After dark, when the tourists have left, 3rd Street is a dystopian hell of vandalism, theft, drug dealing, prostitution, suicide and assault. There is an attempt to improve policing, but it is pointless if people are left to sleep on the street.
Parking structure 3 is being torn down to, eventually, in a few years time, or maybe later, become a homeless shelter (in absolutely the worst location if you want tourists to spend money).
The homeless could shelter, right now, at the vacant Fischer Lumber warehouse (on city-owned land) which is virtually ready to go. But then that would remove the need for a structure 3 teardown… and calls into question the council’s judgment.
Two homeless die each month, and the city’s response is… nothing. At least not for the next several years till the glorious trophy building at structure 3 is built. But then how many will have died in the meantime? How many tourists will cut short their visits? How many major retailers will flee 3rd Street, even when offered free rent to stay? (This just happened – really.)
The blood of the homeless will be on our councilors hands (and thus on our hands also for voting for them). The homeless should not be on the street. Either they are offered shelter (not in 3 years time but today), where they cannot overdose and die, and they have to check their guns and knives and drugs at the door, or they should face the very real prospect of a night in jail.
None of this is inevitable. None of this is caused by a lack of money – They tried to audit $6million in homeless spending, but couldn’t find where it went.
And by the way, John Alle is a true hero. He should not be ridiculed for simply documenting the reality of our prime shopping area. He should not be insulted for just trying to rent out the sea of empty stores on 3rd Street.
How on earth did we end up with this city council and this Mayor, where up is down and good citizens are hung out to dry for the politics of madness.
Peter Borresen, Santa Monica