Subway/Street Safety

Old Apr 24th, 2003, 12:58 PM
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Subway/Street Safety

I am visiting New York this spring - have been there before but with friends that lived there - I am just curious as to recomendations on safety on the subway (can you take it late at night) and also what areas I should avoid. Any advice????
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 01:36 PM
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The subway is very safe. I wouldn't be concerned anywhere in Manhattan below about 120th street at any time of day/night.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:39 PM
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Kathryn, my advice is always do what YOU feel comfortable doing. While I agree with Loki that the subway's safe, if you're traveling alone at night & dont' feel comfortable in the subway, don't do it. Take a bus or a cab. Same with walking around. If it starts feeling too deserted for you someplace, walk back to a busier spot and hail a cab.

As to places to avoid, the area around Port Authority can get pretty seedy at night but not necessarily unsafe. Basically stay where there are people and pay attention to your hand bag at all times (particularly in the subway!)

Enjoy your visit!
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:49 PM
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I agree more with mcLaurie. I just had my first sketchy nyc subway incident. I've been in the city for a few years now and have never before had any problems. It was early morning (6am on weekday) and very dark out and I was alone. There were very few people out. I've been on the subway at that time a few times before with no problems, but that day was different. You can never tell. But honestly, I am more nervous when there is no one on the street/subway stairs versus when there are crowds.

I think you can take subways late - as nyers go out and come home late, but you may just want to hop in a cab if you have to walk far to where you are staying and where the street may be quiet.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 04:32 PM
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I agree with Mclaurie. If you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation. Act Confident and Move to somewhere safer.

Sometimes the platform is quiet at night but the train is really crowded. On an empty platform, either stand near a manned ticket booth or on the platform near a security camera.

When getting on the subway, try to be near the center of the subway close to the conductor.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 07:26 PM
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I think safety in NYC always moves with the economy. When the economy is bad, as it is right now, the city tends to get more sketchy. There have even been a few bank robberies in the city.

After dark, try and stay in lighted areas where there are groups of people.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Being a female traveler and not being familiar with the area, take subways during the day from 6am until about 7pm and then take a cab at night. One great thing about NYC is that there are plenty of cabs to be found. In rainy weather when everyone needs a taxi, in some areas you can find a large hotel or transportation center (Penn Station, Grand Central, Port Authority) where there are usually lots of taxis waiting.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 06:23 AM
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"Subways until 7 PM"? you're kidding right?? Most NYers WORK past 7 PM. Most trains are still jam-packed at 10PM.

I usually take the subway home alone to Brooklyn after a late night out (like 1AM). I have never feared for my life. There are still plenty of people out at that hour. Sometimes the trains run sporadically, that's the only reason I sometimes take a cab instead!
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 08:27 AM
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Hmmm...let me repeat:
Not being familiar with the area - and subway system - and obviously concerned about safety - and a female traveler, yes, I still say take a cab late at night and very early am. Some subway stations are starting to get quiet in the evening depending on where you are in the city and you might not feel comfortable if you're by yourself. I assumed you might not be staying in a business district where there are lots of people going home after work. Whatever you do decide to do, take care, be aware, plan well and travel with a confident(NY) attitude so you don't draw attention. Remember, NY residents (I'd been one for many years) appreciate and are used to their public transportation. However, since I often travel in strange cities as a solo female I do prefer not to have to be overly concerned about my personal safety far from home and I make decisions based on what choices I have. If it's a short trip, I'd rather go with "Don't worry, be happy". Longer trips, I'll take the time to learn the local public transportation if necessary (budget).
Enjoy your trip!
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 11:59 AM
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You've got nothing to worry about, honey. If things start to go down just pull your piece on the mook to scare him off.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 12:59 PM
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Forgot to say this earlier...
Since 9/11 there has been at least one uniformed police officer on the platform of every subway station, 24 hours a day.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 01:33 PM
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What subway platforms are you on? I ride the trains everyday and very rarely do I see the police walking the platforms.

Comon sense is what you need when entering a subway station. Never, never, never stand too close to the platform edge. Twice in my 30 years of commuting I have seen stupid guys loose their balance and tumble on to the tracks. Thank God they were able to quickly spring up. I had nightmares for weeks!
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 05:12 PM
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Depends on where you are in the city how safe I would feel about late night subways. In some places I don't feel that great during early mornings either. Having said that, most of the time near and around the main stream of the city the subways are fine, quick and easy. I, personally do not take the subway farther uptown than the 70's, I do not walk between 8th and 10th avenues around the 20's and 30's streets. Chinatown, Little Italy, Times Square, Rockefeller plaza, Fifth Ave, Lincoln Ctr., 7th, Bwy, 6th, 57th street .. all very comfortable areas. I advise my daughters to take cabs or be with a friend for late night (wee hrs of the morn). Broadway between 10pm and 2am is bustling with people and pretty exciting.

Keep in mind that 20 city blocks in only 1 mile. Many times I walk - good exercise and you see more of the city.

Are you traveling alone? Any city, even suburbs or the mall, by yourself may not be best if an area is dark and/ or deserted. Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you and you will be fine.

I do enjoy the city and although I do not work there any longer I travel in to visit and see plays, the ballet, and buy cooking supplies in China Town.

Have a nice time.

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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 05:19 PM
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I understand about being unfamiliar with things, but even for a visitor 7PM is way too early a cutoff...that's still rush hour for a lot of people. Stations and trains in Manhattan are quite bustling til about 11PM and then things start getting quieter and when you start considering taking a taxi instead, although I've taken the subway at 1AM farther out and felt fine about it.
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Old Apr 26th, 2003, 05:35 PM
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You can take the subway late at night with relative safety, especially the well travelled stations. But the truth is you should know yourself and your comfort level, don't go or do things you don't feel comfortable doing. If you are in a group of people, you should be safe going anywhere on the subway at just about any time of the day or night. A single woman (or man for that matter) alone may not feel comfortable when the platforms are more deserted. There are designated areas to stand during off hours at all stations, but at the more off the beaten track stations (read non - tourist or non - uptown/downtown trains in Manhattan) you may be completely by yourself or with 1-2 other people after about 10pm or before about 6am during the week - if this will make you feel uncomfortable, then just take a cab home from wherever you are. (My luck always has me waiting on the platform with huge, unshaven, unclean men muttering to themselves about how everyone is out to get them - I don't feel unsafe, I just think to myself, gees, I'll be seeing you later tonight at Bellevue)
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 08:54 AM
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we just came back from NYC, stayed for two days and never took a cab-we bought the metro passes and used the subway or busses all the time including after late night broadway play and going out to a jazz club near Times Square-one time felt uncomfortable but that was in the middle of the afternoon and there were only a few people in the station, I think it was the station near Lincoln Center-I think we just missed the train but ours came quickly. There were guards with M-16 at some of the stations and others there was noone. We had a great time and felt safe in Upper and lower Manhattan.
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 09:21 AM
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Hi:
I have been traveling on the subway by myself since high school in the Wild West, Fort Apache days of the 1970's. (Ah.. the good old days !)
I commute daily now to Harlem and leave at all different times of the day. I carry a purse and wear my jewlery. I remain vigilant at all times.

I can recall a few dicey incidents in my travels. Usually those incidents happened because I was not paying attention to my surroundings. I was a big book reader and very easily became engrossed in my reading. I don't do that anymore.
Use your common sense. You know your comfort level. It is making you uncomfortable, leave the situation.
I stay near other groups of peoople or at the top of the stairs waiting for the subway to come in.

NYers commute all hours of the days and nights seven days a week. Me included!!

Have a great time!
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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Ironically, with all the recent terrorist threats NY is probably safer than ever - at least as far as street crime goes. There are extra guards in many areas (I often see a lot of armed guards at the 59th street subway entrance for some reason).
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 02:40 PM
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Thank you for all of your feedback. I will continue to check in for more advice. I won't be alone - my husband will be with me. We have been to NYC and are somewhat familiar with the subway, but would not classify ourselves as experts by any means. Last time, we stayed with friends on Long Island and we used the subway to go everywhere! I just want to make sure we have good street smarts since we are on our own this time.
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