Now we can include cross country running in Lower Woodland Park on the list of activities in Seattle that must be detoured or altered due to health and safety concerns. A city that can’t even guarantee safe conditions outside its county courthouse has officially thrown its hands up at dealing with encampments and the unpredictable, troubled souls that occupy many of them.

On top of this, the self-described “abolitionist” city attorney candidate could win in November, promising to “decriminalize poverty” by refusing to prosecute most misdemeanors. (Ask San Franciscans how that philosophy has worked out, with stores big and small shuttering or closing early due to theft.)

While city leaders shrug their shoulders at trash-strewn encampments, Seattle homeowners can rest assured that any additional trash left outside the bin on collection day will be appropriately surcharged. We can’t do anything about illegally parked campers, but use the Spokane lower bridge a few minutes too late and you will be fined. There is a word for a city that has become paralyzed in addressing certain anti-social behaviors, yet can be most efficient when applying the rules to those already predisposed to follow them: Dysfunctional.

Matthew Bastian, Seattle