More Bar District Mayhem

ScottsdaleArizonaNews.com relayed this from the Scottsdale Fire Department public information office about an injury incident last night/this morning:

Scottsdale Fire paramedics treated and then transported to a trauma facility 2 females that were struck by at least one vehicle while crossing Camelback road around midnight last night. No other injuries to report and a great reminder to cross in designated crossing areas when traversing major streets.

A great reminder to not drink-and-dawdle, too, which I’m sure will also be heeded by patrons of the bar district.

No more details are available at this time, but I think it’s safe to say that attorneys for the injured women will be in touch with the City Attorney shortly.

While we are at it, I’d like to point out that the city is installing a traffic light in this vicinity to “assist” with making it safer for bar district patrons (i.e., “drunks”) to cross Camelback. Yet again, your tax dollars are hard at work solving problems your city council (including newly re-elected Linda Milhaven) created, over the objections of many of us.

Recently unemployed Scottsdale Republic reporter Edward Gately reported in May of 2014 several incidents–including a fatality–which have occurred in the half-mile stretch of Camelback between Scottsdale Road and Miller Road; which is to say, the north boundary of the bar district.

Scottsdale police said there have been three serious collisions involving vehicles and pedestrians this year along Camelback between Scottsdale and Miller roads, the stretch that marks the northern boundary of the bar district. One of those resulted in the April 17 death of Matthew Tilton, 21, of Scottsdale.

Gately reported in July that the city council approved plans to install a signal and crosswalk at Camelback and Buckboard, to the tune of about $100,000.

In November of 2013 the Republic reported a pedestrian hit and seriously injured crossing Scottsdale Road just north of the bar district. While there was no direct report relating this incident to the bar district, obviously, many such incidents and DUIs in the city link back to it. No amount of additional signals or crosswalks will help with this propagation beyond the bar district boundaries. No DUI task force or grant money will fix all these problems.

In June of 2014, the Republic reported more bar district mayhem in the form of the latest taxi-cart crash:

A 29-year-old Gilbert woman broke her neck and lost several teeth after the golf cart she was riding in rolled over early Sunday morning in Scottsdale’s bar and nightclub district, according to a police report.

The accident hospitalized Natalie De Pace, as well as the golf cart’s driver and a fellow passenger. Driver Akop Akopyan received a broken ankle, and passenger Paul Archer received minor abrasions and reported neck and back pain, the report states.

An article the next month (July) expanded the details of that crash, and more general information about the use of golf carts as taxis. It also reminded us of the unfortunate pedicab crash which permanently disabled Kansas college student Cody Clark. It did not recount the death of 14-year old Edward Velasquez in a bar district-related DUI crash.

So why are Mayor Jim Lane and the city council majority so eager to please the liquor/development industry by approving the build-up of the highest concentration of liquor licenses in the state? Newly elected council member David Smith, during his tenure as City Treasurer debunked the notion that the bar district brings in more direct revenue than it costs the city in terms of public safety resources (not to mention lawsuits).

Last fall [2011], city Treasurer David Smith reported the cost of policing the entertainment district, about $1.2 million for the last fiscal year, far exceeded the $400,000 in revenue generated from the bars in the entertainment district.

Of course the liquor industry was quick to respond with a bogus “study” of its own (authored by Elliot Pollack’s firm), which expanded the study boundaries in such a way as to plump the revenue and dilute the public safety cost over a much larger area.

The main reason is instead this: The bar district’s city council supporters have benefited heavily from their patronage. Read more courtesy of ASU’s Cronkite News: “Bar money buys councilmembers and mayor.”

 

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9 Comments

  1. Pretty sure we spent a lot of time and money restricting bar patrons from parking in the neighborhood north of Camelback Rd. So, will the new lighted crosswalk make it easier for the bar patrons to start parking there again and just start the problem again.

  2. The crime district generates revenue that is in excess to the cost to the city and its citizens? Well let us look at this Arizona Republic article.

    http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/local/scottsdale/2014/05/27/scottsdale-proposes-property-tax-hike-legal-costs/9630337/

    That tax hike did take place. Now scroll down, what was the MOST expensive lawsuit? Well copy and paste here we go.

    The largest demand for a claim filed so far this year is by the victims of a near-fatal pedicab accident in Scottsdale. They are seeking damages of $51 million, according to a city report from January.

    Cody Clark and Mike Tysver, both of Great Bend, Kan., were struck by a vehicle while riding in a pedicab in the early morning of Jan. 4, 2013, according to police. The men were ejected from the pedicab, suffering severe injuries. They both survived.

    Clark and his family are seeking $46 million — $40 million for Clark and $3 million each for his parents, Todd Clark and Sandra Clanton. Tysver is seeking $5 million.

    So this crime/bar/cesspit is a good idea? NO. How many more people have to be killed/maimed/lives ruined because of the insane amount of bars in this area? No where in any General Plan does that ever even appear. But the City Council says – Go for it! The police are overworked and underpaid. They are putting in another light. Yes, that will make so much more of a difference. NOT.

    So with more drunks/patrons wandering about, who wants to take bets before Scottsdale makes the news again with another life or set of lives ruined or cut short because someone thinks that a few trinkets are worth it?

    Well just wait, if light rail comes in, that makes even messier news stories. Think that is not going to happen? Who backed Millhaven?

  3. Let’s face it. This is Council is lazy. They do not want to work at their jobs. They will let developers drive infill development, just as they are doing. They won’t take the time to do the homework involving planning as stated in the 2001 Gen. Plan; it is OK with them to let the developers call the shots.
    Bar owners are developers and the leadership on City Council is content with the fact that we don’t have $1 beers anymore. Now we haul in folks from other parts of the valley on buses to party and then the taxpayers provide the clean up.
    They need to stop calling it a bar district or an entertainment district. There is no planning definition for either in Scottsdale…..that is why it is so easy to get whatever you want approved in the Downtown…..there is no plan for an entertainment/bar district in our policies.
    Since Scottsdale voters who supported incumbents and the former Treasurer are all right with people being injured for life and killed because we don’t have electeds who will do their job – to set the policies in sync with residents vision and values, perhaps those people can provide financial support to those folks who are suffering the consequences of their ignorance in coming to Scottsdale for a good time.

  4. I agree, Nancy. The “entertainment discrict” is just a cesspool of drunk and disorderly, pretentious twenty to thirtysomethings (mainly) who apparently feel important by getting dressed up, drunk and being seen every single weekend at those so-called ‘hot spots’. Often, simply acting like immature fools and creating chaos and being a nuisance for honest, decent residents nearby as well as for SPD who are often outnumbered and their hands tied by ridiculous city policies.

    I will fully support Cindy Hill again, if we’re lucky enough and she chooses to run again for city Council.

  5. I am a driver for Uber. I arrived at the scene less than 1 minute after these 2 pedestrians were hit on Camelback Rd. Is there any additional information about their status? I really hope both ladies are okay. I have lost some sleep thinking about this and how easily it could have been my daughter or somebody close to me.

    That area is always crowded. Due to the amount of intoxicated people there, I think they should block off all traffic through that section and have specific locations for passenger loading. Something needs to be done!

    1. “I have lost some sleep thinking about this and how easily it could have been my daughter or somebody close to me.”

      Absolutely, Stacy! And the biggest problem with the bar district is that when they ‘flush the toilets’ (force everyone out due to state law) at 2 a.m., we are launching a fleet of potential DUI drivers out into the larger community.

      As with the kid who was killed in far Western Arizona by a patron of Axis/Radius, you don’t even have to be in the bar district for someone who got drunk there to crash into you or someone you love. You could be asleep in your own bed and have them come through the wall of your house!

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