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Happy OpenHouse NY Weekend


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I looked at the website yesterday, but all the good tours (e.g. Empire State Building, WTC-7, Atlantic Avenue subway tunnel, Grand Central Terminal etc) were fully booked long ago. I wonder why the event is not better publicized; having only learnt of it recently, I found I was too late to sign up for any of the tours I wanted.


The registration process is utterly confusing: some sites require you to send an email to a given address to register, others simply say "available" without describing how to register. Some listings have a web link to a "affiliated site", e.g. Tishman Speyer's website for the Chrysler Building tour, but the affiliate site has no information about Open House NY nor any info on how to register for a tour.


The vast majority of the tours are to places that are far to inane for most people to bother. That and the fact that most subway lines have GOs this weekend makes it pointless for people to take advantage of this Open House.


I would like to see organizers implement the following:


1) Better publicize the Open House Weekend so people are aware of it in advance.


2) Send out emails to interested persons (there is probably a mailing list, but I was not on it because I didn't know about OHNY) regarding tours and registration dates.


3) Set up a centralized registration process on the OHNY website to facilitate easy and user-friendly signups.


4) Organize more tours (for example, the Atlantic Avenue tunnel will have only one tour on Saturday and one on Sunday, for 60 people per tour). Only 120 people get to go on a trip that would appeal to thousands of rail-fans and fans of tunnel construction/civil engineering projects.


5) Possibly expand the program to a week-long event than just a single weekend, or split it over two weekends.


6) Try to work with the (MTA) to minimize subway and bus service changes on OHNY weekends.


Overall, the Open House as it stands is extremely poorly organized. I hope they get some of these issues sorted out by next year.

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