By "Bodies", Maybe She Meant Young People

I'll start off with this incredible story told by Mark Mallory:

“I stopped at a car wash out in Colerain Township and a woman out there told me that maybe she would come downtown if there weren’t so many bodies piled up in the streets. And I thought she was joking, but she was absolutely serious,” Mallory said. The woman later told him she hadn’t been downtown in 17 years.
First of all, WTF? Second, I really hope that this woman represents a minority of suburbanites and that, while many may not patronize downtown, they do not believe there are bodies piled in the streets. (C), I've got news for you lady, Colerain ain't exactly Shangri-la. Once you get over the fact that you have to drive on this everyday:

Photo by Angel Franco/New York Times

on your way to the highway, realize that as more subsidized housing gets sent out your way, crime will be soon to follow.

(BTW, the picture above, found through Building Cincinnati, is not Colerain Ave. Did you think it was?)

The quote eventually made its way into a story about a new advertising campaign promoting downtown and downtown safety, which also included these stats about downtown in 2007:
  1. $110 million in completed construction and renovations.
  2. $243 million in ongoing projects.
  3. 26 new retail/restaurant/entertainment venues.
  4. Available retail space to a five-year low.
  5. 100+ new and renovated housing units.
  6. 8,000 residents in downtown and its surrounding areas.
  7. 94 percent occupancy rates for apartments.
  8. 8 percent growth over last year in the economic impact of hotel room bookings.
  9. 74 percent of respondents said they felt safe downtown, according to a 2007 DCI survey.
  10. 80 percent of respondents rated downtown as clean.
So, Colerain lady, don't come downtown for another 17 years. We ought to have cleaned up the bodies by then.


Kevin LeMaster said...

Yeah, it's funny. I honestly believe that people who believe that there are "bodies piled in the streets" are beyond saving, and beyond convincing. These are not the people we should be trying to reach. It's a waste of resources, in my opinion.

The problem is that when you try to include everybody, it ends up slowing down the whole process of urban revitalization. We should be targeting people who already live in the City, people who are unsure about Downtown but crave an urban lifestyle, our children, our college students and people from out of town who might want to relocate.

hellogerard said...

Yeah, that statement is so extreme, I almost don't believe it was true. You're right - she will definitely not be among the "critical mass".

Randy Simes said...

Amazing...I am stunned anytime I hear comments of this nature. If I don't know a place I don't go out of my way to either say positive or negative things about it...why do suburbanites (who haven't been Downtown in decades) feel the need to do so? Just amazing.