This past Sunday, yet another person was shoved out onto the tracks of the New York City subway which has prompted another chorus of renewed calls for more safety measures to be slotted into place.
As reported by the Washington Post, the victim, a 62-year-old man was shoved out onto the southbound tracks located near the Fulton Street subway station out in Lower manhattan. The New York City Police issued a statement to the Post that stated that the individual, after being pushed, made contact on the first car of the train and then fell onto the tracks. The old man suffered a laceration to his leg and was quickly shuffled off to a Lower Manhattan hospital. As of writing, no arrests have been announced in connection with the incident, reported the NYPD.
This new incident took place just a scant week after another New Yorker was killed as a result of being pushed onto the subway tracks. 40-year-old Michelle Go was killed after being shoved out onto the tracks in front of a speeding train back on the 15th of January while in the Times Square subway station. The attacker, in this case, a 61-year-old homeless man that was known for a history of mental health problems and violence, was taken into custody by the NYPD and charged with second-degree murder. Since his arrest, he has been ordered to go through mental health evaluations before he will be able to stand trial.
Officials for the NYPD have stated that both attacks seem to have been entirely unprovoked.
Over the past year, New York City has seen a noticeable uptick in these pushing assaults in the subway. The NYPD put forth a set of crime data that was released Sunday, as reported by the New York Post, that of a record-breaking 461 felony assaults that happened while in the subway system throughout 2021, 30 of them seemed to involve one party being shoved onto the tracks. This number was a noticeable jump up from the 26 attacks reported back in 2020, all in spite of a drop in overall ridership over the same timeframe. A total of eight homicides took place while in the city’s transit system, also a record-breaking high.
This increase in shoving assaults has led to a chorus of yelling for new safety barriers to be set in place across the subway stations. At a vigil held for Go this past week, multiple people in attendance called for more safety measures to be put in place on the stations, reported NBC 4 New York. This idea has been under consideration for quite a while, but there has been major disagreement over if the measures will work.
“Platform doors are an idea that works in many places, but there are some special complexities in New York because of the age of our system, because of the location of structure, because it does interfere with ADA accessibility,” stated Janno Lieber, the Acting Chair of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Charles Moerdler, a former MTA board member, voiced their disagreement by stating that the city has repeatedly promised to test out the idea, but all of those promises never seemed to come to fruition. “Not only is it feasible, it is readily feasible in many but not all stations,” Moerdler stated. “The constant ducking of the issue is really offensive to me … It has never been prioritized. And that’s the failing. You have to have a will.”