Comment 36111

By Meredith (registered) - website | Posted December 07, 2009 at 22:16:35

What about turning this discussion back to the quality of the built environment and atmosphere downtown, not another red-herring discussion on the poor. Grassroots and many others were at the Pittsburgh meeting, so I'm sure you and the rest of us can understand the importance of environment.

For too long, our downtown has been allowed to get decrepit - that includes lousy buildings. That means it is not attractive for most people besides one economic cross-section.

As a result, it's a "dumping ground" for poor people and very few who aren't poor congregate there. It does NOT help poor people to leave downtown as a dumping ground. while there are larger issues at play, improving the environment is good for everyone.

There's tons of improvements that could discourage illegal behaviour, improve the environment, and make it a better place for EVERYONE.

From King & James, you see peeling stucco/paint on the northeast side, a badly lit stairwell on the other side... that's a bad view to start with.

So... --- What about Jackson Square installing proper lights around the stairs? --- What about police officers around to discourage drug deals and give the appearance of safety? --- What about enforcement about the anti-smoking bylaw in front of businesses? --- What about enforcing bylaws about spitting and littering? Frozen phlegm on the sidewalk is disgusting, no matter who does the spitting. --- What about proper garbage cans with recycling and green-bins.. there aren't any further east than John, and the current ones have had the labels removed. Do it right! (and get a private ad company to install and maintain these) --- What about enforcing property standards in EVERY building in the downtown core, including exterior maintenance on things like stucco... AND interior structural issues? What about properly inspecting rental properties to ensure they meet fire, electrical, and structural standards? If not, get those slumlords out, unsafe buildings are bad for tenants! --- What about a real budget for art installations around the core? --- What about a scramble intersection to add interest at King & James? --- What about PRIVATE CITIZENS getting together to buy buildings and renovate them? That huge, hideous Power Drug Mart building was on sale for 250k a month ago and was sold right away. A group of people who could secure a half-million could have bought, gutted, and renovated it, tenanted out the upper three levels and split the bottom into two storefronts... --- And obviously, two-way traffic would be real nice....

But unless you go so far as to claim unfair discrimination against the drug dealers who were brought to this point by their tough lives... you can't say any of those things are hurting poor people.

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