Full disclosure: Two of my friends had their cars broken into in downtown Detroit last week. These incidents happened within days of each other along the same city block in the entertainment district behind Detroit's Fillmore and Fox theaters – the exact area that this story references.
Detroit is often painted in a bad light when it comes to things like public safety, and while I – a proud Detroit resident – will gladly shout praise for The D any day of the week, the truth is, it's not just my friends who have been wronged. A rash of break-ins have been reported in this area of Detroit over the past couple of weeks.
So, how are the Detroit Police responding to this issue? Prohibiting street parking.
The Detroit Free Press reports that curbside parking will be prohibited in a small section of downtown Detroit just west of Woodward Avenue. Additional squad cars will be patrolling the area to not only enforce this new parking ban, but to keep a closer watch on the area in an effort to prevent larcenies.
This new initiative was started last Thursday, and according to local news site MLive.com, establishments along Park Avenue have already witnessed large amounts of cars being towed, even though no signage has been installed to inform drivers that street parking is not allowed. Thankfully, MLive also reports that these towing fees will be refunded. To help encourage this program, Detroit company Olympia Entertainment will reportedly reduce the rates on its pay-to-park lots in and around downtown.
As of this writing, it's unclear how long the ban on street parking will be in effect. The 2012 Detroit Auto Show is currently bringing lots of people (and their cars) into the city, which could contribute to this increase of break-ins. (Remember when a BMW-owned 7 Series was stolen during the 2011 Detroit show?) In the meantime, police are advising drivers to park in well-lit or secure parking lots.