Along the 31 miles of a subway line, nagging crime fear tests riders’ solution

“People are scared,” she says. “My friends and neighbors don’t come out of here at night anymore.”

“You definitely see more mental illness on the train,” said Ms Tarmu, further down the A-line in Crown Heights. But, she added, “you see more anger on the train from perfectly healthy people.”

Jade Williams, straight from a flight to Kennedy International and standing on a platform at the Howard Beach-JFK Airport stop, said she was excited to visit the city from her home in Britain. She had gone to school in New York, she said, and traveled regularly around Europe; she knows the city.

“I don’t necessarily feel unsafe,” she said. “Maybe it’s because I’ve lived here before.”

A few stops further south, Stuart Walton has always called Far Rockaway his home. He followed the news of crime in other parts of the city, he said, and was always vigilant while taking the train. But in his block, neighbors watch out for each other.

“Grandmothers, they raised us from little children,” he said. In his neighborhood, that sense of community hasn’t changed, he said.

But Edward Weathers, who lives a few blocks from Mr. Walton, thinks about his 8-year-old son and the city he will inherit.

“We can’t accommodate him, as much as I’d like to,” Mr. Weathers said. He’s worried about him, he said, and he’s worried that New Yorkers put too much faith in politicians to clean up the city. The answer, he says, is for communities to fend for themselves.

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