2005_11_panicbars.JPGThank goodness for nosy reporters at the Daily News: They stumbled upon some new emergency exits in subway stations that the NYC Transit Authority has been testing out at the Lawrence Street station in Brooklyn. These exits have those "panic bars" you see on emergency exit doors, and the goal is to give riders a way out, since token booth clerks may no longer be in the booths and since those floor-to-ceiling turnstiles are more and more popular at unattended entrances (the DN says they have increased from 10 to 529). NYCTA President Lawrence Reuter says, "The idea is to [quickly] get you out of a station in any kind of emergency situation, be it a fire or smoke condition ... any reason we need to evacuate the system," but that the the current subway exits are still safe - these are just an "enhancement." Well, we just hope the MTA will clear up information signage pointing out which exits are the ones people should use in case of an emergency. Finding those locked gates is a bitch.

And Gothamist on the MTA's evacuation train.

Photograph from the Daily News