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Posted at 10:12 AM ET, 09/ 5/2010

Defending the Gallery Place 'Mosquito'

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Rob Klein
Gainesville

Bravo to the merchants near the Gallery Place Metro station for installing a "Mosquito" device emitting sounds particularly irritating to teenagers. The teens' frequent offensive behavior apparently drives potential customers away ["A whine that can drive teens away," Metro, Sept. 1]. Misbehaving teens have been a problem on Metro for a long time. When I worked in the District, I would try my best to schedule appointments around the end of the school day to avoid ill-mannered and aggressive teens I saw all too often letting off steam on Metro.

It is sad, indeed, that such a device is deemed necessary, as one commuter, Tone Walters, lamented to The Post's Theresa Vargas. And perhaps it is "ageist" and "classist" to target teens, as he went on to say. However, while the majority of teens do not cause problems, the majority of those who do are teens. It has come to the point where riders such as Cassie Boiselair, a D.C. visitor who was quoted in the Sept. 1 story, won't even display an electronic device for fear of theft. She asks if there is a better solution to high-pitched sound devices. Perhaps there is.

A few years ago, I read about a mall that had a problem with loitering teens. The solution was to play Bing Crosby songs loud enough to drive them away. Apparently any tunes with soft melodies, engaging lyrics, and delightful harmonies will send these kids scurrying and bring listening pleasure to most others.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | September 5, 2010; 10:12 AM ET
Categories:  D.C., Metro  
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