick in subway/passenger accidents. For the last few weeks, we’ve heard terrifying stories of two incidents involving someone pushing another straphanger into the path of an oncoming train. We heard of someone who fell into the tracks while defecating between subway cars (which, by the way, is something that doesn’t happen too often [2]). We’ve heard of threats of an TWU-requested slowdown [3], and now we have Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer calling for an MTA Inspector General audit on subway safety [4]. What exactly is going on here?

The answer, you may be surprised to hear, is nothing. At least that’s one rational take on it. As Dana Rubinstein expertly detailed in Capital New York yesterday, subway accidents aren’t on the rise [5]. Rather, the only thing on the rise seems to be the attention we pay to them.

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URL to article: http://streetsblog.net/2013/01/23/why-the-renewed-attention-to-subway-related-deaths/

URLs in this post:

[1] leaped in front of an oncoming 2 train: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/01/22/apparent-subway-train-suicide-at-times-square/

[2] doesn’t happen too often: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/01/poop-defecate-between-subway-cars-train.html

[3] threats of an TWU-requested slowdown: http://secondavenuesagas.com/2013/01/15/twu-mta-square-off-over-slowdown-order/

[4] an MTA Inspector General audit on subway safety: http://www.amny.com/urbanite-1.812039/manhattan-boro-prez-scott-stringer-calls-for-audit-into-subway-safety-1.4492644

[5] aren’t on the rise: http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/politics/2013/01/7287731/latest-subway-suicide-prompts-council-hearing-its-nothing-new

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