Stefanie Moritz, a retired librarian, moved with her husband from Phoenix into a downtown condominium about three years ago, drawn by pedestrian-friendly streets, a university job for her husband and the community’s progressive politics.You can't move downtown and then expect the city to cater to suburban tastes like this. Downtown is downtown because of the bars and restaurants. There should be even more of them. It should be reasonably noisy, even late at night. If people are committing crimes, it's a different matter. Let the mayor and the city council find a way to enforce the laws. And send out more street cleaners. Don't attack local business and squelch the nightlife.
“We decided that we definitely wanted to live downtown, so we could get rid of one of our cars, my husband could walk to work and we could enjoy the downtown experience,” Ms. Moritz said. “The reality is a little bit different.”
She said she quickly grew irritated at being awakened at 2:30 a.m., when the noisy bar crowd usually begins to make its way home, dropping empty beer cans and other trash along the way. One morning she woke to find that garbage had been torched and the flames had charred a tree.
“I want to live downtown, but I also want a decent quality of life,” Ms. Moritz said. “And I feel that that is being denied by the present level of alcohol use.”
About 18 months ago, Ms. Moritz became active in a relatively new residents’ group, Capitol Neighborhoods, which is at the forefront of the push for stricter drinking rules.
January 1, 2007
The NYT has an article today about the revitalization of downtown Madison, Wisconsin and the resulting clash between affluent condo residents and the restaurant and bar owners. It seems the affluent folk don't like all the aspects of the urban life they chose. There's noise, crowding, and some alcohol-related crime. Incredibly, local politicians, including Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, now want to downsize downtown and reduce the number of bars and restaurants.
Posted by Ann Althouse at 2:44 PM