Thursday, October 04, 2007

A Question From A Reader

"I just moved to Petworth and I love it. However I am concerned about
the crime. I've noticed while walking my dog that there are signs
posted on some of the trees on the 1300 block of Sheppard stating that
if more than 2 people are found loitering they can be arrested. It's
some sort of community-based initiative to make that block a "drug
free" zone. Does anyone know how to spearhead such an effort? Does
there have to be prior incidents to establish an area as a problem
before an initiative like this can be done?"

Anyone familiar with this?

For a picture of the sign click here.


Christina said...

Welcome to Petworth! Okay, this may come across poorly and I don't mean to do so, but, you say you "just" moved about settling in, developing a feel for the neighborhood, and just getting adjusted before you consider spearheading efforts to tell people where or when they can congregate? I think that is the kind of attitude -- though based in a well-meaning impulse, I'm sure! -- that makes long-time residents in the neighborhood hate newcomers/hipsters/gentrifiers/whatever.

I'm not discounting crime as an issue, don't get me wrong. But I know there are several older residents in my neighborhood who congregate, and they make me feel *safer.* It's not like I'm some longtimer; I've lived here for three years. But even after that relatively short time, I think I've learned some things.

bogfrog said...

It only takes 1 person sitting on your block and yelling about demons in their head at 10 pm to cause a nuisance. (For example, Tuesday night on my block.)
Blocking groups of 2 or more loiterers -- this seems hateful. Does this mean I could walk down your block with 1 friend, but not with 2 friends? Would we have to walk separately to avoid someone calling the police on us? And does this mean you're not allowed to have more than 2 people on your front porch at the same time?

Anonymous said...

way to over-simplify the issue bogfrog. loitering is very different from walking down the street. don't try and pretend that you have no clue what the reader is referring to - we all know about this kind of activity in the district because we see it everyday. i don't understand your negativity if the people on the reader's street want to get together to do something about the nusiance loitering creates(and often criminal activites that take place when loitering occurs).

and christina - i understand you're intented email message, but your posting certainly came across as harsh. i think many of the people who "just" moved here (and you have no clue what "just" really means so back off) question why the long-time residents allowed their neighborhoods to deteroriate (e.g., litter, crime, loitering) to such a degree that new people get a bag rap for actually wanting to make a positive change.

Christina said...

Anonymous, I don't know if you're the original poster, but I understand English just as well as you do. If I have no clue what "just moved here" means, maybe the original poster could have used different words. All I know is what I read. It means, "I haven't been here long."

Again, I am not suggesting that crime isn't an issue. My suggestions would be to go an ANC meeting, join Neighborhood watch, get to know your neighbors, get to understand the feel of the area. Maybe you and I have different ideas of what would make "positive change."

And if you really think that the older residents bear the ENTIRE brunt of the blame for how a neighborhood may deteriorate...please. I think getting over the idea that new residents are some kind of neighborhood saviors is the first step toward everyone getting along much better. And I'm speaking as a newer resident. These issues are much more complex than just long-time residents blithely ignoring crime until the "good folk" showed up to show them that gee, loitering is bad!

odentex said...

Personally I think if you're under 35 years old you should stay off the streets and out of my way! Whippersnappers! ;)

GforGood said...

Odentex, phhh.. I barely passed you age limit! Hooray! ;-)