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Incident On The Commuter Bus Today  
User currently offlineShakeZulaNJ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1560 times:

I work in Manhattan, Midtown to be exact, and since NJ Transit priced me out of taking the train, I am know taking a commuter bus to the Port Authority. So, this evening, I get to the PA, and there's a LONG ling for my bus, and I opt to wait for the next one. While I was waiting, I noticed a Hispanic man, asking in his broken English, as to where the bus was going. It was clear his command over the English language was tenuous at best and he didn't look like he had any idea who to ask for help or what to do even. Anyway, I got on the next bus, and the Hispanic guy got on after me and sat behind me. This is key, because I didn't see what actually went down after the bus left.

As a great deal of you may know, photography is a big no-no in the Lincoln Tunnel. There's even a sign before the tunnel entrance saying that photography is strictly forbidden. Why, or even how, you could take a picture inside the tunnel is over my head, since the car is moving and the flash would just bounce back off the window and frig the picture up.

Anyway, as the bus was about to turn into the tunnel, the Hispanic guy behind me apparently was going to take a picture of it. The guy sitting opposite of him said, politely but loudly that you couldn't do that. Now,maybe the Hispanic guy didn't understand what he was being told, or he didn't care, but I'm guessing he didn't listen, and still took pictures. Now the other guy was REALLY pissed and started yelling at him to put the camera away. The Hispanic guy responded, again with really broken English. After this, there was a dead silence on the bus. The bus is pretty quiet to begin with, but you could tell it wasn't a relaxed quiet now.

Now, I think he still took pictures after the second time because 10 minutes later, the guy that was yelling at him walked up to the front of the bus and talked to the driver. And at the park n' ride, the buss pulled off to the side of the lot, where the cops were waiting. I didn't hang around to see what happened.

I know things like this do happen, and are more common that one would care to think. But the whole thing was very bizarre to witness. God forgive us if no one said anything and this turned out to be something more sinister than it appeared. We're always told to be alert and vigilant, especially in Manhattan. But the whole thing left a very weird feeling with me.

And what are the thoughts of the a.net community? Over reaction? Mis-understanding? Something potentially more sinister?

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8774 posts, RR: 42
Reply 1, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 1543 times:

Quoting ShakeZulaNJ (Thread starter):
And what are the thoughts of the a.net community?

My thoughts are "Why is photography forbidden?" The "War on Terror" striking again?



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1518 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 1):
My thoughts are "Why is photography forbidden?" The "War on Terror" striking again?

You think New York might have reason to be a tad paranoid in that regard?


User currently offlineAsuflyer05 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2373 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1512 times:

Whether we agree or disagree, the system worked as it should. The gentleman on your commuter bus took pictures of the Lincoln Tunnel which has 'No Photos' signs plastered all over the place (maybe there's a tunnels.net site somewhere?). Another citizen reported the activity and now we let the authorities sort it out.

It's a well known fact that Al Qaeda operatives were sent on 'surveillance' trips where they took photos and video of poential targets before 9/11. So I can see where the Port Authority NY/NJ is coming from when they banned photos from bridges & tunnels.

But at the same time, I can get a nice clear view of the tunnel entrances and exits on Google Maps. So go figure.


User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1502 times:

Thats no big deal. I ride buses several times a week. Last week I had a five minute conversation with some guy who just got released from 25 years in prison. Last month I was on a bus and some guy who was tweaking in the back started freaking out and kicked out the window. Bus stopped, po-pos came, the night continued. There are some real freaks on the bus. Not me though, I'm normal.  Wink

I do think that its a little overboard to prohibit this kind of photography but the guy should have figured it out after the first time. He was just trying to provoke after that so I have no sympathies.


User currently offlineShakeZulaNJ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1489 times:

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 3):
Whether we agree or disagree, the system worked as it should. The gentleman on your commuter bus took pictures of the Lincoln Tunnel which has 'No Photos' signs plastered all over the place (maybe there's a tunnels.net site somewhere?). Another citizen reported the activity and now we let the authorities sort it out.

I don't doubt for a second that the system worked as it should. After all is said and done, he shouldn't have been taking pictures. But I still can't get over the feeling that something is off. It's a very bizarre feeling that I can't quiet put my finger on. Should I safer that the system worked? Yes. Do I feel safer? Not really, considering if that was happening right behind me, imagine all the things I don't see. But, I don't think that is something I should dwell on.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 4):
There are some real freaks on the bus.

Have you ever been to the Port Authority in Manhattan? All kinds of colorful characters there. And by colorful, I mean scary. And by characters, I mean screaming, mad as a hatter freak shows.


User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8774 posts, RR: 42
Reply 6, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1476 times:

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 2):
You think New York might have reason to be a tad paranoid in that regard?

Since NYC has an admirable history of bouncing back and symbolically telling its attackers to get lost, I do wonder a little why they'd forbid photograhy in a tunnel. There isn't really much you can do with a photo from inside a tunnel, for if you wanted to bomb it to collapse the photo would tell you nothing about the thickness of the walls.

If it is for traffic safety reasons, I can understand since a photo flash could possibly disturb other drivers which is the last thing you'd want in a tunnel.

Quoting Asuflyer05 (Reply 3):
So I can see where the Port Authority NY/NJ is coming from when they banned photos from bridges & tunnels.

Probably more of a fell-good measure than anything. Sad, but true: if terrorists want plans of the tunnel, they'll find someone they can bribe to provide them. If they want photos, one of their photographers will slip past the security measures. And finally, if a truck loaded with explosives gets to a point in or near the tunnel where the info gathered from a photo would really matter, it's most likely too late anyway.

Anyway, forbidding photography in a tunnel is hardly a meaningful infringement on civil rights, so not a big deal, and I hope the man was quickly released after being "made aware" of his poor judgement... which, alas, you can't be certain of anymore. As for the paranoia this sort of measure may cause, well, the less paranoia we have, the better. The one thing that terrorist video threats aimed at our countries should cause in people is shrugs.

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 4):
the guy should have figured it out after the first time.

 checkmark  Someone yelling "no photo" at you means the same in both English and Spanish.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 1472 times:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 6):
... for if you wanted to bomb it to collapse the photo would tell you nothing about the thickness of the walls.

But it could tell you plenty about the exhaust system.

Collapsing a tunnel is difficult. Creating an unsurvivable fire in one isn't.


User currently offlineFumanchewd From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1459 times:

Quoting ShakeZulaNJ (Reply 5):
Have you ever been to the Port Authority in Manhattan? All kinds of colorful characters there. And by colorful, I mean scary. And by characters, I mean screaming, mad as a hatter freak shows.

Yeah its great. Whenever I feel a little down I ride some of the gutsier lines here in Phoenix. Very entertaining!


User currently offlineWestJetForLife From Canada, joined Jun 2005, 814 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1444 times:

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 8):
Quoting ShakeZulaNJ (Reply 5):
Have you ever been to the Port Authority in Manhattan? All kinds of colorful characters there. And by colorful, I mean scary. And by characters, I mean screaming, mad as a hatter freak shows.

Yeah its great. Whenever I feel a little down I ride some of the gutsier lines here in Phoenix. Very entertaining!

Try the 202 downtown train here in Calgary. We get everyone from druggies to pimps to bums asking for $5 to support their booze habit.

Hell, a guy asked me for $20 today when I was getting off the train. I politely said I didn't have any, and he started screaming for no reason.

Weird people on public transit some days.



I need a drink.
User currently offlineAloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8774 posts, RR: 42
Reply 10, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1444 times:

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 7):
But it could tell you plenty about the exhaust system.

Well, a bit - judging from the photos I've found online, the tunnel has a solid ceiling with no ducts or fans showing. And even if there were, no photo could tell you much about the capacity (e.g. power of the fans) of the exhaust system. What really, really needs to remain secret is emergency plans for the tunnel, the intricate workings of its surveillance systems and so on; in short, all the stuff that people refer to when they say "we hope we'll never need it".

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 7):
Creating an unsurvivable fire in one isn't.

People usually die from the poisonus gases in the smoke, so a terrorist wouldn't need anything as noticeable as a fire... alas, the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo metro system exposed that in all its cruelty. There are a lot of sick people n this world, and personally, I think the focus needs to be on keeping the terrorists and their plans from stages where they'd need any detailed photos to hit their targets.



Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
User currently offlineACDC8 From Canada, joined Mar 2005, 7657 posts, RR: 35
Reply 11, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 1431 times:

My thoughts are quite simple ....

Quoting ShakeZulaNJ (Thread starter):
As a great deal of you may know, photography is a big no-no in the Lincoln Tunnel. There's even a sign before the tunnel entrance saying that photography is strictly forbidden.

Total BS, plain and simple.



A Grumpy German Is A Sauerkraut
User currently offlineWildcatYXU From Canada, joined May 2006, 2660 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1405 times:

Quoting MDorBust (Reply 2):
You think New York might have reason to be a tad paranoid in that regard?

Sorry man, I guess you're underestimating the possible terrorists a little bit. Actually, not only a little bit. There are many ways to do and efficient photoreconnaisance session in the tunnel, this incident isn't one of them. As a matter of fact, the whole idea of a wannabe terrorist barely speaking English taking pictures from the commuter bus is ridiculous. The result of the whole incident was only harassing a tourist and possibly preventing the LEO's from doing some more important task. If occurrences like that make you feel safer, I feel sorry for you. Your tax money is being wasted and your safety didn't improve even by a square root of three eights of a quarter of SFA.


User currently offlineTsaord From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 1388 times:

Quoting Fumanchewd (Reply 4):
po-pos came

hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. I thought I was the only one who used that. Po-Pos hehehehehehehehe.

Now I do not think the passenger should have started yelling. After he politely but loudly asked the man to stop, he should have spoken to the driver then and shut his mouth. I think he only wanted to seem like "Im the hero here willing to speak up" type of person.


User currently offlineGlydrflyr From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 207 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1379 times:

There are signs reading "Use of cameras strictly prohibited" at ALL the bridge and tunnel crossings in the New York area, and have been there many years before 9/11, so my guess is that it's not a concern over terroristic plotting. Probably, the real concern is that tourists will stop their cars in the middle of traffic to take pictures. Only they know why they think it's a good idea to cause a traffic problem on some of the worlds busiest roadways so they can get a shot or two of the bridge/tunnel they used to get into New York; they would certainly get pissed if a tourist held up traffic in their neighborhood taking a picture of the local "Welcome to Podunk" sign.


if ya gotta crash, hit something soft and cheap!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 15, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1377 times:

Follow the rules if they are in place........

I remember visiting the Wax museum in LHR last year & the Tunnel ride stated no Photography yet there were many people using their cameras.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

Is the tunnel such an example of post-modern architecture that it warrants photographing?

If not, then I would be VERY suspicious of any swarthy type who decided to take a pic of it and nothing else...yes, there may be a "tunnel.net" but as we all know, even the humble "spotter" is the object of suspicion from time to time....


User currently offlineMDorBust From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 9 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 1354 times:

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 12):
Sorry man, I guess you're underestimating the possible terrorists a little bit.

Not in the least, I'm sure there are some very smart and creative bad guys out there... However, I'm routinely treated to the amazing ability of the criminal mind to be shockingly stupid.


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