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Old 01-23-2010, 05:51 PM
1,699 posts, read 2,789,046 times
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I was reading an article in The Sunday Paper about the crime and neglect of Mechanicsville. Considering the lack of Atlanta police and the inability of residents to afford private law enforcement, what do you think can be done to realistically improve areas like Mechanicsville, Summerhill, Peeplestown, Pittsburgh, Center Hill, English Ave, etc.
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:28 PM
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As a resident of Mechanicsville I can tell you that things are and will be getting better. The problem for so many years was a lack of financial diversity and the institutionalization of residents within the projects (McDaniel Glenn) with no hope for employment and education. Unfortunately the only way to get out of this mess is to trust outside investors and the young professionals (which i am) who are moving in because they have the money. Once the standard of living diversifies businesses will move in, schools will improve and opportunity will come to a neighborhood like Mechanicsville. And yes we have crime here, but so did Kirkwood and the 4th Ward before they became mixed income neighborhoods and gave the people opportunities. It's unfortunate, but crime's a fact of life in Atlanta. You could get robbed at Tech and you can have a home invasion in Johns Creek... and these are stories from the last week. The fact is you can hire as many cops as possible, but if people have no money, education and jobs... it's not going to help. Hopefully city and state government will realize this and invest money into an educational system that ranks 46th of 50 in the United States.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:37 PM
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I am a resident of English Avenue and feel that all neighborhoods can be turned around with more involvement from concerned residents. We have an active neighborhood association in this area and have had an increase in the amount of police patrols. I personally believe it is ludicrious to pay people to patrol a neighborhood when we already pay the police to do the same thing. Police should do their jobs more and if all of us citizens demanded this, then there would be no need to hire security to do the job that police are suppose to be doing. The police in our neighborhood have really stepped up since the shooting death of Katherine Johnston in 2006. A day doesn't go buy when I don't see at least 3 different police cars. There have been a lot of arrest around here of drug dealers, who are the main problem in this neighborhood. There was a sweep last summer and I saw at least 50 people get arrested myself. It seems most of them didn't come back since there has been less ruckus in that area and less drug addicts roaming around, at least in my section of the neighborhood. We have an active public safety committee as well in an effort to report and stop crimes from occuring and that makes a difference. There has been talk about more development and such in the neighborhood and the old English Avenue Elementary has recently been purchased and supposed to be re-developed which should help our neighborhood but really I feel that that is not as important as the internal structure of the neighborhood and the schools. Schools are another matter though altogether because no matter how much money the government filters into a school, it doesn't matter if the children are not expected to behave and learn appropriately. Herndon Elementary is our zoned school but my son does not attend there because when I visited they were very rude and inept in the office and I feel that is a reflection of a school. If the administrators of a school do not have high expectations and do all they can to combat the sometimes awful parenting that some children receive, then the school will continue to suffer. I do feel that parenting and families in a school have a lot to do with how students perform but the school my son attends does not have a better set of parents or circumstances than English Ave, they just have an administration, teachers, and staff that has high expectations no matter who that child is or where they come from.

But really I believe that change has to begin with the residents. We have to stop whining about how the government or city is not doing what it is suppose to do. We should complain and complain often and call and write to get them to do what they should be doing but we should also physically clean up our neighborhoods block by block and get to know our neighbors. This alone can help turn all these areas around.

We still have crime here as well but really I don't see it as any worse than the neighborhoods surrounding us in English Ave. Vine City and English Ave always have a more horrible reputation than Washington Park, West End and other neighborhoods within 5 miles even though there is not much difference in crime really. Also I have never heard of any home invasions around here, at least not when someone is at home. Most of the home crimes around here involve vacant structures. We have a lot of them and really I wish the older ones could just be demolished. Code enforcement is a big problem over here as well as just the litter and the fact that so many dump trucks come over here and dump tires and other garbage and we have to badger the city into coming out and cleaning up vacant lots and to find owners who have abandoned their properties to clean them up. On our street we actually have people who rake and sweep our few blocks by ourselves to keep the trash down. I'm also considering using my own money to buy some garbage cans for people to throw their trash into, especially at the Marta stops so that so much trash isn't all over the place.

But I agree with the above posters that crime can happen anywhere. We have some wonderful people who live in our neighborhood and some not so good, which is in every area. And really, I rarely see news stories about horrible crimes happening over here like in other metro areas that are reported on the news.
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Old 02-04-2010, 10:54 PM
Location: Norcross, GA
195 posts, read 387,036 times
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Originally Posted by residinghere2007 View Post
On our street we actually have people who rake and sweep our few blocks by ourselves to keep the trash down. I'm also considering using my own money to buy some garbage cans for people to throw their trash into, especially at the Marta stops so that so much trash isn't all over the place.
This nearly brought a tear to my eye. I've been casually cleaning up the city, on and off, for years now, sometimes with gloves, sometimes with a broom and dustpan. I had no idea the residents of a less-than-wealthy neighborhood were doing the same thing! You deserve a medal of some kind.

I know it isn't in the immediate area, but look around Bankhead Station, by the way; it's actually a chore along 278 to even find a trash bin.
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