Wednesday, May 31, 2006

New signs will not make downtown parks more inviting

If you really want to make Davis Park and Slack Plaza more inviting, the first step would be to get rid of the crack dealers, drunks, people playing dice, and panhandlers. A few new signs are not going to make a difference.

After reading this story in the Gazette about how a group has been formed to seek ways to improve downtown parks, I was amazed at their inability or denial of the real problems facing the city's two downtown parks.
The idea was to find a way to replace the multitude of signs at Slack Plaza and Davis Park with a few discreet and gently worded ones. But after touring the parks Tuesday evening, about a dozen people in a group called Charleston C2 (Charleston Creative Class) found far more ways to improve the parks.

“It’s all so negative,” photographer Steve Payne said, referring to signs at the entrance to Davis Park that say “DO NOT FEED THE PIGEONS” and “NO SKATEBOARDING ALLOWED IN PARK.”

Maybe new signs that say, "Please don't sell crack" or Please don't ask strangers for money" would be better.
Both groups talked about ways to make Slack Plaza more inviting to everyone. Ideas included street musicians, banners and art to mark the walkway from Capitol Street to the mall, vendors, and landscaping improvements.

None of these steps help with the real problems facing downtown parks.

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