Tuesday, July 18, 2017

There are Surprises on Every Corner Thanks to Montreal's Embrace of Street Art (Montreal, Quebec)

Montreal is full of street art, and much of it is sanctioned by the city and celebrated each year with a festival. Here's just a tiny sample of what I saw as I wandered around the past week. (Ufunk has more photos of murals from this year's festival and even some images of the artists at work).

The mural on the left took on a very different feel as I walked down the street and saw what was behind the tree.

(This one is signed by Jason Wasserman)

Friday, July 7, 2017

I'm Seeing More and More Platform Controllers, but Can They Alone Solve New York's Subway Crisis? (Times Square Subway Station)

I'm seeing more and more folks in the New York City subways wearing vests that say "Platform Controller." The people who wear them carry flashlights they use to signal to the conductors when they can close the doors and sometimes they shout instructions to stand aside to let people off and not block the doors when people are trying to get on. They definitely provide a sense of order to what often feels like chaos, especially during rush hour, but lately they seem to be the only strategy the MTA is applying to address the growing delays that are snarling travel. On one level, it's reassuring to be reminded that humans can step in when technology fails. But obviously a system that moves 6 million people a day needs more than a few people in smart vests to solve its problems. Cuomo recently declared a state of emergency in the subways, pledging $1 billion for improvements, but with subway delays jumping to more than 70,000 each month, from about 28,000 per month in 2012, the improvements can't come fast enough.