Monday, June 4, 2007

Springdale Springs Back

Contrary to any previous impressions I might have given, I don't hate parks. To prove it, I voted for the proposal to re-vamp Springdale Park in College Hill when it came to the Historic Preservation Commission. With pleasure.

But Jim Schlosser's story in the N&R about the park does give some weight to the idea that parks can become a problem* if not carefully managed, which a commenter scoffed at in a previous post.

Transients, no doubt drawn by the railroad two blocks away, have made a bunking place of one of the city's oldest municipal parks — and probably its smallest.
One of the many good things about this revival is that the neighborhood is helping to do it with money from its Municipal Service District tax. College Hill and Aycock both volunteer to tax themselves at a $0.05 higher rate, and that extra revenue goes into a city fund that is used for improvements in public spaces in the neighborhood.

*Note to Cara Michele: I'm not saying that the homeless shouldn't use parks. But when lots of them use the park as a place to sleep off a drunk or a high, it's a problem. It keeps a lot of people from feeling safe there.


Roch101 said...

Close the railroad. Right?

David Wharton said...

Nah. The plan makes the park less of a hideaway and adds amenities that are likely to attract more residents and kids.

Anonymous said...

I live less than a block away, and it is not the railroad, but the fact that it is between the places that the homeless can get help on Lee St. and Tate St., where the panhandling is easier because of the college students.

The residents around here are pretty used to it, and other than looking for odd jobs occasionally, the "transients" usually don't interact with us. I feel pretty safe living near the railroad. I'm probably more concerned about a train wreck with noxious chemicals that I am the homeless. I'm happy that the park is being upgraded, though.