Urban Fold

Lose Pay Phones, Fight Crime and Blight?

Jacksonville, Florida officials are considering removing pay phones on sidewalks and in downtown parks, which are often viewed as nuisances that hinder efforts to make neighborhoods cleaner and safer.

"Karen Nasrallah, redevelopment manager for the Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, said there would still be plenty of pay phones in downtown, both in government buildings like City Hall as well as on privately-owned property.

She said the regulation is aimed at pay phones that people loiter around, creating an intimidating situation for others who are walking down the sidewalks and find their path obstructed by panhandlers. She said it creates a perception that undermines the effort to make downtown a clean and safe neighborhood that's walkable.

The legislation mirrors similar restrictions the city placed on pay phones in the Springfield neighborhood north of downtown. Bruno said those regulations have proven successful."

Full Story: JEDC to recommend removal of pay phones

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