Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Deadly Conflict around Race Street persists

Google Maps

by Bram Reichbaum

We are aware of some of the challenges common to poverty-stricken and minority city neighborhoods.

We know that Homewood is, among other things, one of Pittsburgh's own.

But we seem to hear in particular about this Race St. an awful lot, both good and bad.

A notoriously "unsafe neighborhood," as my dad would say.

Now more notorious still:

Steven Wise, 60, a Homewood man who lives around the corner from Brushton Avenue, said he heard 25 or 30 shots and saw a man laying in the middle of the street.

He said he has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years and things have "never been this bad."

Another longtime resident asked "Why is this happening?" (P-G, Navratil & Zimmerman)

How do we handle this? Short-, medium- and long-term? What sort of "blitz," what sort of strategy, what sort of components?


  1. FYI your image shows race street in edgewood (15218). the race street in question is in homewood (15208)

  2. Typical. I'll change it in a sec. FYI, I googled "Pittsburgh"...

  3. Fixed. Wow, look at those long, straight, right-angle streets. That should be so liveable.

  4. Well long term what's that like a 50 year plan, oh wait that's about how long the War on Poverty has been failing.

  5. Cheers to readers who may be joining us from Homewood Nation. Please feel free to chime in. Indeed, nobody feel shy.

    Indeed, Anonymous of 12:38, that begs one question: how well have we been fighting the War on Poverty? It puts me in the mind of the war on segregation, but pretty soon people are bickering about Section 8 housing and it all falls to entrenched worldviews.

    To tell you the truth I'm a lot less concerned about 30, 10 year solutions than I am about stopping the bleeding (ahem). We've known this is a trouble spot for at least a decade, heating up and flaring occasionally. You'd think if there's not an application of manpower solution, there's an interdepartmental solution or a City Planning solution.

    And the PIRC program, the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime, whatever it is beyond anonymous complaint forms, hasn't seemed to prioritize it in a way in which it can be held accountable.

  6. the battle grounds change, the combatants remain the same. Kelly street for years seemed to the epicenter if Homewod violence then it was fleury way and Formosa. this is the epitome of the definition of insanity.
    50 years of failed policies is hard to combat when they become ingrained in the social makeup of the community.

  7. 5:09 - I'd love it if you could specify which failed policies you're talking about. Even if we disagree on whether they should exist, we can agree on how they might desperately need improvement.

  8. Better yet show me where it's worked....more on welfare more on food stamps more on disability than ever b4. Fostering cultures of failed families, generations without fathers, no accountability . And I'm sure you know exactly what I mean. The throwing of hundreds of billion in life expenses to those who do nothing in return!

  9. and Bram read Charles Lanes column in today's Trib editorial page

  10. Our region's foremost law enforcement authority seems to have chimed in...

    "'We could identify poor communities in the city where we could try a new method of doing things, which would really be going back to the way we used to do it,' by putting police on beats, rather than just responding to emergencies."

    And so forth.

    Anon 6:26 - Even if Schroeder de-hammockized Germany's social safety net... I know folks in Munich, and part of the reason they're in Munich is because that thing is still substantially cozy. The child care and early childhood parental support, the protections during maternity leave alone... The need to "restructure and reduce unemployment and welfare benefits" seems like a bit of a straw argument regarding urban violence, especially when the national debt is not driven by unemployment and welfare benefits. We could be providing better targeted investment like Germany, but part-time nannies aren't cheap.