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More count-down clock lunacy

Posted by gbs on Mon Jan 1 22:52:19 2018

Adventures from this afternoon:

1. I entered the Liberty Av (C) station around 1:00, and the mezzanine clock above the turnstiles said the next two trains were Euclid-bound, arriving in 11 and 27 minutes. I asked the agent if the trains were running to Manhattan and she said they were, so I went downstairs, not knowing how long I'd have to wait (good thing they've installed these things). The clock on our platform was completely blank, but across the tracks I could see that their clock showed the same two Euclid Cs. Seven minutes later, with only a Manhattan-bound A passing through the station during that time, our clock suddenly said the next Manhattan C was 2 minutes away. Across the tracks their clock showed the same two trains, at 4 and 20 minutes away. Sure enough our train did arrive in 2 minutes, which means it was always the very next train into the station, but it was never listed as such when I arrived there.

2. I entered the Pacific St station (D,N,R) and the mezzanine clock showed two D trains next, one to Stillwell and one to Norwood. This is absolutely ridiculous at a location that serves three lines in two directions. Downstairs on the downtown side the clock showed a Stillwell D in 3 minutes and a Bay Ridge R in 17 minutes. I wanted the N and assumed I'd have to wait longer than 17 minutes. The D did come in 3 minutes, and as soon as it left, the top line showed the next N arriving in 1 minute, with the R still at 17 minutes. So it appears that this particular platform clock has the top line reserved for the express track and the bottom line reserved for the local track, unlike at Roosevelt Av (E,F,M,R), where the two lines simply show the next two trains, regardless of the track. In both cases one clock for a platform with two tracks and multiple lines is totally inadequate. Each track should have its own clock.

3. I entered 8 Av (N), where the new Manhattan-bound platform has two double-sided signs, and where one would have been perfectly adequate (talk about mis-spent money). The message crawl at the bottom said N and R trains were by-passing 49 St in both directions because of preparations for "tonight's" New Year's activities. This was clearly yesterday's message and should have been removed. There was also a second advisory about signal trouble at Times Square. Was this also yesterday, or current?

Of all the weaknesses of this program, the worst offender is the locations where the clocks have been installed, often in the most obscure area on the platform or turnstile area. Visit 63 Drive (M,R) and see where they've put them (if you can find them) and where they should have put them. Visit Queensboro Plaza (N,W,7) upper level and see where the N,W clock is and where the 7 clock is. Enter Northern Blvd (M,R) Queens-bound and look for the mezzanine clock (hint: look behind you). It's enough to make someone believe in small government.


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