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redjeep77

Does Mass transit = More Crime?

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I am all for the new light rail, but i have heard that mass transit systems tend to concentrate crime. Is there any truth to this, or just a rumor?

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I am all for the new light rail, but i have heard that mass transit systems tend to concentrate crime. Is there any truth to this, or just a rumor?

From what I have seen with my own eyes here in Atlanta....there is no truth to that.

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The Blue Line in Los Angeles was built through some of the most gang-infested parts of "South Central". But people behave on the trains and the gangs didn't claim stations as turf.

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No. There is no factual basis for the belief that mass transit=crime. That does not stop mostly white suburban families from opposing it. Atlanta being the most well known example. North Fulton towns like Roswell and Alpharetta don't mind their maids and gardeners coming individually to their homes but large scale movement of minorites through transit: :shok: Who do you think coined the acronym for Marta: moving africans rapidly through atlanta. Its disgusting but thats been a running joke in the atl suburbs for years. Suburbanites would never admit it though. They couch their opposition in terms of development and overcrowding to mask their prejudice. Hopefully Charlotte will be more enlightened.

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No. There is no factual basis for the belief that mass transit=crime. That does not stop mostly white suburban families from opposing it. Atlanta being the most well known example. North Fulton towns like Roswell and Alpharetta don't mind their maids and gardeners coming individually to their homes but large scale movement of minorites through transit: :shok:

Being from Atlanta...where did you get the idea that people in north Fulton are against MARTA? I'm curious to know. In fact, the transit line that ends in northern Fulton is testament to the fact that public transportation does not equal crime.

People and their stereotypes.... :wacko:

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If anything, the "crime" numbers might be skewed b/c of the population densities clustered around transit stations? ...just a thought.

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Well, I would be thrilled to be corrected. All I have heard on my frequent trips to visit cousins in Alpharetta and Roswell regarding MARTA are snide snotty comments about MARTA and jokes about the acronym from suburban residents. Are all the residents racist? No. Some are and some are not. Atlanta is one of the most racially polarized cities in the country though and the opposition to MARTA when it was first proposed and what is was really based on is well known nationwide.

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Well, I would be thrilled to be corrected. All I have heard on my frequent trips to visit cousins in Alpharetta and Roswell regarding MARTA are snide snotty comments about MARTA and jokes about the acronym from suburban residents. Are all the residents racist? No. Some are and some are not. Atlanta is one of the most racially polarized cities in the country though and the opposition to MARTA when it was first proposed and what is was really based on is well known nationwide.

Atlanta is no more racial polarized than many other cities. It is probably more together than many northern cities. To make such a statement without valid proof is disingenuous at best.

Okay, like your friends and family, I live here also. Opposition to MARTA is NOT limited to race. When MARTA wanted to expand, Lithonia, an affluent majority black suburb, said no. In fact, noone in north Fulton county has opposed MARTA. In case you didn't know, MARTA has been supported through taxation by Fulton and DeKalb residents for as long as I can remember. Quite possibly since it's inception.

I went to the actual MARTA meeting at the North Fulton annex on Roswel Rd. MARTA was met with great enthusiasm. The extension of the north line up to Winward was on the top two list for expansion. The Lithonia line was in the second tier. The extension out to Fulton Industrial was the second top pick. MARTA's only hesitation with the Windward Pkwy extension was it's $5 billion....yes billion with a b...price tag. Noone present at the meeting was expressing opposition. In fact there was even support from some from southern Forsyth county. I was present at the meeting. It was in 2000. I remember vividly because I remember remarking to my husband that their proposed 2025 completion date was too far in the future. By then we would be in Florida and it wouldn't matter.

If you have heard these comments from those YOU know, please do not make that out to be the sentiment of everyone living in the north Fulton area. I have lived here for many many years. I went to middle and high school here. The sentiment towards MARTA is not the same it was 25 years ago. Even in counties that turned their noses up to MARTA (Gwinnett and Cobb) have a softened stance towards public transportation.

Back to the actual topic. It has been proven that public transportation does not lead to increase crime. Case in point. MARTA's Dunwoody station stops next to Perimeter Mall in the Perimeter Center area. Perimeter Mall is very similar to SouthPark in Charlotte. There has been no increase in crime directly attributed to the MARTA Station. A criminal is not going to rob or kill someone and jump on MARTA to get home. It's just not logical. The same can be said with the Sandy Springs and North Springs stations as well.

But don't take my word....I just live here.

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Thats great. Thank you for more information on the topic. Times have definitely changed in Atlanta since MARTA's inception for sure. Ignorance and racism were part of the fear in the beginning not the only factor. Anyhow, we agree on the main topic of this thread and Charlotte seems to be on the right track. Forgive the horrible pun :sick:

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A Modest Proposal:

In my research, most criminals are created by the act of birth. Such crime generation should be put to a stop as soon as possible. There should be a law against birthing criminals.

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Access to transit provides easy access to employment. It's been established in many studies that when this happens crime goes down because people who are included in the economy don't commit crime. If you want to reduce crime in a high crime neighborhood, then put a transit stop there where people can get to jobs.

On the earlier comment about the most racially polarized city in the USA, Atlanta is certainly not it. One would have to leave the South to find that and travel to Detroit, Boston, NYC and Philly.

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^ yeah, this is good to know. I think that people who are "naysayers" are going to be pleasantly suprised by charlotte's move to put in rail. Especially when gas prices end up being $5 a gallon in 10 years.

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A Modest Proposal:

In my research, most criminals are created by the act of birth. Such crime generation should be put to a stop as soon as possible. There should be a law against birthing criminals.

You sound like a good 'ole southern fool :rofl::rofl:

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Being from Atlanta...where did you get the idea that people in north Fulton are against MARTA? I'm curious to know. In fact, the transit line that ends in northern Fulton is testament to the fact that public transportation does not equal crime.

People and their stereotypes.... :wacko:

Adding transit to certain areas doesn't necesarily create crime (as in they don't cause a direct effect) but by adding accessibility to areas, you're always at risk of creating crime.

For example, in Maryland/DC two of the main and upscale shopping areas are Georgetown and Tyson's Corner in Northern Virginia. These two areas have purposefully never wanted (and boycotted) having the metro extend out to those locations. I've heard of talks of the line being extended to Tyson's in 4 years or so..but Georgetown never wants that.

By controlling accesibility they are in the long run able to control the type of crowd that comes there.

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I think it's a way to disguise and frame the debate by suggesting that crime might be an attribute of transit. A more honest way to frame the debate would be to say that by limiting people's access to transportation, we can quarantine crime to the disenfranchised communities from which it appears to originate. In other words, it's okay to selectively bestow all the freedoms of mobility and opportunity that modern technology offers to just a privelaged segment of society, and to make a concerted effort to keep the poor, presumably crime prone members from enjoying the same benefits.

This is not a transit question but a moral question. Let's say that introducing transit to suburbs did "create" crime. Well, maybe it would make the inner cities safer if gang members had more rich white suburbanites to gun down in mass-transit drive-by's. In all seriousness though, on what moral grounds in a free society can some group of people pretend it's okay to leave their doors unlocked and pay minimal taxes for law enforcement simply by putting their foot on the neck of some other community?

The bigger question here is not how much of a vehicle to crime affordable transportation might be, but just how vulnerable to and ineffectual against crime suburban communities are. This escapist notion that suburbs are somehow safer by vitrue of their inhabitants, that by having money one is presumably a better man than a poor man, it has to go. White collar crime pretty much costs our country a lot more than all other crime put together, therefore there is actually more crime in affluent neighborhoods than in poor ones, except that it's better hidden and more profitable. At the same time, the suburbs are pretty much a criminal's dream. Isolated properties, disfunctional communities, vast areas with little or no law enforcement, dissilusioned children with the money to buy drugs... what more could a criminal ask for? I'm betting on crime, everything from rape to drug dealing, will go way up as the country's urban sprawl matures, with or without mass transit, just because it's so ripe for the picking.

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For example, in Maryland/DC two of the main and upscale shopping areas are Georgetown and Tyson's Corner in Northern Virginia. These two areas have purposefully never wanted (and boycotted) having the metro extend out to those locations. I've heard of talks of the line being extended to Tyson's in 4 years or so..but Georgetown never wants that.

That is absolutely not true about Georgetown, though I have heard it said many times by people. The reason the Metro does not go into Georgetown is because of the geography. Tunneling into that part of the city would have added hundreds of millions to the project and they decided to bypass it and use a shuttle service instead. So while the actual train does not go to Georgetown, one can catch a shuttle there and board at the Foggy Bottom station. The rumor that GT residents did not want transit into their neighborhood because they feared it would bring blacks was made up by trouble makers long ago.

Tyson's Corner is a suburban location and did not participate in the original Metro design. It was nothing but some woods when the original Metro was being conceived. In the 35+ years the Metro has been under construction and in operation, TC has grown to be a major mini suburban city. Thus they want transit there now, but like the other suburban locales, they have to get into line for it to be built. I note that the Metro does not go to Dullas either.

I find that people are quick to imply charges of racism behind things they don't like, but not so quick to go and research the facts before doing so.

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^ that is the correct answer

Also,

Tyson's Corner/McLean VA probably won't get a metro stop because there's no way to walk anywhere there. Even if they put a stop at the mall, people couldn't get off there and walk a mile across parking lots and a 6 lane street to the offices and condos in the area.

The bus shuttle service on that side of town is also impossibly slow - Charlotte levels of inconvenient. It's a car based suburb, and by far my least favorite part of the DC metro region.

There are also nice higher end shopping and social areas immediately connected to the metro in DC: Pentagon City mall and the surrounding apartments apartments are a very dense and well planned urban area, and the Eastern Market area of DC is a residential/restaurant/small shops area within walking distance of a couple metro stops.

Summary: Mass transit isn't directly related to race relations or crime in any of the real cities I've spent time in.

I'm still a bit wary of what will become of the residential areas sandwiched between the light rail and I-77 - lots of non-historic 60/70's ranch and split level housing and really cheap apartments currently, and the large flyovers kinda look like it's walling those neighborhoods from the rest of the city.

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