Solving the Loitering Problem

By Mario Conde

The Calexico City Council will look onto solving the loitering problem on Third Street at Downtown Calexico.

In an informational item given my City staff as a request by Mayor Pro Tem Maritza Hurtado and tackle the loitering problem and the corner of Third and Paulin.

The report said that because it is a large open area with several parking lots nearby and the Donut Avenue shop is open 24 hours, this location has always been a meeting spot for field workers to get coffee before going to work. In addition, many people who pass through the Port of Entry either late at night or early in the morning, stop at the Donut Avenue to get coffee on their way home or to work. This traffic alone causes a substantial increase in the loitering, pedestrian traffic, and vehicle traffic. Right across the Donut Shop there is an I.V. Transit bus stop were a high volume of people are waiting to get the bus every day.

In 2011, the Police Department recommended that the I.V. Transit Bus Stop be moved from its present location at Third and Paulin to the corner of Third and Heber. The Department says this is actually a benefit to the bus users as many of the southbound bus riders are going to the EDD or One Stop Building on Heber. The City is still awaiting an answer regarding moving the Bus Stop.

The moving of the bus further down Third Street would reduce the loiters on the Paulin Ave corner by the half the current numbers. The City has researched a number of a very good ordinances currently being used by other cities to curb loitering. Through careful implementation and enforcement, so as not to cause constitutional issues, the City could reduce the numbers of the remaining loiters.

“Although we will never be able to resolve the loitering issues completely, these measures would go along ways to reducing the need for people to congregate in this area. Ultimately it’s a policy decision as to how many changes we want to implement. We should suggest that he changes be made slowly or a period of time allowing for accommodation for the change. If direction is to have the bust stop moved from its current location, then we should do so and wait until we can assess the results.” The report said.