How Can Design Stop Tragedies In Public Spaces

Having been to New York many times we know how fast-paced the city can be with people moving about getting from place to place. What is shocking is that while the public transportation system is the primary choice for mobility in the cit that only 24% of the subway stations in New York are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. The subway system is a bit of controlled chaos that happens to function reasonably well.

However, sadly, we heard the news that at 22-year-old New York woman passed away due to a fall down the subway stairs while carrying her daughter’s stroller. Thankfully the daughter is in good health and only suffered minor injuries. But, the big question is why hasn’t anybody done anything about this issue. Clearly, 76% of the subway system isn’t ADA compliant, and it is a shame that someone had to lose their life for this to become a newsworthy topic.

New York isn’t the type of city where strangers are going to offer help to a struggling parent carrying a stroller or a disabled person who can’t navigate the stairs. Not to mention weather conditions including rain and snow can add additional layers of complexity trying to get in and out of the subway stations. How can design fix this issue and provide solutions that will enable access to the subway system for all without having to wait until 2025 for funding?