Minneapolis is in the midst of an almost-record-setting crime wave that has bucked the national trend toward lower crime.
One answer? Make it illegal to walk through other people's alleys:
The proposal would prohibit anyone from walking in an alley who doesn't live on that block or who isn't a guest of someone who does. Police, paramedics and firefighters would be exempt, as would garbage haulers, meter readers, code inspectors and others whose jobs take them there.In fact, it will affect mainly the law-abiding. Me? I love walking down alleys; you see more interesting stuff, usually, on a block's back alley.
Like most such measures, this would seem to be designed more to make city officials feel good than to actually do anything about crime. As some people in Minneapolis have figured out:
On a sun-rich Friday afternoon, Gordon Anderson walked down the paved alley on the 3400 block of Lyndale Avenue S. He said he has lived on the block for 20 years and that everyone in the neighborhood walks down alleys.Mr. Anderson, you are more correct than you think.
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard," he said. "The whole country seems to be going to the Soviet Union, I'll tell you that."
Of course, once the pointy-headed academics sound off...
Alleys originally were service entrances for houses, but architect Frank Lloyd Wright and other influences led to wider and shallower houses with garage entrances at the front of the lots, said Ann Forsyth of the Metropolitan Design Center at the University of Minnesota.Really?
"An alley tends to be blocked off from view," Forsyth said. "There's not often a real reason for people to be walking out there except to do anti- social things."
Like talking with one's neighbors?
Minneapolis already has an ordinance that prohibits motorists from using alleys to bypass traffic congestion on city streets.Wow.
A city that can plan so thoroughly as to allow the cops to bust someone for driving down an alley to escape gridlock (oops) can't figure out they need to keep police on the streets in the Red Zone?Posted by Mitch at May 31, 2006 07:42 AM | TrackBack