Inbox: Car Wreck Alert

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There was a crime a few blocks from my place of work. My employer sent out an e-blast, presumably to thousands of individuals, with a description of the incident, the suspect, and advice to avoid being a victim.

* Avoid walking or jogging alone and never walk or jog alone after dark.
* Always choose a well-lit path and avoid dark or vacant areas.
* Carry a whistle to summon help.
* Be alert to your surroundings.  If you suspect you are being followed, run in a different direction; go to the other side of the street and yell or whistle for help; or head quickly to a lighted area, a group of people, or business.
* If you are confronted by a suspect, give them what they want and don’t chase them as they leave.  Report suspicious persons or activity immediately to the Police.
* Be extra cautious if someone approaches your car and asks for information.
* Consider using the Shuttle Service.

We should have the right to walk our streets without being the victim of a crime. Let’s build places that promote safety rather than undermine it.

What if we got an e-blast with advice after the daily horrific car wreck? After all far more of my coworkers drive to work than walk the surrounding neighborhoods at night.

* Avoid driving
* Avoid poorly maintained and lit streets, roads, and bridges
* Drive slowly
* Don’t drive in bad conditions
* Don’t drive drunk
* Don’t drive distracted
* Report erratic driving immediately
* Take the bus, train, taxi, or rideshare whenever possible
* Don’t drive without working headlights
* Don’t run over pedestrians/cyclists
* Don’t engage with another driver experiencing road rage
* Carry a cell phone to call 911 when a wreck occurs
* Vote for/support transportation alternatives whenever possible
* Vote for/support streetscape reconfigurations that discourage fast driving whenever possible

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  • Robbie

    SLMPD has both traffic accident data (~daily) and crime data (monthly) freely available online; someone who’s good at scraping or has a lot of time on their hands should be compiling these. Would make for a very interesting comparison. Or maybe they’d do it for us, if we asked?

  • Daniel

    I for one am not going to be walking home in my neighborhood late at night when I routinely hear gunshots from my windows. I’d rather avoid the possibility of bodily harm than “promote safety”. That being said, if everyone did it it would be a lot less dangerous, but I’m not going to be the lone night walker.

    • rgbose

      It’s a bit of a prisoner’s dilemma. Same thing with bad schools, if 10,000 students from good school districts suddenly started going to a bad one well then it wouldn’t be bad anymore, but who’s first?

      • BudSTL

        I really don’t think that this statement is true. Learning requires the proper instruction, and certainly a significant portion of our school’s underperformance is poor quality of instruction. Smart kids are built, not born. Schools will improve as the parents of students press for change, and excellence. Just sayin’

        • rgbose

          The parents of those kids wouldn’t put up with poor instruction. I thought I read family income is best indicator of school children’s outcomes rather than school district.

          • onecity

            Bad instruction isn’t the issue. The problem is when a school is filled with students whose parents didn’t finish school, who have no role models, who lack the financial resources and time to put into their child’s education. Except for a handful of exceptional students, those kids are almost predestined to fail in a conventional school setting. And that’s no fault of the teachers.

          • onecity

            Weird – The comment I was responding to disappeared – my comments weren’t for you rgbose.

          • Daniel

            Agreed. My wife is a teacher with SLPS. She has two master’s degrees and is an excellent teacher (although I’m biased of course). Most of her students don’t have fathers, have no parental supervision outside of school, and generally are not encouraged to do anything. Consequently, the a sizable percentage of the students never do homework, leave tests and quizzes blank, and cause so much disturbance that nothing much gets done in class. I’m pretty convinced that bad schools have much more to do with students in bad social environments than bad teaching, or even poor funding.

            Anyway, it seems the main way neighborhoods/schools improve is when they become whiter and richer. That’s the sad truth of our country.

          • matimal

            It’s what is happening in American cities. It’s the rich and professional classes who bring economic growth. Talk of ‘democratizing’ our economic are national and global issues, not local ones. It’s totally beyond the ability of one medium-sized American metro to resist these forces.

          • onecity

            The return of wealth and knowledge to our cities is a wonderful change. Cities are traditionally the centers of knowledge, culture, wealth, and power. It is only a fluke of American history that our cities became bankrupt, crumbling, warehouses for the poor. And it is a destructive fluke that destroyed decades of social capital, economic potential, and the built environment with it.

          • matimal

            The big coastal metros have been world beaters for more than half a century. It was because of America’s special power to distort markets that other American cities became

          • Daniel

            Honestly I think it’s a negligible change if you look at the big picture. As has happened in other American cities, richer, whiter people will displace poorer, darker people in the (now desirable) cities, while poorer, darker people will displace richer whiter people in the (now undesirable) suburbs. That is until the richer whiter people change their minds again. So really nothing changes, except that richer whiter people will have the opportunity to live an a more aesthetically interesting environment.

          • Eric

            I grew up in the Clayton School District. There was plenty of bad instruction there. Plenty of extremely good instruction too. Yes, the parents (mine especially!) complained about the bad, but they didn’t get their way always, or even most of the time.

        • onecity

          If you dig deep into student performance data, one thing stands out as the clearest predictor of student performance. It isn’t class size, facilities, teacher training, or time in school. It’s household income. It’s such a strong predictor, that a student from a high income household will perform at the same level in a high income suburban district or a low income district. The crisis in education doesn’t exist, in other words, because the real crisis is concentrated poverty, which requires a level of intervention no normal public school is equipped to handle. The real key to bringing the city’s schools back starts at the neighborhood elementaries. All of us need to start using these schools if we want our neighborhoods to be attractive to the stream of newcomers that are essential to maintaining and improving the neighborhoods in perpetuity. Participation.

  • c2check

    This is great! I’d love to see that email sent out–including statistics about the greater danger of driving vs. risk of violent crime (in most places) wouldn’t hurt!

  • tbatts666

    I like the last two suggestions.