Trash greets gem and mineral show guests

Trash greets gem and mineral show guests

Thousands of people will walk along the I-10 frontage roads in the next couple of weeks. Here is some of what they will see.

Last Friday and again Sunday I decided to take my daily walk along the I-10 frontage road, and along Congress and 22nd streets west of Church Avenue. All of these are stretches that will be heavily traveled by pedestrians visiting gem and mineral shows in the next couple of weeks. Over five hours I picked up 50 or so grocery bags of trash, everything from broken liquor bottles to socks. And I couldn't get close to finishing the job, especially on the south end of the I-10 frontage road, where this photo was taken. I understand that the state and city cannot keep the roads repaired, much less regularly tend to the litter. But the gem and mineral shows are one of the main economic events of the year. Does no one in government or business give a thought to how Arizona and Tucson appear to these important visitors? I include business in this criticism because there was LOTS of trash in front of the freeway hotels that make money from the gem shows. To be clear, my complaint isn't about the core of downtown. The Downtown Partnership's "purple people" (identifiable by the color of their shirts) do a good job keeping the streets clean in the restaurant and entertainment districts along Broadway and Congress. Ditto for the area around the Tucson Convention Center. But go west into gem show territory and the garbage is gross.

Last Friday and again Sunday I decided to take my daily walk along the I-10 frontage road, and along Congress and 22nd streets west of Church Avenue. All of these are stretches that will be heavily traveled by pedestrians visiting gem and mineral shows in the next couple of weeks.

Over five hours I picked up 50 or so grocery bags of trash, everything from broken liquor bottles to socks. And I couldn't get close to finishing the job, especially on the south end of the I-10 frontage road, where this photo was taken.

I understand that the state and city cannot keep the roads repaired, much less regularly tend to the litter. But the gem and mineral shows are one of the main economic events of the year. Does no one in government or business give a thought to how Arizona and Tucson appear to these important visitors? I include business in this criticism because there was LOTS of trash in front of the freeway hotels that make money from the gem shows.

To be clear, my complaint isn't about the core of downtown. The Downtown Partnership's "purple people" (identifiable by the color of their shirts) do a good job keeping the streets clean in the restaurant and entertainment districts along Broadway and Congress. Ditto for the area around the Tucson Convention Center. But go west into gem show territory and the garbage is gross.

When these benches were installed along the I-10 frontage road, I thought they looked nice. But now I realize that the only people who sit on them are drifters who then dispose of their trash behind the benches. Here's just the alcohol litter I picked up behind one bench at near 18th Street. 

When these benches were installed along the I-10 frontage road, I thought they looked nice. But now I realize that the only people who sit on them are drifters who then dispose of their trash behind the benches. Here's just the alcohol litter I picked up behind one bench at near 18th Street. 

101-year-old prediction: "Paving of Meyer Street is doom of ancient adobes"

101-year-old prediction: "Paving of Meyer Street is doom of ancient adobes"

There's a new "ghost" sign in the barrio

There's a new "ghost" sign in the barrio