Now This Is a Guerrilla Campaign We Can Get Behind

Artist Offers Instructions On How to Behave on NYC Subways

By Published on .

For all its good points (like keeping some of us from behind the wheel while drunk), the New York City subway system can be a disgusting place. I've seen a man clipping his nails (bleeding cuticles and all), old ladies spitting their sunflower seeds onto the floor, drunk folks vomiting and, in a perfect storm of uncivilized behavior, I once watched a father: a) make a sandwich on the train; b) throw salami on the floor of the train; c) instruct his child to throw garbage under his seat; d) change his infant's diaper on the train; and f) after not throwing the dirty diaper under his own seat because by that point people were glaring at him, he waiting until the next stop and then just threw it onto the platform.

I've always thought the MTA would do well to launch a public shaming campaign, but the only signage it puts up is to alert you to the fact that you won't be getting anywhere this weekend because half of the system is shut down between Brooklyn and Manhattan.

But artist Jay Shells has come to the rescue. He's created a series of posters that look much like actual MTA signs -- except these offer etiquette tips for subway riders. Topics range from, yes, the propriety of clipping nails on the subway (not proper!) to the proper way to navigate stairs (don't just stand there) to subway preaching (please, just stop).

Shells even did a little market research for his series. He told Animal that he surveyed 100 people on their top 10 pet peeves about the subway before narrowing those down to 10.

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