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Monday, October 30, 2006

Danger?

Is St. Louis really the most dangerous city in the US?

Mayor Slay says no, and for once I can't disagree with him. (Except for the plug for Proposition P, which would create a recreation center in Carondelet Park that would eat up historic park land and place a much-needed resource at the resource-rich far south end of the city.)

I remain awed that these "most dangerous cities" lists are still widely publicized. Their existence seems designed to reinforce suburban America's deepest and most unreasonable fears of inner cities and racial difference. The lists also have the terrible side effect of discouraging investment in the cities that need it the most -- which inevitable end up in the upper ranks of danger.

Instead of reacting to statistical reinforcement of the status quo, the press should compile lists of the cities with the most dramatic improvement in stemming population loss and disinvestment. Or the cities that most need the attention and effort of caring Americans. Or the cities with the most potential to become vibrant, dense urban areas.

2 comments:

Doug Duckworth said...

I posted this on one of my social networking accounts which includes many kids I went to school with.

Many of you have been watching the TV lately and you couldn't miss that St. Louis is a warzone.

Well I can say that this information is simply untrue.

First, the group who put out this data is from suburban Kansas City, and has traditional bias against St. Louis.

Secondly, St. Louis City proper does not have any suburbs as other cities do, which puts St. Louis at a disadvantage stastically.

Thirdly, when looking at FBI Uniform Crime Reports, it is apparent that the St. Louis Region is actually quite average in terms of Crime Rates.

Finally, as Antonio French points out on PubDef.net, the local news source of St. Louis Politics, crime in St. Louis is concentrated to areas in North St. Louis.

Look at this picture:
http://www.pubdef.net/uploaded_images/vi...

Commentary:
http://www.pubdef.net/2006/10/most-dange...

St. Louis is not the most dangerous City in the United States. I would challenge one to visit the Bronx or Gary ID and make the comparison. St. Louis has had a crime increase of 16 percent, and that is a definate problem, yet we should not abandon the City because of Crime. The Crime is isolated and I can assure you it is quite safe.

I have been living in the City for a year and I have yet to become the victim of Crime. I reside in the neighborhood of North Hampton, near Tillis Park. I park on the street, in front of my apartment, and my doors are unlocked. My neighbor leaves his windows down with nothing stolen.

The environment in St. Louis is very different to suburban life as many of ones daily routines can be accomplished during a short walk. I can get to nightlife locations, my grocery store, a Dobbs, Walgreens, Hollywood Video, Target, three banks, and Ted Drewes in a short walk. I often take the bus to Forest Park MetroLink and arrive at UMSL in 20 minutes. Moreover my Neighborhood Association meeting is one block away thus I always know whats going on in my Neighborhood. I could basically live without my car.

Less than 20-30 minutes from where you live there is some of the greatest Historical Housing and Architecture in the United States. We have the most Historical Housing in Missouri and we have a rich history. The wide array of housing includes multi-million dollar homes which are at least 100 years old, to rehabbed lofts Downtown, newer condos in the Central West End which start at 150 and apex at 2.3 million, and finally smaller "Ginger Bread" homes, like the ones in my neighborhood, ranging from 150 to 250.

Many ethnic enclaves exist in St. Louis with excellent dining. St. Louis has a world class Symphony, many art galleries, an urban park more than twice the size of Central Park, and two excellent Museums. We have a nightlife with many lounges, clubs, bars, pubs, and coffee houses to meet your needs. St. Louis has all of this without the traffic congestion or high tax rates of larger cities.

Instead of listening to the hype, I encourage you to visit the City on a Friday Night or Saturday morning. You won't see a War Zone but a Metropolis which is coming back from decades of post-WW2 decline.

south sider said...

The "resource-rich far south end"? Huh? Spent much time in Carondelet? I have, and I don't see a lot of people who can afford $50/mo. for a YMCA membership. But I guess the poor and working-class residents of that area don't have the same right to city services that people in the rest of city do.

Come on - the north side's 5 public pools are spread around the area. The south side has only 3, if you count the one at 12th & Park, none further south or west than Marquette Park. Don't be a miser - give south St. Louisans the same access to recreation facilities that north siders have.