Friday, December 21, 2007

North End: Are Things Getting Better?

It may be too soon yet to get excited, but there are several indications that public disorder in the north end of downtown is easing.

Efforts begun or realigned as a result of October's 9th & Pacific Community Forum seem to be bearing fruit. Public telephones in the vicinity--which often seem to serve only those who want to break (or at least severely bend) the law--have been removed. The D Town Market--by all accounts a center for disorder--has been closed due to several code violations. Area residents and businesses have noted a visible increase in police patrols--which some link to the assignment of the new Sector One Commander, Lt. Shawn Gustason--and a precipitous drop in the "nuisance traffic" that has come to characterize that area for so many previous months.
"[A] message is sent to bad guys that it's not a smart move to try and get away with nuisance and criminal activity because the community, police, and the BIA are watching and working together to keep the neighborhood safe," observes Laura Hanan, an area resident and activist.
Credit needs to be directed towards Community Liaison Officer Rob Luke, who has helped orchestrate activities like the code review, and his fellow officers. Credit is also due to Safe Streets and the management of the Winthrop and Olympus hotels, all of whom are cooperating to address internal security issues that, too often in the past, have spilled out onto the streets. And credit is deserved by all north end community members, who are acting effectively to organize and take back those streets.


  1. The Theater District is in better shape nuisance wise IMO than it has been for at least two years.

    Of course, some problems at the park by the North Park Plaza Parking garage may return in the summer.

    Getting the area under control is critical as it is the junction for the LINK and for people to walk between Broadway and Pacific. The nuisance activity at 9th and Commerce was undermining our transportation system and the basic functioning of downtown as it is the central hub that many people need to walk by or through.

    I am also glad to hear that there have apparently been the introduction of "community policing" with police walking downtown. The BIA are a benefit, yet, they simply cannot replace community policing as they have no arrest powers.

    There are also a number of CPTED items implemented in the area which are working.

    Of course, vigilance is the key if the success is going to continue.

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