2007_2_ask_stroller.jpgDear Gothamist,

I am wondering if you can shed some light onto the topic of strollers on the subway specifically during rush hour. This morning on the the 4 train there was a woman with an infant in a stroller blocking one entire half of the doors. At the 59th Street stop, people literally had to crawl over her to exit the train, thus causing much added annoyance among the already sardine-packed passengers. She clearly could have stepped off the train and allowed everyone to exit, but instead stood there, oblivious to it all.

I usually try to shoot them an annoyed evil eye, but most of the time these moms are too busy keeping the kid quiet, they hardly take notice. Is there a way to politely ask these children's parents to get the F out of the way without being nailed in the Achilles with a the wheels of a "bugaboo," or am I stuck stepping over strollers for the rest of my commuter life?

Crowded trains during rush hour are always a nightmare for folks with and without strollers or packages, etc. While we personally have never transported a child with a stroller underground, we have on several occasions had to haul large packages to work on the train - and dread it. It is inevitable that you will always be in someone's way.

That being said, trying to be understanding is key. Sometimes people really are only half awake in the morning and somehow miss the chaos they are creating around them, or in moving just get in other peoples' way more. Try politely asking them if they can step aside for a minute so you don't have to worry about tripping over or bumping the child with your own bag, etc. Sometimes just asking people to move rather than hoping they pick up on your evil-eye is much more effective. If they don't respond, then we guess you are left to crawl over the Bugaboo and be on your way.

And for the parent's P.O.V., here's what Margaret has to say on the Stroller vs Subway dilemma:

Strollers are really hard in the subway -- smart parents avoid rush hour. You could fold up the stroller and sit with the baby if there are seats. Stepping out is impossible though, you risk not making it back on.

If I HAVE to travel on a packed train car, I generally move towards the middle of the car and stand so that the stroller is kinda between my legs facing me. If someone would be smart enough to give up a seat it's even better. If you have a seat you can pull the stroller right up to you and take up very little space.

There are definitely a**hole moms out there, but most of what I see are moms being treated with obvious disrespect. When I used to ride the subway with Jonas in a Bjorn, people would glare at me and not give me a seat. That's kinda tough....you have a baby, a bag and you are trying to hold on to the pole.

Stroller policies are popping up at some retail establishments these days. And here, thanks to Craigslist, is one happy subway rider's advice for subway etiquette.