Perceive this, Mr. Mayor!
New Yorkers reacted harshly Monday to Eric Adams’ claim that they’re merely experiencing “the perception of fear” on the subways, saying they want the mayor to know they avoid riding the rails for a very real reason: to keep themselves safe.
An Upper West Side lawyer said she’s been spending about $500 on Uber rides a month amid the recent spate of shoving incidents that led to the slaying of a woman in the Times Square station on Saturday.
“The fear is real,” said the 31-year-old woman, who gave her name as Monica.
“When you hear incidents that women are being thrown onto the subway tracks you’re scared.”
She added: “Eric Adams can say what he wants to promote ridership but the fear is justified. He needs to do his job, not gaslight New Yorkers.”
Manhattan resident Sam Bennet, 33, said Adams “sounds like a typical politician: big ideas and no legitimate plan.”
“The subways are becoming more and more despicable,” said Bennett, who works for a luxury goods company.
“I’ll continue wasting money on Ubers. This whole situation is f–cked up.”
Meanwhile, those still brave enough to venture underground said they do so warily, with Hannah Topliff, 25, of Kips Bay saying, “You can’t relax or act timid on the subway — it’s too dangerous.”
“I always stand by a pole on the subway platform, so I can’t be pushed onto the tracks,” she said.
“Saturday’s random attack emphasized that I need to keep standing by a pole while waiting for my train.”
Priscilla Hoffman, 80, said she follows the same strategy whenever she’s “forced to take the subway.”
“I hate the subway. I’m afraid of the hostile homeless,” said Hoffman, who’s lived on the Upper West Side for nearly 50 years.
“The city deteriorated after they took the homeless out of the shelters and put them up in hotels during the pandemic.”
Inwood super Raul Guzman, 67, was at the Dyckman Street station to escort his 20-year-old granddaughter to her job at a Harlem restaurant.
“When I can, I go with her,” he said in broken English.
“She can go, but now she’s afraid…I don’t know people not afraid on the train.” Guzman added, of Adams, “If I had the police, the men with the guns, around us, like him? No, I won’t be afraid…But he has the drivers, the big cars! He doesn’t use the train.”
On Sunday, Adams tried to downplay the death of Michelle Go, 40, who was pushed beneath the wheels of an R train in one of the city’s busiest stations around 9:40 a.m. the previous day.
Adams, a former NYPD transit cop, said statistics show that “New Yorkers are safe on the subway system” while repeatedly invoking the notion of “the perception of fear.”
The man charged with murder in Go’s unprovoked, random slaying is a homeless ex-con with a history of mental illness — identified by cops as Simon Martial, 61 — who told reporters he did it “because I’m God.”
The NYPD didn’t immediately say Monday how many cops were reassigned from desk jobs to patrol the subways since Adams promised to “beef up” patrols underground during a Jan. 6 news conference with Gov. Kathy Hochul on the subject of homelessness.
Law enforcement sources said all patrol officers have been under orders to check a subway station during their tours since Adams took office Jan. 1
But a Brooklyn cop said, “It doesn’t matter how many cops you put in the subway system.”
“There are not enough cops to cover every station, 24 hours a day,” the cop said.
“It would make more sense to stop these people from fare-beating. If you stop them from coming in, they can’t push innocent people.”
A Manhattan cop echoed that sentiment, saying: “If you don’t control the gate, you can’t control the subway.”
Additional reporting by Tina Moore