March 20, 2013
This feisty newshound would like to throw a shout out to the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID) Committee for shepherding the pending CID proposal for the Avenue through the labyrinth of administrative bailiwicks and committee hearings on its way to full city council approval, hopefully this week. The CID initiative is an excellent step in the right direction for an Avenue that needs some positive attention.
That said, job one for the Avenue CID committee should be doing some serious housekeeping this spring and summer to create a safer environment for potential shoppers and business patrons. Nobody wants to wade through vagrants and panhandlers to visit the funky new boutique at Independence and Indiana. Nobody wants to walk past some drunk urinating in a tree-box to get to the newest bistro coffee shop. It’s all fine, well and good to clean up and promote the local shopping district, but until the vagrancy and loitering laws are enforced, nothing is going to change on the Avenue.
Getting “hustled” at the local convenience store may translate into “neighborhood charm” to some, but the shoppers the CID is trying to attract won’t come back if they’re hustled every time they go to the ice cream store. If you build it, they will come and step one to making shoppers come is ridding the Avenue of the chronic loitering and vagrancy.