LIRR Admits Platform Gaps Exceed 10 Inches
The Gothamist is running a story on the safety of the large gaps between standing platform and the trains commuters ride in New York. Last summer a teenager was killed when she fell through a platform gap while riding NY public transit at the Woodside Long Island Rail Road station.
The aunt of the girl spoke yesterday about the incident at a hearing as "LIRR officials admitted that platform gaps exceeded "10 inches on 32 platforms at 22 LIRR stations."
I can remember that in London on the tube you constantly had a robotic voice saying, "Mind the Gap." It never occurred to me that people could actually be killed while not minding the gap.
A relative of 18-year-old Natalie Smead, who was hit and killed by a train this summer after falling through a gap, appeared unannounced at a hearing Thursday and blasted the Long Island Rail Road for actions she said contributed to Smead's death.
Smead's aunt, Judy Heefner, of Merrick, cited a combination of factors -- the train doors closing on Smead, the lack of immediate response by conductors after the fall and the fact that the railroad allowed Smead and the group of teens she was with to drink on the train -- for the death of the Minnesota teenager.
The "How safe is your station?" map allows people to select a station (each is color-coded by number of injuries), which then leads to a pop-up window that shows photographs of how big the gaps are, offers downloads of accident reports, offers audio of people's incidents with huge platform gaps, lists how many injuries there have been between 200-2006, and what kinds of injuries there have been.