When I first arrived in Boston, I came across some oddly worded stickers that were present on some of the doors of the MBTA’s Red Line, “THESE DOORS DO NOT RECYCLE,” did some research, and responded to what I saw as vague and potentially dangerous.
This was covered in The Boston Globe:
Many moons ago, we wrote about signs on some Red Line doors that read “These Doors Do Not Recycle.”
The transit-speak means that the doors are not sensitive to touch and if you get stuck between them, they will not reopen.
The signs were located on the Red Line’s 20 oldest trains, and pledges were made when we last write [sic] about them (Dec. 12, 2002) that they would soon be replaced.
The stickers were supposed to have been made more rider-friendly as well.
Well, over the past 2 1/2 years, 10 trains have had their doors replaced. That means 10 have not. Some of the stickers haven’t been replaced either; this has prompted one transit guerrilla to place stickers under the “recycle” stickers asking a simple question:
“Do you know what this means?” reads the headline on the sticker. Then it goes on.
“The doors with this sticker are not equipped with the sensors to know when something is preventing them from closing. Meaning, you can get stuck in this door and unless somebody hits the emergency button… well… you get the idea.
“In 2002, the MBTA claimed they were updating the stickers to make sense to people that don’t speak subway jargon. They haven’t. They also said there was a program to replace these unsafe doors. Why are they still here three years later?”
The tactic worked, a bit. By the end of the day Friday, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo promised that the stickers would be replaced on the 10 remaining cars with stickers that read: “These Doors Do Not Open Automatically.” Eventually, the doors will be replaced too.
As for those wonderful guerrilla stickers, Pesaturo said they would be removed as well.
My stickers were put up on August 5th on all the doors that had the jargon sticker. By August 14th, all the stickers had been replaced by paper taped to the door that read “These doors do not re-open automatically,” which was subsequently replaced by actual stickers on August 20th.
All the offending doors had been replaced by mid-October.