Police, MTA Officials Crack Down On Subway Photography
The vice president of the New York Press Photographers Association says police are routinely cracking down on amateur and professional photographers alike on city subways, even though it’s perfectly legal to take picture anywhere on the subway and commuter rail systems.
The previous excuse for the crackdown was concerns over terrorism, to which my thinking is that if a terrorist wants to do something nasty that a formal ban on photography won't stop them. It's also a bit of a lost cause as if they focused on taking a photo they could return to the same location several times until a police officer or MTA official wasn't in view, and afterall it only takes a second or two to take a picture anyway.
The subway should be treated like any other public space. Frankly a terrorist can target any space that has a large population, so while Grand Central Station is at risk, so is any major store at Christmas time.
If the MTA is serious about terrorism on the subway system they should work more on improving all of the exits on the subway system. The majority of stations that I see have exits that look like death traps in the making. In fact it's no even so much a terrorist issue as public safety one - if there was a fire at a subway station people might in fact get killed as everyone would rush to try and exit the station through the turnstiles.
Also if the MTA is going to crack down on anything, how about quality of life issues? I'm a regular at the Bowery Street stop for the J line and that stop needs quite a bit of love:
- The escalator breaks on a regular basis
- There are no chairs to sit on while waiting for a train
- I see rats on the actual platform on a regular basis