Please be considerate — LIRR’s Quiet Car Program Shortfalls


There is something special about getting on a train in Manhattan, especially in the bowels of Penn Station, and stepping off the train onto a platform in the ‘burbs. I live in Long Island and get off at Cold Spring Harbor. That specific stop is surrounded by trees and wildlife which instantly relaxes me everyday.

The commute is not bad. I’ve been doing it everyday for 2 years now and I much prefer the ride east as opposed to the subway hustle to Brooklyn. I can drink a Brooklyn Lager if I want, sometimes I catch a ride with my neighbor & friend Norm. It is a very chill ride…usually.

The are only a few things that upset a train ride: electric strikes, mysterious packages, people who take their shoes off (gross), and loud people. To counteract the cellphoners and chatty Kathies LIRR has instituted a quiet car much like Amtrak. Amtrak has been more successful with the quiet car because of the strict enforcement and clear communication.

When you first board the train the conductor will make announcements of stops and then follow it up with a mention of the quiet car program, the car’s number, and that it is either the first or last car. I think the program’s biggest shortcoming is the fact that the quiet car is not visually differentiated from the other cars. Visual representations would identify the quiet car quicker to non-commuters, communicate to the non-English speaker, and enable conductors to remind the passengers as opposed to reprimand, perhaps making them more motivated to do so.

A redesign of the current logo ensures better legibility for signage and a more consistent tie to the current MTA visual identity.

(left to right) Current logotype | Redesigned logotype.

I quickly prototyped a quiet car placard for use on train car interior that can be easily mounted in train vestibules clearly visible when entering a train.

Examples of bar-mounted quiet car placards.

Example of vestibule installation.

I propose a reminder card that conductors can hand out (or can be left on the quiet car’s seats) and design of a friendly, approachable icon to round out the look.

Conductor handing out quiet card reminders.

(left to right) Conductor icon | front of reminder card | back of reminder card.

This was really just an exercise in what is possible, and I’m sure it can go a 100 different ways — but I am a big fan of the Quiet Car . I feel it could be less contentious and self-enforced by the passengers with a few simple signs and gentle reminders — as opposed to childish shushing and arguing.


Hard Times, Tryptophan & Sin – A soundtrack of gluttony, sloth, avarice and parades.


Under the warm food and merrymaking, Thanksgiving has a seedy underbelly of wine, women, and sin. Black Wednesday is the name most commonly associated with this phenomenon. Mix together equal parts — college kids on break, blue collar paid leave, and the across-the-aisle disdain for parade announcers, and you get a volatile concoction of hard times, tryptophan, and sin.

Fire up your oven, tie on your aprons, and pour yourself a cocktail as we blearily forget another Black Wednesday.


The Offset Past: Design and Comics Interview No. 3
Rico Renzi


Heroes Aren’t Hard to Find is easily one of the nicest comic shops I have been too. Bright, airy, and everyone is exceedingly nice — a far cry for a jaded New Yorker. Aside from congeniality it is one of the few comic shops that has a Creative Director in its employ, Rico Renzi. Read the full post →