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Posted at 8:49 PM ET, 06/25/2009

What Will Make a Better Adams Morgan

By Vince Rinehart

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.

By Vince Rinehart  | June 25, 2009; 8:49 PM ET
Categories:  Adams Morgan, crime  
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When I read the first of this series I thought, damned I haven't been down to AM in a while, so I stopped by the other day.

Frankly the neighborhood looks great and seems to be improving rather than deteriorating. So frankly I am not sure what the worry is.

The bottom line is this btw, the District makes alot of money from sales tax on alchohol, a whole lot of money. If crime increases in AM sales will go down. So yes an anti-loitering law would be usefull.

Posted by: DCDave11 | June 29, 2009 1:42 AM | Report abuse

I agree wholeheartedly; the troublemakers are not patrons of AM's bars and clubs. They come to the area with the intention of making trouble, not spending money. I'm sick of being jostled or having female acquaintances grabbed by a gang of teenagers and not being able to respond because there are 8 of them and two of us. Increased police presence--not to ticket visitors' cars, but to arrest troublemakers--is the answer.

Posted by: DCnative16 | June 29, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

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