John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
In a blow to the national humor reserve, Brooklyn's 36th Street stop will no longer be wantonly tripping commuters.
In proof that one man's viral video can be another's class-action lawsuit, officials from New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority have rushed to fix a faulty subway staircase that was leg-sweeping commuters worse than an unoriginal Mortal Kombat player.
The mischievous step gained the attention of the world after Brooklyn filmmaker Dean Peterson staked it out for the sake of high comedy (see that video below). Located about halfway up a staircase at Sunset Park's 36th Street stop, the step was apparently bulging in the center to rise less than an inch higher than the other steps. Minimal as the difference was, it managed to short-circuit the autopilot aboard many subway riders and result in a classic montage of stumbling and cursing of the gods.
Peterson's video has since racked up 1.5 million plays on Vimeo, perhaps due to some people loving too-cool New Yorkers brought low by something as small as a mismatched stair. But sensing there were sprained ankles and fractured wrists looming on the horizon, last week transit authorities rushed a work crew out to 36th Street in what was "perhaps the fastest response to a customer complaint in agency history," according to the The New York Times.
The step was scheduled to be fixed this weekend and, seeing as no more hilarious footage of the subway staircase has arisen, looks like it's mission accomplished. Oh well, we'll always have the memories:.