New York MTA’s subway expansion comes with a detour for pedestrians

With 28 “Transit Lanes” available in major cities around the globe, it may come as no surprise that New York City often has challenges with the sidewalks they exist on.

In the wake of multiple harrowing subway system accidents in recent years, including the 2015 death of 18-year-old Ki Suk Han in a derailment and the July 2016 death of 39-year-old Rony Adrian Ramos, investigators and MTA officials have asked for improved accessibility.

Some of the subway improvements include rubber painted pavement, decorative ramps and wider subway doors, which allow more time for commuters to get to their final destination safely. But the MTA’s sidewalk directive is so thorough and expansive that it can reach into the basements and attics of Manhattan buildings and fit roughly 125 years of pedestrian and driver behavior into just three corners.

That’s because the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) sets the rules, and in the words of NYSDOT infrastructure coordinator Joe Noe, “Those guidelines are 100% focused on providing accessibility … that’s the point.”

Although it’s never been technically enforced, this concrete stigma has been everywhere on the New York City walkways.

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