Los Angeles’ MacArthur Park to be closed for ‘rehabilitation’, cleanup from October 15
Los Angeles is closing another public park for so-called “rehabilitation” efforts, a sign of a growing problem in major metropolitan areas across the country.
As homeless camps litter public spaces with drug paraphernalia and human waste, public safety concerns have forced additional activities enjoyed by residents seeking green refuge in outer cities.
It’s unclear whether the latest plight of Los Angeles’ clean-up MacArthur Park will be met with similar controversies seen across the city in past months. Hundreds of protesters stopped city workers trying to clear a homeless camp at Echo Park in March, and dozens were arrested.
And ironically, on the other side of the spectrum, a “safe camp” program meant to save tents from being removed in Venice Beach elicited outcry from residents and vendors alike, as did LA City Councilman Mike Bonin on the initiative. called to recall.
Denver Park to temporarily close after human waste needles are found; Challenges reached ‘tipping point’
Beginning the 2020 mayoral bid focused on addressing the state of homelessness, LA City Councilman Joe Buscano spoke to supporters in Venice Beach in June – before announcing that a homeless woman pulled a knife leg away She was told that she would start killing people, and several police officers confronted her. on land. Alex Villanueva, a bullied-up Los Angeles County Sheriff, nodded again with Bonin by sending foot patrols to the boardwalk and demanding that the tents be out by July. The councilor made efforts to shift around 200 homeless people to the motel.
LA City Council member Gil Cedillo said MacArthur Park will be closed for about ten weeks starting October 15, as the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks catches delays in essential maintenance during the coronavirus pandemic, Los Angeles Times informed of. His office counted about 45 tents spread over 32 acres of the park divided by Wilshire Boulevard on September 29.
Seeking to separate his clean-up effort from the controversy seen at Echo Park, Cedillo pointed out that homeless people camping at MacArthur Park were served notices before the closure. Between January and the end of last month, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and homelessness agency PATH had already assisted in relocating more than 160 people from MacArthur Park to shelters or other residences.
But Cedillo deputy district director Jose Rodriguez told the Times that some of that outreach has been stifled by the presence of members of the MS-13 gang, who use extortion and violence to intimidate people, which they consider their territory.
The cleanup project is estimated to cost $1.5 million and will include upgraded lighting, transplanted lawns, repairs to the irrigation system and new benches.
Meanwhile, an estimated 41,000 people are living on the streets of Los Angeles, a figure expected to rise once the eviction moratorium ends. Migrants from Honduras and elsewhere in Central America have been known to camp in the parks, living among other homeless individuals, some of whom struggle with drug addiction. And the issue extends to public parks in cities across the country, including Minneapolis and New York City.
Last month, the city of Denver announced that Civic Center Park would be closed through September 15, citing “significant public health and environmental health risks that have increased over the past several months.” City officials noted several unsafe conditions, including litter and food waste, a rampant rodent infestation, and human and pet waste affecting the spread of disease and water quality.
Improperly thrown needles and other drug items were also posing a risk to people visiting the area and the workers working to maintain the park. City officials said the fire damage to the frescoes and historic stone structures would require professional restoration.
Denver Mayor Michael B. “The current challenges within Civic Center Park have reached an extreme point, threatening the public’s health and safety,” Hancock said in a statement. “It cannot and will not be allowed to continue. It is a people’s park and we are taking steps so that everyone can feel safe and welcome there once again.”
No timeline was given for how long the park would be closed for the cleanup effort.