Comment of the Day

Reader: People Need to Be Able to Enjoy Civic Center, the "People's Park"

The signs went up this past week.
The signs went up this past week. Conor McCormick-Cavanagh
The creation of Denver's Civic Center Park was inspired by the City Beautiful movement more than a century ago.

But the situation there has gotten increasingly ugly in recent months, and now the City of Denver will shut down Civic Center Park on Wednesday, September 15, for a two-month cleanup.

“The current challenges within Civic Center Park have reached a tipping point, creating conditions that put the public’s health and safety at risk. This cannot and will not be allowed to continue. This is the people’s park and we are taking steps so that everyone can once again feel safe and welcomed there," Mayor Michael Hancock says in a statement regarding the closure.

In their comments on the Westword Facebook post, people share plenty of thoughts about their park. Says Sue: 
If this is the "people's park," people need to be able to enjoy it. Clean it up, then open it back up with a plan for patrols and maintenance. It needs to stay open, but also stay safe...for all people.
Notes Tom:
Like most Denver solutions, the causes of the litter, etc. is still a problem when the fix-up/paint-up is done. The city has "solved" the homeless problem many times, including Skyline Urban Renewal, the academic campus, et al. Moving people who need help is a service completely for the scenery and the large dinosaurs assembled around it.
Suggests Steve:
It's more of a drug problem, rather than homeless. Focus on the drug problem first.
Replies Christine:
The human waste and rats are because of the homeless people. Some of them have no regard for other people and their surroundings. They litter and trash out places. They trashed out Civic Center Park. Have you walked around in that part of town lately? The drug problem has been ongoing…and, of course, should be a focus as well.
Comments Violeta:
This is why we can't have anything nice. My mom told me when she first moved to Denver in the '70s, the air was dirty and you would get assaulted if you walked through Civic Center Park. And now we've come full circle.
Adds Jared: 
Maybe not a bad idea to close off the whole city. It's a mess. I lived downtown in Denver for ten years and watched it change every year before I moved to Golden. At one point you didn't have to worry about things getting stolen, people stabbed in the streets, or carrying if you walked somewhere at night.
Offers Adam:
When you price people out of where they live when they have no means of moving, what do you expect? This isn’t some liberal policy wet dream, but big business and gentrification as a result of wealthy people moving in. Once out on the street, they are kicked around town because they don’t feel safe in overcrowded shelters, so as a result, they live in tents. When you get “tent cities,” all sorts of problems arise and the city moves in to kick them out, forcing them to new locations. Great solution, right? Just kick people around town after kicking them out of their communities.

This is happening all over the country where the upper-income are buying up all of the property, building new and expensive communities, while forcing people onto the streets. Stop pretending this is some liberal policy, because it’s not. It’s straight-up capitalism.
Concludes Charles:
It seems like no matter which side this country takes — liberal vs conservative, Republican vs Democrat or vaccinated vs unvaccinated etc. — our country likes to play a "blame" game. At some point, hopefully, we will try to play that "solution" game. Until then, we will all be mired in the "losing" for all game in our society.
What solution do you see for Civic Center Park? For Denver's homeless situation in general? Post a comment or share your thoughts at editorial@westword.com.
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