Block of Blight
Soon after we moved to the neighborhood, we playfully nicknamed the 600 block of T Street (in front of the Howard Theater) as the “Block of Blight”. Boarded-up and decaying buildings, garbage on the street, visible idleness, public drinking, bullet-proof glass at the store counters. The 600 block of T Street is the scene of constant littering and loitering— both clearly on display even when the Google Street View car drove by this summer (see photo above). It wasn’t until the latest listing of MPD Third District arrests that our suspicions were confirmed: the block is the site of drug dealing, too.
On October 1, 10, and 30, three different people were arrested for “Distribution of a Controlled Substance”, and those are only the cases the police actually uncovered.
The MPD has posted a sign on the light post reading
Persons coming into this area to buy drugs are
subject to arrest & seizure of their vehicles.
We certainly hope that this is the police department’s policy citywide regardless of whether or not there’s a sign posted. It’s the law.
According to the MPD’s crime map, within 500 feet of that block within the past 365 days, there have been no homicides. However, there have been two burglaries, one case of sex abuse, twelve unarmed robberies, nine armed robberies, six assaults, thirteen thefts, 46 thefts from cars, and eleven cars stolen.
The Howard Theater’s rebirth and reconstruction will at least repair the physical infrastructure (lumpy sidewalks, cracked curbstones, crumbling façades), but we also hope it fixes the social ills with it.