Chicago Sun-Times

Move that bag! -- the readers respond

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A lot of people responded to my post on whether or not you should speak up on the L. Due to a glitch, the comments didn't get posted. They're on there now -- if you want to check them out. Look under "Move that bag! -- Speaking up on the L"

And thanks for writing -- let me know if you've tried scolding anyone on the L for eating, loud radio playing, or just being a knucklehead.

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People talk about speaking up on the CTA buses and the "L" about eating, playing loud music, loud talking with and without cell phones and general ignorance. They're good complaints and I agree that something should be done about them. Some people may complain about homeless riders taking up space on the "L". Most of them ride the "L" only at night just to sleep and then leave early the next morning, but that problem is slowly being solved anyway. The main problems are these: There are way, way, WAY too much pickpocketing, theft, physical attacks, constant begging for money and selling illegal or stolen products on the buses and "L". These problems are a major threat to everyone's safety, security and sanity and there should really be a SERIOUS SMACKDOWN on them. With reconstruction, fare increases and service cuts also going on, ridership may drop slowly and surely. Where would the CTA be if that happens? We law-abiding taxpaying riders demand results AND respect. If they want to keep our ridership, they should really stop with their selfishness. Step up with more intelligence and security and stop all these problems.

Certainly there is a time and place to speak up on the "L" but one must react with due diligence. I was in a situation where an unstable and irrational acting man was threatening another passenger. I was near the call button that I could have used to report the incident. However, I am disabled and 64 years old, walking with braces and a cane. The individual in question was between me and the exit door and I had no way of knowing if he would turn on me.

I got off the car as soon as it was safe to do and went to the conductor and reported the individual. Unfortunately all the CTA Security did was escort the individual as he moved on his way. Once outside in the Thompson building, I called 911. Now this is within one block of a Chicago Police station. Also, a police car passed me on the street and when I tried to wave them down, they looked at me and ignored me, although they were not responding to any emergency, other than possibly the end of their shift.

I do not regret reporting the incident, but I do regret that law enforcement officials failed in their responsibility to protect the citizens of this city.

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This page contains a single entry by Mary Wisniewski published on March 13, 2008 5:12 PM.

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