|Preparing to enter the D train at rush hour|
A couple of years ago, the MTA pulled out trash cans from stations, assuming counterintuitively, that people would take the trash with them http://gothamist.com/2014/01/28/removing_trash_cans_from_subway_sta.php. After thousands of track fires and an exploding and fearless rat population (i.e. Pizza rat http://youtu.be/UPXUG8q4jKU) the MTA replaced the errant trash cans. Does the city assume that people will stop carrying weapons, that students will act correctly and that people will behave peacefully in public because of it's inaction? It certainly appears that it does. Just how successful is it?
Statistically arrests are down, confiscated weapons are down, school arrests are down - proof positive that the city is a much safer place to live and work than it was a few years ago. (Are people starting to realize that statistics can say whatever is necessary?) The thing is that I'm meeting people who are afraid to ride the trains. Knife slashings, especially with box cutters across the face, are happening daily http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/02/01/who-s-slashing-up-new-york-city-s-subways.html. Bratton has complained the media is over reporting it and many New Yorkers don't want to dwell on it - rationalizing that New Yorkers are tough and can deal with it (a pragmatic attitude). I looked up the numbers - over 600 in a year - 100 more than last year. I worry about family, friends and students traveling in crowded areas. How do people protect themselves from random attacks? What are the reasons behind it and the demographics involved? Many of the victims seem to be attractive young women.
I believe NYC has to reevaluate their well intentioned attempts at keeping New Yorkers safe or we will all have to start wearing something like this: