In response to Anice King’s letter (“Time to clean up Nelson,” August 10, 2012), I couldn’t agree more.
I first visited Nelson back in 2000 and came back on a fairly regular basis during the following five years. At that time, I was so impressed by the vibrancy of Baker Street and downtown Nelson.
Since moving here a few years ago, I’ve noticed a steady decline (and in so many ways) that has erased those first positive impressions from my initial visits here, as a tourist.
Having people begging, block after block (sometimes aggressively), store fronts boarded up, “visitor areas” taken up by locals sitting around puffing away… gives nothing but a very poor impression.
And speaking of puffing away, those filthy cigarette butts littering the sidewalks are also a complete turn-off, when taking a stroll down Nelson’s main street these days.
Again, when I visited as a tourist, many years ago, it seemed to be the exception not the norm for people to be smoking. Now, every second person seems to be puffing smoke in everyone else’s faces, with no concern for their own health and certainly no one elses.
I think the dog bylaw is far from the problem here. If people are respectful and keep their dogs on a leash in the downtown area and of course clean up any messes, I say why not? There are a lot bigger problems on what is being called by some these days “Begger Street” when it comes to the view, especially for anyone visiting or considering moving here.
One last comment on King’s letter, she hit the nail on the head when she mentioned the lack of vision being shown by the city and chamber of commerce. I don’t know if this situation can be turned around again or if enough local people really care anymore. But there are plenty of other “tourist towns” in BC where travellers can stop and spend their money. It’s time to start actually doing something, not just talking about it, before it’s too late.
G. H. Hartman