Thursday, May 15, 2008

Quality of Life Issues in Soulard or Trash is Good, No?

We were out walking early on a Sunday morning, on May 4, 2008, and discovered this cache of trash in Soulard on S. 12th Street, near Russell. When we drove by hours later, it was still there. It looks like some people had been partying. To the left is the front door of Tucker’s Restaurant.

We watched the television program on Channel 10, the city channel, about littering. Interestingly, we did not see our alderperson, Phyllis Young, featured in the program or saying anything anti-litter. In fact, we did not hear any politicians address the subject. The Channel 10 story featured citizens urging other citizens to pick up litter around their property.

Madame Chouteau wonders why this issue is left to those who are faced with picking up after others. To be honest, St. Louis is a very litter strewn city. Go to Chicago and you do not see the litter that St. Louis boasts. Of course, go to Lafayette Square and you do not see the litter that Soulard boasts. Can you say Entertainment District?

It is a quality of life issue, just like street crime. But nobody goes near it. It seems to Madame Chouteau that the problem stems from a lack of self respect exhibited by those who litter. This group needs to be addressed. Instead, the victims are lectured, as usual, and urged to do something about the problem.

The April 30, 2008 (May 1-May 7, 2008) issue of the Riverfront Times carried an interesting story ( titled "La Dolce’ Veto," a story about quality of life issues resulting from a bar downtown. Fights, noise and some sort of drive-by shooting were all discussed, along with the outrage of nearby condo owners/residents. The police had to concede that shots were fired because there were bullet pock marks in the building and a window had been shot out. The highlight of the story was the quote from Rob Olsen, described as the owner of Dolce’ Ultra Lounge & Bistro, the name of this place, who said: "I just don’t get how people think they can move downtown and not hear some noise."

This is the classic response of discourteous, couldn’t care less people who ignore the impact of their actions on a community. In Soulard, I guess the quote would be: "I just don’t get how people think they can move here and not be confronted with litter. After all, it is an Entertainment District."

Madame Chouteau certainly has to concede that point, and she has to thank the fine folks at City Hall - and our local leadership - for ignoring the impact that an Entertainment District designation and liquor sales has on residential interests and quality of life issues. And of course, we tip our hats to those who litter, to those who are making Soulard - and the City of St. Louis - what it is.

No comments: