Author Archives: Christopher Chang

Posts by Christopher Chang

Memo 3: Annotated Bibliography for PSD’s and Flooding

To: Professor MacBridge

From: Christopher Chang

Date: 04/13/2013

Re: Subway Platform Screen Doors and Flooding.

1. Chung, Hang Jae. “SMRT’s Platform Screen Door & IT Technology,” March 18, 2013.

This PowerPoint talks about the Platform Screen Doors for the Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Train line. It dives into the statistics of Seoul’s metro lines and those that have Platform Screen Door’s. Chung talks about some of the benefits of the Platform Screen Door’s such as decreases in accidents per year, air contamination, Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption and ambient noise. Air contamination is an important aspect of the Platform Screen Door’s because of the fact that subways are underground. Because of rain and water run off, molding of walls underground is more rampant than above ground. Also, when there are putrid smells such as fumes from track fires, the smell lingers in the tunnels underground. The PowerPoint goes as far as showing us how to actually put together the Platform Screen Door’s underground. An interesting point the PowerPoint includes is the fact that other business can actually benefit from Platform Screen Doors. The Platform Screen Door’s are mostly viewed as a safety measure against train deaths. But, they can also have billboards or advertisements on them. Businesses can pay to have their advertisements on either the walls or the Platform Screen Door’s, which is usually where most subway riders are facing anyways.

The main reason for choosing this PowerPoint is because it was relevant to connecting South Korea’s direction on subway Platform Screen Doors and the MTA’s constant talks of installing them. This PowerPoint actually served as a way to draw in investors. When reading the PowerPoint, I realized that the Platform Screen Doors could provide more than just safety. They can make being underground a healthier stay. With 1.9 billion passengers in 2009, South Korea can be considered a metropolis with a bustling transportation system. Obviously, New York City’s MTA has a much larger number of passengers. But, the fact of the matter is, South Korea’s metro system is far superior in terms of speed, cleanliness and now, safety. One of the most interesting aspects is the fact that South Korea is a country that receives insane amounts of rain because of monsoons every single year. So, the fact that their subway system have the ability to be up and running after every single rainy day or week should raise alarms to the MTA on what they are doing wrong and how can they fix them. Platform Screen Doors can be a right start.

2. Geller, Adam. “New York City Flood Protection Won’t Be Easy.”, November 27, 2012.

Mr. Geller talked about a very viable option that a hospital in Houston took to prevent flooding. In 2001, tropical storm Allison ripped through Houston severely crippling the Texas Medical Center. As a result, the Texas Medical Center installed submarine type flood doors throughout their tunnel system. The second portion of this article goes into the actual damage that Sandy caused and what it has shed light on. After a flood in 2007 in New York City, MTA reportedly spent $157 million on many projects, one of them being “closing 1600 grates along a low-lying avenue in Queens.” The article goes on to talk about many other countries subway systems including Bangkok. Bangkok, a relatively bustling but a part of a third world country, has its station entrances, which are raised several feet above ground. The number of options that the MTA can take is plenty. The third portion of this article speaks about the electric grid in New York. Protecting the electric grid is very important because there were many customers without power during Sandy’s terror and well after Sandy hit. It was well televised about the elderly in apartments at Brighton Beach who were stuck in their apartments because of blackouts and the inability to make it down the stairs. In 2009, Edison Electric Institute reported “installing lines underground in urban areas could cost up to $23 million per mile, five times the cost of lines above ground.”

The question everybody needs to ask him or herself is how can we prevent another catastrophic storm from ravaging our lands again. It is without a shadow of a doubt that a storm with the same intensity, if not higher, will make its way through New York again. This article sheds light on the different actions we can take to prevent such damage. The importance of preventing this type of damage is paramount. It is 6 months after Hurricane Sandy hit and some people are still feeling the effects of the aftermath. Whether it be to install submarine like doors in all the underground stations to prevent flooding at the source or raising the station entrances, certain steps need to be taken to avert the damage we witnessed in October 2012. This article speaks volumes because it provides us with different options and breaks down some of the damage that Sandy has caused. It goes as far as talking about protecting neighborhoods. But, for the sake of this project, it doesn’t seem as important.

3. Metrobits. “Platform Screen Doors –,” March 18, 2013.

Metrobits informational piece on Platform Screen Doors goes into many different lines that currently have been fitted with Platform Screen Doors. One of the most important parts of this informational to my research was the little summary on Saint Petersburg. Saint Petersburg was the first station to have a variation of the Platform Screen Doors. They installed Platform STEEL Doors between 1961 and 1972 in ten different stations. What is most interesting about this is that Metrobits goes on to state, “Contrary to common belief, the reason for the introduction of steel doors was not to prevent flooding.” Metrobits goes into depth with each of the stations in the world that have Platform Screen Doors. For the sake of my project, I focused more on the Korean stations and the New York stations. In Seoul, lines 2 and 9 have been fitted with Platform Screen Doors. It is planned that all the lines will have the doors by 2010. It is said that the New Second Avenue Line will have Platform Screen Doors in New York. It is expected to open in late 2016. Another great aspect of this document is the benefits it lists of Platform Screen Doors. Some of them include preventing track fires, reducing draught and air pressure caused by trains and preventing people from falling or jumping on the tracks.

The one sentence that had an impact on my research on Platform Screen Doors was the sentence about the introduction of steel doors. I had begun my research in hopes to find evidence that the Platform Screen Doors would be able to prevent flooding. But, this article was the first one that provided evidence against my hypothesis. Even though Metrobits uses the word Platform Steel Doors, they are a variation of Platform Screen Doors. It could be that the Platform Screen Doors are different in the sense that they can actually prevent flooding. But, at this point of my research, there is no evidence that point to it. The remainder of this document is very useful because it lists out which stations around the world have Platform Screen Doors and if they will be fitted with them. Finding out that the Second Avenue Line is expected to open with Platform Screen Doors leads me to believe that the MTA is actually making steps to prevent certain safety hazards, both physical and airborne. The benefits of Platform Screen Doors may not have been directly related to preventing floods underground. But, they have certain climate and health related benefits that I had not thought about before such as preventing track fires.

4. Kabak, Benjamin. “‘A Screen Door on a Submarine…’” Second Ave. Sagas, December 31, 2012.

Benjamin Kabak writes in a perspective dealing with Platform Screen Doors being a safety mechanism. With all of the homicides dealing with trains and people being pushed in, people have been looking closely at options to prevent these deaths. In December alone, there were two high profile cases where the victims were pushed into the tracks when a train was approaching. An alarming statistic was that there are usually 150 people per year that are hit by trains. According to the article, there have been many plans to install the doors in numerous stations. But, the plans keep on falling through. The article goes to talk about Crown Infrastructure, a New York based company, who would install Platform Screen Doors free of charge. The only condition would be that it would collect revenue from LED video advertising on the barriers of the Platform Screen Doors. The article goes on to talk about the 7-train extension and the new Second Avenue subway having Platform Screen Doors. An MTA spokesperson has stated that they are “cost-prohibitive” because it would cost an “estimated $1.5 million to install sliding doors along two platform edges in a new station and more to retrofit an existing station.” With 468 stations in the MTA system, it would be extremely costly.

Even though this article does not focus on the actual climate related benefits of Platform Screen Doors, it raises concerns on the financial liability of installing Platform Screen Doors. Taking a different approach with the safety concerns, the article touches upon different companies and people advocating for the doors. The architect of the JFK AirTrain advocates for the doors. But, the fact of the matter is, the JFK AirTrain is suspended above ground, which makes it a little easier to install and change things around as opposed to changing schematics underground. In regards to Crown Infrastructure, their plan is a little bit of a conundrum. Even though they may create revenues from the video advertisements, chance are there will be other companies that pay more for the advertisements. It is an uncertain situation and dishing out hundreds of millions of dollars for an uncertain investment panning out is definitely not the smart choice. The financial liability discussed in this article is very important in my research because one of the main reasons why the MTA isn’t going ahead with the proposed projects is funding. Also, retrofitting an existing station would cost more money depending on what kind of station it is too. All in all, financially, the Platform Screen Doors isn’t the smartest investment for New York City. But, in terms of health and safety, it is foolproof. It all boils down to how important health and safety is to the MTA.

5. Donohue, Pete. “MTA Exploring Using Inflatable and Expandable Devices to Seal Subway Tunnels and Prevent Type of Flooding That Crippled System During Sandy.” NY Daily News, November 26, 2012.

Pete Donohue writes about a team of engineers at West Virginia University who have developed a viable option for any metropolitan subway system to use in their tunnels to prevent flooding. It is a giant tunnel plug made out of a synthetic fiber that is similar to Kevlar. According to Ever Barbero, the principal investigator with the Resilient Plug Project, “It could be inflated with air or water.” The greatest aspect of the inflatable plug may be the fact that it could be put away in an area about 2 by 3 feet when not inflated. This is about the size of a small box. The cost of such flood plug is estimated to be about $400,000 for the prototype. The plug had impressive results in four tests as it reduced the flow of water to a manageable level to be pumped out. All signs from the article points to the plug being an actual option to preventing flooding at an economical price and practical in terms of space.

This article provides an important alternative to preventing flooding. I went about my research in a two-pronged plan. The first prong was to find information on Platform Screen Doors and if it was able to prevent flooding. The second prong was to find any other alternatives that were flood proof. I did find a lot of information on Platform Screen Doors. But, for the most part, none of the information led me to believe that it was able to prevent flooding in stations. However, I was more successful finding viable alternatives to avert flooding in New York City subway tunnels. The submarine doors in a Houston hospital from an earlier article seemed like a great idea. But, in terms of installing and time, it wouldn’t be the most efficient option. The Kevlar like plugs may prove to be the quickest and most efficient barrier against flooding right now. If the prototype is improved and mass produced, then MTA would be able to store them away at each station, two per direction, and inflate them in periods of severe flooding. A step-by-step drawing shows a specific place that the plug can be placed without restricting train traffic.

6. New York Times. “Assessing Damage From Hurricane Sandy,” October 29, 2012.

The New York Times has an amazing article on the damage from Hurricane Sandy. He goes into depth on every single aspect of the damage including public transportation, water waste, elemental problems (fire, wind) and power failures. The article takes it a step further by including specific dates and their importance. For example, the article states October 31st as the first day to recovering the subway system. Their first step was getting the water out of the tunnels. The main focus were the stations that were in Zone A such as South Ferry station and Whitehall Street. The article also indicated which specific lines were at risk for flooding. They included the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C, F and R trains. The number of customers affected by Hurricane Sandy in terms of power was startling. In areas of New Jersey, the number of people affected reached 500,000 and nearly 200,000 for areas in New York City. The article went on to talk about the flooding and water waste specifically to New York City. It depicted the areas of mandatory evacuation. What was especially interesting was the fact that all of the wastewater treatment plants were all in Evacuation Zones.

This article was important to my research because it took a closer look at Hurricane Sandy’s path of destruction. Hurricane Sandy opened the eyes of many New Yorkers and scientists in terms of the damage that was caused in an area that hadn’t seen much destruction from flooding in the past. This article touched upon almost every single aspect of the storm from the actual rain causing flooding, the roaring wind and the fires that were caused by the storm. This article puts a microscope into the problems that we faced after the storm and certain problems that we may continue to face. The maps of New York City with descriptions of many different problems such as Evacuation zones, areas of lowest elevation and wind speeds were really helpful. They gave a visual on which parts of New York City were most vulnerable to the different weather conditions. Obviously, the areas most vulnerable were the areas closer to water. But, the fact of the matter is that there were certain parts of New York City that weren’t safe from the destruction of Hurricane Sandy. In the Jamaica Queens, Evacuation Zone C stretched from the tip of Jamaica, past the Jamaica plant and almost into the middle of Queens. This article really shed light on the actual destruction of the storm, piece by piece.

7. Yakas, Ben. “MTA Exploring Installing Sliding Doors At L Train Stations.” Gothamist, January 13, 2013.

Platform Screen Doors may be coming to a L Train near you. In December 2012, the MTA considered installing sliding doors at L Train stations. This was due to many accidents; some intentional that was publically televised in December. The Post states, “Installing the doors system-wide would be more than $1 billion.” The article talks about the Second Avenue Subway having a proposal to add sliding doors from 2007. But, nothing has seemed to matriculate from this proposal. The article goes on to talk about how political pressures from the outside can make the Platform Screen Doors a reality in New York City’s subway. Now I do not know if political pressures will be present because of all the other hot topics in today’s politics including gun control and health care. The rationale behind having the L train with Platform Screen Doors is that this is the only independent line in all of the subway system. So, it makes the most sense to have the doors installed at these stations. However, some of the problems that they may run into are retrofitting each individual station with these doors. This will ultimately cost millions depending on each station and how long these stations stretch.

Once again, the MTA are talking about Platform Screen Doors in our stations. But, this time around, it seems to be more serious. Almost every single innovation or renovation to the subway system has been tested on the L line because of the fact that the L train is the only train that runs through it. The fact that it would cost a billion dollars to have the whole subways system fitted with platform screen doors is an alarming number. However, if the federal and state government were to shift funds around, it would become completely feasible. With the whole political pressure aspect of the article, I disagree to an extent because I feel like there are more important matters at hand in terms of politics. The Newtown gun massacre has taken a spotlight in recent weeks in terms of gun control. In the future, the government may shift its focus on Platform Screen Doors. But, it would probably be on a more national scale. The plan for Platform Screen Doors seems to coming to fruition after a few years of “planning”. This is in the midst of a lawsuit between MTA and the family of a man who was thrown to his death on the tracks.

Memo 2: 100 Years of MTA, Flooding and Platform Screen Doors

To: Samantha MacBride
From: Christopher Chang
Date: March 18th, 2013
Re: 100 Year Timeline – 100 Years of MTA, Flooding and Platform Screen Doors

1904 (October 27): New York City’s first official subway system opens. Operated by the Interborough Rapid Transit. It was a 9.1-mile long subway line that had 28 stations stretching from City Hall to 145th Street. (MTA 2013)

1938: A hurricane made direct impact with Providence, Rhode Island, submerging the downtown area under 12 feet of water. The Army Corp’s of Engineers projected that this could happen to New York City. (Britt 2005)

1955 (May 12): The Third Avenue El closes. It was the last elevated line in Manhattan. This is a cause of concern, especially after Sandy, because it means all subway lines in Manhattan are underground. (MTA 2013)

1955 (December 1): A track connection between Queens Boulevard line and 60th Street tunnel opens up. (MTA 2013)

1961: St. Petersburg, Russia opens station that has Platform STEEL Doors. Can be considered the beginning of a “revolution” of how platforms are created and managed. A total of 10 stations have these Platform Steel Doors. (Metrobits 2013)

1970: First phase of Seoul’s subway system was established. In order to take out water from tunnels, subway-pumping stations were formed. (Kim 2001)

1987: Singapore’s Subway system becomes the first to have Platform Screen Doors. (Metrobits 2013)

1994 (September 22): Construction begins on the connector between the Queens Boulevard line and the 63rd Street tunnel. (MTA 2013)

1999 (August 26): Quick and heavy rain fall, 2.5 – 4.0 inches over two hours, caused flooding in the subways of New York City. The MTA’s drainage system can handle 1.5 inches of rain per hour. (Chan 2007)

2000: Second phase of Seoul’s subway system is completed. Like the first phase, subway-pumping stations were utilized. (Kim 2001)

2001: The Houston Medical Center installs submarine type doors to prevent flooding. Earlier in the year, Tropical storm Allison had ravaged Houston leaving this hospital without power and flooded medical center streets with up to 9 feet of water. (Geller 2012)

2003 (November 3): The “redbird” subway cars are discontinued. Significant because there is no standard distance between train and platform edge where the doors would have to be installed. (MTA 2013)

2003 (December 17): The JFK AirTrain service begins. Significant because the JFK AirTrain stations all have a form of PSD’s. This may be because it is all elevated above ground. (MTA 2013)

2004 (September 8): Hurricane Francis accumulated more than two inches of rain per hour in New York City. It was the second major time that a storm paralyzed the subway system. (Chan 2007)

2005 (October 20): The Yongdu Station of Seoul Subway Line 2 is the first station in South Korea to have Platform Screen Doors. (Railway-Technology 2013)

2006 (December): Port Authority Board approves the project to build steel floodgates in PATH tunnels beneath the Hudson River. They have budgeted $181 million. Not expected to be operational until 2014. (Donohue 2012)

2007 (September 27): Patent for Platform Screen Doors by Ross Bradley and Derek Tate. (Bradley 2007)

2007: Installation of Platform Screen Doors starts on the SMRT portion of the Seoul Metro. (Kim 2012)

2007: MTA talks about the possibility of Platform Screen Doors for the Second Avenue line that is currently being constructed. (Neuman 2007)

2007 (August): Mike, Lombardi, the head of subway operations at NYC Transit, stated ”NYC Transit pumps 13 million gallons of water out of the system a day – even when it’s not raining – because of groundwater in the system.” (Donohue 2007)

2007 (August 8): Another flood cripples the New York City Subway System. (Chan 2007)

2008 (June): Attempt at solution to flooding in Queens used. Workers would take blue tarp and put 6 cement filled buckets on top of them to hold them in place. (Montefinise 2008)

2008 (September): New elevated grates replace old ground grates in certain areas of Queens. Certain grates are sealed completely to prevent flooding. (Dunlap 2008)

2008 (October): MTA unveils a prototype that acts as a 3 in 1: Flood protection, bench and bike parking. It was put in TriBeCa. (Lee 2008)

2008 (December 22): New R160 Subway cars begin to replace 45-year-old trains. Significant because installation of Platform Screen Door’s may call for restructuring of trains to fit in tunnels going into stations. (MTA 2013)

2009: Installation of Platform Screen Doors is finished on the SMRT portion of the Seoul Metro System. Seoul has 3 subway lines: Seoul Metro, SMRT, and Metro 9. SMRT had all 148 stations of over 152 km installed with PSD’s. (Chung 2010)

2009 December: ALL Stations in Seoul have been fitted with Platform Screen Doors becoming the first subway system in the world having Automatic Platform Doors (Park 2009)

2010: MTA releases a Request for Information for a pilot program for a barrier on platforms. (Kabak 2012)

2011 (July 28): South Korea has to deal with immense flooding (20 inches of rain). It shut down its subway system to cope with the flooding. (Usher 2011)

2011 (August 27): Hurricane Irene comes through New York City. It forces the city to shut its subway system down. Luckily, there was no flooding. (Feis 2011)

2011 (November 11): Line 1 of Paris Metro unveils Platform Screen Doors. Line 1 is 111-year-old subway line. (Zara 2012)

2012 (March): A report comes out about particulate matters (PM) levels inside and outside the PSD’s in Seoul. There is a significant reduction in the mean concentration of both PM10 and PM2.5. PM10 decreased by 16% and PM2.5 decreased by 12%. (Kim 2012)

2012 (October 29): Super Storm Sandy cripples the nation’s largest subway system. It was one of the worst storms this city has seen. It takes days to recover the system and weeks to recover certain lines. (NY Times 2012)

2012 (October 30): Pumping begins at stations in Manhattan. Takes days to revive the system. Certain flaws are revealed about the subway system that may have been ignored before. (NY Times 2012)

2012 (November): MTA explores the possibility of using “tunnel plugs” when and if intense weather conditions arise. A team of engineers at West Virginia University have been developing this new technology for 5 years. (Donohue 2012)

2012 (December): There are multiple cases of people being pushed into tracks and killed. Begins to raise questions about the necessity of Platform Screen Doors in New York City. (Zara 2012)

2013 (January): NYC Storm Commission calls for “floodgates” at tunnels, subways and airports. (Gormley 2013)

2013 (January): MTA explores possibility of installing sliding doors in L Train stations. The L line has only one train, the L train. So, it is often used as a “test rat” for many different changes the MTA wants to make to its system. (Yakas 2013)

2013 (March): South Ferry station will be reopening due to intense flooding of the South-Ferry Whitehall Subway Station. It will take 2 years to repair the latter station. (Davies 2013)

2013 (March): states that Platform Screen Doors are not meant to prevent flooding. They have many other benefits to subway stations such as decreased track fires, less injuries and better air quality in stations. (Metrobits 2013)

2018: All stations in South Korea are expected to have operating Platform Screen Doors (Kim 2013)

Works Cited

Bradley, R., & Tate, D. (2007, September 28). Platform Screen Doors. Retrieved from

Britt, R. R. (2005, January 14). Subway Flooding: A Hidden and Neglected Risk. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Chan, S. (2007, August 8). Why the Subways Flood. City Room. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Chung, Hang Jae. (2013, March 18). SMRT’s Platform Screen Door & IT Technology. Retrieved from

Davies, A. (2013, March 11). It Will Take 2 Years To Repair A Subway Station Hurricane Sandy Destroyed. Yahoo! Finance. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Donohue, P. (2007, August 9). It’s transit hell from heavens. NY Daily News. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Donohue, P. (2012, November 26). MTA exploring using inflatable and expandable devices to seal subway tunnels and prevent type of flooding that crippled system during Sandy. NY Daily News. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Dunlap, D. (2008, September 19). New Subway Grates Add Aesthetics to Flood Protection. City Room. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Feis, A., Ford, S., & Fermino, J. (2011, August 27). Hurricane Irene halts NY, NJ mass transit. New York Post. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Geller, A. (2012, November 27). New York City flood protection won’t be easy. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Gormley, M. (2013, January 12). NY Storm Commission Urges Flood Walls for Subways. Retrieved from

Kabak, B. (2012, December 31). “A screen door on a submarine…” Second Ave. Sagas. Retrieved March 17, 2013, from

Kim, J. W. (2013, January 14). With a series of investments … National Railways screen door installation “slows down”. Korea Times. Retrieved from

Kim, K.-H., Ho, D. X., Jeon, J.-S., & Kim, J.-C. (2012). A noticeable shift in particulate matter levels after platform screen door installation in a Korean subway station. Atmospheric Environment, 49, 219–223. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.11.058

Kim, Y.-Y., Lee, K.-K., & Sung, I. (2001). Urbanization and the groundwater budget, metropolitan Seoul area, Korea. Hydrogeology Journal, 9(4), 401–412. doi:10.1007/s100400100139

Lee, J. 8. (2008, October 1). Three in One — Flood Protection, Benches and Bike Parking. City Room. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Metrobits. (2013, March 18). Platform Screen Doors – Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Montefinise, A. (2008, June 29). GRATE! MTA’S LAME SUBWAY FLOOD FIGHT. New York Post. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

MTA. (2013, March 7). New York City Transit – History and Chronology. New York City Transit – History and Chronology. Retrieved from

Neuman, W. (2007, April 5). 2nd Ave. Subway Platforms May Get Glass Walls and Sliding Doors. The New York Times. Retrieved from

New York Times. (2012, October 29). Assessing Damage From Hurricane Sandy. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Park, S. S. (2009, May 5). All Metro Stations in Seoul to Have Screen Doors This Year. The Korea Times. Retrieved from

Railway-Technology. (2013, March 17). Seoul Metropolitan Subway. Retrieved from

Usher, C. (2011, July 28). South Korea mobilizes to cope with flooding, landslides. Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from

Yakas, B. (2013, January 13). MTA Exploring Installing Sliding Doors At L Train Stations. Gothamist. Retrieved March 18, 2013, from

Zara, C. (2012, December 6). After New York Post Subway Death Story, A Safety Question Remains: Why No Platform Barriers? International Business Times. Retrieved March 17, 2013, from

Lightstone: Smart planning or ignorant planning?

Ratcliffe and Krawczyk both focus on past and present planning problems along with changes in the 21st century from those before it. They believe that knowing and learning from our mistakes is crucial to future planning. The Lightstone Project is waterfront development, which has come under scrutiny because of Super Storm Sandy. Knowing the implications of building so close to the water with water levels rising every year, The Lightstone Group is continuing its development.

Should the Lightstone Group really be building so close to the waterfront, or are they setting themselves up for failure as Ratcliffe and Krawczyk would probably say?

Memo 1: Christopher Chang’s Research Topic Proposal

To: Samantha MacBride
From: Christopher Chang
Date: February 13th, 2013
Re: Research Paper Topic Proposal – Restructuring the subway platforms all over NYC

One of the greatest systems in New York City, even though it is often times taken for granted, is the Subway. A complex network of tunnels and overhead tracks form the well renowned NYC subway system. However as of late, people have been finding major problems with our current subway system. Hurricane Sandy has made it blatantly clear that the MTA New York City Subway needs major changes. Immense flooding paralyzed the subway system and crippled travel between all of the boroughs, especially between Manhattan and Brooklyn.

The research question I want to answer is “What can New York City do to strengthen the subway system and prevent a transit collapse again?” The topic I want to more closely pursue is train doors on every platform at every underground station in the five boroughs. The idea of doors closing off the platforms when trains aren’t at the station is not revolutionary. It is currently used in Korea. But, the NYC subway system is much more complex. So, I would be looking more into how it would work in NYC and what kind of results it can produce.

The way I will go about my research is to first research the platform doors themselves. I will look at different countries, especially Korea, to see when they were installed and how effective they have been. Looking to the MTA for information will be paramount in finding out if a plan like train doors at platforms underground will be possible. Researching companies that dealt with manufacturing and installing these doors may also be helpful.

Week 2 – Engage

Rosenzweig’s article is mainly about ways to adapt to the changing climate. How would the adaptations to our city, let’s say creating a bubble around Manhattan, change the concept and goal of Mannahatta?

Comments by Christopher Chang

"Waste disposal in New York City should be changed. But, I do not think it can be changed for a while. The kind of culture that the United States has along with many other first world countries is that of a luxurious and wasteful culture. People will not give up their luxuries and their “wasteful” ways unless a catastrophic event occurs. Waste disposal is a serious problem. However, I do not think people will turn their attention to it until it is too late. In today’s news, we read about gun control laws and financial situations all over the world. The truth is, people do not care enough about their garbage because it is out of sight and mind after they are finished with it. The poorer countries deal with it and this is a terrible way to go about disposing of garbage. The truth is, it will probably be put off for many years until garbage piles up more and more. When poor third world countries begin to lose their status of third world country, the garbage situation will become more paramount and will begin to pop out to people."
--( posted on Apr 15, 2013, commenting on the post Too Much Garbage )
"The phrase “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure” does not work here at all. The fact of the matter is, people generally do not want to deal with their own garbage and will go through great lengths to get rid of it some how. Whether it be leave it alone and let someone else deal with it or just pile it up somewhere else, it has become a moral issue. States and countries all over the world take part in this practice. There are areas all over the world that have become garbage dumps. The on going joke about Staten Island (This is in no way a jab at any Staten Islanders) is that it is the dump for the other four boroughs. Now, I personally think that every single town or city should be responsible for their own garbage because it is their garbage. The only problem is how do they go about it? Should every city have its own incinerator? Should there be one per state? I feel like the question isn’t really if it’s a moral issue. But, it is how we can actually get rid of the garbage efficiently and in a more green fashion. Collecting and centralizing waste may be the only viable option for us now even though it is considered rather unethical. Having areas that have no human’s living in it seems like the best place for these waste management plants to preside in. However, this raises the ethical concerns on how we can find places that are not inhabited by ANYBODY. It is a wild conundrum that may not see an ethical solution for the time being."
--( posted on Apr 15, 2013, commenting on the post Where do we send the garbage? )
"I disagree with Megan. I feel like because we use the electrical system, we as a group should be required for any costs regarding upgrading. This is because the waterproofing the systems would help keep our systems up. During times of crisis where we lose power, all we think about is “WHEN IS THE POWER GOING TO COME BACK ON?” We’re a society that depends heavily on electricity (i.e. Phones, Computers, Televisions, Refrigerators). When we lose electricity, we lose an essential part of our lives. I do not think that either side should have to cover the costs of waterproofing the system. I think that the residence of NYC should bear the bulk of the cost because we use the systems. Some people may not use the systems as much as others. So, maybe a percentage of your actual electrical use cost should be added on. But, I feel like upgrading the systems is something that is necessary for the survival of New York City, primarily of the fact that we depend on electricity nearly 24/7."
--( posted on Mar 4, 2013, commenting on the post Engage: Who’s footing the bill? )
"I think that upgrading the city’s electrical grid is very important for the survival of New York City. Being a hustle bustle city with financial sectors, commercial sectors and businesses in general, electricity is a necessity. Even for citizens it is a necessity. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, there were people who could not get down from their floors in apartments because the elevators required electricity, something that was down for many households. Although paying more money for something is something people do not want to do, I think it is necessary because where else is Con Edison going to get the money to fund these renovation projects? But, renovating the electric plants is only the base of having a great plan to minimize damage. New York City having many buildings with narrow streets everywhere is very vulnerable to higher flooding levels on each street. So, you have to stop the flooding at the source, which would be at the bodies of water surrounding New York City. Wetlands and marshlands may provide to be useful in trying to prevent water from coming into the islands. I’ve always thought that a bubble around New York City would be very cool and nice. But, I am not sure if it is feasible."
--( posted on Mar 4, 2013, commenting on the post NYC’s Electrical System )