By now, I’m sure many of you have seen the video from Dean Peterson that’s been making the rounds. The Brooklyn-based videographer took to his local subway station — 36th St. along 4th Ave. — and filmed an amusing two minutes of straphangers tripping up the stairs. This station, along with some others, has an uneven staircase that has long been a part of station lore. No one had bothered to fix it until today.
The video has been viewed now over 530,000 times, and apparently, someone at the MTA noted it as well for, as NBC New York reported, the staircase is now closed for repairs. Considering Transit’s track record with staircase repair work, I’d imagine this entrance will be out of commission for a few weeks as crews realign the steps, but that’s practically besides the point. Why did it take a viral video to gain some attention?
It seems that no one at Transit had realized the imperfection, and that’s somewhat reasonable. No one is measuring every step at every station. Furthermore, perhaps straphangers who tripped simply chalked it up to their own stumbles. But if one person noticed the same stair as a problem over and over again, I’m sure some others did as well. Shouldn’t we have a system in place that allows New Yorkers to report these problems to someone who will listen? I don’t think viral videos are the way to go to get every routine maintenance problem in the subway addressed.