I’m sure everyone is familiar with the phrase “…putting lipstick on a pig….” Well, isn’t this what the Olympia City Council is trying to do with the Artesian Commons?
I’m an Evergreen graduate (1976), but even I can’t fathom how a mural is supposed to change the current park behavior. The decision that needs to be made here is whether or not street people will be allowed to continue their use of the site. And it should specifically not be about how we can make things so everyone will just get along. It is naively unrealistic to believe the Oyster House crowd will ever feel comfortable dining at Le Voyeur.
Now, as I’ve said before, street people aren’t bad; I actually find most of them entertainingly eclectic. Then again I don’t mind people who swear, drink, smoke pot or lack daily hygiene. I’ve lived that life, and sometimes still do on long camping trips.
However, if the idea is to attract families to the Artesian Commons, the street people need to be relocated. By definition, they can occupy the park 24/7 rather than just after work/school or on weekends and holidays. Hence, it becomes their home turf and they will dominate it. If we just give street people some other space to occupy, they will move there with the right encouragement. I suggest banning the placement of backpacks or backsides on the ground at Artesian Commons with enforcement that redirects such people to a new, other park.