Private sidewalk proposal spurs concerns

By Erasmus Baxter | Phoenix New Times

A neighborhood group near Maricopa County’s central hub for homelessness services is asking the Phoenix City Council to take the unprecedented step of letting them privately own and manage several blocks worth of now-public sidewalks.

The group, known as Madison Pioneers Coalition, is made up of business owners and residents just west of downtown Phoenix in the area surrounding the Human Services Campus, a 13-acre one-stop-shop of services for people experiencing homelessness that also features the state’s largest emergency shelter.

Members have long complained about people camping on the dirt areas between the sidewalk and street around the campus, which they say drives crime, trash, public defecation, and drug use.

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