Transit Violence

Over at The Light Rail Blogger, a Pheonix Resident who has gone car free, has a story about domestic violence.  Ok, this story really doesn’t entail violence at a transit stop, but near it.  Commonly people here in Portland also write or talk about various acts of violence at light rail or other transit stations.  There are a few things that really bother me.  I’m going to elaborate those real quick.

  • Domestic violence?  WTF is this?  Violence is violence.  I don’t want to see someone beating a dog, another human, a woman beating a guy, a guy hitting a woman, or anything of that sort.  I don’t even like to hear the ghetto kids (or whatever they refer to themselves as) acting all tough and making what amounts to idle threats.  Be proud, be strong, watch out for each other, and stand up for those people that are threatened.  Do everything you can like “The Light Rail Blogger” did.  Call 911, step up, do something do anything.  Don’t let that type of behavior go unstopped and uncontested.  If you don’t act, you are AS MUCH part of the problem as those committing the violence.  Sure, it takes courage to do something, but nobody loves, needs, or wants anymore cowards around than we already have.  So don’t be another one.
  • Transit is something more and more of us ride with each other to and from work, to and from our daily errands, and just around via transit to enjoy a Sunday ride.  Something all of us will notice as we actually encounter our fellow citizens and general human beings out there, is that some of us humans aren’t all there.  Suburbanites just ignore these differences, bypass them, and don’t act to remedy or resolve issues with these people with problems and problem people.  But us urbanites are in touch with these individuals and it is up to us to maintain our lifestyles.  This means we have to become accustomed, but also learn how to enable and assist each other.  As Christian has written over on TriMetiquette before We’re in this togetherI reiterate, we ALL ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!
  • Those out there that say it is more violent on transit or that transit brings violence to areas and the stories go on and on and on.  Seriously, go study statistics, correlation, and history.  Go read up on how and where violence and crime occurs in a city.  Transit isn’t anymore of an enabler than the automobile, and probably is at least a safer enabler than an automobile.  So give it a rest.  It is ridiculous to say transit causes the violence or crime.  People cause the crime, environment is only part of the picture, but the crime starts and stops with the individual perpetrators of said crimes.  Don’t blame inanimate objects, that’s – well – asinine.


  1. "Suburbanites just ignore these differences, bypass them, and don’t act to remedy or resolve issues with these people with problems and problem people. But us urbanites are in touch with these individuals and it is up to us to maintain our lifestyles."

    I really don’t think that violence is really an urban/suburban issue. In fact the suburbans will frequently cite the level of urban violence, often as a rationale as why they moved (i.e. there was too much crime in the city that went unresolved).

    I am not going to get in the middle of a confrontation that does not affect me. If there is a threat I’ll call 9-1-1. I’m not going to risk my life unless someone else’s life is threatened, especially that of my wife, son or anyone else with me. It’s not to suggest that I condone the violence, but what if the perpetuator has a weapon? I don’t arm myself. I’m not exactly a physically strong individual.

    It has nothing to do with where you live. It has to do with your ability (whether through professional training, or the access to a tool) to defuse a situation. Likewise I’m not going to try and play bomb squad…I’m going to get the hell away from the bomb.


  2. All I’m saying is to act. Don’t be an observer. But don’t be an idiot either. I’m not trying to suggest people disarm a bomb or confront some cowardly gang banger that is flailing around a gun.

    But if someone else is armed, DO SOMETHING. If you know how the bomb was made, stop it. If you know you can’t do something about a situation, call 911. All those things are acting and we can all act to help troubling situations in our own way.

    However, there are far too many people that still don’t do anything, because simply, they are cowards. For whatever reason, these people need encouragement to join the human race. This is a somewhat common problem in the suburbs, which is why I point it out. It is, as you point out, one of the primary excuses for suburban lifestyles. People trying to escape and run away from a perceived danger, real or not.


  3. What is emerging as a crime-fighting tool is police departments accepting anonymous tips via text message.

    There’s a third-party policing Web site that has put this service in place, and many PDs are signing up. Maybe Portland Pd already has this service.


  4. Hey Adron,
    Thank you so much for the mention. Unfortunately, domestic violence entered my life for a SECOND time this month. This time, it hit even closer to home since I know the victim. I just found out the other day.
    In regards to my first experience, I may have acted like a hero… but on the inside I was shaking! I sure hope she got help, however something tells me she didn’t.
    The second point you make in your post is right on. I’ve learned the more good karma you spread on mass transit (i.e. helping someone with directions, letting a sit down, etc.) the better example you set for others on how they should treat their neighbors.


  5. Too bad to hear about the recurring domestic violence.

    Best one can often do is just set a good example. It goes a lot further than a lot of people realize.

    I’m hoping I never have to see or deal with it ever again. Not that I’ve ever directly been impacted by it, but have had known people that where victim and perpetrators. The perpetrators never really fared well once I found out. That’s something that just doesn’t fly with me.


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