Good Guy Loitering Movement in Cincinnati
You see a lot of traffic during rush hour in Cincinnati’s Walnut Hills neighborhood; you might also see a “Good Guy Loitering.” Good Guys were loitering on October 18 when a group of residents, business owners and friends gathered along McMillan Avenue. They held their first neighborhood vigil in front of vacant buildings once filled with thriving businesses. They sat in lawn chairs. They stood and waved at motorists passing by. So there was no mistaking them for the usual neighborhood loiterers, each of them carried a sign identifying themselves as a “Good Guy Loitering.”
Their laughter and congenial conversation were deceptive. The Good Guys were on a very serious mission. Each explained it in a different way, but the overall Good Guy goal is to create an ongoing positive presence. These Good Guys are part of a movement to reclaim Cincinnati neighborhoods. Good Guys have loitered in Westwood, Bond Hill, Madisonville and other Cincinnati neighborhoods “struggling with bad behavior.”
Who are the Good Guys Loitering in Walnut Hills?
Clarence Taylor has been a resident of Walnut Hills for over 40 years. By loitering with the Good Guys on McMillan Avenue he’s hoping to have a positive effect.” Clarence talked about the dilapidated property that might be taken over for condominiums some day and the Kroger grocery store “wanting to move.” He feels “being good neighbors” will initiate the change necessary to reverse negative trends.
Clarence’s wife loitered with him. She talked about change, as well and “revitalizing our community.” She would like investors to develop abandoned historic Walnut Hills buildings.
Katherine Gardette, long time Walnut Hills resident, explained how Brian Lee, of Cincinnati’s Westwood neighborhood, began the Good Guy Loitering movement. “It’s a way for people who live in a neighborhood to come together and sit in the spot where they want the activities in that area to change,” Mrs. Gardette said. “This is an area of the community that is in transition and transformation.” She talked about McMillan Avenue’s impending return to two way traffic as an opportunity for economic development.
Cathy Atkinson, President of the Walnut Hills Area Council, wants to “change an impression” people might have about Walnut Hills. She wants to dispel myths about the neighborhood not being safe and productive. “We want to invite businesses and people to come back to Walnut Hills,” she said. She also plans on a slogan change before their next Good Guy outing. Her sign will say Good Gal Loitering.
There were quite a few other Good Guys participating in the first evening of Good Guys Loitering in Walnut Hills. Roy Green, coordinator for the Walnut Hills Citizens on Patrol, says the group was standing on McMillan because they want the neighborhood back. Toni Miller said, “We’re trying to take back our streets.” Judging by the horns blowing as passing drivers read the Good Guy signs, a lot of other people feel the same way.
Interviews at Good Guy Loitering Walnut Hills event, October 18, 2010