Archive for Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Vibrant area?

October 3, 2006

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To the editor:

The Sept. 2 Saturday Column and other recent articles regarding the status of Lawrence's downtown make some very good points about preserving our unique downtown and I support that, but for different reasons.

The history of downtown, its economic stability and the appeal to visitors are all important aspects to preserve. However, recently, downtown also has acquired some notoriety that may jeopardize its reputation and threaten the safety of those who visit during evening hours - in particular, recurring bar fights, the presence of weapons in public parking lots and the increasing number of homeless that have become part of the downtown landscape.

I have wondered for a very long time about the contradictions in referring to our "vibrant" downtown with the constant piles of trash, cigarette butts and other debris that clusters on long-neglected, cracked and dirty sidewalks and in doorways of many downtown businesses next to the beautiful planters along the new curbs and gutters.

Much of the daytime business comes from tourist trade - a niche market of folks with the kind of money to spend in specialty shops that excludes a significant portion of Lawrence residents. The nighttime business consists of food, alcohol and various entertainment that is limited in its draw to those seeking the "nightlife" that has brought some trouble to the area.

Rather than ask, "Do we want the downtown to become an entertainment district?" the real question is, "To whom does our downtown belong?"

M.G. Roy,

Lawrence

Comments

prioress 8 years, 7 months ago

Rather than ask, "Do we want the downtown to become an entertainment district?" the real question is, "To whom does our downtown belong?"

Get used to it; "entertainment" is the future. Downtown belongs to those who can afford the rents and who can make a living after paying all their bills; there is no other "bottom line."

dthroat 8 years, 7 months ago

"To whom does our downtown belong?"

The homeless and the panhandlers who constantly harass the people who like to go there. (Daytime/Evening)

Partyers and bar people at night.

And we all know we can't upset either group in this town.

Jamesaust 8 years, 7 months ago

"The nighttime business consists of food, alcohol and various entertainment that is limited in its draw to those seeking the "nightlife" that has brought some trouble to the area."

"Limited in its draw" is a description of numerous Kansas downtowns that LACK food, alcohol and various entertainment. This author seems delusional as to who really brings the business and tax revenues into City coffers.

The author may not be one of the Lawrence residents drawn to the nighttime trade but he is wrong if he believes that non-Lawrence residents make up more of the 'nightvisitors' than those present during the daylight hours. "To whom does our downtown belong?" he asks. Answer: to the Lawrence residents there. Out-of-town persons may cause a disproportionally high number of problems but they do so surrounded overwhelmingly by people from within the city limits. Just apparently not the author, who is snug in bed at those hours (thankfully so for all of us).

Confrontation 8 years, 7 months ago

Trying to find parking anywhere near Mass Street is a headache. The parking garage is a constant home to the Salvation Army homeless. I know that not all homeless people are violent, but many do have mental illnesses that keep me away from dark parking garages. I've been 'startled' twice by homeless people hanging out in a darkened corner or on the stairway. Parking in the Vermont and New Hampshire lots can be just as scary after dark. I would like to see more cops "on foot" in that area, but I know the funding is a big problem.

Confrontation 8 years, 7 months ago

Not if you enjoy homeless people lurking around everyone dark corner.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 7 months ago

I say to our new City Manager David Corliss how about installing more lighting in parking lots around town. Lights cost less than new officers and may be more effective.

The city has grown and so has the diversity of the population

While I'm on the kick of more lighting allow me to address Chancellor Hemenway. More substantial lighting on campus just might deter attacks on women. Wherever these occur add substantial lighting. May also work in high theft areas on campus.

Nightlife is part of every city however I believe we have plenty of establishments. It is also what attracts the wide variety of music to our great town so nightlife ain't all bad.

Homeless people are a fact of life in a town of any size. As one retired officer informed me the LPD knows more about who and where these individuals are than we know at any given time. There is no law against being homeless.

So far as parking is concerned metered spaces are almost always available at ninth & New Hampshire as well as at the New Hampshire lots.

dthroat 8 years, 7 months ago

ljreader - not yet, but give him a day or two.

OTR- you are right. I somehow don't think powershopper follows the local news closely, or dosen't live here and correlate the addesses or names. Fortunatley most (not all) of their violence is taken out on each other as opposed to others, but it does happen a lot.

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