City installs prostitution 'barricades'

City installs prostitution 'barricades'
Published: Apr. 30, 2014 at 11:57 PM EDT
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A barricade installed to help curb prostitution. Lisa Hutson/FOX19
A barricade installed to help curb prostitution. Lisa Hutson/FOX19

(FOX19) - They say desperate times call for desperate measures.

Suzanne Fisher, a resident of McMicken Avenue is desperate.

"A practically naked woman was high on drugs went to the neighbor's house, had a glass window in the front door and just smashed it open screaming," says Fisher.

It's just one of several dangerous incidents stemming from prostitution along the street where she lives for years. Fisher says police have tried chasing down the prostitutes, the pimps and the 'johns' but nothing has worked. That is why they are trying a new approach starting with concrete road blocks all along McMicken Avenue.

"Oh, I think it's going to work. It's going to disrupt the 'johns' traffic pattern. I think this is fantastic. I feel very positive about the changes," says Fisher.

Police installed the road blocks Wednesday morning and already some are seeing more problems than solutions.

"Mostly been see a whole lot of people going down there and turning around on this end, turning around on that end and the only thing I was concerned about was the buses," says Nellie Pearl Allen.

She and her husband watched as more than a dozen cars unaware of the closure were forced to turn around in the street. One of them belonged to Bob Stout. Stout says is was taking him nearly an hour to get home trying to find his way around the concrete barricades.

"At least put a sign back there telling me the road is closed. I've driven all the way down here and now I've got to drive all the way back because I had no idea this was closed. I live here. I live right down the street," says Stout.

While most agree something must be done to stop human trafficking on McMicken Avenue, some say stopping traffic all together isn't the answer.

"This is a place to come to find people of that type but I don't think this is exactly the way to address it by handicapping the rest of a community for a problem that a section is dealing with," says Charlie Rusk.

One school bus driver mentioned no one had given the bus driver's warning about the closure which negatively impacts their routes. He said police have since told them they will post appropriate signage to warn drivers and open the barricades during school hours.

Cincinnati city officials plan to keep the closures in place for at least three months to see if the strategy is effective. They are also considering other drastic measures to fight sex trafficking like publishing the names of people convicted of prostitution related crimes, notifying their spouses and increasing fines.

Related content:

Barricades aim to reduce prostitution along McMicken Street corridor

Police in Ohio barricade road against prostitution

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