Home MTA Absurdity 14th St. Sign Sagas

14th St. Sign Sagas

by Benjamin Kabak

The above image comes via Curbed and Gothamist. It is a composite photo of two signs that were, as of yesterday, hanging up at the 14th St. subway station at 6th Ave. Apparently, replacing a bunch of stickers has become a challenge.

This station, as avid readers will know, has been in the news for the better part of a month now. In mid-June, as New York City Transit prepped for service changes, the agency accidentally displayed an Internet meme on the new FML signs. A day later, the less vulgar LFM took its turn atop the signs, but not all of them have been properly stickered.

Gothamist’s Katie Sokoler found the poorly labeled signs yesterday. She discussed them for the news site: “One is a sign on the L platform that leads you to the L, M, M train. And the other is on the stairs and directs you to the L, F, L train. Which makes it more confusing is that those are the stairs that lead you to the 1,2,3 train. So not only is the sign wrong because it says L,F,L but it’s wrong because it should actually be 1,2,3. There were tons of people that were confused and kept walking up and down the stairs trying to figure out which train is where.”

For now, I’m just being LOL at the MTA while SMH. One day, these signs will be right. One day, the trains might even run on time.

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Kid Twist July 13, 2010 - 4:39 pm


Ben Samra July 13, 2010 - 4:47 pm

“So not only is the sign wrong because it says L,F,L but it’s wrong because it should actually be 1,2,3” Katie Sokoler is wrong, that sign doesn’t mean double back the long tunnel you just spent 4 minutes walking in to get back the 1.2.3, rather it’s meant for people coming from the 1,2,3 that are transferring to the L M & F trains.

Al D July 13, 2010 - 4:53 pm

And that station was already confusing enough on its own!

Brewster July 14, 2010 - 5:06 pm

Agreed – one time I tried to use the F/V transfer between the 1 and the PATH I managed nearly to get completely turned around.

Brian July 13, 2010 - 5:24 pm

Had they kept the V, this absurdity could have been avoided.

Michael July 13, 2010 - 5:32 pm

And as I told Ben, on the northeastern platform of the uptown A/C/E train at Port Authority….there is a stick for the “9” train still up….funny thing is , it is RIGHT ABOVE the blacked out “W” sticker….I mean, couldnt these fools put a sticker over the “9” when they were masking over the “W”?

rhywun July 13, 2010 - 6:50 pm

I’m somewhat disturbed that the entrances which once read N R, and later became W R (because they couldn’t be bothered with stickering over two letters in order to put them in alphabetical order), now read … R – that is, a big gap followed by R (because again they couldn’t be bothered with stickering over two letters in order to line up the sign properly). Sometimes I get the feeling that good esthetics happen by only accident….

Andrew July 14, 2010 - 7:24 am

I’m sorry, but this borders on the irresponsible.

Some signs were vandalized, and now people are confused. You could have used your press contacts within the MTA, or simply used the email form on the MTA website, to inform the appropriate party that these signs need to be corrected. Instead you prefer to laugh about how the MTA could have done such a thing (news flash: the MTA didn’t do it) and to even categorize it MTA Absurdity (it’s absurd that the MTA doesn’t hire 24/7 guards to protect each of its signs?!). And vandals love to see their work publicized – by making posts like this, you’re only encouraging more sign vandalism.

And Ben Samra is correct. If you’re coming from the 1/2/3 down that staircase, you have to turn around and walk along the platform to reach the F and M. (Not sure why the L is there – either that’s more vandalism or it’s an honest error. In either case, an email to the MTA can get it corrected.) It’s obviously not telling people to turn around and go back up the staircase they just came down!

Al D July 14, 2010 - 9:28 am

The brown M still appeared at the n/b entrance to Prospect Ave even though it was removed from the s/b entrance right across the street! And I just visited the MTA website, clicked on that same station, and the orange M came up!

Joe July 14, 2010 - 10:25 am

Obviously a prank – but that station does have very confusing signage nonetheless. It’s a tough station to sign easily, because the L platform acts as a bridge for linking the 1,2,3 and F and (now) M.

bob July 15, 2010 - 11:12 am

So how much money is wasted because some people got all excited about an acronym known only to a small subset of the population, and not relevant at all? They should have just left the signs as they were originally. A crew went out there and put the first round of changes up, then went back in response to this foolishness, and now will go back again.


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