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Deucey

Subway Grime? Nothing a coat of paint won't fix.

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http://gothamist.com/2018/11/09/mta_tiles_subway_paint.php#photo-1

The MTA Is Painting Over Its Porcelain Tiles Now

(Jenn Hsu / Gothamist)

If we recruited the old Trading Spacesteam to give our subway stations a cheap makeover, they would 100000000% paint over the subway tiles. A classic Ty Pennington/Paige David solution. And moments after the reveal, we would all realize we actually preferred the more authentic look of raw subway tile, even if that tile was a bit dirty and dinged up. Well, the MTA took it upon themselves to freshen up the Union Square station recently, taking flat white paint to the subway tiles instead of, say, replacing them, power washing them, or just leaving them the hell alone. 

In a series of tweets fired off after I asked for comment on the painted tiles (I was then sent a link to the tweets), the MTA's Communications Director Jon Weinstein wrote: "The station is historic, but these tiles are not, they’re the same tiles used throughout the system (in fact these were replaced in the last 5 years), they were damaged beyond repair and completely defaced by water damage, and covered in soot and grime. To replace the tiles costs incredible amounts of money (that is better spent on other things like signals, infrastructure etc.) and long service outages to get track access. So instead we’re trying out painting the tiles in a small section of one station to see if that holds up." 

When I asked Weinstein why, instead of cleaning the tiles—which in his tweets he mentions were "covered in soot and grime"—they were painted over, he replied via email that they were not dirty.

"They were damaged," Weinstein wrote. "Not dirty. There is a fundamental difference. These tiles were basically destroyed and unable to look like anything other than grime and soot covered messes. So your implication that instead of cleaning we painted is not accurate. I look forward to your very balanced, nuanced story about the new approach we’re trying to improve our station environment in the short term."

Asked why the MTA decided paint was the best solution, Weinstein wrote, "Power washing would not work. Replacing the tiles costs more money and requires extended service disruptions. The people who make the decisions are the subway maintenance teams." 

FWIW, when we went over to check out the paint job (on the 4/5/6 Uptown platform), it didn't appear that there was much damage to the porcelain tiles under the thin coat of paint.

But let's go back to Weinstein's thread on Twitter, which ended with: "Of all the problems we have, this isn’t one." Indeed! So why even bother wasting any money or manpower on painting tiles, when the subways need a systemic overhaul? At press time, Weinstein has not tweeted a reply.

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I'm still confused about why this agency treats waterproofing as a foreign concept rather than something they should actively be working on.

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1 hour ago, P3F said:

I'm still confused about why this agency treats waterproofing as a foreign concept rather than something they should actively be working on.

Why fix it when you can break it again and buy consultants to find out why? 

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I first saw this on Reddit a few days ago and couldn't believe it. I figured the image was doctored in some way or that the work itself was only partially done. Of course not. At this point, I really shouldn't be surprised by the complete ineptitude shown by the MTA, but this really takes the cake. Painting over tiles to "fix" a problem is a pretty apt metaphor for MTA operations as whole these days. Why do something right the first time when they can do it a thousand times over for only a fraction of the upfront costs? We've seen this with South Ferry, we've seen it with the Sea Beach line and we've seen it with the latest chunk of the ESI-repaired stations. Saving a few bucks in the short term will ultimately cost the agency more money in the long term when they eventually have to underlying issue at hand.

As someone who knows very little about construction and what I do know comes from watching way too much HGTV than I probably should, even I know that painting over the tiles will not fix the actual problem. Weinstein himself stated the tiles were damaged by leaks and covered in grime, which likely means there's a problem behind the tiles. Covering it with white paint, which is a really dumb idea in and of itself because the color gets dirty really quickly and is usually noticeable when it gets dirty, ain't fixing the problem here. This only kicks the can down the road until the paint starts peeling off, which, knowing the MTA, should be in about a month. Waterproofing and sealing are not rocket science, but you wouldn't know that when dealing with these fools. 

Speaking of Weinstein, it's actually kind of amusing how personally offended he got when called out on the "repairs" made. This is a very half-assed job done at a high-profile station. He had to realize this was going to come up, right? If he doesn't like the questions, maybe he shouldn't be the Comms Director and MTA spokesman.

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5 hours ago, Lance said:

Speaking of Weinstein, it's actually kind of amusing how personally offended he got when called out on the "repairs" made. This is a very half-assed job done at a high-profile station. He had to realize this was going to come up, right? If he doesn't like the questions, maybe he shouldn't be the Comms Director and MTA spokesman.

Weinstein needs to be put on a leash. The degree of vitrol he directs at completely valid concerns is frankly unprefessional -- especially in this era when intelligent debate and the media are under attack at the highest of levels. Just take a good scroll through this twitter thread from today...

Then, take a look through the rest of his Twitter. It's a...time 

Edited by RR503
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@RR503 if anyone told him he's good at his job, I need to hire that person as a sales rep cuz Weinstein actually believed it despite all evidence to the contrary.

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Weinstein's out, if anybody saw. He was a Cuomo pick originally, and it looks like when Lhota got canned Weinstein went with him. His press strategy of essentially yelling at reporters will probably not be missed too much...

 

[And re: this thread, yes, this is pathetic, and yes, his comments to the Gothamist reporter are insanely bad.]

Edited by MHV9218
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On 11/11/2018 at 9:28 PM, RR503 said:

Weinstein needs to be put on a leash. The degree of vitrol he directs at completely valid concerns is frankly unprefessional -- especially in this era when intelligent debate and the media are under attack at the highest of levels. Just take a good scroll through this twitter thread from today...

Then, take a look through the rest of his Twitter. It's a...time 

I know I'm very late, but I was looking over his Twitter account and I'm finding a handful of Tweets that I can make valid arguments against. And boy you were Right about his Twitter being "a time"

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On November 11, 2018 at 9:28 PM, RR503 said:

Weinstein needs to be put on a leash. The degree of vitrol he directs at completely valid concerns is frankly unprefessional -- especially in this era when intelligent debate and the media are under attack at the highest of levels. Just take a good scroll through this twitter thread from today...

Then, take a look through the rest of his Twitter. It's a...time 

Did he really-? You know what I'm not even going to bother...

 

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The MTA doesn’t clean anymore, they paint over everything. Just Look at their R160’s...

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1 minute ago, VIP said:

The MTA doesn’t clean anymore, they paint over everything. Just Look at their R160’s...

 

I mean the cars will look beat when they are out nearly 24/7 and are constantly being bombed by graffiti....

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3 hours ago, Jdog14 said:

 

I mean the cars will look beat when they are out nearly 24/7 and are constantly being bombed by graffiti....

You totally missed the pun

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It's already peeling at the bottom of the walls near the no clearance signs

Edited by Jcb

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On 11/11/2018 at 6:28 PM, RR503 said:

Weinstein needs to be put on a leash. The degree of vitrol he directs at completely valid concerns is frankly unprefessional -- especially in this era when intelligent debate and the media are under attack at the highest of levels. Just take a good scroll through this twitter thread from today...

Then, take a look through the rest of his Twitter. It's a...time 

You could hire a college intern with better marketing skills.

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I knew somebody in college that painted over the (black) mold in his bedroom.... I'll spare the story, but it didn't end too well for him (physically) & his family (financially)....

People all over (try to) mask their BO with perfumes/colognes/"body sprays" without damn BATHING - and then wanna wonder why much of no one wanna be around them.....

Some people need to get the memo that Teeth whitening is NOT a cure for discolored teeth, periodontitis, gingivitis, or any other dental problem..... White ass teeth with bleeding gums & a receding gum line is not the business.....

 

It's the way of the world - it's easier to want to find (pseudo) insta-fixes to shit, instead of wanting to & actually treating the underlying cause to something upon first noticing it... Then wanna summon for help at the last minute & expect miracles to happen....

Just looking at that picture of Union Sq (ignoring the filthiness of the trackbed itself for a sec)..... I mean, come the f*** on - Look at those tiles... and then look at the warning panels below them....

Lazy shit.

 

 

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3 hours ago, transitfan111 said:

Is power washing the platforms out of the question?

Power washing will probably not solve leaks.

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