Karen Fung is doing an amazing job captaining the SkyTrain Unconference Blog. There's an open in-person meeting on Saturday with Translink. I don't think I'll make it, so here are some thoughts on their targeted issue of Safety.
SkyTrain stops are are hubs that lots of people pass through. Usually when there are many people around safety is not a concern. Problems can arise when a hub has relative down-time (empty except for a few people) or in quiet areas close-by.
The worst case is when you get off a skytrain or bus in a totally deserted area, or with only a few sketchy people and nobody else.
One powerful path to improvement is to build more community and commercial services around our transit hubs. A coffee shop, restaurant or bar right beside a transit hub is a world above a deserted hub in terms of safety.
Vancouver doesn't do this very well. Many large transit hubs are completely devoid of any services. These hugely traveled areas could support a variety of businesses, or serve as excellent locations for community activities if allowed.
Location, location, location! Translink needs to build more sticky activity in its centers. Safety through active community is the real way to improve the situation in and around transit hubs.
Locking the system down with turnstiles or more cops is an easy sound-bite solution, but doesn't address the root of the problem.
I went in with the idea of using some time to create a Lux map of Vancouver, since there wasn't one yet. It was a good scale project to do, since I was able to get it (mostly) done and also spend a bunch of time talking with the other nerds there.
I cleaned it up more after the event, and spiced up the theme with creative commons photos from kidcadaver and Jaako. It's now gone through the MapLAB and has been released to the plugin manager inside Lux. If any DevHousers want a copy, send me an email.