I’m not a conservative person (at least, I don’t think I am) but some of the things I see people doing lead me to think that either people’s values are changing for the worse, or that I’m getting old and conservative. What prompts me to write such things? Well, my daily subway train journey has prompted me to write this: loud music from headphones, sitting improperly (taking up too much space), applying make-up, eating and drinking, throw garbage on the platforms, talking loudly, and putting their belongings on the seats next to them..., didn't we ALL learn these things when we were in kindergarten and elementary school? Where are peoples' Manners? Public Decency? and Respect for Those Around You???
Japanese are famous for their manners (マナー). Even big cities in Japan like Tokyo and Osaka have less crime and more general politeness than other large metropolises in the world. There is crime and there are rude people in Japan…but considerably less than in cities overseas.
The high level of politeness in Japan means that the bad manners that one most commonly encounters are things like smoking or eating while walking, putting make-up on while riding the train, music turned up too loud on headphones, not giving up a seat on a train or a bus to the elderly, and using cell-phones near the silver seats (seats for pregnant women, elderly and the disabled) on the train where they’re supposed to be turned off. So, from 2008, Tokyo Metro Subway company started a series of good manners posters shown above.
I don't know if posting posters alone will help (probably not), but I do wish New York City MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) will do something, or at least have some posters like these to remind people to improve their basic manners. I even think the MTA should hire people monitoring our behavior, and by doing so, we can keep the trains, platforms and train stations nice and clean. They do so in Taiwan, they don't even let you chew gum in the stations, and you can see their trains and stations are still very nice and clean after so many years of service.