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Opinion >  Letters

Rolling up the welcome mat

I live in the 1200 block of West Riverside just west of Jefferson. Last week I noticed a crew of constructions workers removing the picnic benches from the grassy / tree’d boulevard area. Without a

single notice to anyone they’ve just disappeared.

I contacted the city through 311 and was told that it was the Downtown Partnership that had those removed. How can this be that the city assigns authority to a non governmental agency to take

control of city streets and boulevards? And worse without a word to anyone.

I’ve lived downtown for 17 years and while we do have homeless we’ve never seen a significant problem with people abusing the median. In fact the benches and picnic tables are used by

staff from the attorney general’s office and from other businesses on West Riverside.

Yes sometimes there are our homeless guests using it but they’ve never caused a problem that I/m aware of.

What does this say about our city that the Downtown Partnership can summarily remove picnic tables and benches without anyone having a voice in this? I acknowledge that the partnership

does some good things for downtown but still this was a selfish and unnecessary move to appease a few business people.

We boast that our city is welcoming and friendly and then we move those tables and picnic tables? its appalling and it was unnecessary.

Steve Berde



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