Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Action --> Reaction

Downtown Dallas enforcing 'Zero Tolerance' policy on panhandling.

But enforcing such quality of life-type laws have been notoriously difficult to enforce: The vast majority of people ticketed under Dallas' panhandling ordinance never pay their fine or otherwise clear their ticket.

And the city's expanded anti-panhandling ordinance is but one of several new laws that some Dallas residents have criticized as high-profile, but ineffective attempts by politicians to control behavior.

City officials, however, contend that such laws result in greater voluntary compliance and give police tools to prevent or stop activities that erode Dallas' quality of life if left unaddressed.

The Cause (well, the cause of this backlash, not homelessness - I'm not even gonna start with that issue), of course, being the construction of The Bridge in downtown, which may or may not, stigmatize and/or hinder the redevelopment of the southern portion of downtown. It certainly has upped the population of destitute and downtrodden on the streets of DTD.

Much as with land use zoning, we need to stop clustering by tax bracket to build healthy stable communities within our city as Andres Duany describes here:

While I'm fully in support of the function and necessity of The Bridge; I question what exactly is it bridging towards? Kicking them back out onto the streets in the morning?

What really, needs to be done, much like with senior citizens and school children, the solution is not found in warehousing them. Those with mental illnesses or drug and alcohol dependency need treatment, others need training programs.