Lots of people do bad things on subways. It’s a space where nobody feels comfortable, but plenty of people feel entitled to make others feel even less comfortable by carving space out for themselves in selfish ways. You see this all throughout the subway car, in each different area and on each different surface.
People hogging the poles by leaning up against them; riders refusing to move out of the entranceway to make space for disembarking passengers; backpack wearers refusing to take off their bloated bags; men sitting with their legs wide enough apart that they end up taking up 2 seats.
The MTA has tried to fix these problems through softer tactics like messaging with varying levels of subtlety, from gentle encouragement like arrows on the floor, guiding passengers deeper into the car to make space, to blaring distorted PSAs over the broken PA system instructing riders to take off their backpacks or stop dancing. So far, these methods haven’t seemed to effect much change.
But what if those arrows on the floor of those new trains were actually giant spikes that shot out of the floor? What if each time someone refused to make way for new passengers, a giant spike shot up through them? My bet is that people would probably start to let people on.
That’s my solution for the MTA’s problems: Giant Spikes (that shoot out from the floor or ceiling or possibly walls when someone does something bad).
Someone won’t take off their backpack during the morning rush? Huge spike flies down from the ceiling, tearing the bag apart. Big man leaning up against the pole, preventing everyone else from holding on? The pole now has a bunch of spikes on it, which hurts him. Aggressively male man sitting with his knees two feet apart? Spike into balls.
It’s a great solution and I’m glad that you like it too. Someone please e-mail my website to Andrew Cuomo thank you.