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It’s not just my streets …

I’ve unloaded unmercifully on my Southpark neighborhood about trash, litter and the slobs who create such a mess. No apologies, however. It’s simply a recognition of reality.

In fairness though – and no doubt you have seen worse or as worse elsewhere every day with your own eyes – the slovenliness is not limited to my stylish, tony area. By no means is it limited to my route. It’s not just my streets. The litter stakes are larger and more widespread than that.

Stonewall Street in Uptown Charlotte is a popular gathering place for junk.

Stonewall Street in Uptown Charlotte is a popular gathering place for junk.

I’ve stooped to pick up and corral litter in a lot of places; Portland, Oregon, Chicago’s West Side, St. Paul, Minnesota, the high mountains of Wyoming and the Intracoastal waterways of the Carolinas to name several cities and remote locales in need of some pathway TLC. But I’m mostly concerned about cleanliness a little closer to home since I can help out at the individual level.

Recycling bins are only a few short feet away along the Light Rail tracks in Uptown.

Recycling bins are only a few short feet away along the Light Rail tracks in Uptown.

So I’m going to start to catalog the mess that is rampant elsewhere in Charlotte. I’m not telling you anything new or that you don’t already know. You see it, too; the soda bottles and fast food packaging, the beer cans and the newspaper blowing about, the bottle caps and drinking straws, the candy wrappers and cigarette debris, the polystyrene and pieces of smashed cars. Need I go on?

My Sharon View to Colony to Fairveiw to Sharon Road path is far, far, far from the only scene of trash trouble. Little is omnipresent along every stretch of every street and sidewalk.

The corridor along I-77 collects more than its share of little and junk.

The corridor along I-77 collects more than its share of litter and junk.

There’s no avoiding it. We have only to look as far as the next street and the one after that. You can close your eyes to it or look away. But the filthy, ugly environmental eyesores will still be there.

These photos are the first salvo in a city-wide expose’ of what’s out there but shouldn’t be. Of course, some might find such disturbing images as an embarrassment. That’s part of the point.

(If you have photos you want posted here, email those to me at along with the location where the pic(s) were taken and a few words of how you felt about seeing the sorry scene.)

About Dave Bradley (264 Articles)
I was a writer by trade so one would think letters would come easily for me. It is so now, but wasn't always that way. Indeed, the first letter was written the Monday after Ellen started her freshman year in college. For years I've wondered - with no good answers - why I swiveled my office chair toward my computer screen to fire up a word processing document for that first letter. I just don't know. I just did. Perhaps it was the angst of separation or wanting to say things that had gone unsaid at that moment when we parted ways in front of her college dormitory. What was a one-off became habitual. When her brother Reid enrolled in the same college, his name was added to the salutation line. They were kids then and are adults now. No matter. The letter writing habit remains so today. I live in Brevard, North Carolina. I'm well away from where they live and don't see them nearly as often as I'd like. That's why letters, at least to me, fill the void of distance. The pages give me something to say and the space to say it. There is no assurance they read the letters; indeed, I have never asked if they do so. With the pace of their busy lives who could blame them for letting a letter sit unopened? Over time, it has dawned on me that the letters are both communicative - and cathartic. By nature, letters are about the writer; the writer can only write about their situation. Perhaps that is as it should be. It's all about the here and now from one person's perspective.

1 Comment on It’s not just my streets …

  1. David this may be a good time to invest in an orange vest, a stick with a sharp point, and a large black baggie. Then enlist your friend to do the same and hit the streets. At least you’d get a nice walk out of the deal. Keep on them. Chapin

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