Last night I met my husband in an expensive restaraunt on University Avenue for a celebratory dinner. I parked in the garage on Bryant Street and, when I walked to the corner, found it inhabited by a group of 4-5 homeless people in various stages of inebriation. Walking along the street, I noticed that the sidewalks were dirty, and the entire area looked shabby and neglected. After finishing dinner at about 9:00 PM, my husband walked me back to the garage just in time to witness a woman from the same group on the corner step into a vestible, pull down her pants and urinate right in front of us. Not the ending I had envisioned for my evening and not an experience that makes returning to University Avenue, especially when there are so many attractive alternatives, one that I will consider again for a long time.
So, how about enforcing local ordinances against loitering and public intoxication/urination/defecation? How about washing down sidewalks and generally sprucing up downtown? How about installing portable rest-rooms? And what about increasing police presence so parking in a garage and walking down the street doesn't feel so ominous?