There's no excuse for conditions on the South Side

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The 26 arrests, 76 vehicles towed, 148 traffic citations, and 30 non-traffic citations issued in just two nights on the South Side last weekend -- even after announcing a "blitz" -- are quite telling as to how big the problem is here. Imagine how high these numbers could be if the crackdown hadn't been widely reported in advance?

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl has ignored residents' pleas for years and has put the safety of everyone who lives, works or visits this neighborhood at risk, including police officers themselves. To use one of the mayor's favorite phrases: "It's unfortunate" that a chase had to wind its way here in order to demonstrate what can happen when something goes wrong during the typical Friday or Saturday night chaos that is East Carson Street.

It will take more than temporary enforcement to fix the problems that have been snowballing out of control for far too long. Let's hope that a permanent strategy is finally put into place so that this great neighborhood may once again be safely enjoyed by all.

I can't imagine such nonsense being tolerated by taxpayers in any other neighborhood or any other city. There's no acceptable excuse for it in Pittsburgh's diverse, dynamic and vibrant South Side -- especially if we'd like it to remain so.

BRADY LUTSKO
South Side


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