Words of advice for Olympia
Recently our local newspaper ran an editorial suggesting that Olympia could use some advice regarding its downtown area.
I asked several friends, family and acquaintances what advice they would give Olympia regarding its downtown area and came away with a number of suggestions.
The first suggestion called for more police in the downtown section. They thought the whole area was dangerous and unsafe. A few more visible officers would make them feel better.
Another said the homeless problem has to be addressed. They thought the city should stop providing shelter for the chronically homeless – - those with drug, alcohol or mental problems. They knew that most people are temporarily homeless and often find a place to stay within a few weeks.
They suggested that the city encourages the other ten percent to hang around downtown because that where the food and shelter can be found.
Another told me that Olympia really didn’t have a problem with its downtown area. He felt it was relatively safe. What was needed was a better effort on the part of the city to make people aware that the area was safe.
One woman told me that she hasn’t gone into downtown Olympia for more than 10 years and that nothing the city does will bring her back.
Of course, I thought they need to eliminate the parking meters and pay stations and make all of downtown Olympia a free parking zone. I seldom go into downtown during the day when I have to pay for parking.
Someone told me the city did away with paid parking during the holiday shopping season. If that’s so, no one told me. Just another example of the need to communicate better.
I’m certain the city’s problems aren’t as easy to solve as the few suggestions I’ve mentioned.
Chronic drunkenness, drugs, panhandlers and dogs and youth sitting on the sidewalks are indicators that the downtown area of Olympia is their hangout.
The city needs to find out what that reason is – - and eliminate it.