Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Visions on Vine

I just got done watching the new Visions on Vine piece on Channel 9. Here are some mostly un-edited notes:

The documentary was good but I felt it was a little bit short. Want I really wanted to see was more, "We recommended this - here's what has happened." There was some of that but, not a lot. There were some interesting factoids that I didn't get a chance to jot down. Mostly they had to do with crime numbers being down.

The general impression I got was that Vine was really seeming to turn a corner and get better. There were still some problems that people were having and they couldn't really understand why they weren't getting solved, but overall, the residents had a positive attitude about the neighborhood. I actually feel kind of optimistic about the street now.

The increasing cops walking the beats and the crackdown on crime seemed to make a big dent in the amount of crime on the street. But after an initial improvement, the patrols became less consistent and less effective.

The Kroger store was improved but is is still the number two hotspot for crime in the area.

3CDC started buying buildings and booted out some of the worst venues for crime, including Albert's. The crime stats bear this out; there has been a dramatic drop in those specific locations. But the buildings remain unused and residents are displeased by the vacant buildings.

A new pizza place, Venice Pizza, was designed by UC students, opened, and employs local residents. They have not had any problems with crime. People like the place.

Basically everything fit into three categories:
1 new owners
2 better residents
3 more police

The new owners were a good step, but they need to actually develop the undeveloped buildings.

A number of new organizations moved into the area, notably the Art Academy. This has been a general improvement.

The increased police have helped up to a point, but they need to keep up with what is working.

The piece also covered Main Street a bit. Basically it was revived a lot by an active night life scene, but then a bunch of night clubs closed, but the residents are actually kind of glad because apparently the night clubs were a nuisance.

My Thoughts:
I think the construction worker from Delhi said it best when he said, "It's all in the eye of the beholder." Most of the people interviewed that live down there were happy with the area. They acknowldged that there needed to be some improvement, but that is the case with many neighborhoods. Also, they pointed out that being smart is the best way to avoid crime, i.e. not going out at night by yourself, etc. Basically, people need to change their minds about the neighborhood and stop thinking of it as a war-zone. You aren't going to get shot just by setting your foot in OTR.

Anyways, I apologise for the very rambly post. I suggest folks check out the video and check out Vine St. and make up their own minds.