The phrase,'Unsound Transit', was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe Seattle where,"Light Rail Madness eats billions that could otherwise be devoted to truly efficient transportation technologies." The Puget Sound's traffic congestion is a growing cancer on the region's prosperity. This website, captures news and expert opinion about ways to address the crisis. This is not a blog, but a knowledge base, which collects the best articles and presents them in a searchable format. My goal is to arm residents with knowledge so they can champion fact-based, rather than emotional, solutions.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Rash of crime strikes Minneapolis Light Rail

Rash Of Robberies Strike Hiawatha Light-Rail Line

Minneapolis (WCCO) ― Police want light-rail riders to watch their backs. Investigators say a number of people have been robbed at gunpoint at Light Rail stations in Minneapolis, and police are stepping in to make sure it stops.

Riders have fallen victim at two Minneapolis stations: the VA Medical center station on 54th Street South and Minnehaha Avenue, and the station at 38th Street South and Hiawatha Avenue.

Police said that the light-rail has remained predominately free of crime since its inauguration in June 2004, which is one of the reasons why they are concerned about the reports of robberies, as are local residents who use the trains for their commute.

"My father lived at the VA hospital, so I guess I would rather be safe than sorry," said Delena Walker.

Police say since Oct. 8, there have been at least seven robberies near the two light-rail stations on 38th and 54th Streets. Some of the incidents have happened away from the platforms, however, so police are urging surrounding neighborhoods to stay alert.

"Walking to a car or walking home, once they leave the area of the LRT platform, (they) have been approached by anywhere from one to four African-American males, who approach them, usually at gunpoint, and rob them of their belongings," said Inspector Scott Gerlicher of the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to police, the crimes have typically happened between the hours of 7 p.m. and midnight. Generally, the incidents have not yet developed into extreme violence.

"Anytime you do have guns involved, it's a very dangerous situation," said Gerlicher. "But, in this particular case, the only injuries we have seen have been in a couple of cases, and have been the result of the suspects pushing people to the ground."

Police have increased their patrol of the light-rail line, even sending officers undercover, to ask passengers to take caution. Most passengers don't need to be told twice. Some, like Mishon Pawson, even recruit people to pick them up from their stop.

Police are also requesting that passengers only carry what they need with them while riding the line, and call them should they notice anything suspicious.

(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

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