Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Subway: New Directional Signage & Safety Sensors (?)

ES418 - Motion Sensors

The reconstructed escalators (ES 418 and ES419) connecting the Roosevelt Island subway station’s lower mezzanine to the track platforms have been outfitted with new LED signage that appear to not only indicate the escalators direction but also have some sort of light / motion sensors that presumably would warn an individual if they are about to enter an escalator from the wrong direction.

I tried walking the wrong way through the sensors and got no reaction from the “column” so I am unsure if this feature is fully operational. This actually seems like a good idea so those individuals whose sight is impaired can safely be informed if they are indeed going the wrong way.

The only other new feature evident since these escalators have returned to service is we get to continually be annoyed by the voice reminding us to hold the handrail.

ES419 - Low Mezz View


As previously guessed by a reader of this blog the LED signage hanging on the lower mezzanine was indeed another waste of energy “hold the handrails” sign as opposed to something useful if the signs faced the escalators informing individuals which track an incoming train was to be on. And note the LED on the right is already not working fully.


  1. My guess is that those sensors just count people. I bet the higher-ups at the MTA love to see statistics like how many people are using an escalator.

  2. The escalators in the new Busway stations in Brisbane (Au) have beam sensors to save power.
    If someone hasn't used it for 5 minutes to enters low power mode and slows right down, and as soon as someone trips the sensor it goes at full speed again.

    PS. I know this is a very old post but I'm bored!