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Short North prepares for 2nd weekend of increased safety measures

It’s the second weekend Short North visitors, residents and business owners will see new safety measures in place.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — On Friday afternoon Columbus police set up a mobile command tower along North High Street in the Short North. You could see more police cameras and signs posted reminding drivers of a parking ban beginning at 10 p.m.

All are reminders of the new safety measures in place, as announced by the city earlier this month.

Those measures include prohibiting food trucks from operating midnight and parking restrictions along High Street between Goodale Street and Fifth Avenue between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. Bars and restaurants are also being asked to close at midnight, though it's not mandatory.

“Hopefully they're worth doing,” said Short North resident Gabrielle Bodo. “Something has to give.”

Some residents on Friday said they are hopeful this will set the stage for the summer -- keeping crime at bay.

“I'm hoping everybody stays level-headed and mindful of others,” said Bodo.

“I think it's helpful to say the least,” said Cade Cusman, another neighbor. “It's definitely a needed thing to have around here. We're still able to go out and enjoy the bars and whatnot so it's not too much of an issue. But I don't know why they closed down the street meat after 12 but hey I don't make the decisions.”

Some food truck and restaurant owners said over the last month their businesses have taken a financial hit.

That's likely because some people are opting to stay home.

“I think if anything people have moved their ‘going outs’ to ‘stay ins,’” said another resident who did not provide their name. “We go to people's houses now instead of going to the bars.”

Days ago a bill looking to ban cities from imposing curfews except for minors and in emergency situations was introduced at the state house -- the sponsor of the bill says it's to support small businesses.

Meanwhile, Columbus police said the midnight curfew for minors and food trucks -- and the voluntary midnight curfew for restaurants and bars -- is working. There were no shootings last weekend -- unlike the previous two weekends. In addition, police said there were 31 misdemeanor summons, one juvenile arrest, four misdemeanor arrests, seven felony arrests, eight arrests on warrants, seven firearms recovered, and four incidents of drugs seized.

“We will not tolerate illegal, reckless behavior in the City of Columbus – period. We will continue to follow the data and focus our efforts on those areas and activities that are of most pressing concern, and work with all our partners throughout the community to ensure the greatest impact," Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

Police will also continue enforcement of reckless driving here along North High Street. They said there were more than 200 traffic violations last weekend alone. There were also nearly 300 parking citations and 107 vehicles taken to the impound lot.

The city has dubbed their efforts in the Short North as Operation Burnout, which target street "takeovers," street racing, unnecessary squealing of tires and other "unruly" behaviors.

Police said the highest levels of violence and other criminal activity consistently take place between 11 p.m. and 4 a.m.

The Short North: A complex history with art, development and crime

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