Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Underground Fears

I went into New York City one evening a couple of weeks ago, and I was particularly fearful of taking the subway.  Not so much on the way to where in Manhattan I was going, but on the way back to the bus terminal, when it would be later.  From January to April, subway slashings had become the latest crime wave reported on by the media.   It seems like every time anyone turned around, someone was getting attacked with a knife or some other sharp object in the city's rapid-transit system, usually in subway stations rather than elevated-rail stops, mostly in the overnight hours but sometimes during the evening. I almost took my car to Hoboken and took the PATH train across the Hudson, but I went ahead and took the bus to the city and rapid transit in the city.  And nothing happened.  There wasn't even any hint of danger when I did ride the subway.
I'm starting to think the slashing problem was  made to sound worse than it was, because that's what sells papers, draws eyeballs to TV or Internet news, and draws ears to news radio.  In fact, the number of slashings in the New York rapid-transit network for the first part of 2016 wasn't that much higher than in the same time frame in 2015.  The media simply reported it a lot more this year.  Still, for all the fear-mongering the New York media have engaged in, it's good to know that this problem, however small or large it may be, exists.  It helps make us more aware and alert when we go into New York.  But I don't think I want to let myself get scared and all worked up over it.   

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