a fair and balanced birdthing (raaven) wrote,
a fair and balanced birdthing

Signs, signs, everywhere a sign...

Does anyone remember the guy in the Illuminatus! series that went around putting up odd signs, just to mess with the social order?

Well, I think he's alive & well & working for the MTA. Coming off of the W train this morning at Times Square, I noted shiny brand new signs on either side of the staircase saying "Keep Right".

Now, I've noticed for a long time now, that pedestrian traffic flow tends (at least in the US) toward the right hand side. I always associated it with the fact that we drive our cars on the right hand side of the road also. So this is what already happens, most of the time. New Yorkers, however, are opportunistic folk. If the right side of a staircase is full, and no one is on the left, then the left is fair game also. Otherwise, though, people normally go to their right. I don't think a sign will change the opportunism, so it must be a social experiment.

On my way down to the 7 train, I took great satisfaction in walking down the left staircase. There were no signs there, you see.

Then I got on the 7 train, and noted two signs in the ads. One said "Missed your train? Don't take it personally. If we allowed our conductors to hold the trains during rush hour, serious delays would result" The other said "excuse me, excuse me? Could you please turn down the volume on your headphones? Thank you."

Either a social experiment, or the procurement boss has a brother who is a sign maker.

In either case, it struck me as bizarre. My headache must be gone, I'm capable of amusement again. :)
Tags: books, musings, travel
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