BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Decades ago, people on Tuscaloosa Ave. said their street was the place to be. "The houses were all old, but people lived in all the houses, people raised their children here," said one resident.
But the current situation in the 500 block of the street paints a different picture. "You don't want to invite somebody to your house because you don't want them to see all the stuff that they're passing."
This resident, who wants to remain anonymous, says as the years have passed, the once well-manicured homes have become vacant and the lots have turned into dumping grounds. "Lord have mercy, how did we get here? Why was the neighborhood forgotten," she asked.
The concerned citizen says she grew up on Tuscaloosa Ave. and now owns her grandparents' home, so she takes great pride in the neighborhood's appearance. "I love living here, but we shouldn't have to put up with all of the discontent."
The resident claims the blight issues have gotten progressively worse over the past five years.
Now on the street, there are several abandoned lots filled with piles of discarded tree clippings, cars, and refrigerators. The blighted properties a could be referred to as a "neighborhood and pride problem."
The resident says she has contacted city authorities several times and not enough has been done to deal with the growing problem. "If your name is on the tax roll, then you should be cited. They should be made to clean them up or tear them down and keep the lots clean."
This resident thinks it's high time the property owners were held responsible. "We just try to make sure everything looks halfway decent, but don't bring someone else's trash here to leave it. Don't do that. We have pride in our neighborhood too and we don't want to live like that."
District 7 Councilman Lamont Cole says he's aware of the problem and it's one of the reasons he has scheduled a blight workshop for Monday, September 25 from 6 to 7 p.m. The workshop will be held at the MLK Community Center, located at 4000 Gus Young Ave.