August 10th 2021 – Civilians News – “News For All Views” –
Is the NYC subway system safe?
And I would answer both, “yes,” and, “no,” because truthfully… it’s more un-comfortable than anything. As an example of this, talking to strangers on the train is optional but most conversations spiral into a casual silence… almost like a social black hole, so to speak… and then there’s the occasional act of random violence, both on the train and in the tunnel.
In fact, the NY Times reported in May that there were, “1.63 felonies (which includes murders, rapes and assaults) for every 1 million riders… during the Spring of 2021. However, that number was up from the 1.48 felonies / per million riders in 2020 and significantly higher than the 1.0 felonies / per million riders in the first quarter of 2019, according to an M.T.A. analysis.” (*NY Times report.)
But is that any more, “un-safe,” than driving a motor vehicle? And this is particularly troubling to me during a time when stress is increasing nation-wide and so many Americans are using prescription medication, which is currently not examined during routine traffic stops. Whereby, I’d also like to note that according to Wikipedia, ”the US ranks 41 out of 52 high-income nations based on this year’s road traffic deaths,” fatalities which can be entirely attributed to motor vehicles.
But with that being said… is the NYC subway system, “safe?”
And in that light… I would say, “NYC’s subway system is safe,” in the sense that I’ve never personally had an incident over the last 5 years. But I will also say… that even 1 violent incident could change my mind on the matter and that in contrast to driving an automobile… I find that the subway system is both more efficient and safer than driving.
Nevertheless, while riding on the train these past 5 years… I’ve personally witnessed; domestic violence, screaming hobo’s, a dead body (probably overdosed on booze), methamphetamine use, scary homeless people and public urination… all down in the subway tunnel. Yet, never have I been personally victimized. Furthermore, over those last 5 years I’ve only paid a fraction of the cost(s) associated with owning a motor vehicle and I’ve left a minimal carbon footprint… all because of the NYC subway system.
But not everyone has been as, “fortunate,” as I have riding the train. In fact, this Spring… a Mr. Rivas, 37, was stabbed by a gang in Lower Manhattan while riding on the train… and he was stabbed after simply inquiring why the people in question were being, “so loud?” And this type of violent crime, typically directed towards the elderly… or those who cannot defend themselves from violence or theft, unfortunately occurs consistently in New York… almost making the subway trains unfit for women and children entirely.
But is the subway system un-safe? Or is this an issue of politics and mis-management?
And I would say that it’s an issue of politics and mis-management, whereby, police should be stationed at every train-stop and currently they are not aboard 99% of the trains. Furthermore, there aren’t enough cameras in the tunnels and a lot of things go undetected down there, as well. And while I’m not advocating that, “big brother,” turns our city into London… where in the U.K. the entire city is under surveillance… but with random stabbing’s occurring on the subway this Spring and a growing need to decrease fossil fuels and eliminate smog from the air, I think that now is a good time to BOLSTER security and positively impact public opinion towards the subway’s comfort and security.
So… with those issues in mind, I would advise that the NYC Transit Authority looks to provide the public with more police, ideally stationed directly inside of the subway trains/tunnels themselves, along with an increase in video surveillance / video monitoring systems down in the tunnel. Also, I would suggest that the city explores the creation of a, “cleaning train,” which could then be used to clean the tracks from soot and dust on a regular basis. And on top of those requests, I would also suggest that some of the steel platforms, particularly those surrounding Yankee stadium… be reinforced because they currently, “wobble,” from over-use.
But to conclude, it’s astonishing to me that no one ever falls onto the tracks. Hundreds of people, sometimes thousands… line up for the train every morning, night and afternoon, huddled together, waiting impatiently by their stops and yet, I have not once seen or heard of anyone being pushed onto the tracks… or a fight leading to someone getting pushed in front of a train or thrown onto the electrically charged tracks. Which is where I find it worth noting… that it’s a huge safety hazard to have an electrically charged track… only feet away from the public, with no barrier.
-William Larsen, CiviliansNews.com founder.