We see that a retaining wall at the Minnesota Boulevard and Spenard Road intersection is joining the park benches, downtown planters and the fountain in Town Square Park in being demolished or removed to dissuade miscreants from roosting on them.
The retaining wall served as a bench near the Holiday service station complex at the intersection. As we have noted more than once before, it was particularly bothersome because drunken revelers, with booze bottles in hand, would stagger into traffic at one of the city’s busiest intersections at all hours of the day and night.
In short, the concrete retaining wall was a draw for panhandling, drinking and crime.
Will demolishing the wall fix the problem? Will the denizens who gathered there before simply continue to gather there, and just sit on the sidewalk? What if they move across the intersection and find another place to hang out? What if they move down the block?
More importantly, what else are we as a community going to have to surrender to these folks before we have had enough?
We are left to wonder: What ever happened to old-fashion enforcement of the law? Public drinking, after all, is a crime. Staggering into traffic is a crime. Selling and using drugs is a crime. Fighting on a public street is a crime. Panhandling in the street is a crime. And the answer to all that is tearing down a retaining wall?
How many walls, planters, benches and fountains will it take before law-abiding citizens come first?