Tuesday, April 12, 2011

"Respect the Loop - Foul Language is Offensive"

On Metro trains there are signs that read, "Respect Your Ride - Foul Language is Offensive". The signs seem to be working because rides on Metro are pleasant without the nuisance of people cursing in your ears.

Meanwhile, for the past couple of weeks, news reports have been coming out of the UCity Loop about crowds of unruly young people on the sidewalks disturbing the peace in the area with cursing and rude behaviour.

The news reports gave me ideas for a couple of other possible different titles for this post. "Victim of Its Own Success" was one. Or maybe "We've Never Seen the Loop Like This Before".

"Victim of Its Own Success" is obvious. The Loop is a fun place to be. Spring is here and young people are finishing their school years. It's natural they'd be looking for a good place to go, and the Loop is an obvious choice. It's popular. I wish the town of my youth had a place like it.

"We've Never Seen the Loop Like This Before" is not so obvious. It was a statement made on the air in today's radio news. The comment seems to refer to conduct or groups of people in the Loop that are making the person uncomfortable.

The same person went on to say, "you can't leave a cell phone on a table or it will get stolen". The point of the news story is that there are growing safety and security concerns in the Loop.

It will be interesting to see how the spring and summer go. I suspect things will be good. There may be stepped up security patrols on busy nights. More people coming out to enjoy the area will make the place safer for everyone.

What about adding signs on the sidewalk, "Respect the Loop - Foul Language is Offensive"? They work on Metro. Is is legal to use foul language in public? I think it depends on the municipal ordinances in the city.

If it's illegal to spit on the sidewalk, then it seems reasonable that you shouldn't be able to say "F&%K!" in a loud voice. Maybe the use of loud profanity is protected free speech? I doubt the founding fathers had that in mind when they guaranteed us the right to free speech.

Passing more ordinances doesn't seem like the answer. More people on the street and a stepped up security presence are probably the most effective solutions. Stay tuned. This issue is likely to be around for at least the next month or so.


Anonymous said...

Haha. 1st amendment much?
No, comrade, it's not illegal to curse in public. Any law or ordinance abridging that right is in violation of Amendment 1 of the United States Constitution and easily sets up a small government for extraordinary negative public reaction as well as significant financial costs. It's not illegal to curse on the Metro. It's simply something that you can be "warned" for.

If crime is a problem, then that's one thing. But cursing? Really?

Rick Bonasch said...

Hey Anon, do you think the Founding Fathers were concerned about your right to yell "F&%CK" in front of women and children? Seriously?

Lawyer it all you want, but I doubt that's what they had in mind. They wanted you to be able to say whether the government is corrupt, but they probably thought you'd be clever enough to do that without using four letter words.

On Metro, if it's not illegal to curse, then what are they "warning" you about? Maybe it is a violation of your license to ride the train? Perhaps there is indeed a code of conduct to ride the trains which you agree to when granted a license to board (the ticket). Violate the code and be ejected from the train.

But back to the Loop...let's say cursing and rude behaviour are not discouraged on the sidewalks of the Loop.

Do you think that adds to the welcoming environment to stroll, shop, dine, and enjoy an evening out?

Jennifer said...

I'd say the solution is more social intervention. If a group of teens are being unruly and using bad language, blocking sidewalks, etc. why can't people just say something to them? The problem is when it's a huge group of kids and they get violent. The news reports out of the Loop probably make people afraid to speak up, but it just takes one person to say something - "Hey, can you guys watch your language, we're trying to enjoy our meal?" - to shame the offenders. And your fellow outdoor diners/sidewalk walkers will probably back you up.

Rick Bonasch said...

I agree with you Jennifer.

Anonymous said...

Metrolink is the great destroyer.. I pray it never comes further west.

Rick Bonasch said...

To Anon at 6:21 PM:

Thanks for posting, but I suspect your post is a diversionary tactic by someone hoping to keep Metro light rail expansion within the 270 loop.

Nice try though. If you want to keep Metro light rail out of west county, you better work to stop the South County connector.

The fastest way to West County is through its back door through South County.

Nervous much?