Thursday, December 26, 2013

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Center On Halsted Establishes "No Loitering Zone"

The Center On Halsted gave the neighborhood a little stocking stuffer this week.

According to several readers, three  signs declaring the Waveland Avenue side of the community center to be a "NO-LOITERING and a NO-SMOKING zone" went up in the past few days.

The signs indicate that the new policy is "an effort to promote wellness and create a more welcoming environment."

One reader emailed,
This is the area where people have had many problems walking through the loitering crowds hanging outside COH…It is a change of policy by COH but will likely still have to be enforced by security. No problems yet though. I saw one guy hanging out tonight but he was alone.
It will be interesting to see how long those easily-removed signs will remain in the possession of COH, how effectively the Center enforces their own policy, and, of course, if their clients will be more inclined to loiter when the temperature is significantly higher than 13°.

17 comments:

  1. Way to close the barn door after the horses got out.

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  2. "and, of course, if their clients will be more inclined to loiter when the temperature is significantly higher than 13°. "

    And if their clients will be more inclined to simply loiter across the street or down the block. Clearly, COH is feeling some heat, so they're trying to make some sort of move, but the problem still resides in the lack of responsibility they maintain for the people they draw in for their "programs." Nothing will change until they're structured in a way that factors in accountability from both the organization AND their clients. Simply luring people into the neighborhood then letting the roam and run wild is the problem.

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    1. I thought it was a beautiful structure the 2 times I passed through. It's really a shame.

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  3. Since when can a business establish policies for the sidewalk?

    Seems like a policy they know won't hold up since they can't legally enforce it, which will allow them to come back and whine that they tried something, without really doing anything.

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    1. Well they can sign complaints because the signs are up. If the loitering disrupts their ability to conduct their business then there is a violation.

      Will they sign complaints? Of course not but the signs are a very pretty green color

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  4. Let me tee up some replies:

    They have a roof deck actually called the "Richard M Daley Roof Terrace and Garden".

    Why can't their clients loiter and smoke there? It's for rent!

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    Replies
    1. See? Now THAT'S the sort of creative problem solving this neighborhood needs. Thank you, Anonymous.

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    2. I don't think cigarette butts and bodies being thrown off the "Richard M Daley Roof Terrace and Garden" onto passersby below is what the neighborhood needs either.

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    3. Being thrown off the terrace was funny. I laughed out loud at that comment.

      But seriously, we can at least give the COH some credit for effort. We complain (me included) that they turn a blind eye to the problem, but then we mock them for trying to make some effort to mitigate the problems.

      Admittedly this was a baby step when leaps are needed, but thanks to COH for some effort.

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    4. Agreed, Anonymous 2. It's a very small step, but it's a step and it is appreciated. The follow through and the BIG steps will be the challenging part.

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  5. The signs are pointless. The security guards always push them down in front of my building behind the Center which also has posted no smoking signs. Guess what COH?? You brought these people to the neighborhood and they aren't leaving, even if you push them down the street. Come up with a better idea, like a work program, because your signs, like your programs, are a joke.

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  6. Well here's the thing...COH is just trying to sweep the problem off of their doorstep onto someone else's. Those characters are going to loiter somewhere else, and the Center can then say, "See, no problem here." But the problem is that the Center is luring them into the area and leaving them unsupervised with no accountability or results based programs. The Center IS the problem.

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  7. Those signs should also be posted at the L stations and all along Halsted, Clark, Belmont, and Sheffield.

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    1. They are but no one seems to care

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  8. I just drove by the Center and there is a group of 12 loitering kids outside their door. As we expected.

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  9. I haven't seen any problems yet. I've seen kids enter and leave the building but they have moved right along. This policy will really be tested after the holidays when the weather warms up. I hope COH has about 1000 of those signs printed up because they are too easy to remove. I'm tempted to take one just as a souvenir :)

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