Your Government Inaction: Not Everywhere a Sign

 

Due to inaction by the local government, the citizens of Austin, Texas actually did something to address their drug-addled bum problem.  An initiative was passed by a large majority to ban camping in public places.  Of course, it is still up to the highly competent and efficient public officials in the city to make the law work.  So as not to unduly inconvenience the demented hobo community, the city is rolling out the enforcement in phases.  Here’s how it’s going so far:

In Phase 1, nothing was done.

In Phase 2, nothing was done, but notices were placed in public places advising what the further phases are going to be.

In Phase 3, several people and temporary structures were forcibly removed from near City Hall in order to make way for a government construction project.  None of the camps inconveniencing actual citizens were touched.  Coincidentally, the city council was taking a well-deserved vacation from their labors and did not have to interact with any of their menacing vagrant constituents.

In Phase 4, nothing was done.

And that’s how it stands now.  I had to venture into the city a couple of times this week and observed that the large eye-sore encampments are still in place.  Maybe by Phase 10, a couple of aggressive panhandlers will be asked politely to not pitch their tents in the middle of 6th Street.

After teaching a class downtown yesterday, I was heading home going north on Interstate 35.  Traffic was comparatively light for 6:40 in the evening, moving along at about 50 MPH.  Suddenly, a woman with wheeled suitcase sprinted from the east side of the roadway, causing several vehicles to slam on their brakes and swerve.  Fortunately, no crashes occurred and the runner miraculously made it to the median.  Now I may be going out on a limb here, but it appears that this person was a member of the deranged vagabond demographic.  Maybe I’m just bigoted and the person with disheveled clothing, a haircut by Weedwacker®, gesticulating wildly and screaming at passing vehicles was just a small business owner who was having a bad day*.

By coincidence, this occurred near a part of I-35 that I’d photographed for another post.  This is the view looking west to east from the frontage road:

After passing the raving jaywalker, I noticed something about the northbound side of the freeway.  Just to be sure, I turned around and went south for a mile, them back north.  On the southbound side of I-35 are several of the “No Pedestrians” signs you see in the photo above.  On the northbound side, nada.  Apparently the City of Austin thinks it’s dangerous to cross eight lanes of high speed traffic if you are going east, but not if you are traveling westbound.

So, no wonder the loopy ne’er-do-well crossed there.  I’m sure she would have had second thoughts if there had been a sign.

* Though, lately, small business owners are a lot rarer than homeless loons in Austin.

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  1. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Okay, fine:

     

     

     

    • #1
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    And now the sexy version:

     

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    In Seattle, King County Superior Court judges are complaining to the City of Seattle about the huge homeless encampment in City Hall Park, right across from the Courthouse.  To no avail.  Judges, their staffs, and jurors are regularly assaulted on their way into the building.  Crickets from the City.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    In Seattle, King County Superior Court judges are complaining to the City of Seattle about the huge homeless encampment in City Hall Park, right across from the Courthouse. To no avail. Judges, their staffs, and jurors are regularly assaulted on their way into the building. Crickets from the City.

    Judges can hold people in contempt of court, can’t they?  And even lock them up for it.  Get to it, judges!

    • #4
  5. Hartmann von Aue Member
    Hartmann von Aue
    @HartmannvonAue

    Jose- many thanks for reminding me that leaving Austin for Round Rock and then Germany was a good idea. 

    • #5
  6. Charlotte Member
    Charlotte
    @Charlotte

    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery: the demented hobo community

    😂😂😂

    • #6
  7. DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) Coolidge
    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!)
    @DonG

    The 4 phases are scheduled to be 30 days each. 
    Phase 1 was cops and other city employees giving “campers” verbal warnings.
    Phase 2 was written warnings
    Phase 3 I think gets kinetic, it hasn’t started yet. 
    Phase 4?

    The warnings appear to be working.  I have seen pictures from around Austin and campers are clearing out. 

    As for I35, the state has allocated $10B to improve/expand.  A future I35 will be hard to walk onto through all of downtown Austin.

    • #7
  8. Kozak Member
    Kozak
    @Kozak

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    In Seattle, King County Superior Court judges are complaining to the City of Seattle about the huge homeless encampment in City Hall Park, right across from the Courthouse. To no avail. Judges, their staffs, and jurors are regularly assaulted on their way into the building. Crickets from the City.

    I’m Ok with that. It’s largely due to Judges that this problem with predatory homeless people is an issue at all.  So if they get a taste

    of what the hoi polloi  have to deal with every day, thats great.

    • #8
  9. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt
    @DougWatt

    “Keep Austin Weird”, and then there is “Keep Portland Weird”. Two cities that both claim those bumper stickers were their idea. Filling potholes is the grunt work that mayor’s and city council members find tedious, and certainly not as glamorous as photo- ops at ribbon cutting ceremonies for the latest light rail line, or unveiling a statute that is nothing more than yard art, and yard art that a voter would never purchase for their own yard.

    • #9
  10. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    DonG (2+2=5. Say it!) (View Comment):

    The 4 phases are scheduled to be 30 days each.
    Phase 1 was cops and other city employees giving “campers” verbal warnings.
    Phase 2 was written warnings
    Phase 3 I think gets kinetic, it hasn’t started yet.
    Phase 4?

    The warnings appear to be working. I have seen pictures from around Austin and campers are clearing out.

    As for I35, the state has allocated $10B to improve/expand. A future I35 will be hard to walk onto through all of downtown Austin.

    I don’t make a habit of going down there very often, so I can’t make a good comparison.  It seemed pretty bad but maybe it’s just awful instead of really awful.

    I did notice that the usual aggressive panhandler was not at 12th and the frontage road yesterday.

    • #10