Casualties of War: Free Papers Cause Subway Flooding

There is a war going on in New York, specifically, a war for the hearts and minds of commuters who don't want to pay 25 cents for the Post. And the war has a victim: the subway. Discarded copies of AM New York and Metro had been blamed for track fires in the past, and now, MTA officials are pointing to them as the culprit for the flooding that seemingly occurs every time it rains more than an inch.

"The drain-clogging freebies were largely responsible for a massive flood in September 2004 that shut down much of the system, MTA board members said yesterday," reports the Post, who surely wants a piece of that market. Newspapers hawkers are supposed to stay off MTA property, but in their zealousness, they ignore the rules of engagement and descend onto the platforms, and worse, leave stacks inside stations, allowing the papers to drift off and into the drainage pipes.

What will the NYPD do about it? Absolutely nothing, apparently. "When the activity creates an obstruction or other safety concern police officers take action," says the deputy commissioner. "Otherwise we don't infringe on the distribution of the newspapers."

"I certainly hope it's not us," Lori Rosen, Metro spokeswoman, said while gesturing in the direction of AM New York.

MTA PAPER WAR [NY Post]