Downtown Denver Dying?

Why Isn’t Anyone Coming Back?

Cristal M Clark 

Recently here in Denver a lot of media folks are reporting about the lack of pedestrian foot traffic in Denver’s Downtown district since the state opened back up from the Covid-19 statewide shutdowns. They are running the stories around in speculative circles without ever getting to an actual point as to why Denver is seeing a drop in pedestrian foot traffic. 

Sometimes they talk about the homeless, many media outlets locally have taken to running polls asking if people feel safe downtown, you see they trying to drive a particular narrative. The local media has also suggested that the lack of foot traffic downtown is due to workers working from home since Covid-19, another driven narrative because by far many offices have requested workers return to the office or it’s see ya. 

The facts are simple if you look around. The city is trash, it has gone to garbage and that started prior to Covid-19, the homeless took over the city in swarms whilst we have blamed it on everything but the real issues the homeless who moved here have, and absolutely nothing has been done to keep people who want to spend time in the city safe and that is not the fault of the the Denver Police Department, it is the poorly written laws on our books along with city council who seems to think that they know better than anyone, doing away with laws, telling the police what they can and cannot enforce, enacting a camping ban but leaving the coppers powerless to enforce it. Like they want to anyway, it’s not only dangerous but what the fuck? So you move them off one block, then two blocks later they are setting up a new camp. Someone really thought that one through now didn’t they?  

The City of Denver recently elected to no longer ticket individuals for jaywalking, which is a huge fucking problem, sometimes you can’t even see someone before they step in front of your motorised transport. No, the city seems to feel we the motorist should be more aware of the pedestrians just popping out in front of us along with the motorcycles and mopeds that will ride in-between cars in order to get around all of us, and then you have the influx of those on bicycles who tend to run lights, jump right out in front of you from the sidewalk and onto the road. Some of these rules and laws were built and made for a populated city which we are, when you start getting rid of them bad things can and will happen. 

When you look at the homeless situation, crimes rates have sky rocketed as well as drug use in this city, the homeless will attack you if you are foot sometimes, not to mention I have watched them walk up to peoples cars look in and try the doors, walk up to peoples homes looking for a way in. They build tent cities in the most heavily pedestrian populated parts of the city and you cannot walk around them. We have used needles all over the city, homeless individuals have no facilities so they are shiting all over, the street, sidewalks peoples yards and alleys. Last summer our trash where I live did not get picked up for over a month because the access to the enclosure for the trash folks happens to be in the alley where the homeless built an encampment. I’ve had it happen to me and I have watched homeless people walking up to drivers cars and hitting them, yelling, jumping on them, spitting on them for no reason other than the individual was stopped at a light, an intersection or traffic was backed up. Are you kidding me? And you wonder with all of that alone why no one wants to visit Denver. 

Then the drug use by the homeless, it’s insane and I hear is that we need to help them. Allow for me to correct you, many want to stay high, I know several that have expressed they like being high and will never quit, as well as a fairly equal number of those who are a bit mental who refuse to be medicated. So, no we do not need to help them or try to talk them into getting help or give them a guaranteed monthly stipend with housing and food, we need to put some in jail and others into mental facilities and I realise that sounds heartless but I live in the thick of it I see it day in and day out. For anyone crying about us helping them and these facilities needing oversight, good you are fucking hired.  

Now we are seeing a trend of men just dropping out of the workforce and preferring to live on the street which is crazy but it’s happening. 

Whatsmore is that recently we have seen many women coming forward with stories of having been given the date rape drug whilst out downtown. 

Aside from all of that, we have so many empty offices and buildings downtown it’s not even funny and the reason for that is the rise in the cost of things like rents. When you have rents and necessities disproportionately higher than what people can pay, it tends to turn people away from being here. For every little trendy restaurant or bar opening, you can bet money on the table that many in fact more than half will only make it three years in the location they pick, the taxes and costs of rents that increase at a disproportionate rate to that of what the business can bring in on top of paying wages to staff runs people out of town. 

We have offices sitting empty in this city and that is due to the cost of renting here. It is disproportionately high, it’s run businesses out of town not Covid -19 and, that is what Denver has allowed to happen, they let greed take over. 

Our public transit is garbage as well. If I want to go from Cap Hill to Golden you need to walk to a light rail or take the bus, then once in Golden you are am dropped at the courthouse and need to arrange to other transportation to get into the city of Golden. 

RTD, what the fuck is that? I feel sorry for RTD our public transit, just yesterday the news released a video of a guy getting off of the light rail and being attacked brutally, beaten and left right after exiting the train. Have you driven by the Sheridan or broadway bus stops recently, or how about gone into the train station on Wadsworth and Colfax to catch the light rail? You know the one where the crackheads are lighting up in the stairwells and elevator. 

Let’s be honest, when the city and the local media run stories with a particular narrative in mind so that it would support what they want, it’s really not very good or smart marketing since both tend to miss the big picture. 

Cristal M Clark

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