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LRT Safety

IanO

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I really hope that the new transit loitering bylaw finds balance between fair treatment and greater assurance/protection for the general public and actual transit users.

These are public spaces, but we would NEVER let this kind of stuff happen in a rec centre, library or other civic building. Why do we permit it in our transit stations?
 

CplKlinger

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Motion by Rutherford to refer bylaw back to admin failed 6-7. It seems that the new bylaw will pass.
I'm torn on that debate, they all rose good points. On the one hand, Paquette and the other supporters of the amendment argued that there is nothing in the current bylaw that inhibits enforcement of safety concerns. Peace Officers and police are perfectly allowed to remove people if they make others "feel" unsafe. In fact, I texted the help line after a guy at Clareview TC made my friend and I feel quite unsafe due to some threatening things he was saying on the phone (He was 'ready to kill someone' etc), and I got a response almost immediately that they'd dispatch peace officers ASAP.

They also rose concerns about how expanding this even more, even though the status quo is already enough for officers to do more than they are, could lead to racist enforcement, and they wanted administration to report back on this concern in a couple months. Rutherford argued that "good governance" means taking the time to make informed decisions - especially when amending or creating laws, and she opposed rushing something just because "it feels good and sounds good." Another concern was that, much like with the old loitering bylaw, fines won't really do much in the way of enforcement since houseless people can't afford to pay fines whether they're $50, $250, or $2,500.

HOWEVER, with all that being said, Sohi pointed out that according to officers working on the frontlines, they'd appreciate something like this to make it clearer for them what they're allowed to do; those perspectives based on "real world experience" were important to Sohi. As well, he argued that a lot of marginalized peoples have no choice but to take transit, including persons of colour and Indigenous Peoples, and they deserve to feel safe too. I didn't catch the whole debate, but I imagine that the other opponents to the amendment had similar views. I didn't spend as much time listening to the opponents since the argument for the bylaw change is pretty clear, if you haven't been living under a rock for the past couple of years haha.

So, I dunno I guess. Paquette is absolutely adamant, and has been since the loitering bylaw was revoked, that EPS assured him enforcement would not be impacted by that revocation since they could still remove anyone who made others feel unsafe. So why did that not end up happening? Was the post-loitering bylaw set of rules not as tolerable for enforcement as they thought? Were peace and police officers just not communicated their rights and responsibilities enough? Was it more a matter of having the right set of rules, but inadequate resourcing for enforcement? Maybe it was a little bit of each. This is a tough situation for everyone to be in; residents are clearly feeling unsafe for a reason, and that shows something has to be done. But it's going to be tough finding the right set of solutions when the situation is both highly urgent, and emotionally charged.

It's not like this discussion just started; this comment and this comment from Paquette show how long it has taken to get to this point. So maybe it's high time that something be rushed a bit, instead of kicking off more studying. Studies help produce higher quality legislation, but maybe this has already been studied to death. This is quite a long post, and it's all to say: I just don't know what the right decision here is, but I hope the outcome we got helps lead us toward a safe and accessible transit service.
 

IanO

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Council approves bylaw to help improve safety in transit spaces​

June 8, 2022

City Council has approved amendments to the Conduct of Transit Passengers bylaw aimed at improving the safety and comfort of Edmontonians using the transit service. The updated bylaw strengthens the existing rules around the inappropriate and unsafe use of transit property, and prohibits the visible use of illicit substances in transit spaces.

“Transit centres and LRT stations are intended to be busy and vibrant, and move thousands of riders to their destinations each day—conveniently, reliably, and above all, safely,'' said Carrie Hotton-MacDonald, Branch Manager, Edmonton Transit Service. “Everyone deserves a safe transit experience, and the amended bylaw is one of many actions we are taking to increase safety for everyone within our transit spaces.”

The amended bylaw provides Transit Peace Officers and other law enforcement personnel with an additional option that will help ensure people use transit vehicles and spaces as they are intended.

“Transit Peace Officers will engage, educate and encourage people to abide by community standards; however, enforcement is sometimes necessary to keep our transit network safe,” said David Jones, Branch Manager, Community Standards and Neighbourhoods. “In coordination with the Edmonton Police Service and Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society, our peace officers have and continue to play a critical role in preventing crime, and responding to concerns and people in distress who need support.”

Using a system of support, enforcement and infrastructure, the City of Edmonton continues to take a multilayered approach to help increase safety for everyone using our transit spaces and network. Providing safe and comfortable access to the transit system helps build a greater sense of community safety and well-being in Edmonton.​

For more information:
edmonton.ca/ETSsafety

Media contact:
Chrystal Coleman
Communications Advisor
Communications and Engagement
780-868-7176​
 

CplKlinger

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CplKlinger

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Tbone84

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Crime in our transit stations were bad (getting better) but some things that happened in Toronto are just awful, like this....

Hopefully transit and lrt stations go back to being safe places all around soon
 

ION

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Crime in our transit stations were bad (getting better) but some things that happened in Toronto are just awful, like this....

Hopefully transit and lrt stations go back to being safe places all around soon
I think this is probably an all-time low for transit in Canada. But then again I've said that sooooo many times before the words have lost all meaning... Here's my idea: Do what the Japanese do and introduce Koban aka police boxes/stations within transit stations... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kōban and a hell of a lot of CCTV with facial recognition software and of course removing security from transit and replacing them with the most forceful FULLY ARMED EPS we can find... The public sphere must be taken back from chaos and for scum bags to fear what "f*cking around and finding out" really means when victims stand up for themselves... Personally I've taken to carrying a personal air horn. You'd be surprised what a Red Bull-sized can of compressed air shot at 120 dbs into a DB's face will do in a right hurry to even the score... Not that I've had to "unleash the beast" before... ;-)
 

ION

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As for personal horror stories I'm sure we've all had them. But my ETS TLDR horror story involves a blood-soaked machete being swung at me at 8:15 am on a Tuesday whilst riding the #8 to work... After that? I drove and still do. That's how you turn someone who waited until they turned 30 to get their learner's permit into a committed lifelong car enthusiast and personal bubble advocate...
 

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