Something needs to be done
The front page article in the Seattle Times last Monday hit a nerve with me. [“Offenses go unpunished on downtwon streets,” page one, Sept. 30]. Over the past few years I have been alarmed at the change I have seen in the Pike/Pine area of downtown, especially around Westlake Center and 2nd and 3rd Avenue.
I have lived here my entire life and I do not remember a time when I was afraid to go downtown. I am now.
The area had become a haven for groups of teenagers with skateboards and vicious looking dogs, aggressive panhandlers, drug dealers, and the mentally ill. I have witnessed on many occasions people peeing in the street and had to step around human stool. It is both frightening and disgusting.
The area along I-5 under the convention center is also a disgusting mess, littered with garbage, old mattresses and tents.
The mayor has a plan called the City Center Initiative, but a year in and it is still only a conversation and hasn’t yet produced any policy. At the same time the number of citations given out by the police in a five year period has dropped from 2,262 to 271 with very few repeat offenders facing any prosecution.
In other words if you don’t site them or have services to offer them, the problem will multiply due to inaction.
The mayor blames the city attorney, the police chief blames the mayor and the city attorney, the city attorney blames the police. You all sound like Congress in the other Washington and should be ashamed.
It is time to get these people off the streets. Seattle must no longer be known as a city that does nothing to discourage such behavior. As long as there are no consequences to these frightening and disgusting behaviors they will continue to occur, intensify, and spread.
Janet O’Neil, Seattle