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Is there a reason why elevated trains in New York all have these?

Asked by: Adam2
  • First of all what are these things called?

    I know the one of the left (all of which I captured on Google maps) is one without any shapes and is just a plain holder of something, which is from Myrtle Avenue. The one in the middle is from Broadway, and the one on the right is New Utrecht Avenue. First of all what are they, and why do all of the elevated trains tend to differ. Why do some of them actually have shapes on the holders (assuming that's what they are)?

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Adam2 says2014-06-14T23:57:08.267
Spectualation: It's possible that the one in Broadway is supposed to be in homage of the Williamsburg Bridge.
Adam2 says2014-06-14T23:57:42.117
Since the trusses on the Williamsburg Bridge which form the X shapes all tend to have those tiny X shapes.