The results of Senator Bill Perkins’ Have You Seen a Rat Today? campaign are in, with responses from some 5,000 New Yorkers who filled out the surveys. The answers are interesting, probably because they are true, or at least, seem representative of our own experience, for the most part.
–Only 1 percent of people say they’ve never seen a rat on the subway. Who are these people, and do they have eyes? Almost 60 percent of us see vermin daily, and 29 percent see them weekly, mostly on the tracks. 4 percent of people see them in places other than the train, platform, benches, or tracks…which begs the question, “Where in God’s name are you seeing rats, then?”
–The “rattiest” subway of those listed (all 86th Street or above) was the 125th Street 4, 5, and 6, closely followed by the 145th Street A, B, C, and D, and the 96th Street 1, 2, and 3. The 148th Street 3, of the stations included, had the least rat sightings.
–80 percent of people think the rat problem is “severe” or “state of emergency,” while 20 percent somehow consider it “mild.” Sort of like a “mild” case of the flu…or pregnancy.
The main proposed answer to the problem seems to be forbidding eating on the subway and getting people to clean up after themselves. Good luck with that.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 1, 2010