Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Reich-Wing, er, Right-Wing Policies Within the NYC Subway System

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) which runs the New York City Subway and other commuter systems in and around the City wants to ban photography and videotaping on the subway because they say it will make passengers safer.

New York is a tourist town and the subway is a famous landmark that many tourists visit as a site, and use as a method of transportation. Almost every single European friend of mine has a picture of themselves 'on the subway,' just as they have pictures of themselves at the Empire State building or MoMA or Strawberry Fields or, more recently, Ground Zero. The subway is a popular attraction and taking pictures in the subway is a common pastime.

The Reich-wingers, er, right-wingers who have wrested control of the subway over the past decade have slowly been dismantling subway services, so its effectiveness as an urban transit system is suffering for the closings of change booths and privatization of services. It becomes more difficult for tourists to use it as three of four exits are closed for major stations, forcing visitors to meander about corridors and staircases to find a way out of the subway.

The photography ban is ridiculous, of course, because it is only a further restriction of personal freedom, not an effort to make us safer. It is not an improvement, it is another change presented as an improvement which is actually a deterioration of all that is good about the system.

This is the regulation they want to put into place:

"In order to further enhance passenger security and safety, photography and videotaping would be prohibited except for members of the press holding valid identification cards issued by the New York City Police Department or where written authorization has been provided by NYCT. [Section 1050.9(c)]"

Neither common (nor uncommon) sense points to a photography ban making the subway safer. This is another Reich-wing, er right-wing tactic to further restrict personal freedom!

I hate this proposal and I this is the letter I sent the MTA:

I am concerned about this proposed regulation to ban photography on the subway.

I do not see how banning photography within the subway system enhances passenger safety. You are simply restricting subway riders from using the system for which they pay in a manner consistent with the United States Constitution. Any attempt to ban photography within the subway is just another scare tactic used by current management to frighten people into thinking they need you to further restrict personal freedom for their own good.

This is offensive and I hope you will turn your energies to cleaning the subway stations and cars, fixing decrepit stations and infrastructure, and generally performing tasks that will TRULY make the subway safer for consumers.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Dick Mac
Brooklyn, NY

You can send a message, too, by going to this email link.

If the proposal is passed into regulation, you will not be allowed to take pictures of the very cool stuff in the Subway Style book recommended below.

Dick Mac Recommends:
Subway Style
by Andrew Garn (photographer)

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