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Thread: Subway Officials Seek Ban on Picture-Taking

  1. #16
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Quote Originally Posted by ILUVNYC
    Thats another thing that would be useful. Not so much of a metal detector but a x-ray screening device. It would screen the whole person, somewhat like what your luggage goes through at an airport. And if anything odd comes through discreetlty pull them aside and check it out. This would in my opinion a good way to avoid a madrid like attack later on. I believe this would be quick and easy too.
    NYC subways move the entire city of Los Angeles every day, not once, but twice. Are you sure it would be quick and easy.

    Besides X-rays are a health hazard, much worse than second-hand smoke.
    :P
    I was going to say something about that. X-Rays are not good for daily exposure. Why do you think they don't make you go through them at the airport? Hell, why do they give you a lead bib at the dentist? to keep you in your seat?

    The Subway, and indeed all of New York, is JUST TOO BIG to put in measures like metal detectors. If you want to pay $5 per ride for the subway, i am sure we could have an armed guard on most, if not all the major lines, but until then we have to find a way to minimize risk without eliminating our own freedoms.

  2. #17
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Subway stations are not difficult targets to do this on. It is very easy to do a blasting of one of these things without exact photos, this is another attempt at "duck and cover" with alternate purposes.

    They are trying to give a false sense of security to people riding while at the same time hide their own shortcomings. In addition to that, the rules are getting a bit mother-smother.

    Also, having someone come out and say that doing something as simple as taking pictures is now illegal where they want ot to be is more than a little sickening.

    America, land of the sort-of-free, home of the brave?

  3. #18

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    First the smoking ban in bars and restaurants, and now this :evil: . Behavior restrictions in NYC may have worked with Giuliani and Bratton to crack down on crime, but now they're getting a little too stringent for their own good. There has to be a fine line drawn here. Next thing you know we may have metal detectors at all shopping centers and department stores...ugh.

    I know Bloomberg's not supporting this photo ban, but exactly whose idea was this? Please tell me.

  4. #19
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    Obviously, it's fearmongers.

  5. #20

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    May 25, 2004

    NYC

    It's Written on the Subway Walls

    By CLYDE HABERMAN

    HERE'S the thing about making a rule: you have to be careful how you word it, or you will have to keep writing and rewriting until you get it right. That thought arose yesterday in connection with a batch of new regulations proposed last week by New York City Transit.

    You may have read about those pronunciamentos. They contain at least as many thou-shalt-nots as the Ten Commandments.

    No unauthorized picture-taking on trains and buses, they say. No putting feet on benches and seats. No riding between subway cars. No walking from car to car. No preventing others from sitting by putting packages on seats. No skating. And no jumping the turnstile, even if your valid unlimited-ride MetroCard fails to work.

    It would seem hard to say no to most of these nos. We might even toss in one more: no sitting piggishly with your legs spread so wide that you take up two or three seats.

    But the proposed photography ban, ostensibly a security measure, has drawn objections from some who have trouble believing that New Yorkers' collective safety will be imperiled by a tourist taking a picture of Aunt Gertie next to the break dancers in the Times Square station. The prohibition against moving between subway cars may also raise eyebrows. Such mobility has long been an underground right of passage.

    Attention here, however, focused keenly on the turnstile-jumping provision. By coincidence or not (we suspect not), it follows a recent NYC column on this issue, which is somewhat muddled in the age of prepaid MetroCards.

    That column, in February, told the tale of a Manhattan man named Jeremy Boyd. Mr. Boyd's 30-day MetroCard, bought for $70 only a week earlier, kept lighting up the "please swipe again" signal when he used it at the 86th Street station on the Lexington Avenue line. This was at 8:40 a.m., an hour when the overburdened station is more crowded than the Yankee Stadium stop after a ballgame has ended.

    Adjoining turnstiles had the same trouble, Mr. Boyd said. And taking the problem to the fare-booth clerk, besieged in the morning rush, seemed a nonstarter. Late for work, he and others chose to jump the turnstiles. That landed him in the hands of a police officer who gave him a summons carrying a $60 fine. "Fare evasion," it said.

    Mr. Boyd's reaction was, Huh? How could he be charged with ducking the fare when he had already handed the subwaymeisters $70 up front.

    It seemed a fair question. Turnstile jumping as a virtual synonym for fare evasion may have made perfect sense in the days of the subway token, but prepaid MetroCards complicate matters. Several subway-riding readers who had had similar brushes with the law - and who ultimately had their tickets tossed out - agreed.

    One problem is that the old regulations said merely that you may not board buses or subway trains without paying the fare. They said nothing about turnstile jumping. The proposed new rule aims to eliminate all doubts. Going under or over the turnstile is an absolute no-no, it says, and a malfunctioning card "shall be no defense."

    That's clear enough. Or is it?

    The reason for wondering is that transit officials said yesterday, in response to a question, that violators would continue to be charged with fare evasion. Not disorderly conduct or something similar, but fare evasion.

    As fate would have it, Mr. Boyd appeared yesterday in transit court, formally known as the Transit Adjudication Bureau, on Fulton Street in Brooklyn. His case had been postponed several times.

    He was in and out of the hearing room within three minutes. Case dismissed.

    "That was a slam dunk," he said.

    HE did not catch the hearing officer's name, and the man's signature on a written decision was so illegible he should have been a doctor. But his findings were easy to read. Mr. Boyd, he wrote, "had little incentive to evade the fare if he had an unlimited MetroCard."

    As a result, the officer said, "I find he validly tendered a fare and hold him not in violation."

    So here was someone charged with enforcing the rules who felt, whatever they may say at subway headquarters, that jumping a turnstile does not automatically equal fare evasion. That was Mr. Boyd's conclusion, too. "Technically, it's still not evading the fare," he said.

    He also assumed it was his case that led to the regulations being rethought. "I fought the law, and the law changed," he said.

    Up to a point it did. Some more tweaking may be needed before the rules makers really get it right.

    Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

  6. #21
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agglomeration
    First the smoking ban in bars and restaurants, and now this :evil: . Behavior restrictions in NYC may have worked with Giuliani and Bratton to crack down on crime, but now they're getting a little too stringent for their own good. There has to be a fine line drawn here. Next thing you know we may have metal detectors at all shopping centers and department stores...ugh.

    I know Bloomberg's not supporting this photo ban, but exactly whose idea was this? Please tell me.
    Apples and Elephants Agglom.

    Don't try to associate totally unrelated subjects.

  7. #22

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    Apparently we're not the only people who think this is dumb. The same agency that imposed the photo ban also raised our fares to $2.00 per bus & subway ride! God this MTA is really pissing me off! :evil: (sorry I had to let loose steam)

    Feel free to read this powerful petition at http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/notransitpicban and sign it if you want. There are lots of comments on the signature list by people protesting the MTA's cowardice.

  8. #23
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    When I clicked that link, I got a window saying that bandwidth had been exceeded. If anything, that's a good sign that people are responding to this silly idea.

  9. #24

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    Screw the MTA :!:


    IRT 1/9 86 St station.

    I'll be updating this regularly, until I'm arrested.

  10. #25
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    :evil: Yeah! My friends came this weekend from philly and we took pictures everywhere as well as in the subways.

  11. #26
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    Nobody stopped me today in the Sheepshead Bay station, even with a maintenance worker literally right next to me.

  12. #27

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    Recently I've been finding it hard to take pictures of anything in NYC. I've been stopped from taking pictures on Park Ave. Then been stopped from using tripod at WFC. I really don't see where they are going w/ this. I've seen hundreds of tourists posing before speeding trains. Subway is famous all over the world, esp NYC's

  13. #28
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Like I said, it is the same thing that they did when they told everyone to have duct tape and saran wrap at home in case there is a chemical attack on NYC.

    I am sure any poisonous gas or biotoxin would just wait patiently outside until you covered up all the windows.

    I am also sure, by the lack of mice and roaches in the city, that all the apartments are hermetically sealed and are an absolute biological barrier against any contaminants... :P



    Authorities are at a loss for any real way of preventing anything from happening, so whether it is the authorities themselves trying to do something to make themselves FEEL like they are doing something, or an attempt to make the people feel somehow safer through totally ineffective means (like soldiers in the airport) I am not sure.

    I am just growing more than a bit tired of it already.

  14. #29

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    Well, obviously, I'm not from New York. However, I just returned from visiting there for a week (loved it, BTW). We took numerous trips on the subway, and encountered this "rule" one time. We were awaiting the train, the only people on the platform, and I looked down the tunnel to see the train coming. I told my wife to grab her video and record the train coming down the track and into the station. So, she recorded the train coming, then drawing alongside. However, the conductor gave a very dirty look as she passed. Being that this was the wrong train, we did not get on. However, the train just sat there. About 3 minutes after the train arrived, a police officer approached and asked if we had been the ones taking video. We replied that we were. He pulled my wife and I aside, and asked us who we were, why we were taking pictures, and where we were from. We just said that we thought it would be a good video (which it is!). He informed us of the "law" and told us not to take any more pictures. After he left, the train then went ahead and left.

    Now, my problem is not "Should it be legal to take pictures" (although i agree with most of you that it will only inhibit tourists and innocents, not terrorists). Obviously, we were doing exactly what the law is meant to prohibit - taking pictures/video of tunnel entrances. We were not even trying to get anyone "in the shot". My problem is, "Since when has it become legal to enforce 'proposed laws'?" I was under the impression that, in our country, a law had to be proposed, then voted on by the legislative branch of government. Then, and only then, would the executive branch be responsible for enforcement of said law. Then, should some individual or group think the law is "unconstitutional", the judicial branch will be come involved. Am I right? How can the police enforce a "ban on photography" when it is simply a "proposed ban"?

    One last problem. On our last day, we were taking another subway ride, and waiting on the train. As we were standing there, sure enough, a guy swipes his card, gets no response from the machine, and jumps the turnstile. As expected, he is called out by a MTA authority (not a police officer, though) behind the glass. He yells back and forth with the guy for about 2 minutes about how the "machine didn't accept his card" and "he jumped after swiping". He then continued to be loud and boisterous in front of all of his friends about how the whole thing was "racism" and "just bull$h!t" and other vulgarities. Now, after about five minutes of this episode, no police officer came to question him about his behavior in the midst of a large, rush-hour crowd. Why were we (three young ladies, one young man, dressed in regular shorts and t-shirts) subjected to enforcement of the proposed law, while a group of half-dozen young men were allowed to get away with breaking the proposed law?

    Again, nothing against your city - we loved it. I just find it odd.

  15. #30

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    USA Today
    June 3, 2004

    Transit agency wants to ban subway photos

    By Martha T. Moore


    Citing security concerns, New York City Transit has proposed banning photography on city subways.

    NEW YORK — Take the A train. Just don't take its picture.

    In the name of security, the agency that runs New York's mass transit wants to prohibit shooting photos or video in the subway and on city buses.

    The New York subway carries 4.5 million riders a day, including plenty of tourists with cameras slung around their necks. That, plus the size of the subway system, with 468 stations, make the rule "unnecessary and unenforceable," says Gene Russianoff of the Straphangers Campaign, a rider advocacy group.

    Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg questions whether a sweeping ban is needed. "Get real," he said recently in his weekly radio address. Despite heightened guard against a terrorist attack, "we still have to go about our lives here."

    Snapping a family photo on the express train platform seems harmless, says Martin Schnabel, general counsel for the city transit authority. But "move your lens a few inches and (you can) take a photo of something we really don't want people taking photos of."

    Police cite an incident in November when two employees of the Iranian mission to the United Nations were stopped for videotaping subway tracks.

    While existing laws make it possible to question people using cameras, "a regulation makes it clearer for all concerned," says New York police spokesman Paul Browne.

    Police patrolling the Times Square subway station say they'd be unlikely to ticket a tourist but would look closely at someone videotaping the entrance to a subway tunnel.

    But cell phone cameras make tracking shutterbugs difficult. "You don't know if they're talking into the Nextel or taking a picture," says officer James Riley, who patrols the Times Square station.

    The regulation could be adopted in September after a public comment period. The ban would carry a $25 fine.

    In the Times Square station, tourists often take pictures of musicians or the Roy Lichtenstein mural, says B.J. Davis, who works in the station for the Times Square Alliance. "A tourist attraction without cameras doesn't seem right," he says.

    Copyright 2004 USA TODAY

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