[UPDATE BELOW] The MTA will test out a new floor-to-ceiling barrier at the 3rd Avenue L train platform, much like the sliding doors on the JFK AirTrain, to keep people from winding up on the tracks, according to a report in the Post.
The agency floated this idea several years ago, after a spate of high-profile incidents in which people got shoved onto the trackbed. The impending L train shutdown appears to have provided the MTA with an opportunity to try it out—the Post hears the MTA will put the barriers in place at the station in 2019 while L service is suspended in Manhattan for approximately 18 months of repairs to the Canarsie Tunnel under the East River. The barriers will reportedly debut in 2020 when L service between Brooklyn and Manhattan resumes.
The L train has long been the MTA's first choice when it comes to adding the barriers, since it doesn't share track with any other lines—in 2013, the Post reported that the agency might launch a pilot program to add the barriers, but that it would cost over $1 billion. The architect behind the JFK AirTrain, Jonathan Cohn, had also worked on a proposal to add sliding doors to the Second Avenue Subway before construction began in 2007.
We reached out to the MTA for more details and will update if more information becomes available.
Update 11:57 a.m.: MTA spokesperson Jon Weinstein told Gothamist in a statement, "We’re in the design planning stages and working to overcome structural challenges for a small platform screen doors pilot at the 3rd Avenue Station along the L line."
The MTA says 3rd Avenue was the best station to test out the doors because of its size, track geometry (stations on a curve will be harder to outfit), unobstructed platform, and adequate power supply.