Is this progress?
A recent media piece on the New York City subway system alludes to a "solid maybe" in its discussion of whether Gov. Andrew Cuomo's declared state of emergency last summer has helped usher in meaningful changes.
When it comes to the MTA and the city's venerable yet clearly challenged subway lines, any such assessment necessarily focuses on actions taken that promote riders' safety.
As noted in the above article, that focus is on bedrock importance. A Harlem train derailment injured 34 people just days before Cuomo's impassioned utterance last year. And just a few short weeks ago, the Borough Hall station suffered a ceiling collapse.
Those incidents are merely representative examples of what the publication Curbed New York underscores are "problems that have plagued the system in the past 12 months."
Will things improve over a similar (and far more extended) timeframe going forward?
Again, there is that "solid maybe." One commentator notes via veiled sarcasm that the emergency declaration and hyped promises of improvements surrounding it have indeed borne fruit. But that is only true, he says, to the extent that they have "shed some light on how bad the situation is."
It does merit pointing out that the declaration did result in the creation of a so-called Subway Action Plan. That initiative has reportedly helped to forge extensive track improvements that unquestionably do reduce risks for riders. One close observer of the subway system says, though, that that completed work has yielded only "modest improvements." Another states that the Subway Action Plan is "a Band-Aid as opposed to a real repair."
Still, even a Band-Aid is worthy of a salute and an indicator that attention is being paid to a mass-conveyance system that badly needs updating and enhanced safety protections.
We will continue to keep readers updated on safety-related news relevant to the subway system.