November 22, 2009

Block of Blight

600 Block of T Street NW
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.

Categories: Safety & Order
Tags: , ,

5 Replies

  1. don’t forget the rampant prostitution!

    jm - November 23, 2009 @ 9:40 am
  2. It seems pretty obvious that there is a drug operation running out of the “variety shop” just down from the theatre and yet the police do nothing. How else to explain the same crackheads who hang out in the area going in and out of the shop 24 hours a day. Can’t imagine they’re just avid consumers of variety junk. I believe the city bought the empty lot across the street so it would be great if they would do something about all the people loitering and dealing drugs there as well. This SHOULD be a very cool area, expecially given its unique history, location at a metro stop and proximity to U street. Wish they would actually start working on the theatre one of these days and maybe things will finally change.

    ct - November 23, 2009 @ 5:36 pm
  3. […] Street from the Howard Theater. We certainly think it’s a step up for what we have named the Block of Blight, but we’re not sold on the modern design and the destruction of some of the existing historic […]

    Boutique Concept || Left for LeDroit - December 30, 2009 @ 12:18 am
  4. […] distaste for litter, especially the heaps of it that pile up in front of the Howard Theater on the Block of Blight.  It’s easy to levy a feel-good tax, whereas a sustained effort to fine people who litter […]

    New Year, New Tax || Left for LeDroit - January 2, 2010 @ 12:02 am
  5. […] Block of Blight is one step closer to renewal. Ellis Development Group, which is also restoring the Howard Theater, […]

    Good Morning, Shaw || Left for LeDroit - January 9, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

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