Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

January 30, 2013

OUR VIEW: Will it make an impact?

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A good quality of life is a major factor in deciding where to live and work; if a neighborhood displays a favorable appearance, it’s more attractive than one that seems to invite objectionable behavior. When a municipality seeks to curb or eradicate certain behaviors and appearances, it sometimes has to employ drastic measures.

That’s exactly what is happening in one Lockport neighborhood. City officials are hoping to “nip in the bud” a problem before it becomes a major headache. We agree that the focus is needed, but we don’t want to see it happen at the expense or neglect of other neighborhoods.

It’s been almost two weeks since a crackdown on criminal activity and quality of life nuisances was announced for an “impact zone” bordered by Walnut, High, Transit and Erie streets. Parts of this neighborhood, for sure, certainly need the attention.

While there are many very good, law-abiding citizens living in this neighborhood, they also must contend with some unseemly characters who have drawn unwanted attention to the neighborhood. Drugs. Gunshots. Robberies. Unkempt properties. Bad tenants in rental units.

With millions of dollars invested in Genesee Street properties and at Harrison Place, it’s easy to brush off the crackdown as simply protecting financial investments. While we’re sure that has much to do with the crackdown, it’s also more than that. It’s protecting good citizens who are investing their lives in the neighborhood.

Still, the crackdown must produce real results; more than just jaywalking tickets. If the Impact Zone’s goal is achieved, then it could be replicated in other city neighborhoods. Until we see results, we’re reserving decision on the crackdown’s effectiveness.