Under a Streetscape Professional Services contract with the City, DDA provides a 6-person crew (with additional contract employees hired during the holidays) that gives special attention to the Downtown Development District (DDD) of Shreveport, Louisiana. Shreveport’s Central Business District is the downtown to the entire region, and is the center of government, courts and business for Shreveport and Caddo Parish. Some 12,000-14,000 people travel into downtown Shreveport each Monday through Friday to work, thousands more flow into our city center with business at Government Plaza or the courts, to attend an event at the Shreveport Convention Center, play at the casinos or visit other downtown businesses or amenities.
Downtown is Important to us All
The City’s B-4 Zoning Code calls Downtown the “symbolic, managerial, and cultural focal point of the community.” The DDA’s Mission Statement closely aligns with that as we “actively pursue, support, facilitate and welcome initiatives that aid and encourage private development, and promote and coordinate public development within the Downtown Development District of Shreveport.”
In order to get more people, development and interest in our downtown, it must be given the attention it needs to stay clean, neat and inviting.
The perception continues to be that a clean downtown is a safe and welcoming downtown.
The DDA has paid Streetscape crews to provide this attention since 1990. It is apparent to us, with the amount of litter blowing through the streets after just one big night at the downtown clubs, how quickly downtown could become a trashy, unattractive environment. It is an environment that demands daily attention.
In 1996, the city and DDA entered into a Professional Services Contract overseen by the Department of Public Works. In the ensuing years, the partnership has created valuable returns for both sides. Having DDA Streetscape crews removes the burden of assigning full-time city crews downtown. DDA also underwrites overages in the Streetscapedivision, which allows the investment from both sides to go farther. Since 1990, DDA has invested $860,724 into Streetscape over and above the amount of the city’s Professional Services Contracts.
What does Streetscape do?
Our Streetscape crews are on the streets 7 days a week by 7am, earlier in the summer. Covering a Ninety (90) Square Block Area, Streetscape crews:
- Pick up thousands of pounds of litter each month
- Assist SPAR in cleaning up around city assets downtown
- Sweep sidewalks, gutters and streets
- Coordinate and hang banners on Streetscape poles. Banners change up to 20 times per year.
- Coordinate with AEP/SWEPCO on damaged/inoperable light poles, clean and paint street light poles and maintain and purchase banner arms as needed.
- Liaison with City Crews, Public Works and others on street and sidewalk damage and other hazards
- Weed public spaces, obtain certifications and training, provide soil testing in areas where trees are unable to thrive.
- Upkeep public trees along Streetscape sidewalks- water, prune, fertilize, insect and disease control, remove refuse.
- Replace dead/diseased trees in same area.
- Empty city refuse cans in the DDD.
- Liaison with SPD and Property Standards on dumpster overflows in alleys and other violations or hazards.
- Hang all Christmas decorations on Streetscape poles in the DDD
- Coordinate with Shreveport Regional Arts Council, Parish of Caddo, and other organizations as approved by DDA for use of DDA scissor lift.
- Load and haul soil and mulching products for the Aseana Garden (old Municipal Garden).
- Clean, paint and move benches when necessary.
- Purchase and display of US flags during significant holidays.
- Are always on call when an issue needs immediate attention.
In 2009, the (Louisiana Legislature at the City of Shreveport’s request) increased the physical size of the Downtown Development District by approximately 50%. While the bulk of that property does not currently fall under our Professional Services Contract, we did see an increase in calls for services along the Texas Avenue to Murphy Street corridor. We strive to meet those needs as we can work them in.
Herman Chapple – Supervisor