You wouldn’t think it an unreasonable request: Please, good sirs, be a dear and clean up the pigeon droppings in front of your building. Not only are they unsightly, but they are also a public health nuisance.
Turns out that in this town, yes, there is resistance to cleaning up pigeon droppings. It’s a perfect metaphor for why all of Mount Pleasant looks neglected, run-down and flat-out decayed. We as a community have taken the American can-do attitude that put a man on the Moon and turned it into a contraction. It’s Mount Pleasant’s can’t-do spirit. Can’t stop businesses from closing, can’t stop storefronts from falling into disrepair, can’t even clean up bird crap from downtown sidewalks.
Some of these things represent forces beyond any control. No one in town can stop the migration of consumer activity to the Web, for instance. Rather than thinking that we’re going to fix things by using the same hammer to pound at the same nail, we have to adapt to today’s world rather than bemoan the loss of yesterday’s.
But, my god, the lack of energy and urgency devoted to fixing a community that simply looks haggard and used up … it’s like no one is even trying. Like, not bothering to clean up after pigeons.
It’s very basic stuff, folks. Like, so basic I’m surprised it has to be an issue. Like, so basic, that we as a community ought to let slide things like broken pavement, cigarette butt-filled planters and shaggy-looking marquee posters as a different conversation until the pigeon poo gets cleaned up.
It’s the unsightliness of it. It’s the public health risk. It’s about making a place look attractive to people hoping to relocate or make business investments here. It’s also about yelling at CMU students to stop treating the city like their personal toilets while actually allowing pigeons to literally do that.
At the start of the summer, if you’d have asked, I would have pointed to commercial vacancies as the biggest impediment to revitalizing this city. It’s even worse. If we as a community are incapable of getting bird poop cleaned up, it’s a sign that we need a total rebuild. Not an adjustment, not a modification. A total tear-down and rebuild from the foundation. Normal people don’t accept sidewalks covered in animal feces.
There are lots of people to point fingers at, if that’s your thing. The morning of this writing, someone who operates businesses downtown referred to a concerned private citizen as an idiot for complaining. An idiot, for complaining about pigeon poop caked to the sidewalks. Talk about misplaced priorities.
At the city, someone should have addressed this more aggressively so people didn’t have to take time out of their busy days to complain about it. We don’t need another ordinance or public hearings or months of talk and tabled motions to clean up pigeon poo. We need someone to go to building owners and say, “Clean this up, and clean this up now, or we’re going to cite you and if you don’t want to pay the fine you can explain to a judge why you are endangering public health.”
But, mostly it’s the attitude, the attitude that all of our problems are intractable, that we can’t address any of them because we lack the tools to take action. Not to engage in hyperbole, but we do remember who licked the Nazis and rebuilt Western Civilization 60 years ago? Cleaning up after birds seems like a pretty low bar by comparison.
About Pigeon Patrol:
Pigeon Patrol Products & Services is the leading manufacturer and distributor of bird deterrent (control) products in Canada. Pigeon Patrol products have solved pest bird problems in industrial, commercial, and residential settings since 2000, by using safe and humane bird deterrents with only bird and animal friendly solutions. At Pigeon Patrol, we manufacture and offer a variety of bird deterrents, ranging from Ultra-flex Bird Spikes with UV protection, Bird Netting, 4-S Gel and the best Ultrasonic and audible sound devices on the market today.
Voted Best Canadian wholesaler for Bird Deterrent products four years in a row.
Contact Info: 1- 877– 4– NO-BIRD (www.pigeonpatrol.ca)