Get Out of Town - the Loop, Part Two

(June 11). Last week I attacked the idiocy of three of our esteemed members of the Sioux Falls City Council. Since my rant, four bills were introduced – a “first reading” as they call it in the guv biz. Like in prior discussions over the Loop, there was a lot of rhetoric about gangs, rapes, gangrapes and sexual predators…all without offering any proof. Next Monday they will debate these proposals, and probably will also vote on them.
So the story didn’t end last Wednesday when I booted Kenyon and Company to the curb. Because they didn’t come to their senses after hearing my open-minded, well-though- out ideas, I think it’s appropriate to babble on this subject one more time.
So let’s look at the four proposals (I’ve heard rumors of a fifth concerning car stereos but we’ll save that for another day):
• An anti-cruising ordinance that would fine drivers if they pass a checkpoint on The Loop three or more times in a one-hour period.
This is the idea that probably bothers me the most so forgive me if I repeat myself. This is asinine. Pure asinistic insanity. I can’t wait to see the rookie cop sitting at 10th and Phillips with his little counter. Blue Camaro – that’s one for you. Chevy Pickup – that counts as two for playing Skynyrd. Green Pimpmobile – I better call for backup. Silver Mercedes – you must be here for the Symphony. Keep passing through. We know you’re not a damned Looper!
I don’t think this scenario is too far from the truth. Let’s face it – this is a law that will only be enforced against people they want to pull over. The middle-aged business suit crowd will never get a ticket for driving without a destination, no matter how many times they circle the block waiting for that parking spot right in front of Minerva’s. And no law is a good law if the enforcement is selective.
• A tougher loitering ordinance to make it illegal for crowds of more than 10 people to gather without a valid permit.
Let’s go back to that couple in the Mercedes. They meet up four other couples for a few drinks and appetizers, and after indulging they rant about Hilary and Daschle outside the restaurant. Do you think they’ll be arrested? Uh, no…but ten feet away those grungy-looking shirtless bastards will be hauled in as soon as the tenth person is within peeing distance…which, keep in mind must be farther than you think if one is to believe that the anti-crusing ordinance will stop people from peeing on the sidewalk.
• Closing Mall and First avenues near the downtown bus depot at night to deter drivers from circling 10th and 11th streets…and
• Posting a "no left" turn sign on 10th Street and Second Avenue to stop drivers cruising downtown.
For the most part, I could care less about this idea. Although there are times when navigating downtown is next to impossible thanks to the multiple one way streets and stoplights on every corner. If I’m forced to go six blocks out of my way just to get to Skelly’s, I’ll be a bit pissed.
My question to Moe, Larry, and Curly is simple – where do you think these people are going? And why is selective enforcement the new rule of law in Sioux Falls? You still have dozens, if not hundreds, of local young adults with nothing to do and nowhere to go. They will go somewhere, I promise. Maybe it’s time for the rave scene to finally hit Sioux Falls…I don’t mean those fake raves that have popped up from time to time; officially sanctioned with permits and off-duty police chaperones. I’m talking about the kind you read about in the anti-drug commercials – held in big empty buildings and attended by those who obtain the super-secret flyer, called the super-secret phone number, and know the super-secret handshake. Think of the fun that KELO will have if and when that happens?
One more thing before I go. They city has themselves to blame for part of this problem. Part of the explosion of the Loop in recent years came after the city allowed a certain business to open right in the heart of the Loop. This business not only serves beer, but features an all-ages section. Maybe they should have denied that license, or at the very least begged them to find another location for their business.


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