They ask to close the Parc de l'Olla de Reus to avoid alcohol and drug consumption

The residents of the surroundings of the Parc de l'Olla, between Bellissens avenue and Maria Mercè Marçal i Serra street, right next to the Reus municipal funeral home, are fed up with the insecurity and inconvenience that they experience almost daily. The consumption of alcohol and substances is their greatest concern, precisely because it is a children's playground. That is why they demand that the town hall close the park to, at least, try to keep the situation at bay.

They want to avoid that there are bottles at night or, what worries them more, “that there are drugs. They get into the bushes, right next to the buildings, ”says a neighbor. All this is related to another issue: the automatic dispensing and collection device for syringes for drug addicts that is right in front of the park. It is not that they are against this type of device, but that "it would be better if it were close to the hospital or any health center", say the neighbors who, in any case, "we do not believe that, next to a playground, it is the most correct place to place this type of service».

They point out that many users use the Parc de l'Olla to administer the dose and that, later, they would throw away the used syringes in the same area, which worries all the residents. In addition, they point out that on several occasions a consumer has been found in the portals and even inside the blocks. In the same park, there are also "who sleeps it off", they say.

Residents of the area between Maria Mercè Marçal i Serra and Carles Riba streets already submitted, on one occasion, a letter to the Reus City Council, setting out these complaints. "But we have not received a response", so now several neighbors have submitted proposals in the current call for participatory budgets.

Óscar, one of the neighbors, has presented one of the initiatives, focusing on “improvements to make the Parc de l'Olla a safe space”. But he is not the only one who goes in this line. Another neighbor proposes to improve the lighting in the area and, specifically, in Maria Mercè Marçal i Serra and Carles Riba streets. As they denounce, "the lighting is poor (...) having to use the mobile to illuminate the ground." The main problem they point out is that the streetlights are too high, being above the treetops. Thus, "very little light reaches the sidewalk" and "you can hardly even appreciate the face of the person next to you," they exemplify. Thus, what they are demanding is, on the one hand, to increase the number of lampposts and that these be of a lower model, that they remain below the trees and, thus, that all the light directly illuminates the sidewalk. In addition, they also denounce that the power supply often fails and ask to "review or change the electrical installation to prevent it from failing so much."

All this lack of lighting directly affects the park, "between the bad atmosphere and the darkness, there is a lot of insecurity", remarks Óscar, who assures that people directly avoid going through the park when it gets dark.

Now they hope to be able to achieve their objectives through participatory budgets, although they are aware that there is still a long way to go and, at the moment, there are already 164 proposals submitted.

Bottles and dirt on the floor

The visual part of the problem in this park is the bottles of alcohol and cans scattered on the ground, testimonies of what happens, basically, at night, when groups of young people get together to have a bottle. Neighbors state that noise at night is especially annoying in summer, "when consumption is daily." As of autumn and winter, during the week the atmosphere is calm, "but it is repeated every weekend." They call the police, "a patrol comes, the individuals leave, but after a while, they are back."

Added to all this is the problem of substance use, as mentioned above, and the presence of some syringes on the floor. Collaterally, between the bottles and the consumption of substances there are also cleaning problems. “The bins are not cleaned and all kinds of dirt, glass, animal droppings accumulate...”, they warn.

A new crosswalk

Beyond the problems of Parc de l'Olla, the residents of this same area are concerned about another issue: the lack of a pedestrian crossing at number 12 Avinguda del President Macià, at the intersection with Calle by Ramon J. Sender. At this point, many people cross the avenue, without any steps. And it is that they consider that the existing ones are too far away. The alternatives would be: either the passage at the roundabout on Avinguda de Bellissens or, on the other side, the one that is closer to the Mercat del Carrilet. Between the two there are about 270 meters and the neighbors believe that the distance is excessive.

Faced with the constant crossing of pedestrians in the middle of the avenue, the neighbors ask to create a new zebra crossing to improve safety. In fact, it is not necessary to wait too long to see some people who venture to cross running at this height. There are two traffic lanes in each direction, which increases the danger. In addition, they have to wait in the median, between bushes, to be able to finish crossing. "There have been serious abuses," they remember.

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