Sign at Central Park Blvd. and 29th Warns Drivers of Stapleton Risks

stapleton-warning-signFor those who have lived in Stapleton for six or more months, the rampant Stapleton crime shouldn’t be news to you. No matter what reliable source you use, whether it is block captain emails, Facebook, Big Tent, Next Door, or random people at the Berkshire, you are aware of the crime pitfall of Stapleton. “It seems like every other day you hear about someone’s garage getting broken into,” said Stapleton resident Mike Stone. “And of course, you have the random sightings of potential troublemakers.”

Even with all of these resources, not all residents are aware of the dangers of Stapleton. Plus, Stapleton residents get tens of outside visitors every year who may not know the ins and outs of our sacred neighborhood. With help from the SUN and the Stapleton MCA, the City of Denver agreed to place a “warning” sign on Stapleton’s second busiest intersection. The sign states, “Secure valuable property. Lock your vehicle.” “This was a lot of hard work by a lot of people,” said MCA President Liza Kampstra. “Enough is enough, and we are hoping this not only reminds our residents and visitors that we have a crime issue, it may also dissuade our Aurora neighbors from pilfering the henhouse so to speak, as they will be reminded that we are locking up our goods.” SUN and the MCA have had past success in working with the city to put up signs.

SUN President Mike Victoria agrees that the sign should decrease neighborhood crime. “We are satisfied with where we ended up,” said Victoria. “The city ultimately decided on the message, as we had other suggestions.” Victoria said they submitted verbiage to the City which said, “Stop robbing us, Aurorans!!!,” and yes, it had all three exclamation points. It is unclear how long the city is going to be willing to keep it up, but residents are hoping it will be long enough to be able to analyze whether or not it was effective. “We are hoping it will stay up for 90 days,” says Kampstra. “That way we should be able to do a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the data to completely understand whether it was effective or not.”

Not all Stapleton residents appreciate the sign. “I think it is pretty tacky,” says resident Chris Gregory. “A giant digital sign that looks like it should be warning of slowing traffic or construction doesn’t really fit new urbanism.” Sean Ortner agrees. “I mean ‘secure valuable property and lock your vehicle?’” questions Ortner. “Why not add other common sense things like, ‘wear your seat belt, never get into a land war in Asia, or don’t shake a baby.’ It’s just kind of unnecessary, and I am not sure how much help it will be.” SUN and the MCA are working to track the data and will report data to community at the appropriate time. “Hopefully this helps,” says Victoria. “If not, we always have other ideas to take up the city’s time with.”

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