Practical city living, #9: Useless emergency signs

The MTA’s Emergency Instructions (above) might provide a diversion if your subway car goes up in flames and you can’t escape, but I wouldn’t bother with them if you’re in a hurry.

Essentially, the redundant and confusing information (presented in four separate columns — Fire, Medical, Police, and Evacuation) boils down to:

  • (1) DO NOT PULL THE EMERGENCY BRAKE (conveniently located above);
  • (2) Notify the crew in case of fire, danger, or illness (yours or another passenger’s); and
  • (3) Do not do anything else unless or until instructed by an announcement or MTA employee.

 

I know there’s nothing particularly noteworthy about hapless bureaucratic directions. But unless you were familiar with these, I couldn’t effectively convey why the agency’s Subway Emergency Evacuation Information (pictured below) is just crying out to be a subplot in a satirical novel.

The second sign, as you can see, incorporates the first one — in a size too small to read.

Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Yeah, once the emergency is over, be sure to go home and watch the helpful video at mta.info.

(Max pointed this out sometime last year, and now I can’t look at any of the emergency signs without wondering: Do they want us to die?)


Comments are closed.