There has been an increase of Vagrants in the Ballston Metro Area to the point where allot of people are complaining they do not feel safe anymore. Especially women who happen to be waiting for a Bus during the evening hours. So where is Arlington Police, probably handing out Driving Tickets for some of the most minor of violations like driving 5 miles above the speed limit…
In any case, I was approached maybe 4 times in one day by Vagrants and bums who seem to have made a home for themselves in front of The 711 and Pizza shop across from the Ballston Metro. As usual one bum asked me for change. Another one asked me to get him a drinking cup from the 711 I was enetring. One Vagrant followed me to the Bus stop then asked me for a cigarette. Another one had the odacity to tell me I had a piece of lint on my beard and actually tried to remove it himself. I had to knock his hand out of the way from preventing him from touching me. This guy was big and scary with glassy eyes that stared into space. I could imagine how a woman would feel. Meanwhile, not a single Arlington cop, or Metro Police around. They usually come out only during the day when the sun is still out. When I finally got on the Bus for my 5 minute ride, one of the vagrants decides to board that same bus. He quickly begins harassing one of the passengers a woman, for cigarettes and some change.
I asked the bus driver do you see what is going on ? and of course he ignored me. I’m not surprised, the bus drivers at the Ballston Metro station spend 50% of the time riding around in Buses that say OUT OF SERVICE. Then they complain that the Arlington Green Line is stealing their customers. The MTA has always provided lousy Bus service to Arlington residents probably because the MTA is based in DC and most of their drivers live in DC or Maryland.
Getting back to the Vagrants, is the Arlington County board and the Police aware of this problem ? Just last year one of these guys tried to launch a Molotov Coktail inside the mall. We’ll just have to wait for another horror story to develop in that area before something is finally done.
That’s what happens. All they were doing was asking for handouts..
HJoseph, I think the audacious big guy who took offense to your grooming has some sort of developmental problem. I got trapped into a stop-and-chat with him when he hit me up for money I and noticed his acute attention to detail (although he’s no Dustin Hoffman) and his proclivity to use his hands. (He tried to touch me a few times, too, had to swat him away.) I notified A-SPAN with a date/time/brief physical description, but expected little to be done about it. Hope he gets the help he needs.
Seriously, while those experiences suck…you can’t expect the bus driver to be a mega-enforcer. Just like you can’t expect ACPD and Metro Police to be all places, all the time.
Tom, thanks for your post. I wish people more people reacted the way you did (i.e. not freaking out about it, but connecting a person in need to services).
1) Create an environment that is unwelcoming to the criminal element. Clean up Ballston and keep it rolling east right over the bridge. Maintain a focused presence on Metro stations and the bridge to ensure that gains are not lost.
2) Adopt a Community Policing Strategy that places the health and safety of Arlington Residents above revenue generation efforts.
3) Contract out Metro services and incentivize quality and cost savings.
4) Close ASPAN. End Affordable Housing efforts.
My guess is nothing will happen. Crimes will continue to escalate in number and severity, and nothing will be done. It runs counter to the “big picture” Progressive Agenda.
We could lure all of the bums onto a bus with free beer and chicken, then just drive them to the west coast and drop them off. Who’s with me?
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