Saturday, August 14, 2004

Urban Developments/Unexpected Consequences

The MBTA is renovating all the subway stations (T stops) at our end of the Ashmont Red Line so the walk-thru on Sharp St. is closed as they do excavation along the subway tunnel cap. This has led to some interesting events. Over a week someone(s) filled the Epiphany School dumpster, which is located at the cul de sac before the walk thru, then, over a weekend a couple of Saturdays ago, set the dumpster on fire. When Brownie and I went for our morning walk we found the dumpster paint blistered and I noticed a marked increase in the number of condoms on Sharp St. and in the Epiphany lot.

Today we had a neighborhood party on Sharp St. It turns out there has been a marked increase in prostitution since the walk thru closed. The neighbors are seeing afternoon activity in addition to the more usual night time stuff. Of course the automatic neighborhood watch response is to figure out how to get the neighbors to call the police. This is an example of economic opportunity for the prostitutes. Walking traffic is down because of the subway work, Epiphany is closed for the summer, there are few houses on the street and most residents are gone during the daytime. It seems to me the answer is to increase walking traffic. Who better to accomplish this than us dog walkers?

I see those of us who walk our dogs consciously visiting Sharp St. I can see Bruno the poodle, Brownie, Hurrie (with a muzzle. He is a pit bull after all) the linked serberi miniature poodles (there are three of them) and our small flotilla of yapping, floppy, ankle biting terriers – Misty aka Pebbles, Rudy the rude dog, the two Bobble head dogs, -- and Jed, whose blind, making the rounds. Its not the same as T service riders walking through from 5 am to 11 pm and things should improve when Epiphany, from 8 am to 8 pm, is back in session. Until then we can do what makes sense to do, occupy our own streets and suggest to those seeking economic opportunity the hard way that we would rather they didn’t do it on Sharp St.

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