Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Trouble in the Valley?

I blogged about my Father’s Day bike ride with my daughter a couple of months ago, and since that time the ride through the Antelope Valley trail has become part of my regular routine.  I’m down the trail at least three times a week.  So when I read this column in the Sunday paper, I had a pretty good visual. 

I usually take my rides between 5:30 and 7:00 AM.  Most days, there are two or three men sleeping under the bridges at N, O, P, or Q Streets.  I’ve seen a few small items of clothing or food packaging left behind.  Like any other urban watercourse, Antelope Creek carries the flotsam and jetsam of trash that washes down four miles below Holmes Lake.  Plastic bottles and tennis balls bob in the tepid pool that forms between J Street and the weir.  Someone is obviously collecting it from time to time.

I have yet to see anyone drinking, but that is probably a function of the time of day I am there. It’s not exactly cocktail hour. I can’t imagine that it isn’t a problem from time to time later in the day.  I walked it this afternoon, and everything looked pretty good. The area under the bridges is shaded, clean, has a ledge at the top, is out of the rain and dew, has attractive lighting, is out-of-view from the roadways above, and is a stone’s throw from a liquor store and the People’s City Mission distribution center. 

While the author of the column hasn’t seen any police officers during his strolls, we are indeed spending a little time in the Valley. The best we can do as a police department is try to keep the illegal behavior—nudity, public urination and defecation, drinking alcohol in public, unlawful panhandling, and so forth—somewhat in check through judicious application of a little patrol, surveillance and enforcement.

Build it, and they will come.  If I had designed it, here’s something you would not see at all beneath those bridges:  a flat spot.

17 comments:

JIM J said...

In the beginning, Lincoln created the plan and the idea to build, and it was good.
Then the profit Jim appeared. A voice said, all of those who need a place to drink, and litter, shal come.
And it was good.
Now today, the project is close to finished. The start of a new and filthy area has come.
Funds will be little to keep up, good ideas, like no flat spots begin to surface, and this is not good. I will stop short of " I told you so"

ARRRRG!!!! said...

You have to sleep somewhere. I don't know how they can stand it as bad as the state bird has been this year.

Anonymous said...

Arrrg,

We know that's not a pic of you because all the bottles are FULL and no sign of any emptys.

Anonymous said...

How is the graffiti coming along in that area?

Tom Casady said...

10:43-

I saw one grafitto marked on a pillar, consisting of 3 letters about 3 inches high. The author of the newspaper column I referred to reported a Swastika on the turtle sculpture between the P and Q Street bridges, but it has apparently already been removed--I never saw it. I suspect that with this much concrete and stone, it will be a problem from time to time and will require periodic maintenance.

JIM J said...

I thought someone would call the spelling police today, but profit inplace of prophet, did not get any takers.

Anonymous said...

Off topic, but is LPD still requiring the registration of handguns purchased in Lincoln by Nebraska CCW permit holders? That's not allowed by State Law as of July 15th.

FarmerRick

Anonymous said...

I ride under the bridge at 27th and Cornhusker almost every day (to and from work). I have seen officers there and I appreciate that it's even known as a place to keep an eye on. Truthfully my biggest fear is just running into someone as I come around the bend.

Tom Casady said...

FarmerRick-

The City Law Department is looking into it.

Anonymous said...

Chief, what is there to look into?
The law(section 18-1703) states: "...any existing city or village ordinance, permit,
or regulation requiring the registration of a concealed handgun owned,
possessed, or transported by a permitholder under the act, is declared to be
null and void as against any permitholder possessing a valid permit under the
act."
Seems pretty cut and dry to me.

FarmerRick

Anonymous said...

It's cut and dry FarmerRick but if the City Law Department is looking into it that means there are lawyers involved and that is never cut and dry.

Anonymous said...

Is it legal to skateboard down there? The billion dollar ditch is the closest thing to a concrete skatepark in Lincoln.

Tom Casady said...

4:56-

As far as I know. Looks like a great area for that, at least for now. I'm guessing it will eventually have to be regulated...

People need to remember two things: this is primarily a flood control project, not a park, trail, plaza, campground, or anything else. The rest is just frosting on the cake. It's a creek!. Second, at present, it is also a construction site--it is not finished. The frosting has just been started, and it will be a while before landscaping, fountain, turf, and other amenities are installed and mature. For Pete's sake, how about a little patience!

H. Simpson said...

Mmmmmmmm, frosting.....

Anonymous said...

You just don't care about these people, do you Tom? WJD!
Maybe you can make life even more difficult for them, give them a ticket, arrest them, shoo them out of your city, by god your the chief and there won't be any slim on your bike path.

Anonymous said...

@4:56;

Slim? Kinda takes the spark out of your rant and makes you look like a fool when you leave the 'e' off of the end of a word.

I'm not even going to get into WJD except to wonder if the missing 'W' stands for 'what' or 'would' ie: 'what Jesus do?' 'would Jesus do?'

Please proofread your rants before you click on PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT.

Anonymous said...

6:39
Hey thanks for correcting my mistakes, professor. Now Tom will be able to understand the message better.