We could all show a little more civility on the CTA. Here's how

One could say that pushing a woman down the Fullerton station stairs and killing her as you run with a snatched iPhone is the most extreme example of a lack of civility on the CTA.

  • uncivil 2.jpg

    The civil thing to do is to respect your neighbor’s property and not steal.

  • The civil thing to do is to respect another’s space and not knock them down just because you are in a rush to flee a crime scene.
  • The civil thing to do is to help a person to her feet if you happen to knock her down.

But the iPhone thief at the Fullerton station last Monday was not civil at all. He was and is a murdering thug.

Very uncivil.

Then I got to thinking about all the uncivil things I see every day on the CTA.
And while I know that most of these uncivil things we do are not
unlawful like theft and murder is, I can’t help but think if we stopped
doing them, our quality of life would be infinitely better.

Can we agree to be a little more civil to each other on the CTA by:

  • Stepping out of the train doorway onto the platform so others can exit.
  • Moving to the rear of the bus.
  • Moving to the center and ends of the train car.
  • Not blocking/standing in the rear exit of a bus.
  • Using earphones for all music, videos, etc.
  • Keeping the volume at a reasonable level, even with earbuds.
  • Offering a seat to anyone who looks like he/she may need it more than you.

What else can you offer to garner more civility on the CTA?

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  • How about not eating, peeing, or wanking?

    How about no graffiti?

    How about taking up only one seat?

    How about not preaching, selling junk, yelling into your cell phone, or otherwise making a disturbance?

  • In reply to jack:

    That's a great start Jack. Thanks.

    BTW, I was expecting to hear from you yesterday on the alternative plan I posted on how to fix the L. It's not too late to comment....

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I've decided not to bother with fantasyland.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    How about removing your mini fridge sized backpacks so people can pass you as you block the aisle, and not pushing people out of your way so that you can be the first to board the bus, and letting people off the train before you board. Oh, and taking your trash with you if you can't wait to eat.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    In a less crowded L train car, refrain from occupying the area in front of the door as though it is your personal compartment, if you are not getting off at the next stop. (It's ridiculous, when there's a decent amount of space all around, to have to squeeze between two such people just to get on or off, yet it happens often.)

    As you enter the car, if you're not interested in taking one of the empty seats in the middle, try not to immediately block the path of people who do wish to make their way to one of them.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Take only the space to which you're entitled, both physically and in terms of sound: in other words, don't take up two seats, and don't seize the ears and attention of everyone else on board. Just ride the train or bus - don't take it over. And it's civil to obey rules like no eating, even when many others ignore them.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I saw a moment of extreme civility this morning on a bus. A guy was sitting in an aisle seat with an empty window seat next to him. A woman asked if he was getting off soon. He said the next stop. So instead of asking him to get up, she stood the entire two blocks until he was ready to exit, then took the window seat.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    If I were in the seat, I would have swiveled into the aisle to let her in the window seat.

    So, no kudos to the guy.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Part of being civil is to allow others to be civil toward you. A few years ago, I attempted to give up my seat to what appeared to be a pregnant woman. Instead of graciously accepting my offer, she screamed at me, "Having a vagina is not a disability!" Okey-dokey. From now on, if you want my seat you will have to ask for it.

  • In reply to eBob:

    Wow! That is harsh. Why are people so mean?

    Ladies who have been pregnant ... thoughts?

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I've never been pregnant, but I am getting to the age where younger people occasionally offer me a seat. I thank them and decline their offer. Any other response is completely uncalled for.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    When I was pregnant (2 different times) people would always offer me a seat, but that was 25-28 years ago, and people were much more civil then. A few weeks ago I was on the bus (in the back) and a middle age man got on, he was on crutches, and obviously had a cast on his leg. Not one person offered their seat except a little old lady about half way back. Sad world.

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    Yesterday morning the woman standing a few feet in from the doorway to the hobo corner wasn't moving inward, despite a few looks from people on my other side (close to the doors). As I admittedly somewhat exasperatedly began to just walk past her into the free space, I noticed she was sweating on her nose and looking pretty bad. I asked her if she was okay. She was pregnant and trying to control motion sickness. I told her any of the people sitting there would be happy to give her his seat (likely not true, but whatever) and she kind of shrugged, so I asked a guy if he wouldn't mind letting her sit. he took one look at her and shot right up and apologized for not noticing her condition. I was really happy he wasn't a jerk about it. And that she didn't puke. Civility all around!

  • In reply to KevinO’Neil:

    I think I was pretty civil the other day. I was in the single inward-facing seat by the emergency door when a man took his little son into the space between the cars so the boy could whiz. I guess there are bathroom facilities after all...I never thought of using the train tunnel as my personal toilet. But I said nothing and buried my face in a book so they'd know I hadn't been watching (like I would want to watch that, ever). I guess if you gotta go...better than using the hobo corner, I suppose.

  • In reply to scottknitter:

    The last place I would want "whiz" would be anywhere near the third rail!

  • In reply to scottknitter:

    My latest pet peeve is people waiting to board standing right in front of the door making it difficult for passengers to disembark. Not only is it uncivil, it's counterintuitive. You can't get on until I get off. It seems to be the worst on the Blue Line. I know people have long commutes and want to get a seat, but c'mon people. I'm tired of having to be defensively rude just to be able to get off the train.

  • In reply to marthat3:

    I agree, this is one of my biggest pet peeves! Also, when you are going down or up the stairs to the platform, kindly make room for those who may be trying to catch a train that is there. Just because it's not going your direction, it doesn't mean you need to meander! (Especially people who are walking side by side)

  • In reply to scottyboyswa:

    Although I'd have to say no one has a right to a clear path for running to catch a train that is pulling in or about to leave, and running is a bit of a danger to others if the place is crowded. Not everyone is equally agile, and those who are a bit slow on the stairs might not be able to do any better or have room to get out of the way. The key may be to leave earlier and avoid a mad dash to catch the train! :)

  • In reply to scottknitter:

    Too right. If you're 22 years old you may think everyone should be capable of running up the stairs and escalator, or bouncing down them. The young and strong need to realize that springy knees and high energy don't last forever. They also need to realize that if everyone older and weaker than them suddenly died and got out of their way, it wouldn't necessarily be a nicer world.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Here's the 50-year-old me talking: lately when I'm approaching my L stop (Granville or Loyola) and am still on the street when a train going my way pulls in, more often then not I will relax rather than prepare for a mad dash. Missing this train means I have 10 minutes (or 4-5 minutes in rush hour) to get up to the platform, so I needn't endanger myself and others by engaging in an Olympic sprint to get my fare paid and get up to the platform. A few years ago, a train arriving had to be caught, almost as a matter of life and death (or so it seemed). Part of my mellowing is age, I'm sure (although I can still sprint and scale a staircase with the best of them); part is telecommuting, so I'm never late for work. I've also learned always to allow an hour to get downtown, and that very rarely proves insufficient.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    Please... I'm 45 and I can still "bounce" down the stairs. I wasn't referring to the elderly or those that have good reason for taking extra time. Yes, in a perfect world we'd all leave the house earlier, etc... Sometimes the trains get backed up or delayed and catching the train that is about to leave can make a difference. It's called common courtesy. Walk on the right, and don't take up the whole stairwell or escalator. That way those who can move a little easier can pass. I've never pushed anyone out of the way, nor would I.

  • In reply to CCWriter:

    A few years back on a raw damp day much like this one, I made the mistake of running up the stairs at the Morse Avenue station for a southbound Red Line train. The result was a bad fall on the platform and a trip to the doctor to deal with a sprained ACL. The knee aches to this day. Karma, maybe.

    But I did make the train.

  • In reply to scottknitter:

    I'm only speaking of those who walk in the middle of the stairs... It's common sense.

  • In reply to eBob:

    I once offered my seat to a pregnant woman and she politely said that she was more comfortable standing then I said "But people are going to think I'm an asshole." She laughed, but me and the other people sitting around her got some nasty looks from boarding passengers.

  • In reply to eBob:

    Maybe she wasn't actually pregnant - that would explain her not so gracious response.

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