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A site dedicated to Cincinnati's Over the Rhine neighborhood.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Enquirer Article on Washington Park Renovations

Here's another article featured in the Enquirer today this time discussing the upcoming plans for Washington Park. The article tries to highlight that "long time residents" are skeptical about the plans. They interview two admittedly alcoholic homeless people who say they use the park as a gathering ground to meet up with other alcoholics and drug addicts.
Doesn't this highlight the need to do something about this huge problem? Even the homeless addicts who hang out there admit that the park is simply being used as a gathering ground for criminal activity!
The fact that this city has allowed that space to be abused like this for so long is absolutely ludicrous! This park should be a safe, attractive meeting ground for people to walk through, read books in, take their kids to, etc. etc. Instead, its being used as the worst display of human filth you can possibly imagine.
The Washington Park renovation is one of two projects in Over the Rhine that I believe is going to be crucial to finally cleaning up the neighborhood and stabilizing it for years to come (the other being the streetcars of course).
Those people who use that park for exactly what the article points out have got to go. If the Drop Inn Center and other social service agencies in the neighborhood refuse demand that the people they serve do something to clean up their lives, then the city and the neighborhood's new residents should demand and enforce it themselves.
Washington Park must be cleaned up.
In my opinion, all of the progress being made in OTR is a waste if Washington Park is allowed to stay in its current state.
What do you think? Comment Below.


Anonymous said...

I think that some of the nations best known parks (Central Park, Golden Gate Park, Washington Square Park, Tompkins Square Park, Bryant Park) allow for homeless people and housed people to enjoy the spaces together.

Let us not forget that when one is homeless they usually lack a "private space" to do the things that most of us do in our homes (get drunk, smoke weed, yell at our partners).

Go to the park and read a book, talk to the people as if they were human, walk your dog. I have seen people, of all kinds, doing it all the time.

The only thing that needs to be cleaned up is your perception.

Mark Miller said...

I think once the new parking garage is in, the problem will likely "go underground." If cops can't stop drunks from peeing in the park now, the new lot under the park is going to smell so rancid nobody will use it.

The city should keep the $17 million in its pocket until they grow enough backbone to solve the real problem.

Anonymous said...

Your best solution is to make sure the streetcars travel to at least somewhere like Fairview Park @ McMillan and Ravine or Fernbank Park way out on River Rd.
The current "residents" will have to go somewhere if you displace them.
I'm sure that displacing the current residents of the park is an acceptable solution for most the other "privileged" OTR residents.

Anonymous said...

"I'm sure that displacing the current residents of the park is an acceptable solution for most the other "privileged" OTR residents."

A park is not a place for one to "reside" it is a place that the community can have shared enjoyment in and not feel threatened to the point that children can not share in that enjoyment.

There are 110 social services in OTR alone. This represents almost 1 for every block in OTR. A homeless person's desire to get drunk, smoke weed and yell at their partners does not superceed others rights to bring children to a safe environment where they will not be exposed to the above, plus the violence that is often associated with it.

Michael Redmond

Anonymous said...

You only have a right to act in a way that does not infringe on others rights. When you speak of doing "the things that most of us do in our homes (get drunk, smoke weed, yell at our partners)" this is tolerated to the extent that it is not affecting others. When these same things are done in public areas, ie Washington Park, it creates a feeling, and often a reality of an unsafe and unclean area for others.

I would hope that you are not saying that one person, or one group of peoples desire to "get drunk, smoke weed, and yell at their partners" is more important than any other group of peoples right to enjoy a safe and clean environment for both themselves and their families.

No one is going around and saying show proof of a permanent residency before you can also enjoy the park so your argument that somehow these redevelopment efforts are somehow causing them not to "enjoy the space together" is not an argument at all. My argument is that it is often the homeless and the drug addicts who are causing others not to " enjoy the space together" because of safety issues.

"The only thing that needs to be cleaned up is your perception."
My perception is driven by Part I and II crime stats that are directly associated with Washington Park in its current state. It is you who needs to change your perception about everyone who lives, works and plays in Over the Rhine and not put one groups need to openly display deviant behavior above a childs rights, a families rights, and any other resident or visitor to Over the Rhine rights to have a safe and clean environment in which to enjoy.

Anonymous, you need a new perspective on what makes a neighborhood hospitable to all of its residents, not just the deviant few you mentioned.

Michael Redmond

chris wiedeman said...

I liked the article over all. I think that every neighborhood has a right to develop in a good way. Over The Rhine has been left to rot for the last fifty years and it's time we looked at it as an intergral part of downtown and not just poverty fester.

OTR has so many vacant buildings that not one currently used building has be be removed or renovated. All inhabited buildings could stay as they are and there is still be plenty of space for renovations and new construction. Of cousre as the neighbor hood gets better the slum lords will want to sell for a profit.

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