Study Says Safety Concerns Driving People from Downtown Mall

Charlottesville's businesses are losing out because the city hasn't done enough to make the downtown mall safe, clean, and inviting - that's the takeaway from a new report from a group of city residents and business owners.

A special committee of the North Downtown Residents Association conducted a study of local residents and found about 19 percent of respondents made fewer trips to the Downtown Mall. Of those, 14 percent cited concerns over safety.

The group is calling for the immediate installation of security cameras, and more police presence, but not everyone thinks this is about protection.

"I don't think it's necessarily safety that's the issue but it's more of the aesthetic and the look and what it does for business and the economy," said Michele Miller, a Charlottesville resident of more than four years.

Others said the have felt threatened in the past.

I'm out here in the morning and I see some homeless gentlemen walking around and it's not so so bad but every once in a while you'll have like one or two people come up and approach you that are relatively aggressive," said Jared Desisto, a Charlottesville resident of about six months. "I try to say no most of the time but that tends to lead to more harassment."

Charlottesville's City Council moved forward Monday with plans to create a street outreach program. The outreach will work with panhandlers and could change the rules to keep people from lying down in front of buildings.


The comments sections of Newsplex.com are designed for thoughtful, intelligent conversation and debate. We want to hear from our viewers, but we ask that you follow our rules for commenting. E-mail is required to comment on a story, but it will not be displayed with your comment. For complete rules, CLICK HERE. The Newsplex reserves the right to not post or to remove any comment.
powered by Disqus
The Charlottesville Newsplex 999 2nd Street S.E. Charlottesville, VA 22902 434.242.1919 – Main 434.220.7522 - Newsroom
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 180259151 - newsplex.com/a?a=180259151
Gray Television, Inc.