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As much as I am not inclined by "reaction", to do research for others on what is well known and documented in the area; in the interest of integrity and that this may somehow be legitimate inquiry, I provide the following links for you to do your own research on the subjects I mentioned.

Newspapers with archives:

www.trentonian.com
www.nj.com/times/

I suggest Google for your crime statistics research as the FBI publishes these reports in great detail.  If that does not satisfy your appetite, the Trenton Police Department non-emergency number is 1-609-989-4111.

Lastly, you can review all of the states "liberal feel good" spending, at this site:

www.state.nj.us/treasury/omb/

Hope that helps.

by boszleyusa (boszley@aol.com) on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 12:32:20 PM EST
Welcome to the European Tribune, boszley, and thank you for bringing an alternative point of view to the debate.

The tradition here at ET is that anyone making statistical or factual claims should be able to substantiate them with specific references.  Linking to a newspaper or government homepage isn't sufficient to fulfil that requirement.

Are you able, please, to provide links to the specific pages that provide evidence for your assertions?

by Sassafras on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 01:11:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
well known and documented in the area

If so, it should be easy for you to find such documentation, much easier than for me 6000 miles away.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 03:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't help to tell others to do the research you should be doing to substantiate your claims.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 05:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Your implied jab on all government spending as liberal feel good spending aside, I put together some numbers on crime in Trenton.

According to the 2003 stats published by the FBI, crimes reported in Trenton prior to the opening of the river line were as follows -

Population:             86,130
Murder:              13
Forcible Rape:          36
Robbery:             645
Aggravated Assault:     824
Burglary:             1,073
Larceny or Theft:     2,514
Car Theft:             1,090
Arson:                     26

In 2006, the stats were as follows

Population:            84,703
Murder:              18
Forcible Rape:         31
Robbery:               632
Aggravated Assault:    593   
Burglary:           806
Larceny/Theft:         1,211   
Car Theft:             460
Arson:                 23

This does not look much like a crime surge to me.

An article on the 5th year anniversary of the River Line in the Burlington Times seems to fit with the original poster's appraisal.

The River Line at 5

It's been five years since the launch of the River Line, NJ Transit's Camden to Trenton light rail line and we think it's a qualified success.

The line has fulfilled a need for additional public transportation in the county and provided a much needed economic boost to some of the towns it spans.

New restaurants and shops have opened in Riverton and Burlington City, and new townhomes were built near the River Line stations in Cinnaminson and Delanco.

-snip-

NJ Transit also needs to make the safety of its riders and River Line neighbors a priority.

While police officials and nearby residents have said criminals sometimes make use of the line for illegal activities, crime statistics don't show a significant increase in crime in the towns served by the rail line.

Regular users also have raised concerns about vagrants and panhandlers, as well as drug-dealing, on some of the station platforms and in some of the cars.

NJ Transit police officers do patrol the 34-mile line route, but we believe a substantial increase in ridership should correlate with an increase in security patrols at the stations.

A preliminary google search on "river line crime" and "river line new jersey crime" turned up the above article, info on the new station, and the ET article here, but not much about serious crime problems created by the line.

by Zwackus on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 06:48:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Huh, you did the researh for him! Checking your link, I find there is newer data, too...

2007:
Population:            83,551               
Murder:              25
Forcible Rape:         15
Robbery:               595
Aggravated Assault:    530  
Burglary:           852
Larceny/Theft:         1,408  
Car Theft:             385
Arson:                 21

It seems murder is the only field where there is an apparent growing tendency, but then, the sample is small.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 07:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To complete the series, showing no clear trend for murder and confirming the downwards trend for everything else...

2005:
Population:            85,566
Murder:              31
Forcible Rape:         21
Robbery:               805
Aggravated Assault:    658  
Burglary:           962
Larceny/Theft:         1,940  
Car Theft:             672
Arson:                 27

2004:
Population:            85,911
Murder:              18
Forcible Rape:         47
Robbery:               576
Aggravated Assault:    716  
Burglary:           987
Larceny/Theft:         2,027  
Car Theft:             791
Arson:                 27

For all but murder, the trend is the same in earlier years, so I will table only murder -- which on the longer term does show an upward trend, but it began before the River LINE:
2002: 19
2001: 13
2000: 14
1999: 8
1998: 15
1997: 12
1996: 14
1995: 16

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 07:52:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's not a trend, that's noise with some outliers which could have any number of causes.

So - any other devastatingly compelling evidence for this 'crime wave'?

Shall we compare deaths from road accidents along the length of the line for the same period?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 08:27:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The horn of the River Line trains distracts Drivers and Makes Them Crash!

Everyone knows about this, so I shouldn't have to do your research to confirm it, but here is a source:

x Cranky driver complaining in the online comment thread of one of the stories about the River line over the past five years in one of the local papers that have online stories and comments.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 08:57:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Perhaps there is a trend:

2003:
Car Theft: 1,090
2004:
Car Theft: 791
2005:
Car Theft: 672
2006:
Car Theft: 460
2007:
Car Theft: 385

by kjr63 on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 11:19:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
This is a pretty common line of attack against mass transit from residents of means and privilege. The evidence for the phenomenon is scanty at best, but as with most conservative arguments it doesn't rely on evidence at all, but on shared assumptions like this:

what is well known and documented in the area

In other words, "see, everyone KNOWS that the River LINE brings crime, what kind of nut are you to deny common sense?!"

And the underlying belief that makes such an argument possible is the notion that mass transit is something only the poor use. Since poor = criminal to many Americans, it's all too easy to just blindly assume that mass transit is going to make it easier for that thug to show up in my quiet suburban neighborhood.

And the world will live as one

by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Sat Apr 18th, 2009 at 09:18:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, I just remembered to point out another thing.

While Camden is much worse, Trenton was not a low crime area as the poster implied. That page with the 2003 statistics shows all violent crime, as well as burglary and car theft, way above the US national average. For example, in all violent crime, Camden was 4.02 times, Trenton 2.95 times the national average.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 03:46:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ahh, but the complaint was about the impact on lovely Columbus, across the river from Bordentown and an ex-urb of Trenton.  Gates on the bridges!  That will do it.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 11:40:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Gretna method...

And the world will live as one
by Montereyan (robert at calitics dot com) on Sun Apr 19th, 2009 at 08:57:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]


"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson
by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Mon Apr 20th, 2009 at 06:35:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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