Straphangers beat up NYC’s new anti-attack subway barriers: ‘It’s stupid’

New anti-attack subway barriers are getting beat up by straphangers.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is testing the barriers on the platform at one Harlem station with the hope they’ll reduce attacks on conductors — but confused riders mocked them as “stupid” on Tuesday.

“I don’t see how that’s going to help,” said Myra Dent-McGriff, 58, as she waited for a train at the 125th Street Station, where the narrow orange stanchions futiley block off a section of floor marked with the words “no standing.”

“I could get right through, right there” she added, pointing to a large, human-sized space between the chest-high poles.

Straphangers faithfully standing outside the no standing zone at the 125th Street 4-5-6 subway station on Tuesday. Robert Mecea

Rider Brenda McCrae, 57, was blunt about how effective they’d be.

“You can walk right through it. I’m not understanding that. It’s stupid,” said McCrae, 57.

The new barriers, on the 4-5-6 subway platforms, are intended to line up with train conductors’ compartments as the cars come to a stop. The test, announced Monday, is aimed at keeping MTA employees safe from the wrath of crazed people who have previously attacked them with the likes of BB guns and hammers.

But commuters seem to think the design hinged on those same crazed people honoring the easily-passable zone.

“It doesn’t make sense to me, because people can still walk and get in there,” McCrae said. “It’s not like it has barbed wire or anything to keep them getting to the conductors. That’s crazy.”

Several conductors were also unimpressed with the MTA’s latest scheme to keep the subway safe.

Subway riders and conductors alike were baffled by the anti-criminal barriers that seemed to operate on the honor code. Robert Mecea

Asked whether the barriers made them feel safe, one conductor said “Not really,” and described watching countless riders walk straight through the barriers to board the train.

“It is what it is though,” he said with a shrug. “It’s a start.”

Others balked at the barriers, saying they’d be great if criminals followed rules.

“Crime is going to be crime, but if people would listen it would make us safer to open and close [their compartment windows] and look out,” a conductor said.

“If people would listen they would work, but they don’t” she added, pointing out somebody standing in the middle of the no-standing zone.

The barriers are intended to line up with conductors’ compartments as they come into the station.

Complicating the matter further is the tendency of subway trains to not line up at the platform exactly as intended, leaving the standing barriers floating between cars, and conductors well outside their less-than iron-clad zone of defense.

“That’s a very rare occurrence for the most part,” said one conductor who supported the barriers, even as his train at the very moment was not aligned with orange stanchions.

Another conductor whole-heartedly supported any effort to keep her and her colleagues safe, explaining she’d been previously attacked on the job herself.

“They’re going to keep people away and keep us from being assaulted. Like me. I got assaulted on the 5 train four months ago. I just came back to work,” she said.

The MTA intends to monitor the effectiveness of the barriers over the next few months, representatives said in a statement, and then decide whether to install them in stations across the Big Apple.

One conductor said the barriers are “a start.” Robert Mecea

“Personnel will observe the stanchions’ effectiveness at discouraging customers from standing in this area and on deterring attacks against subway conductors,” the MTA said in a statement announcing the measures.

But straphangers questioned the value of spending money for the barriers.

“They should take the money and use it to reduce the fear,” McCrae said.

“You want the conductor to be safe, but what about our safety? The crimes inside the train are what’s going up.”

Additional reporting by Nolan Hicks.

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