What Will Make a Better Adams Morgan
By Kristen Barden and Pat Patrick
Adams Morgan, like any other diverse and active commercial sector in a major city, isn’t immune to violence. But two recent opinion pieces that address the issue of crime in Adams Morgan missed the point.
In his May 31 Local Opinions commentary, “A Better Balance in Adams Morgan,” Terry Lynch contended that the presence of so many bars and restaurants is responsible for crime in the area. In fact, much of the crime is perpetrated by juveniles who come to the area to hang out. The Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District has been working with the police to combat this problem. We think a tailored “anti-loitering” law for entertainment districts, similar to a measure near passage in San Francisco would further help us combat crime.
In a letter responding to Mr. Lynch [“Adams Morgan is Helping Itself,” June 7], Denis James, president of the Kalorama Citizens Association, said that by leading an effort to maintain a moratorium on liquor licenses, his group has “done what we can do” to attract new retailers. We don’t see evidence that Mr. James or his group are working to retain or attract retailers. We have a lot of vacant commercial space, and we need the D.C. government to step up and encourage retail and daytime businesses to locate in Adams Morgan.
Both authors argued that a better mix of commercial property, including more retail, is necessary. We agree. It’s a challenge to bring retailers to an area where residents leave the neighborhood for work during the day — and where there isn’t a central Metro station or office buildings — but we’re working hard to create a more balanced mix.
The writers are, respectively, executive director of the Adams Morgan Partnership Business Improvement District and president of the Adams Morgan Business and Professional Association.
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