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.