Author Topic: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?  (Read 1086 times)

fieldafm

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Main Street Pocket Park is poised to become a dog park, but is simply repeating the mistakes of the past really a wise use of taxpayer money?

Full article:
https://www.thejaxsonmag.com/article/is-a-dog-park-for-downtown-the-right-move/

dbjax

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2018, 11:10:23 AM »
Seriously, until something is done about the Homeless Day Shelter Library I doubt the conditions will change. Just about every day, you see people line up to enter the library at opening to get out of the heat. If the city really wants to help clean up downtown, give people an opportunity to improve their own conditions, provide a way to earn their way out of homelessness, create an environment with dignity and responsibility for the homeless to police themselves.

If it was easy, everyone would do it. Because it's not, no one wants to bother. Let's just continue to allow these people to dwell at the absolute bottom-tier of society, pushing the work onto the few faith-based shelters we have (and ensure that we don't fund them in any way with public dollars).


KenFSU

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2018, 11:35:22 AM »
I've got mixed feelings.

First and foremost, the property should never have been taken off the tax rolls to begin with, but I guess that ship has sailed.

That said, a dog park is a really great amenity to have right in the middle of the urban core. Tons of people bring their dogs to work downtown, there's a lot of residential in the vicinity that would benefit from it, and hopefully it might help drive some additional residential development in the surrounding area as well.

But on the other hand, I still haven't heard a good explanation as to what the city's plan is for the 50-100 homeless and mentally disturbed regulars that the dog park will displace.

I fear they'll end up in Hemming Park, which has made such great strides in the last two years due to the millions the city has poured into it.

Here's a video from a couple of days ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGVMJk9FUlo

Kids playing in the kids zone, food trucks, office workers having lunch, live music.

It's night and day.

I really worry that the city will be creating a new problem to solve the existing one, and all the money will just end up cancelling itself out.

Bill Hoff

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2018, 12:02:41 PM »

But on the other hand, I still haven't heard a good explanation as to what the city's plan is for the 50-100 homeless and mentally disturbed regulars that the dog park will displace.

Sulzbacher Center will be the site of the new & improved day center, first stage of that is supposed to open next month. Additional elements are planned to make it a one stop shop, per se.

The long term solution is to move Trinity Rescue Mission and City Rescue Mission outside the core. Their model attracts A LOT of high needs homeless who hangout outside, but don't actually stay there consistently. Move those to somewhere less problematic and you've taken a gigantic bite out of the problem.

thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2018, 12:08:39 PM »
That said, a dog park is a really great amenity to have right in the middle of the urban core. Tons of people bring their dogs to work downtown, there's a lot of residential in the vicinity that would benefit from it, and hopefully it might help drive some additional residential development in the surrounding area as well.

In general, this thought sounds fine. In the reality of the actual site's surroundings, is a street with heavy traffic slamming on the gas, to make it through consecutive green lights, the proper setting for a dog park? IMO, it sets up to be a pretty dangerous one.

Typing this actually brings me back to the same discussion we had years ago with the JEDC about the park proposal. Placing a park with no active uses next to the Salvation Army had disaster written all over it. That money didn't have to be spent at that site. If I recall, it could have been invested for any public space in the city as long as the site was along an FDOT facility. In response we were told about a crazy plan that the park would increase the value of Salvation Army's property, they'd sell and something like an infill hotel development would replace them. A decade later, we're living the predicted disaster, which was pretty obvious to anyone applying common sense.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 12:15:08 PM by thelakelander »
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thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2018, 12:17:11 PM »
As for moving social services out of downtown, I challenge anyone to visit any of the so-called vibrant downtowns across this country. There are just as many, if not more, homeless. However, those places offer things that draw in other people, so they don't stand out as much.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Tacachale

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2018, 01:34:59 PM »
As for moving social services out of downtown, I challenge anyone to visit any of the so-called vibrant downtowns across this country. There are just as many, if not more, homeless. However, those places offer things that draw in other people, so they don't stand out as much.

Do you believe that when the blue jay or another bird sings and the body is trembling, that is a signal that people are coming or something important is about to happen?

vicupstate

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2018, 02:37:08 PM »
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In response we were told about a crazy plan that the park would increase the value of Salvation Army's property, they'd sell and something like an infill hotel development would replace them.

It must have been really, really, really hard not to laugh in their faces. [or maybe you did?]

A 'park' that consisted of nothing more than a few trees was going to dramatically increase the value of a Salvation Home property, while not being a magnet for homeless people that already spent most of their day across the street.

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acme54321

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2018, 02:59:53 PM »
I fear they'll end up in Hemming Park, which has made such great strides in the last two years due to the millions the city has poured into it.

Where do you think they came from?  This park wasn't anything near as bad as it is now until the homeless were pushed out of Hemming.

Steve

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2018, 03:34:35 PM »
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In response we were told about a crazy plan that the park would increase the value of Salvation Army's property, they'd sell and something like an infill hotel development would replace them.

It must have been really, really, really hard not to laugh in their faces. [or maybe you did?]

A 'park' that consisted of nothing more than a few trees was going to dramatically increase the value of a Salvation Home property, while not being a magnet for homeless people that already spent most of their day across the street.



I remember that exact conversation almost word for word.

COJ: (what was said above)
MJ: And RFP'ing the property for development wouldn't increase their values?
COJ: Well...Salvation Army could then sell.
MJ: And what happens if Chris Hionides buys the property (in fairness, Hionides is now moving on some of his properties but he wasn't in 2007)? Then you have a vacant building next to a park that doesn't work.
COJ: (changing the subject) We also have interest from someone who wants to build a hotel on the surface lot at Main and Adams (this is Farah's parking lot).
MJ: Really? What's the current status?
COJ: We haven't heard from them in about six months.
MJ: Oh.

It was surreal.

Bill Hoff

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2018, 06:14:52 PM »
As for moving social services out of downtown, I challenge anyone to visit any of the so-called vibrant downtowns across this country. There are just as many, if not more, homeless. However, those places offer things that draw in other people, so they don't stand out as much.

That's true. However, organically creating the amount of the density/vibrancy that will make the issue here blend in, per se, will take decades at this rate, assuming another economic downturn takes place in the next 5 years.

Relocating some of the homeless services (some, not most) from the core could take place in a few years. Big difference in the time line.


thelakelander

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2018, 08:23:01 PM »
Relocating homeless services won't solve downtown's vibrancy issues though. They'll also drag out years once the discriminatory lawsuits start flying.
"A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” - Muhammad Ali

Bill Hoff

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2018, 10:52:24 PM »
They'll also drag out years once the discriminatory lawsuits start flying.

I wasn't suggesting forcing anyone out. COJ could offer incentives and help 'em find a viable spot. Make it part of a comprehensive plan, ideally.

Jax leadership's current approach to addressing the issue is half band aides and half best wishes. Doesn't cut it.

This article, for example, suggests a skate park in lieu of dog park, which I'd love to see, but it still doesn't address the issue the proposed dog park is trying to address - lots of people with significant issues hanging out in prime locations creating undesirable environments for others.

Unless someone is building 1000 units of free housing with case management & safety nets, or is moving in another 5000 residents to the core soon, the most practical AND timely solution is to deconsolidate homeless services from the core (in a thoughtful way), prioritizing those who most contribute to the issue.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 09:47:35 AM by Bill Hoff »

bl8jaxnative

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2018, 05:33:54 PM »
As for moving social services out of downtown, I challenge anyone to visit any of the so-called vibrant downtowns across this country. There are just as many, if not more, homeless. However, those places offer things that draw in other people, so they don't stand out as much.

 I can't think of the last time I was panhandeled while walking around downtown Savannah.     Moving some of these facilities isn't a panacea.  But would they be served any less if the Salvation Army were located at Duval and Myrtle instead of Myrtle and Ocean?


I don't want us to sweep away these people so they're out of sight and out of mind.  And they should be able to enjoy public parks, et al. just like anyone else.  On the other hand, it would be wise for a city looking for redevelopment downtown to acknowledge that you can't have people overwhelmed by the issue.   How do you break up the string of parking lots along ---> MAIN ST <--- when the vast majority of people with money that would come downtown or live downtown aren't willing to deal with the problems that stem from the current location of social services along it. 

Some of us can move past it.  But for most people, it illicits the same feelings as asking a parent to use a day care facility that's next door to a brothel.


I-10east

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Re: Downtown Dog Park- Have We Not Learned From Mistakes Of The Past?
« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2018, 08:56:04 PM »
As for moving social services out of downtown, I challenge anyone to visit any of the so-called vibrant downtowns across this country. There are just as many, if not more, homeless. However, those places offer things that draw in other people, so they don't stand out as much.

Many people say to same about the jail; falsely (IMO) like having an old jail in an urban location = a constant crime hotspot. IMO it's the exact opposite. IMO it's no big deal and it's common to have a jail downtown (with virtually no crime detriment) but you build a jail in a suburban or even rural area, that area will be affected dramatically.
« Last Edit: October 20, 2018, 08:59:35 PM by I-10east »