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MTA Photo Taking ban--Have the terrorists won?

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  • MTA Photo Taking ban--Have the terrorists won?

    The article following (long), is currently a controversial issue among New Yorkers. It explains the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority) request to ban photo taking on the subway, to "safe guard the system". I think this is totally outrageous, and we cannot let this be done. This is like putting a ban on taking photos of airplanes. I am also a transit/train hobbyist, and will fight this. What are your opionions on this; not even so much this issue, but the fact that our freedoms as Americans being taken away because of one underlying cause; terrorism.

    Don't Say Cheese MTA Mulls Ban On Photography In Subway System

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    If the Metropolitan Transit Authority has its way, straphangers won't be allowed to snap pictures on trains and buses anymore.

    The MTA is looking to update its rules of conduct for the first time in 10 years, and one of the changes it's proposing is a blanket ban on all photography and videotaping in the city's subway system.



    If it passes, the new regulation would mean that anyone caught taking footage with their camcorder would be questioned by police, who would then be allowed to issue a summons or even confiscate the footage. The only exceptions would be credentialed members of the media, or those who get written authorization from the MTA.

    MTA officials say the move would help safeguard the transit system against would-be terrorists. In addition, the MTA points out that violators wouldn't automatically get a ticket as with anything else, police officers would use their discretion.

    "We're not trying to preclude people from taking beautiful pictures of our great subway system," says NYC Transit President Lawrence Reuter. "We just don't want people casing the system for acts that could cause serious harm or danger."

    Nevertheless, a number of subway riders interviewed Thursday in Times Square expressed outrage at the idea.

    "It just seems absolutely ridiculous," said one woman.

    "It stinks," said another. "We should be able to take pictures."

    "Are they going to stop you from drawing as well?" asked one man. "That could also be a security risk."

    The New York Civil Liberties Union is criticizing the ban as excessive and ultimately unenforceable. But in fact, the new regulations may not end up being much different from the status quo; since the 9/11 attacks, police and transit workers have routinely stopped people from shooting video in the subways.

    In addition to the ban on photography, the MTA is proposing changes that include stricter rules against moving between subway cars, putting your feet on a seat of a subway or bus, and wearing skates or standing on a skateboard.

    The proposed rules would also crack down on turnstile jumping by riders who use Unlimited Ride MetroCards. The MTA has found a number cases in which people with unlimited ride cards hopped the turnstiles when the machine couldn't read their card, then fought the ensuing summons by arguing that, technically, they had already paid their fare.

    The new rules make it clear that's not a valid defense.

    "The concern here, of course, is that acts of this nature necessarily instill an environment of disorder, and encourage fare evasion and other impermissible conduct," explained MTA General Counsel Martin Schnabel.

    The public has 45 days to comment on the proposed rule changes before they go to a vote by the MTA board.

    -Bobby Cuza
    www.acairport.com

  • #2
    This is unconstitutional... .

    If people were to boycott the public transport for a couple days because of this they would change it in no time. And thing is.... if terrorists really want to to pull off an attack... banning photography isn't gonna stop them. Whoever is coming up with these unconstitutional rules should be shot for their stupidity and ignorance.

    "We're not trying to preclude people from taking beautiful pictures of our great subway system"

    Actually it smells like piss and needs the look to be updated.... they shoud go to vancouver for ideas.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Airbus_A320
      "We're not trying to preclude people from taking beautiful pictures of our great subway system"

      Actually it smells like piss and needs the look to be updated.... they shoud go to vancouver for ideas.
      Vancouver's skytrain is a dinky little line that nobody uses. The public transportation in that city is awful. The city's traffic is also f.ucked because there are no freeways. It's a beautiful city, but they need better urban planning.

      On topic, I agree that this is stupid. We'll see how long it lasts. NY's ACLU has a lot of clout, unlike in the rest of the country.

      Comment


      • #4
        Actually to me the transportation seems pretty good. There is the SeaBus to cross the bay then busses on the other side and busses go througout the city. I have been there meny times and have found the transportation system to be pretty good and haven't heard anyone complain. As for the skytrain..... it's clean and much nicer compared to other cities but the last time i went they were having some mechanical problems that actually kinda freaked me out.

        If you want a poor public transportation system just come and visit CT

        Comment


        • #5
          "We're not trying to preclude people from taking beautiful pictures of our great subway system"

          Actually it smells like piss and needs the look to be updated.... they shoud go to vancouver for ideas.
          To visitors, on the outside this may be true...

          In reality though, when you think about it, the system is in pretty damn good condition, considering the same stations have been in use, on the same lines, since 1904. Take a look at Chicago's rail transit system if you want to see a system in real disrepair; Philly's is really bad too.

          Getting back on topic, there is already a photo-taking ban on NJT (New Jersey Transit) subways, commuter trains, and busses, which (supposedly) only applies to taking pictures while ON NJT property (such as train station platforms and bus stops). However, I was taking a picture of a River Line Light Rail train 2 weeks ago from a public street and got FINED, which is obsurd, considering I was on public property-- how did the officer know I wasn't photographing a tree?

          As far as I know and could find out about, taking pictures of anything from a public street is allowed, and there are no rules against it...

          This is getting to be too much... the government and agencies should take a step back and look at the big picture in my opinion.
          www.acairport.com

          Comment


          • #6
            here you have a nice picture i have taken in the subway in manhatan.


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Airbus_A320
              Actually to me the transportation seems pretty good. There is the SeaBus to cross the bay then busses on the other side and busses go througout the city. I have been there meny times and have found the transportation system to be pretty good and haven't heard anyone complain. As for the skytrain..... it's clean and much nicer compared to other cities but the last time i went they were having some mechanical problems that actually kinda freaked me out.

              If you want a poor public transportation system just come and visit CT
              I got relatives there and they complain about the transportation system there ALL THE TIME.

              Every major city in North America has an extensive bus system, but let's face it, buses suck! They're plagued by traffic jams just like cars are.

              To visitors, on the outside this may be true...

              In reality though, when you think about it, the system is in pretty damn good condition, considering the same stations have been in use, on the same lines, since 1904. Take a look at Chicago's rail transit system if you want to see a system in real disrepair; Philly's is really bad too.
              How true. Philly's is a mess. Never took Chicago's, though. I think the best maintained metro system in North America is DC's. That's actually really nice.

              But still, I was amazed that even a city like Sao Paulo can have a much better subway system than any city in North America. That system really puts ours to shame. Why can't we get our act together with public transportation?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by iceman
                How true. Philly's is a mess. Never took Chicago's, though. I think the best maintained metro system in North America is DC's. That's actually really nice.
                DC's is nice, as is LA's and Atlanta's, from what I know. Growing up and riding Philly's transportation system for a long time (and still riding it), the old, dirty, smelly station 60 feet under Times Square looks like a palace.

                Chicago's system is a mess. They are in the process of renovating it now, but the stations are small, rickety, and too out of date, like this one:



                Believe it or not, Newark/Jersey City, NJ actually has a nice subway system... too bad it doesn't fit the city:



                www.acairport.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Actually, I think we're gettin a bit O/T here... I'll start a new topic...
                  www.acairport.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Somebody has started an online petition on this topic.

                    If you feel this violates your freedom, is not fair, etc., please "sign" this online petition.

                    The petition:

                    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/notransitpicban
                    www.acairport.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by iceman
                      I got relatives there and they complain about the transportation system there ALL THE TIME.
                      I don't know what their problem is but I never had a problem using any of Vancouver's public transit system (bus, Skytrain and Seabus, etc). When I was in high school, I made several trips to downtown with my class (I live out in the suburbs-an hour by car to downtown) and never had a problem with the Skytrain or bus...in fact it was faster than driving. I saw lots of people on the Skytrain and buses when I used them.

                      There are freeways in Vancouver, contrary to what your relatives said. It does get busy during rush hour but that is the same with freeways all over North America (even here in Columbia, SC). I am sure the city will fix what problems there are with public transit prior to the Winter Olympics in 2010.

                      Speaking of Columbia, there is buses here but you can't really call that a public transit. The routes and scheduling left a lot to be desired

                      On the topic of picture taking, I think the transit authority has gone a bit too far. But I am not surprised considering I hear that NYC is not the most friendly city for photographers.
                      Click Here for my aviation photographs.
                      No Frontiers

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                      • #12
                        Now I see why there's a photo ban.

                        http://abcnews.go.com/sections/GMA/U..._040521-1.html

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Yeah, but when they found a rocket launcher down by subway tracks in Atlanta is was no big deal to them Et-Lannians.

                          As it turns out, the MTA has been wanting to force this ban on for some years, but is using 9-11 and recent terrorist events as a way to push it even further.
                          www.acairport.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by matt1168
                            Yeah, but when they found a rocket launcher down by subway tracks in Atlanta is was no big deal to them Et-Lannians.
                            When was this?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by iceman
                              Originally posted by matt1168
                              Yeah, but when they found a rocket launcher down by subway tracks in Atlanta is was no big deal to them Et-Lannians.
                              When was this?
                              Last week. It turns out that after investigations, it was found to be a non-functioning rocket launcher problably bought at a gun show, but during the day Atlanta subway riders were escpecially cautious, and many were worried. The government is wondering if it was just a coincidence, a prank, a test, or possibly some sort of warning. Here is the only story I am able to find on it, though a bit vague:

                              MARTA workers discover rocket launcher

                              By TASGOLA KARLA BRUNER
                              The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
                              Published on: 05/18/04

                              FBI officials said it posed no threat, but the discovery of a rocket launcher near MARTA train tracks in southwest Atlanta left commuters rattled Tuesday.

                              Johnny Carter, 41, and Cecil Duck, 42, friends and co-workers who were going home from the Hamilton E. Holmes station about 4:30 p.m. had been worried about Carter's wife. She would have been at the station about the time the rocket launcher was found, about 2 p.m.

                              The M136 AT4 light anti-tank weapon weighs 14.8 pounds, with a 40-inch launcher, including an 18-inch rocket, weighing four pounds. It is designed to penetrate 15.8 inches of armor at a maximum effective range of 985 feet, according to Web site GlobalSecurity.org.
                              "I was terrified. I knew we were safe, but she might be at the station," Duck said.

                              "The thought of her coming off the [MARTA] bus onto something like that and I can't get to her . . .," said Carter, not finishing his sentence.

                              MARTA employees who walk the tracks several times each day found the rocket launcher near the Holmes station, at the end of the west line, according to MARTA spokeswoman Kimberly Willis Green.

                              The station was allowed to remain open after officials determined that the device didn't pose a threat to the public.

                              Steve Lazarus, a spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta, said a "shell or tube" of an AT4 anti-tank rocket launcher was found with the sights broken off of it, which is what soldiers are taught to do after its single use, he said.

                              Lazarus said the device couldn't be fired because of its condition it looked to have been sitting "out in weather for quite some time" and because there was no ordnance in it.

                              "There's no threat associated with it," he said. "It's designed to be fired once and thrown away."

                              He said it's not uncommon for such shells to end up at gun shows and be sold to the public. They are legal to sell and possess, he said.
                              Even though they are making it out to be nothing, if this was found in NY, the entire line it was found around would be shut down temporarily, or trains would bypass station(s) near to where it was found.
                              www.acairport.com

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