Life in ‘the aves’


Trash and junk dumped in front of an apartment complex in the aves. Photo credit: Carson Predovich

Carson Predovich

Commonly known as “the aves,” the north campus neighborhood is primarily populated by students, but it is unique from other student communities.

At first glance, the aves don’t look very different from the south campus neighborhood. There are old Victorian and craftsman houses, apartment complexes and townhomes. The two neighborhoods would be almost identical if it weren’t for one key difference: the aves are neglected.

The streets are filled with potholes and covered in trash. Broken couches and bottles litter the curbside. What could be a beautiful neighborhood is ruined by the lack of respect from its residents and the rejection it faces from its community.

Furniture in The Aves
A pile of old furniture dumped on West First Avenue in Chico. Photo credit: Carson Predovich

The city turns the other cheek when it comes to the aves. There are hardly any streetlights and trash not in dumpsters will sit for weeks, sometimes months. There was a stack of mattresses and couch cushions that sat on the corner of my block for over three months last semester, despite my many complaints.

The Chico Police Department seems to forget this area exists. My street never gets patrolled and if you call the police they take up to an hour to respond. If a party downtown is being too loud, the police will be there in a heartbeat, but when I call them about an in-progress bike theft in the aves they take their time.

Waste Management, the primary garbage collection service for Chico, regularly spills trash when loading their trucks. The trash gets all over the sidewalks and in the storm drains and Waste Management never picks it up or corrects their mistakes.

In addition to the neglect it faces from the community, the residents of the aves don’t respect their own neighborhood. People leave broken down cars parked on the street for months and I have witnessed residents intentionally throwing trash on the ground instead of their trash cans.

Not only are the aves dirty, they feel unsafe. I have been verbally harassed on my way to school on multiple occasions and I am very weary of walking or biking home at night. Smashed car windows and fresh graffiti is a common sight. Many drivers completely disregard traffic laws in this part of town since they know there is little police presence. This makes being a pedestrian stressful and sometimes terrifying.

The aves aren’t all bad, there are definitely some positives to living on the north side of campus. Our rent is half that of south campus and it’s peaceful & quiet at night. Also, we have the best pizza place in Chico, Monstros Pizza, and are closer to the movie theater, Trader Joe’s, etc.

The reality is, the ave’s are a large community with a diverse population. Many students and Chico locals call it home and it is truly disappointing that the city doesn’t put as much effort into it as the rest of the campus community. I believe the aves could be just as desirable and popular as the south campus neighborhood if it received the funding and attention it deserves.

I am proud to live in the aves, I just wish the city, its residents and local community would show the same pride that I do.

Carson Predovich can be reached at [email protected] or @cpredo120 on Twitter