Creative Ideas for Old Downtown Issues

I would love to hear any creative ideas or solutions to the safety, crime, loitering issues that are growing in Old Downtown.

47 Comments

Codie

about 3 years ago

Mimes. The city of Caracas, Venezuela just hired 120 mimes to discourage bad driving habits. We here in Duluth could adopt their model, except we could use the mimes to discourage loiterers and panhandlers. Just station a few of 'em by the Lake Superior Bottle Shop, Loiselle's, and the Last Place, and... Voila! No more issues!

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

It might be helpful to note on the front end of this that "Old Downtown" is the part of Superior Street that runs from Lake Avenue to Fitger's. At least, I'm pretty sure that's what Old Downtown is. (Or was the insinuation that the issues are old?) As for my solutions, I would say let people mind there own business and arrest people when they break the law. Anything else is likely to to be a foolish infringement of rights. Although a few mimes couldn't hurt.

Rhetoricguy

about 3 years ago

I'd like some further (probably statistical) description of these problems. I've rarely seen a downtown that wasn't always "getting worse than it once was" perceptually that wasn't also "about where it always was" statistically.

Vicarious

about 3 years ago

Spikes. On every surface.

adam

about 3 years ago

Fire the Clean & Safe Team and save $100,000/year.

Ramos

about 3 years ago

Dress the loiterers in suits and ties so the sight of them doesn't bother anybody.

Lojasmo

about 3 years ago

I think the clean and safe team is a great investment. Probably, in total, the cost of a single police officer (including benefits) with a much greater community impact. The Simpsons Monorail Lyrics   Lyle Lanley: Well, sir, there's nothing on earth Like a genuine, Bona fide, Electrified, Six-car Monorail! What'd I say? Ned Flanders: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: What's it called? Patty+Selma: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: That's right! Monorail! [crowd chants `Monorail' softly and rhythmically] Miss Hoover: I hear those things are awfully loud... Lyle Lanley: It glides as softly as a cloud. Apu: Is there a chance the track could bend? Lyle Lanley: Not on your life, my Hindu friend. Barney: What about us brain-dead slobs? Lyle Lanley: You'll be given cushy jobs. Abe: Were you sent here by the devil? Lyle Lanley: No, good sir, I'm on the level. Wiggum: The ring came off my pudding can. Lyle Lanley: Take my pen knife, my good man. I swear it's Springfield's only choice... Throw up your hands and raise your voice! All: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: What's it called? All: Monorail! Lyle Lanley: Once again... All: Monorail! Marge: But Main Street's still all cracked and broken... Bart: Sorry, Mom, the mob has spoken! All: Monorail! Monorail! Monorail! [big finish] Monorail! Homer: Mono..d'oh!

Shane Bauer

about 3 years ago

I think the legalization of marijuana would somehow have a positive effect on any safety and crime issues along that stretch of Superior St. Probably not loitering though, especially if there are mimes in the area.

chiefly

about 3 years ago

Monorail + mimes = problem solved.

Claire

about 3 years ago

I agree with Shane. Why is the natural herb illegal and this fake shit is legal? I am very against this, I don't like the idea of people putting such toxins into their bodies.

adam

about 3 years ago

I am against the idea of people telling other people what not to put in their bodies.

Shane Bauer

about 3 years ago

It's amazing what some people will put in their bodies. Michel Lotito put a whole Cessna plane in his.

wildgoose

about 3 years ago

I'd be interested in those statistics, as well. Except for this Last Place on Earth brouhaha I see nothing but essentially positive growth on Superior St in Old DT. A and L looks about done constructing and seems to have a tenant or 3 for each of its buildings. coney Island totally renovated and looking good. Zeppa, nuff said there. Sheraton, Blackwater, the Police Station renovations moving forward, the Carlson bookstore building ... Also just up from Superior St. we have the Carter Hotel which had seen better days now purchased by Fond du Lac Band for a casino expansion pending a workout of the legal issues with the city. I'm not saying growth and expansion is always good but I don't see the "growing problem."

Wes Scott

about 3 years ago

What issues? I've never seen anything that is upsetting? Unless a few people with blue hair is an upset? I find people enjoyable and entertaining. If they are sort of freaky and it's not Halloween then it's entertainment to me. Nobody is harming anybody. Ever been to a city with real problems? It's very apparent.

Endion

about 3 years ago

I wish in the evenings that the downtown businesses would allow parking in their lots until about 2:30am. After that the towing companies could make some dough, but there are so many open spaces unused in the evenings. Maybe just tell the locals and give us one break up here that matches our supposed "lower cost of living" that justifies our lower pay up here. I actually kind of like the new argument over synthetics because it shows how stupid our laws are on what you put into your body. Cigarettes killed 5000 Minnesotans last year when synthetics killed 2. How about alcohol compared to the real smoke? How about DUI laws when bars never care how much booze they dole out... Was this the vision the forefathers had for our Republic? Open the damn NorShor, what is the status of that? Will I have to use the casino's lot to go to the Nelson's latest venture? Parking downtown sucks in that stretch, and makes me pick other, more convenient options. Except with everything spread out up here a night of fun always risks the dreaded DUI. Monorail! We could be the Disney World of the North.

Buck Skinner

about 3 years ago

Oh my holy crap Paul, you misused "there." I'm beside myself with moderator disappointment.

Melanie

about 3 years ago

OK... how about disallow welfare to anyone who moved here in the past 5 years? Greyhound would be running buses to Chicago and Detroit around the clock after that, we could lay off a few police officers and downtown sure would suck less.

wildgoose

about 3 years ago

Fond du Luth Casino manages that parking ramp, but it is owned by the City of Duluth. Any revenue that comes out of it (if any) goes to the City of Duluth. The widely held misconception that it is the "casino's ramp" somehow bothers me.

George

about 3 years ago

Drug test welfare recipients.

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

Oh boy ... here we go.

TimK

about 3 years ago

In Florida they recently passed a bill requiring drug testing for welfare recipients, even though the state's own research showed that drug use was below 1% (as compared to 18% of the general population). Oh, the welfare client had to pay the fee for each drug test themselves- typically between $90 and $115. Also Governor Scott's family owns a stake in one of the biggest drug testing companies in the state. The state was rightfully sued and lost.

Vicarious

about 3 years ago

Random drug tests for cops. Random drug tests for executives of companies that receive tax benefits or subsidies. Random drug tests for all elected officials. Random drug tests for everybody!!!

George

about 3 years ago

Then we should get rid of welfare period. It seems like everyday more people are moving to Duluth for it's welfare checks mayor Ness has yet to adress the issue and with the colleges putting undue strain on the neighborhoods (get bigger dorms/require their use) and job markets this town is in an economic downward spiral. I could google a statistic but it's as easy as more corporations and gentrification maybe a train to the cities.

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

citation, please George. you need to proof yourself before you make silly statements like "more people are moving to Duluth for it’s welfare checks" we really like proof around here. proof or i call bullshit.

Claire

about 3 years ago

I think this city is rocking like I've never seen it rock. Downward spiral? I don't think so.

in.dog.neato

about 3 years ago

yeah, wait...aren't we doing better than most of the state in terms of housing market and employment numbers? as of september, MN ranked 13th overall for unemployment percentage weighing in at 6.9%. Incidentally, Florida, the state Tim mentioned runs up at #45 with 10.6%.

J.S.

about 3 years ago

Downward Spiral? Huh? Have you checked the room rates at the Canal Park hotels? Restaurant prices around town? The Monorail idea sucks - it would be even uglier than 35. A subway could work - the weird and wonderful ones would hang out down there, and the beautiful people would never have to lay eyes on them.

rhetoricguy@gmail.com

about 3 years ago

i want the monorail / personal rapid transit system!

Shane

about 3 years ago

Subway? Less chance of that than a monorail, the water table here is pretty high and there is a lot of solid rock AKA the Duluth Gabbro complex to blast through.

EvilResident

about 3 years ago

Mime-O-Rail. Force the indigents to dress like mimes and lay on the ground in a line and let us walk on them, replacing the need for sidewalks. Don't steal my idea. I'm gonna make millions.

Carla

about 3 years ago

OK - so owing to the fabulous success my ideas always have here - I am inspired to try again. We do not need for the mayor and the city to get involved in any more real estate. If we want to be a city with a vibrant art infested downtown, then what we need are relevant social services for artists and musicians. They need to have affordable health care, affordable housing, good food, child care, legal services for intellectual property, mental health care for those low times, easy hassle free studio, rehearsal and recording spaces, etc, etc. We don't need any more venues. If we have the art scene because the artists want to come here because it is beautiful here and they can get meaningful, reasonable services that they need,then business people will fall all over themselves providing the real estate. The same is true for tech kitchens and all kinds of skunk works. If DEDA would stop messing around with dimwit projects that burn up funds and only benefit the building trades and do some stuff to make the lives of real people better, then nobody would be loitering because they would have better and more fun stuff to do. My .02

Iron Oregon

about 3 years ago

I'd like to see the city embrace our winters by closing off a downtown street all winter to allow for horse-drawn sleigh rides/ "taxi service." One thing that distinguishes us, yet scares outsiders, is the perception of awful winters. Far from being awful, it's an asset that should be promoted far and wide!

adam

about 3 years ago

Duluth can always use more venues.

zra

about 3 years ago

+1 Adam. Homegrown was barely contained within the venues that were available this year.

Endion

about 3 years ago

So Carla wants to create a welfare city for musicians and artists. Free practice spaces and studio time with no new venues. Scary thought.

carla

about 3 years ago

Didn't say no new venues - said no new venues paid for with city money.

edub

about 3 years ago

Ugh, I'm so sick of the "help the artists and they'll save the world" schtick! The downtown lacks young(or old) and hip high-wage earners who are involved in the arts and spending their money in restaurants, taverns and *gasp* on the arts of any form. In order to do this, the downtown streets need to become two-way. This slows traffic, encourages commerce and reduces crime. It's well documented. In doing so, viable small businesses can get a foothold in the peripheral areas of downtown, like on First. The number of entrepreneurial higher-wage earners will increase, building owners will understand that they can make more by NOT offering low income housing or leaving spaces vacant and this will all add up to an improved downtown experience.

adam

about 3 years ago

I'm so sick of "fundraisers" where everyone gets paid except the musicians that are drawing the crowd.

Jadiaz

about 3 years ago

Simple solution Adam, ask for payment, and if you are getting paid and don't like what they said they'd pay, ask for more. If you still aren't happy, don't play. The musicians have only themselves to blame if they aren't happy with their pay or lack there of.

Fitz

about 3 years ago

The idea of mimes on ziplines may well keep me from sleeping tonight.

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