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City officials: Renovate area neighborhoods for students

Oct. 17, 2000

The effect that Baylor's growth has and will continue to have on the neighborhood south of campus is a two-way street, however. Residents and city leaders must accept the fact that the college students are, indeed, residents of the area as well. And as Baylor's enrollment grows, the number of college students living in the area will also grow, and the city of Waco must take action to raise the neighborhood's status and make the neighborhood safer, cleaner and a more enjoyable place to live.

Unfortunately, the neighborhood between Bagby and LaSalle seems to be a neglected part of Waco. Many of the streets are full of potholes and so bumpy, it feels like driving over a washboard. These roads make driving dangerous. A few of the roads are not even paved. The city should give much more attention to these roads, making sure every road is paved and smooth, as more and more people are driving on them now with the increase in the student population.

The city should also work to increase the lighting in the area so students are not forced to drive or walk on dark roads late at night when coming back from group meetings, studying, social events or whatever else.

As it is currently, this area is not very pleasing to the eye. There are slum-like abandoned structures, dilapidated and neglected houses and vacant lots that have been taken over by weeds and used as sites to dump trash.

The city should work to improve the aesthetics of the neighborhood. The city needs to aggressively work to get businesses to buy the abandoned stores and turn them into viable companies that students, as well as the other residents, can take advantage of. Landscaping needs to be developed on street sides and vacant lots need to be converted to public parks.

City leaders must respect the wishes and needs of the residents of this neighborhood, including the growing number of students. If the neighborhood is made safer and cleaner and a more enjoyable place to live, then residents will have a greater sense of respect in the neighborhood as well.