There have been many letters and featured columnists in The Olympian bemoaning the decline and dangers of our downtown. I would like to offer a closer view: There is far more danger in downtown drivers not practicing the rules of the road because they’re too busy eating or using an electronic device than a homeless person sleeping in a doorway.
I am far more threatened by a driver who won’t stop for me inside the crosswalk than I am by a panhandler asking for spare change. I’ve had drivers stop within a foot or two of my legs and then flip me the finger.
I would much rather see a man or woman at an intersection holding a poorly scrawled sign with, “Anything Helps”, than the folks who hold the bloody fetus posters on Fridays in front of Planned Parenthood. It’s always the same, older men and women, none of whom have a functioning uterus.
Here’s a more legitimate complaint than groups of homeless youth crowding our downtown corners: It’s going to a popular cafe or eatery where seating is at a premium, while two chatty women refuse to relinquish their extra chairs because they need a place for their over-sized purses. If downtown Olympia seems inhospitable, it is just as much the fault of our high-minded citizens as it is the poor and the homeless.
Carolyn Street LaFond