After a summer of random violence across the Hudson River, residents of northern New Jersey are less inclined to visit New York City because they fear becoming another crime statistic, a newspaper poll revealed Saturday.
A survey last week by The Record in Bergen and Passaic counties found that nearly half the 887 adults interviewed said they are visiting the Big Apple less often, except to go to work. Fear of crime was strongly linked with the decision to stay home, although many North Jerseyans also said they were fed up with New York traffic and high prices.The poll found that most North Jerseyans still enjoy an occasional outing in the city but those who go say they are more concerned about crime than they are at home. And they are more reluctant to use the subway, ride buses or stroll through Central Park because they are afraid of being mugged.
The responses followed a crime wave in New York that saw several children slain by stray gunfire in separate incidents and the murder of Brian Watkins, a Utah tennis buff who died on a Manhattan subway platform trying to defend his mother from muggers.
Older people were slightly more concerned about crime in New York and women were more concerned than men, but the fear of falling prey to violent crime worried North Jerseyans of practically all ages and backgrounds.
Subways topped the list of most dangerous places in New York, followed by Central Park, where a female jogger was raped in August 1989 by a gang of teenage boys in a "night of wilding," and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the hub for most of the region's bus links with New York.