Wednesday, February 25, 2009

City Security - Safer Shaw

As a relatively new resident of the Shaw Neighborhood, I was interested when yard signs started popping up urging a vote in one way or another.

Issues of gentrification, security, and urban redevelopment are all coming to the surface around this issue and The St. Lou Jew is here to put some young Yid spin on the debate

The ballot measure would create a special business district to assess some $240,000 per year to pay for a special security patrol. The cost to homeowners will be some 50 cents on each $100 of valuation.

Now, in the spirit of full disclosure, we rent, so we won't be paying for this, at least not directly, and I'm not usually particularly scared in our neighborhood. That being said, I try not to walk around by myself late a night, and on a recent walk to Sasha's on Shaw, I stayed alert.

I suppose the question comes down to a cost benefit analysis. As roommate and fellow Moishe House-er Rosh put it, "I'd totally be willing to pay $100 over the course of the year for additional patrols." Capitalism at its best, right?

While the cost isn't particularly high, there have still been a number of concerns. Some people think that the SLPD will patrol less frequently as a result of the other force. This is certainly a possibility (one that the PD probably won't admit to), but it is unlikely to have a real negative effect.

Further, some people ask how much crime actually has occurred. While it might not take place on every block, crime does occur, and in the spirit of a neighborhood, increased security benefits everyone.

Interestingly enough, many house owners will actually make money off of this, as house insurance prices will fall as a result of the increased protection.

We think Shaw is a pretty good place to be, especially when you consider Thurman Bar and Grill and Sashas, the proximity to the Botanical Gardens, Tower Grove Park, and South Grand.

That's why, on March 3rd, we'll be voting 'yes' for the special business district

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