Most public places – whether it be a shopping mall, park, or even a train station – has had at one time had some difficulties with loiterers and troublemakers. How to deter these troublemakers from hanging out is an often debated subject. A convenience store in South Wales tested out the “mosquito tone“, a high-pitched, obnoxious noise audible only to children (in theory, it depends on your hearing. I can definitely still hear it). Rowdy teens that once congregated around the store now avoid it due to the unpleasant noise.
The “mosquito tone” is a quite crude solution to the problem of loiterers. Although it sounds a little bit odd at first, Minnesota’s Metro Transit has attempted a more eloquent solution – classical music. They certainly aren’t the first to try out the idea – similar initiatives have been put in place in Portland, Atlanta, and even London. After a stabbing incident at the Lake Street – Midtown station, the decision was made to play classical music there. Although there is no hard evidence to say it works, complaints about disorderly conduct and public intoxication at the station are down. Perhaps the music makes people more calm, or more likely, teens don’t want to hang around and be subjected to Bach.
Quick video that I took while at the station as an example of the classical music being played there.
I will be the first to admit that I thought the idea of classical music in a station to prevent crimes was a bit funny. Before heading to Minneapolis I put the station on a mental list of places I wanted to visit, just for amusement value. Though after arriving on the platform, I was a tad disappointed – other than the people waiting for the train, it was silent. However, as I approached the elevator, I could hear the music. Apparently it is played in the enclosed areas of the station. But since the railroad tracks are on the upper level of the station, it is ensured that every rider will get a small dose of classical music when they take the elevator, escalator, or stairs to track level.
Though I do actually appreciate the music, Lake Street – Midtown isn’t too bad of a station without it. As I mentioned in my introduction to the Hiawatha Line, there are a lot of little things that Metro Transit does to make stations a bit more cheerful. Many of the windows at Lake Street – Midtown are colored – there are various panels of reds, blues, and yellows on the lower entrance level, and the upper track level. Anyways, here is a quick look at Lake Street – Midtown station. There will, of course, be more to come, as I took way too many photos in Minneapolis and of the Hiawatha Line.