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Graffiti trains, subway bed bugs more signs of a city on the wrong track (opinion) – SILive.com


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STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. A big chunk of the New York City subway system was brought to a standstill the other day, stranding thousands upon thousands of riders.

No, there wasnt a derailment. Or a person on the tracks. Or a power failure. Or some problem with the ancient signal system.

It wasnt the resignation of NYC Transit president Andy Byford sending a shock wave through the system.

It was bed bugs.

Well, it was one bed bug, which a transit worker noticed at a subway control tower in Queens.

The tower had to be evacuated, affecting service on the E, F, M and R lines for hours, until the premises could be fumigated. Without personnel in the tower, the trains just couldnt be turned around in a timely fashion.

One bed bug? My gut tells me that if youve got one bed bug, youve got more. But the point is how easily a major portion of the subway system can be disrupted.

The bed bug that roared, bringing a whole transit system to its knees. Protestors and terrorists take note!

While even the cleanest places can have bed bugs, its just disgusting that any one of us could find one of those creepy crawlers on the subway. And bring it back to our own homes. Whom do I sue if the MTA causes a bed bug infestation in my house?

When we get all those billions of dollars for the subways from congestion pricing, maybe we should build some redundancies into the system, so that if one control tower goes out of service, theres another facility ready to pick up the slack.

The Queens bed bug stoppage came a day after a dead homeless man was discovered on the D train, covered in bed bugs.

So it looks like the subway has a bed bug problem. And the city overall has a problem when people are being found dead on the subway system. That speaks to a whole host of problems, in fact.

Also last week, the Patrolmens Benevolent Association tweeted out a video of a subway car entirely covered with graffiti.

Theres nothing that screams city on the wrong track more than when subway cars again become rolling canvases for graffiti vandals. Or artists, depending on your viewpoint and your age.

Its not the first time weve seen a graffiti train recently. So it looks like the trend of tagging subway cars with graffiti is making a comeback after being pretty much eradicated in the 1990s.

I know I sound like a get off my damn lawn guy here, but believe me when I tell you that graffiti always looks more colorful and artsy when its not in your own neighborhood. Or when you dont have to sit on a subway seat or ferry bench that looks wet with spray paint.

And by the way? Not every graffiti vandal was a subway Picasso. A lot of them were pretty lousy painters.

This should be a problem easy enough to address, as most of the graffiti vandalism takes place while the subway cars are at rest in storage yards, not when theyre actually rolling on the tracks. Lets increase efforts to crack down on these crimes, and to punish those caught doing it. If our newly progressive criminal justice system will allow it, that is. I have my doubts.

So, yeah, lets ring the bad old days bell again. Because its getting too darn easy to see the signs for ourselves without even looking.

Sure, the gritty, downtown, punk-rock, no-wave 1980s produced a lot of great art, music and fashion. But it was also a dirty and dangerous time to live in New York City.

We dont want to go back there again. Believe me.

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Graffiti trains, subway bed bugs more signs of a city on the wrong track (opinion) - SILive.com

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