Fresno city councilman aims to clean up ‘Motel Drive’

News

Fresno City Council member Miguel Arias is making it a mission to improve an area in the city which is known for human trafficking and drug activity.

Arias is focusing on Parkway drive, located near Highway 99 and Olive, an infamous area known for human trafficking and drug activity. Motel drive is in Arias’s district.

“We can’t have motels that primarily exist for human trafficking,” Arias said

Arias said he’s working to introduce an ordinance which would give those motel owners, an extra tool in the tool box that would allow them to re-model or re-purpose those properties into apartments.

He said the motels in his district generate more than $3 million from local tax revenue

“If we’re taking money for our hotels than we should be reinvesting it either in cleaning them up or we should finally deal with the fact that these motels need to find a different purpose,” he said.

The city has been working with motel owners to improve the area by enforcing no parking, so cars can’t stop and target prostitution activity. 

Motel owners have also taken action by installing security, creating a motel owners association, fixing code violations and Fresno police have incorporated a bike team to patrol the area. 

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Fresno Mayor Lee Brand Statement: 

“I’ve made ending the Human Trafficking crisis a top priority for my Administration and we’ve already seeing positive results through our collaboration with other agencies and non-profits. One step we’ve taken is organizing a Motel Owners Association. We are also enforcing building codes and have successfully executed targeted enforcement operations that resulted in a number of arrests. We will continue to focus our resources on these motels as part of on-going efforts to end Human Trafficking in our community.”

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