So we went back and forth on posting about this because it all seemed kind of trashy and a little stupid. But the sad truth of the matter seems to be: people are having a hard time distinguishing the streets of Center Square from a bathroom. So they're just letting it go... right there... on the sidewalk and in backyards.
The latest episode of this, um, condition played out over the weekend during/after the St. Patrick's Day parade. We've heard from a handful of people in the neighborhood that many parade-goers just couldn't seem to help themselves.
And this has prompted a few questions.
1. What is wrong with these people?
OK, we understand the whole "sometimes you just gotta go" thing, but really... were these people raised in a barn? What makes them think this is acceptable?
And whoever these people are, it seems that -- anecdotally at least -- their numbers are growing. "I have heard observations/complaints regarding the activity in our neighborhood this past weekend which includes beer consumption and public urination ... I don't think I've had the same level of complaints last year," Richard Conti, the neighborhood's Common Councilman, told us after we contacted him about the problem.
2. So, is there anything being done about it?
We contacted the Lark Street BID about this issue because we figured if anyone would want to, you know, wipe up this problem, it would be them. Alas, the BID's response was "No comment."
Richard Conti told us the issue has come up before with the Common Council, but not recently:
The issue of St. Pat's Day parade related issues did not come up in a Council meeting ... we met last night and no-one raised it. There was discussion last year regarding the "Alive at 5" issue.
Issues related to behavior at or after events has come up from time to time ... most recently there were issues related to last year's Tulip Fest and the amount of beer consumption on the parade grounds, people bringing coolers in etc. with out supervision and the aftermath in the neighborhood and at local establishments. There was a meeting with Special Events and the Mayor's office after that that included neighborhood representatives and the BID. There have also been issues associated with Latinfest.
Bill Pettit, president of the Washington Park Neighborhood Association, says this type of behavior happens occasionally during city-sponsored festivals, but it's much more common during holidays like St. Patrick's Day, July 4th and Halloween, when there are no portable toilets available.
"If I had to guess, I would say it's not really the bar patrons, but the under aged drinkers coming in from out of the area with beer from convenience stores."
Well, the first might be for the city or the BID or some org to put out more portable toilets for these events. We understand that costs money, but the apparent alternative is gross.
And secondly, you know, if you're coming to celebrate on Lark Street, don't pee in the streets.
Earlier on AOA: Move along, nothing to pee on here.
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