Obvious entrances to subway stations

Posted: April 11, 2012 in Transport
Tags: ,

I liked the New York transport system a lot when I was there a few weeks ago. But one thing I think they can definitely improve on is the clarity of their subway entrances. Some were relatively easy to find, while others were so well hidden you would not know they were there unless you were standing right in front of them. I’ve included a couple of examples to illustrate my point.

First is a good subway stop. It is clearly obvious from afar that it is an entrance to the subway, and you can also see which lines it serves. If applicable, this would also state which direction the trains from this platform go in (a quirk which applies to some stations on the New York subway system, whereby the entrance is to only one platform and not the other, but to no other system I’ve ever been on).

Good subway entrance.

Good subway entrance. (Photo: Bambul Shakibaei)

Compare that to this other subway entrance near Grand Central Terminal in Midtown Manhattan. I knew there was a subway entrance nearby because Google Maps told me so, but could not find it anywhere on the street. If you can find it, then you’ve done a better job of finding it than I had done.

Subway entrance - hidden.

Subway entrance - hidden. (Photo: Bambul Shakibaei)

In case you need some help, this is what you need to be looking for.

Subway entrance - close up.

Subway entrance - close up. (Photo: Bambul Shakibaei)

I did end up finding it, but only once I got right up to it. There was another subway entrance, on the South East corner of Central Park, which I literally did not find until it was right in front of me. And in that particular case I had both found it on Google Maps and asked a local for directions. Despite both these things, I could have sworn there was nothing there. The example from above was actually easier to find, as I managed to spot it on my own.

I’m guessing this is largely due to the New York subway being so old, though why the signs can’t be changed seems strange to me. It definitely is an example of something that is done better in Sydney than New York when it comes to the trains. On other measures, however, Sydney is far behind New York.

  1. CityRail User says:

    Caringbah Railway Station is quite integrated with the streetscape

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