Wednesday, June 13, 2007

What is wrong here?

Two blocks.

I walked two blocks of downtown at 6:00 pm. 18:00 hours.

Here's what I saw:

A male standing in a parking lot urinating.

Two men sleeping on separate benches outside of a public building (where, by the way, they seem to spend most of the day, everyday).

A fourth man standing at the corner of the same public building...urinating.

Is it any wonder people don't want to come to Trenton to shop, work or for entertainment (OK, what entertainment? we haven't had a movie theater for decades and the restaurants are closing...but I digress).

When did we accept third world behavior as politically correct for those unfortunate enough to be homeless, mentally ill, or both?

Why is it OK for people to constantly loiter around public buildings? Some panhandle, some outright hustle you for money by opening doors or trying to sell you day old newspapers and we accept this.

Of course by giving money, we encourage this behavior just as by ignoring it we allow it to grow.

Do you see this in our suburbs? No.

Do you see this at "the malls?" No.

Why...because it is not tolerated by the powers that be.

Why do we tolerate it in Trenton? The County Seat. The State Capital. One of the most historic and interesting cities in the country.

And we allow, out of some distorted sense of political correctness, this kind of activity to go on day after day after day.

Anyone who thinks that the (hoped for) new residents of the Broad Street Bank Building will tolerate this is fooling themselves.

Same with the tenants for the proposed Trenton Town Center Development.

Making Trenton more attractive to visitors and residents isn't just about putting a positive spin on crime numbers or touting big marquee development proposals.

It's going to take an concerted effort to clean the streets of litter, debris and unacceptable behavior like public urination, panhandling and perpetual loitering.

It's time that our City Officials, the Courts, the Social Service Agencies, the Police and the People find a legal and humane way to discourage this type of behavior.

1 comment:

Trenton Rising said...

WOW... well said... I have to agree with you on all points. I understand that our Police Force is stretched thin, so maybe what we need to do is find a grant where we can pay City residents to act as "social order" police to rid our city of that "third world behavior" as you put it. i agree. it is the small problems that this City has, that if addressed, will make a world of difference. and poverty and mental illness are no excuse for the behavior and actions of select folks, and we sit there and subsidize it with our silence and constant gaze but never intervening.