Parks problem may be resolved in the fall - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Parks problem may be resolved in the fall

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Cave Creek Recreational Area Cave Creek Recreational Area
A sign along the wash A sign along the wash
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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A problem with a string of Phoenix public parks along a wash near I-17 may be resolved this fall when the Parks Department, along with other city agencies, clean up debris and brush along the wash. 

Some park patrons say the Cave Creek Recreational Area, which stretches along I-17 from Greenway to Peoria Avenue, has a problem with homelessness, and other inappropriate acts. 

"I've seen people having sex in the car," said Mike Barthelme, who often visits the park with his two children.

"I was shocked. I was very shocked. (It happened) right in the afternoon in broad daylight. I drove by in the daylight and they don't even care," he continued. 

Barthelme said he's also seen women using the men's bathroom to wash their underwear as well as fights between homeless people in the wash near the western edge of the recreational area.

Parks Department Deputy Director Esther Avila said the department is aware of the problem with people using the wash as a place to live.

"Right now you have transients who are in the particular area that build camps," she said.

"We have multiple departments. Everyone from the mayor's office to our council office. The (Phoenix) police department, parks department (as well). Whoever we have to get in there along with our residents. In the fall, we're going to get in (the wash) and really clean up the park," she continued.

Avila said the extra brush will be removed, which could deter people from building campsites inside the wash.

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