As NYC moves forward in its own mission to add barriers to subway station platforms — mostly recently, the MTA put out a contract solicitation notice inviting interested firms to propose how they would build and maintain them for three subway stations (Times Square 7 line, Third Avenue L line, and Sutphin Boulevard E line) — one design company in Brooklyn has already come up with their own solution.
“We are calling it ‘The Next-Gen Subway Barrier,’ our take on imagining a safer NYC with focus on community and efficiency,” explained meet the edge Founder + CEO Grant Plotkin via email. “Our original design is a proposal to bring awareness not only to our community, but to local government and the MTA to build a barrier on all platforms in the NYC subway system.”
meet the edge, a design studio that has worked on everything from Cipriani 25 Broadway to YSL Beauty, recently decided to mock up their own vision for a safer NYC subway for their experimental design wing, mte labs.
The studio’s proposal involves creating a large platform barrier wall that would run the length of the train tracks. Along with keeping riders safer and also minimizing delays, the additional wall space could actually provide more resources for guests — the studio suggests — like extra seating, a place for info screens, interactive games, and even coffee or newsstands in smaller stations.
The firm emphasizes that the new safety measures would also serve as a way to connect community members and instill a sense of security and safety currently missing for passengers.
In addition to providing safety for riders at the platforms by helping to prevent falling accidents and suicide attempts, subway barriers would also help prevent track fires (since most begin from garbage being thrown on the tracks), allow conductors to operate more efficiently, and encourage community growth for local neighborhoods.
In their case study, the firm also points out examples of the platform barriers in other country’s public transportation systems, including London, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.
“As a team of creatives who love our city, we were tired of reading the scary headlines regarding the subway. Instead, we decided to play to our strengths and propose a solution,” Plotkin said. The team worked on the design for six months, and it can be viewed on the meet the edge website here.