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February 09, 2007

One less vertical challenge in DC

Kudos to the DC subway system for introducing spring-loaded "straps" for short people. The devices can be pulled down up to eight inches from the main support bar.

Has anyone tried these yet?


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spring loaded pull downs.
a jolly jumper to help you keep your balance. who started this sh--t stuff. If you want to get a reaction , slap a bozo.
pixie bouncer straps, yea that's it.

New York subways used to have the same straps years ago. They worked fine.

They were probably discontinued because they cost money, and they are a little bit more visual clutter within the car.

Public transit actually built to accomodate the people who will have to use it? What a ridiculous concept.

Here in the West, Portland, Oregon, mass transportation is a virtually a foreign concept where the freedom of an automobile is worshipped.

And some guys in their 50's like me still love those old classic V8 overpowered demons with little tires on the front, big tires on the back, and loud dual exhausts as the ultimate way to travel to the grocery store.

jon is correct.

New York's subways had straps for most of their existence. They only dissapeared maybe two years ago when the last of the beloved and reliable redbird trains disappeared from the IRT (numbered) subway lines.

I don't know why in the world the city got rid of straps. They were a benefit not just to short people, but to all riders. I'm 6'4" and I used them all the time. When the trains were crowded, they gave you something to grab onto when you were not next to a (vertical)pole. Since they flexed, they were superior to the horizontal pole that is your only other alternative to the pole these days--while the short passenger was given greater reach, the tall passenger could more easily reach over someone for balance, without bumping into them. For a tall person, the straps gave you effective balance anywhere in the car.

This simple, helpful technology was used for most of a hundred years, but then was eliminated by some engineer who didn't think things through. The straps went away just when the number of poles was reduced near the doors(for wheelchair access) , the two changes were most unhelpful for standing passengers on crowded trains.

The word "straphanger" as a newspaper term for subway riders lives on, though there are no longer straps. It is the mass transit equivalent to "coed"!

If we continue to coddle the short, they will always remain short.

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