New Yorkers deserve a subway system that’s reliable,
swift and safe. Moreover, the city’s economic
recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic
is also dependent upon those qualities.
But even as the MTA set a new post-omicron ridership
record on March 1, the city is battling an uptick in transit
crime, which was up 75% in January. It prompted the Adams
administration to put in place a subway safety plan
bringing in additional officers and resources to restore
a sense of safety and security within the transit system.
Some of the crimes the NYPD is battling in the subways
are truly ghastly. Along with assaults and robberies,
cops are dealing with sex criminals groping riders
or masturbating in public view. In one particularly
shocking case, a deviant smeared a woman’s face with
human feces at a Bronx subway station.
These acts are truly deplorable, and warrant more
than just jail time.
The former Cuomo administration included in the
2020 budget the “Transit Trespass Provision,” a law prohibiting
repeat and “high-risk” sex offenders from using
the New York City subway system for three years.
Criminal justice and transit advocates blasted
the idea, saying it’s almost impossible to enforce and
amounted to government overreach and demonization.
We can’t expect the MTA or the NYPD to patrol all
472 subway stations every day to prevent banned individuals
from entering the system. So on its face, a ban
on offenders would be unenforceable from a proactive
However, the ban can still have an impact on catching
criminals for new offenses within the subway system.
Violating the ban would mean an additional misdemeanor
charge, which would result in additional jail time
If the threat of extra punishment is enough to convince
a repeat offender to stay out of the subway system,
then the ban will have done its job.
Riding the subway system is not an unalienable right
for a New Yorker. Anyone who uses the subways to commit
heinous crimes against passengers should lose the
privilege of sharing a reliable, swift and safe system
with others — either for a specific period of time, or permanently.
They can take a bus, ride a bike, drive a car or use
their own two feet. But the creeps who terrorize our subway
system to harm riders should be told to stay away
from our subways.
HOW TO REACH US
New Yorkers deserve a subway system that’s reliable, swift and safe. Photo by Mark Hallum
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.14 COM | MARCH 11 - MARCH 17, 2022
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Sometimes something happens and sometimes
someone says something.
Even though the weather on Sunday, March
6, provided some bursts of raindrops instead of
promised balmy temperatures, about 50 people assembled
at Macdonald Park for Ethan Felder’s inaugural
petitioning event, including students doing community
service. They were experiencing one piece of the
Ethan Felder is running to serve as the District 28
Forest Hills representative in the NYS Assembly. The
crowd heard from Monica Cruz, a 32BJ spokesperson;
Sylvia M. Martin, a Lefrak City tenant; and Fahad Solaiman
from the Jackson Heights Bangladeshi Business
Association, who all thanked the labor lawyer for
his past work.
Sylvia M. Martin described the pro bono work that
Ethan Felder had done for the Lefrak City Tenants
Association in 2017 when the Board of Election “relocated
all five election districts from the Corona complex’s
Continental Room to area schools more than a
half-mile away.” (Queens Chronicle, June 14, 2018).
The Lefrak City Tenants Association won in court
and some polling sites were reinstated on Lefrak City’s
side of the Long Island Expressway.
It still matters very much to that community. Ethan
Felder talked about the challenges of this moment but
asserted that “we can have public safety and stand for
dignity…It’s a moment when true solidarity must be
twinned with sensibility, not ideological dogma. … We
can respect police and insist no one fear the police.”
As our next campaign season begins, we all need
to be vigilant about bureaucratic changes that undermine
the democratic process. We can demand policies
and programs that solve our public safety, housing
and economic problems.
Yes, it all — the good and/or the bad — can happen
here. Get ready to choose. Sign a petition. Resolve to
vote in the primaries and the November elections. We
can make something good happen.