Platform gates improve safety and accessibility by preventing falls and sideswipes. Japan has a few examples.

This is an open thread.

29 Replies to “Sunday Open Thread: Platform Gates in Japan”

    1. My guess is they’re celebrating cherry blossoms and made a special sign for it like the “Go Hawks” banners some local busses have displayed.

      When the Hiroshima baseball team won the championship many of the local trains sported “Go Carps!” banners (yes, in English).

  1. It’s been twelve years since I’ve seen a city with so many subway lines. To be able to go anywhere in a city on the subway, ahhh, want.

    But some of the station designs and coloring look a bit tired and old-fashioned. I guess they were built in the 90s?

    What’s up with the single-file narrow door on some trains? I’ve only seen that on the end door of the Seattle Streetcar cars. Is it really just an end door or are all of the doors on the train like that? Why would they limit capacity and boarding speed so severely, especially in Japan?

    1. I’ve ridden several systems with single doors at the fronts of trains including San Francisco and Boston. It is a design feature for systems that don’t have paid fare platform zones at every stop so the driver serves double duty as the fare checker like a bus driver.

      With systems like ST Link, the paid fare zones and honor system preclude the need for these doors.

      I did find it different that some train driver cabs have doors. It seems like a useful idea! That would seem to make switching drivers much easier, especially on a crowded train. It would also let drivers hop off trains in emergencies.

      1. The solution to a switching drivers on a crowded train is to have the relief driver board at the previous station, make her/his way through the crowd to the cockpit door, switch at the next station, then have the relieved driver alight at the following station.

      2. Today, Link trains switch drivers just south of SODO at a special platform just for changing drivers at the OMF. Thus, drivers walk between the building and the platform , and through the car.

        Even if driver changes were at a station, the driver would still need to get to/from that station. Granted that SODO is close to the OMF or Spring District is close to the East OMF, but there is still a walk distance.

        It’s an operational conundrum, as the “best” land use next to a station is not an OMF.

  2. One benefit from the gates are when platforms are narrow or get overcrowded. It keeps people from getting accidentally or deliberately pushed in front of trains. Link isn’t yet facing those problems.

    I would be curious how gate positioning specifications work between train car manufacturers or models.

  3. Throwing this out to the horde: from a transit standpoint, who do you want to run for mayor of Seattle?

    1. If we’re limiting ourselves to realistic candidates, from following her on Twitter, I have a positive impression of Teresa Mosqueda, though her focus tends to be more on safe/complete streets than transit specifically.

      If unrealistic candidates are allowed, I’d love to have Janette Sadik-Khan move to Seattle and serve as our mayor, or at least SDOT director.

      More broadly, I do think that urbanists should push for some sort of ranked choice voting for local elections, since the blanket primary does risk dividing the urbanist/progressive vote and advancing a weaker candidate to the general election against a candidate that NIMBYs have united behind. I would say that this happened in 2017- I like Cary Moon, but Jessyn Farrell would have had a better chance against Durkan.

      1. You are correct. It did happen in 2017. Durkan and Moon collectively had fewer than 50% of the votes in the primary. Amazingly, nothing like that happened this year.

        Nearly all the negative campaigning this time came from the independent wealthy donor PACs. We can’t stop them from exercising their “free speech”, but we can write rules that those who engage in such behavior will not be eligible to seek City contracts, perhaps.

        Teresa Mosqueda is certainly at the top of my list of candidates I would like to see for mayor, for far more than just transit reasons.

      2. Yeah, not having ranked voting really hurt us in 2017. Jessyn Farrell would have been a safe “second choice” for urbanists down there. Not to mention a good Sound Transit Boardmember versus the current human potted plant.

        Also not having ranked voting did hurt the Speak Out Seattle movement this time around, arguably. A lot of D2’s Mark Solomon’s votes would have split between Phyllis Porter and Ari Hoffman.

        Not having a second choice to all ally around is really, sincerely hurting our local communities. I hope as an independent for some allyship from the left and centre.

    2. I want Jessyn Farrell. Probably unrealistic at this point.

      I’ll settle for getting Lorena Gonzalez to come to the realization Teresa Mosqueda is too far left, too patronizing at times and not ready to be Mayor. Also not tough enough. But if it’s Mosqueda vs. Durkan, I’ll take Mosqueda – barely if she has truly cut all ties to a certain former staffer with the initials MM (being I don’t want to spread dirt, stopping right there).

      Also Ari Hoffman who is making rumblings about running for Mayor. For reasons 100% unrelated to transit.

      But I must say, I must say with an automatic Sound Transit Boardmembership that could cause 1,001 problems if a Sound Transit Boardmember for Seattle started sounding more like a Pierce County Boardmember than a Seattle one. We almost lost a property tax levy vote at Sound Transit Board over this just last November, I was there. They had to get King County Exec Constantine to call in and cast the go-ahead vote. Imagine if the Republicans of the federated Sound Transit Board – and they do exist – had an Independent vote to work with on these supermajority votes…

  4. Today’s transit headache:

    Heading to San Juan Islands from Portland, a year ago it was possible to take BoltBus to Seattle and an hour later get the Airporter north and get the 2:00 pm ferry. Airporter has changed its schedule so it gets to the ferry at 2:15 pm. Today I attempted to take BoltBus to Tacoma, transfer to the 574 and get the next Airporter northbound, but BoltBus left Portland 25 minutes late. It arrived in Tacoma only 3 minutes late but just as the 574 was leaving.

    So, I guess it’s back to the cheaper Amtrak method since BoltBus no longer provides a time advantage (due to the Airporter schedule change).

    1. In the movie Tropic Thunder, studio head Les Grossman says “The universe is talking to us right now. You just gotta listen.” Glenn, the universe is talking to you. It doesn’t want you to go to the San Juans.

    2. Might want to get with Sound Transit and discuss some interagency communication.

      Mark Dublin

    3. Why wouldn’t you just take Bolt all the way to Seattle? Why transfer in Tacoma, unless I’m missing something? Seems also like it would be far easier to take Greyhound to Mount Vernon and SKAT to the ferry although I haven’t checked the schedule to know if that’s possible.

    4. How would you get from Mt Vernon to the Anacortes ferry? The airporters are the only transit that goes where others don’t and they leave from the airport.

      Skagit Transit has a 615 from Mt Vernon to March’s Point, 5 trips on Saturday but nothing on Sunday when Glenn was traveling. From March’s point it’s nine miles to the ferry terminal by car.

      Is Glenn bringing a bike?

  5. I like the 1/2-height gates.
    Those airy outdoor stations in Tokyo are fine with full height platform screens, but in a confined space like London Underground tubes, they will trigger claustrophobia.

  6. After reading an article that the number of tickets given to scooter riders is growing, I wonder if an ulterior motive for local towns to legalize rideshare scooters and bikes is they seem them as a new tickets and fine revenue stream. The average scooter rider is probably breaking at least two laws at any given moment.

  7. Considering how few of you and I comment at Sound Transit Board proceedings – I haven’t in a while on purpose being I’ve been implored by staff & Boardmembers to stick to projects on the agenda – I wonder if maybe the Sound Transit Board ought to do away with public comment periods?

    I really think it’s time to get away from the talking at, the grandstanding and of course a certain troubled individual who hurls malicious salutes and off-topic comments. Current Boardmembers have been urged to deal with him, but lack the capacity to do so.

    Finally, I recently read a CityLab article that confirms some of my deeply held sentiments. Comments from Oakland’s public outreach director Warren Logan like, “If traditionally cities rely on that one community meeting at City Hall at 5:00 p.m.—I think about just regular folks, let alone the low-income parent with two kids working three jobs wrangling with their commute. It is not fair! Or even to require people to come to a central location, to speak their ten cents for a limited two minutes, is not fair,” resonate with me. These are just set-ups for the NIMBYs to go vent.

    Over to my fellow commentators…

    1. The only effective comments are early in the decision process. On the day of the vote the boardmembers have already made their decisions. They shouldn’t change a conclusion they’ve studied days for because of some random last-minute comment that they don’t have time to evaluate. The only usefulness of last-mintue comments is to put opposition on the record. the public-comment law probably didn’t think that far, When the public-comment laws were written in the 60s they probably didn’t think that far. Or at least they didn’t clarify which hearings are intended to influence policy and which are just to put opposition on the record, so you see activists sincerely trying to change policy at the last minute. And they didn’t think enough that most people can’t go to hearings or follow all issues closely.

      You keep bringing up a certain disruptive individual but to me that’s a very minor issue. It wastes a few minutes but he’s not convincing anyone. I agree with changing the rules to allow only on-topic comments, but I don’t see why we should treat it as one of the most important issues or demand that the board restructure the whole feedback process around it.

      1. Said person is more or less a type of person you see at most municipal or government public meetings, in that they’re crazy and slightly annoying but at the end of the day pretty harmless in the grander scheme of things and is never taken seriously by board/council/committiee members. Honestly, most public meetings are boring to sit through and generally take place during work or commute hours that make it hard justifying to go sit in on said meeting.
        I tried sitting through an ST public board meeting and left after 20 minutes, as I’ll be honest watching paint dry would probably be more interesting than sitting through said meeting.

      2. Zachary B;
        Yeah I’m sure there are other trolls who pop up. Just watch Seattle Channel – already a new, more civil guy is sliding on in.
        Me personally I just listen to most public meetings and clip the more interesting parts. The lamestream media really doesn’t pay attention to transit issues.

  8. The outer gates should close before the doors to prevent people from pushing the retractor bumpers on the doors. But they should open simultaneously as they do in the film.

  9. In 1968 I saw a line in Leningrad with full height platform doors that opened when the train arrived.

    1. The St Petersburg metro has elevator-style doors that look like a row of elevators like at Macy’s. Mayakovskaya.
      Park Pobedy. Close-up. That was a new style when they were built. It keeps people off the rails but it makes the trains slower because they have to stop and inch forward and backward to align with the doors before opening. They decided it was a failure and stopped building stations that way.

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