Common sense 101 course needed for all

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Let me propose a new course of education for tomorrow’s leaders. The course would be labeled Common Sense 101. And it should be required of all students.

Here’s what triggered my imagination.

A Colorado town this week unanimously approved a new city ordinance that bans lying or sleeping on city sidewalks.

Now common sense would tell you that when the urge to take a quick cat nap strikes, it is inappropriate to sprawl out in the middle of a busy downtown sidewalk.

Yet apparently some residents have been struck by the sudden sidewalk siestas and decided to catch 40 winks in the middle of the city sidewalks.

Mostly vagrants, panhandlers and other assorted homeless sorts have apparently decided that the sidewalks in Durango, Colo., are sufficiently soft to provide comfort for their weary bones.

But shop owners along their busy downtown area are worried that customers and tourists will abandon shopping to avoid the concrete dozing.

And thus, the city council there was forced to put into law a prohibition against pedestrian walkways being littered with snoozing vagrants.

Way back when, if you’ll recall, McDonald’s was prompted to put warning labels on their coffee indicating it was hot. That came after a successful lawsuit from a women who apparently failed to understand that coffee is often hot.

Granted, you would expect common sense to kick in. But no.

And that’s exactly why we need the next generation to bone up on common sense.

Meanwhile back in Colorado, in an abundance of caution, took the sidewalk ordinance a step farther. In addition to sidewalks, residents are banned from sleeping in the middle of the street or on a railroad track.

Their reasoning is simple — if you’re dumb enough to snooze on the sidewalk, you might just decide to take a nap in the middle of the main drag. And that is not likely to end well.

San Francisco and some other urban areas might learn a lesson from little ol’ Durango. By most accounts, the homeless have taken control of the city sidewalks there for napping and bathroom stops.

Maybe Durango is harking back to the wild west days when law and order prevailed. And maybe that’s not such a bad idea.

If successful, the new ordinance will force these napping violators to choose a different location or better yet, a different community.

As we all know, the grass is always greener and the sidewalks softer on the other side of the fence.

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