- (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
As TBD embraces the notion of Bike Day, there's also a lot happening in the world of Metro security. Last night WMATA hosted a public meeting with Metro Transit Police Chief Michael Taborn, several of his officers, as well as representatives of the Riders' Advisory Council, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. I visited the public meeting last night, only to confront a sign that said it would start at 6:30 p.m. — and that there were virtually no people.
"That's not good," said a Jersey tourist who comprised the half dozen attendees as he pointed to all the empty seats. He had seen a notice in The Examiner and seemed particularly concerned about the legality of whether a person could legally carry pepper spray on the Metro.
Although more people should have attended, I still liked the spirit of the meeting and applaud WMATA for holding a forum in which their officials are made available for questions. It's the right move. Several intriguing details and discussions came from the meeting, despite its small size, and I'll talk more on those in time. But for now I wanted to highlight some Metro security statistics that have emerged in the last couple days. In the second quarter of 2011, spanning from April 1 to June 30, Metro Transit Police received 16,427 calls for service and made 355 arrests, according to WMATA. There were 1,931 criminal and civil citations for fare evasion and public conduct violations. There were 11 bus operator assaults, we know. What's the chance of being a victim of Part 1 crimes on the Metrorail? 5.75 per million riders in this second quarter of the year. Part 1 crime includes aggravated assault, larceny, murder, burglary, motor vehicle theft, rape, and robbery. Many of the stats are a bit better than last year, but last year was a spike in crime.
But what jumped out most at me in all this data was a listing of the 10 most dangerous Metro stations in the system, whether D.C., Virginia, or Maryland. Why these locations? Often the reason seems to be a combination of busy transit (like at transfer points like Metro Center, Gallery Place, and L'Enfant) and, at times, a reflection of the crime rate in the neighborhood the Metro station is located in. It's a listing of 10 but given multiple ties, we're looking at nearly 20 Metro stations included in the list. Here's the 19 most dangerous stations from April 1 to June 30 based on the number of Part 1 crimes:
1. Suitland/Deanwood in a tie (30 crimes)
2. Gallery Place (29 crimes)
3. Largo Town Center (22 crimes)
4. L'Enfant Plaza (22 crimes)
5. Minnesota Avenue (21 crimes)
6. College Park (20 crimes)
7. Anacostia (17 crimes)
8. Southern Avenue (14 crimes)
9. Franconia Springfield/Rhode Island Avenue/
Eastern Market/Greenbelt (12 crimes)
10. Fort Totten/U Street/Branch Avenue/
New Carrollton/Capital Heights/Metro Center (11 crimes)