Now the MTA and the Transport Workers Union Are Fighting Over an Opossum

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NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 23:  A New York City Subway pulls up to a station on February 23, 2010 in New York City.  Najibullah Zazi, a former airport shuttle driver, pleaded guilty Monday to plotting to blow up New York City subways. Zazi, who grew up in New York and lived in Colorado, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and to providing material support for a terrorist organization. Zazi, 25, faces a life prison sentence without parole at sentencing in June.  (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Joe Raedle/2011 Getty Images

A motorman on a Coney Island-bound D train managed to save an animal's life on Sunday night, but somehow this good deed has been twisted into another battle between the MTA and Transport Workers Union Local 100. The Daily News reports that the driver stopped the train before hitting an opossum, which then froze on the tracks, leading the MTA to reroute several trains. "The TA turned trains, disrupting service for hundreds, if not thousands of riders, rather than risk hurting (an opossum)," declared Steve Downs, a union official. "But they think having trains enter stations more slowly to avoid killing people who might be on the roadbed would be too disruptive."

The MTA claims the call for slower trains is just a negotiating tactic, and says the practice would cause dangerous overcrowding on platforms. "The MTA's top priority is always safety — the safety of our customers, the safety of our employees and even the safety of animals,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg. Reports of subway miracles are too rare these days — can't we just enjoy this?