Neglected north side needs attention now


By Ruth Martinez

Page Editor

From the streets to the alleyways, houses and parks, the city of Amarillo continues to neglect the north side of town. Poverty and crime rates are also high, with approximately 8 ‘homeless shelters’ on the north side of I-40 according to www.homelessshelterdirectory.org. 

It’s time for this north side neglect to end.

In the past few years, studies have been done on neighborhoods on the north side. Some include Hamlet, San Jacinto, North Heights, Barrio and some on the east side. According to Texashousers.org, in 2018, about 30 to 40 percent of the households in the Barrio, San Jacinto and the North Heights neighborhoods fell below the poverty line. 

The website also mentioned Adam Pirtle, the Northwest Texas Co-Director for Texas Housers, a fair housing and civil rights advocacy group, said he has seen Amarillo prosper and grow but he has also seen the downside. “Because of historic patterns of segregation, this prosperity hasn’t been shared across the city. Low-income residents, especially low-income communities of color have for the most part been locked out of this growth and opportunities for this great city,” he said. 

Crime is common in north-side neighborhoods. On Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2020, shots were fired around 5:51 p.m. during a sports event. Many calls were made to the police department, but, according to newschannel10.com, officers were responding to other calls and did not arrive at the shooting until 6:52 p.m. This is an example of how the Amarillo Police Department places a lower priority on the north side.

Good things do happen for the north side community, like the recognition of North Heights and Barrio with their street signs now on display in many intersections. Snack Pak for Kids has impacted many children in these neighborhoods. The Hodgetown stadium has made downtown a much bigger attraction and as well as the Embassy Suites by Hilton. Palo Duro High School, located on the north side near Amarillo Boulevard, is close to many residents’ hearts and many of the school’s graduates continue to live in the neighborhood. 

What needs to change is neighborhood equity. The north side needs to look just like the south side. The alleyways need to be paved, more trash bins need to be provided and the community deserves better roads without potholes. Downtown might look pretty, but the neighborhoods surrounding it are needing attention. We all should speak out against north side neglect.

5 Comments

  1. I do agree north side streets are bad! Really bad they need attention not just a quick repair they need to be done all over again! Also the parks need attention as well we need fun stuff I’m Amarillo not just for Amarillo people but for the surrounding small towns around us ! We need outlets or water parks or just something nice that’s open year around !

  2. The north side of Amarillo has been neglected for a long time. I agree with all the things you said but also what has never been mentioned is there are no amusements for kids. We don’t have any theatres, no skating rink,or a mister gatis, or something like chuckie cheese where we can take our kids on birthdays with video arcades, we don’t even have a dollar tree or a wal mart on the northeast side

    • City’s continued efforts to not take care of alleys on the north side and proposing installing cameras in alleys is a waste of tax payers monies. They need to reinstate waste management that in the past included bulk item pickup on a routine basis. And raise the disposal cost on water bills- acceptable. Those little cans they are distributing are costing 10 times as much as the large dumpsters in the alleys.

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