Planners hope to clean up Broad Ave. - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Planners hope to clean up Broad Ave.

Broad Avenue has definitely seen better days. Boarded-up buildings, broken windows, graffiti and empty alcohol containers are all tell-tale signs of decay.

"What customers are going to want to come with that going on?" asked Tony Randall.

Randall has lived and worked here for nearly a decade. He hopes "sprucing-up" the neighborhood includes "cleaning-up" crime. He's caught some on his own surveillance cameras.

"All my vehicles burglarized, the fights, and just witnessing the prostitutes and the crack dealers on a daily basis," said Randall.

Randall says he was driven by necessity to install video cameras and an alarm, but he says it hasn't discouraged all criminals. Some say many of those people just need good jobs.

"There's not much you can do to an old building but paint it up and fix it up," said George Barbee. "But if you don't bring a job in here for individuals to work, it's just going to look pretty."

But urban planners promise crime is being addressed in the effort to breathe new life into Broad.

"Zoning is a police power and what we can do to help the neighborhood become a better place to live, that's what we're going to do," said Louise Mercuro with the Division of Planning & Development.

Meantime, Tony Randall and others may continue watch crime right outside their door.

For more information on the Broad Avenue re-development, stop by the project office at the corner of Broad and Collins in Binghampton.

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