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Minneapolis transit tries classical music to deter loitering

By Andrew Moran     Feb 15, 2012 in Travel
Minneapolis - Would classical music stop loitering at various transit stations? Authorities at the Minneapolis Metro Transit system are experimenting with Ludwig van Beethoven to stop loiterers, vandalism and disorderly conduct.
Listening to one of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Harpsichord Concertos, a Ludwig van Beethoven sonata or a Richard Wagner opera can put someone into a relaxing state of mind. Unfortunately, a lot of young people dislike listening to classical music, which may be good news for transit officials.
Local news outlet Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the Metro Transit system will be turning to the great classical composers of yesteryear to stop crime. This classical music cost-effective tactic is being implemented to stop loitering, vandalism and bad behavior at Minneapolis transit stations.
Authorities believe that young individuals will not enjoy the likes of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Sergei Rachmaninoff, which would prompt them to leave the scene and find somewhere else to loiter.
This new approach doesn’t just contain classical music, but is part of an expanding initiative that includes more lights, security cameras and police officers during after-school hours and in the evenings.
Following many complaints from neighborhood residents, Metro Transit started to look at alternatives to make the transit system safer. There have been many incidences in the entire system, including a stabbing among two young men and the arrests of two other individuals after a fight broke out.
Classical Music strategy elsewhere
Minneapolis isn’t the only city to take this unorthodox approach.
Last year, Oregon police officers started to utilize classical music to deter violence and crime. After numerous failed attempts to decrease the fiascos that would transpire at bus stops and train stations, officials decided to take the classical music approach.
According to one incident specified by the Portland transit administrators, a gentleman in his 20s was loitering in the station. When Georges Bizet’s “Carmen” began to break out in her aria proclaiming her love for those that do not love her, the man looked at the speaker, looked away and left the scene.
Is the program successful? After one year, Portland Police Lt. John Scruggs told the Minneapolis outlet that the 18-to-25-year-olds have quit hanging out at Portland stations as soon as classical music begins to play.
In Toronto, the Toronto Transit Commission installed speakers at Kennedy Station that blare classical music.
Other cities have tried it with no success, though. One police official in West Palm Beach said the program failed after only several weeks because the loiterers would adapt to the environment and destroy the speakers.
Do you think using classical music would stop loitering in your city? Does utilizing classical music to stop young people from committing crimes insulting to classical music aficionados? Could classical music incite an interest from the potential lawbreakers?
More about minneapolis transit, Classical music, Loitering, Lake Street lightrail station, metro transit system
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