Will NYC people ride the subways again?

I glanced at this article in today’s New York Times and made a face — which, of course, no one could see.

Ergo, I’m going to insist you look at my face which currently registers a “What are you talking about?” look of irritation. Because, as one wise Times reader commented:

This article is in search of a problem.

It is quite simple; without the subway, there can be no NYC.

A city cannot have 3 million daily bike riders clogging the streets no matter how environmentally friendly it may appear.

Major public transportation systems such as the subway are an integral part of city life. They are the arteries that keep a modern city alive.

The subways will be back, just like all the major metropolitan centers will return to their vitality when the virus is under control; but not a second before that happens. Patience is a virtue and so is mask wearing!!!

There. He said it.

Anyone who lives in New York — actually, anyone who calls him/herself a New Yorker — must have made the same face I did. Of course we’ll ride the subways. We do now and we will continue to. Because…it’s how we get around this huge city at little cost but with great speed.

I’ve been in cities without public transportation systems and what I’ve seen is: cars. Cars polluting the air. Cars in jams everywhere. Cars occupied by single riders isolated from the rest of humanity. Cars used instead of feet to get to a market for a quart of milk.

Most important: in the subway my companions are Black, old, young, brown, Asians, Orthodox Jews, Sikhs, Indians, Muslims, native American…in one other easy word, Americans. It is the glory of this country and especially of this city. Which is why we New Yorkers are riding the subway now and will be in the future.

Having written all that, in the interests of fact, I need to report, having arrived at the 72nd Street IRT to get downtown to my dentist, I found all the trains stopped, the station full of cops, emergency workers, firemen…

An announcement over the PA system: a rider had been hit by a train and nothing would be moving for a while. How the rider came to be hit was not part of the information.

So I moved home, moved to the phone and moved my dentist’s appointment. Which I will get to by the IRT Broadway express.

P.S. To learn what happened, I Googled a variety of search terms involving “hit by subway” and “72nd Street subway”. I wound up with a large collection of news items — which I combed through only to discover a large variety of dates on which someone was hit by a subway train at 72nd Street over the past number of years.

It took me around 7 minutes to find today’s news.

I tell you this hoping to forestall a new wave of hysteria about the dangers looming in today’s subway system.

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