Walter Mencken 2 p.m., May 28
- Community Blog
Just walking, downtown
On a recent walk, a friend and I stumbled on a section of sidewalk on 9th between F & G, west side of street. I had my camera, so I took pictures. There is a tree which has outgrown its assigned spot. There are several elevated concrete slabs, along with broken areas & places where there were attempts at repairs. You know what I mean, they spread some black stuff around & oftentimes the temporary repairs make things worse.
I filed an online report with the Street Division & sent e-mail with photos. I got an e-mail from the City Street Division requesting an address before they could proceed. Since my last encounter, I knew to provide detailed information in my repair request. My response referred to the address on my report, address referenced in my e-mail & address in photos. In reply to that, I received an e-mail from the Street Division advising that this area is due for repair "later this year" and "requesters wait in line for this funding" and there are 680 sidewalks due for repair this year and "please have a crew do some temporary repairs to make this more sidewalk useable until then."
Since I live downtown I should not be surprised at the numbers. What does get my attention is the fact that this particular sidewalk area is not conducive to temporary repairs and left as is, it is downright dangerous. Removing the concrete would make more sense as that would at least create a somewhat level area.
You can see photos at: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2028603&id=1358248250&l=0ea9afbc18
I wonder who decides what gets repaired. The City Risk Management people may want to consider doing sidewalk inspections, if that is not being done. By that I mean, going out to reported bad spots to determine what gets fixed. Again, this relates back to the essential vs. non-essential services.
All of these empty buildings (condos & apts) were built with the idea of changing downtown into "residential" which includes being pedestrian friendly. I wonder if that will ever get accomplished.
The apartment building, Strata at 10th & Market (southwest corner) is apparently near completion. I say that because there was a real estate ad about a 2 bedroom unit renting for $4250/month. Those kind of prices should guarantee emptiness! This is a HUGE 23 story building that looks totally out of place. You can check it out on the CCDC website. Go to: http://www.ccdc.com/ and click on interactive map.
As for the homeless population, there are definitely less people sleeping in this neighborhood. But, there seems to be a lot more daytime & evening activity. On Wednesday evening at 5:30 PM, I was walking west on F St. behind the post office and I encountered several young (early twenties) men blocking the sidewalk, talking very loud & crude. As I approached one of them stepped aside and made a big deal out of allowing the "old lady" to get past them. As I did, I noticed the obvious smell of marajuana and alcohol. One man was sitting, smoking a joint, seeming to be oblivious to the world. They were not there when I walked home.
On Thursday, I was again traversing F St. on the north sidewalk, when I noticed there was a lot of broken glass. I do not know what City department would be responsible for cleaning that up. It would be nice to be able to find the persons who did the breaking and get them to clean it up.
One night last week, 2 young men were taking stuff out of a car. There were papers, which one was tearing up & throwing on the ground. There were cans, again tossed on the ground. And there were glass bottles, maybe 3 or 4,, which they proceeded to break against a tree. They were laughing & having a good time. Then they locked up the car and started walking away, I hollered from my balcony that they should throw their trash in the bin which was about 30 feet away. One guy did not even look, continuing to cross the street, heading west. The other one said it wasn't his stuff and he took off to join his friend.