Plain Vanilla Shell (www.plainvanillashell.com) is one of the best sources of information available, compiling retail stories from around the country and sending them out in a weekly e-mail. Today's included one that applies to us planning and economic development folk. An excerpt:
Lise J. Gescheidt, a long-time lawyer, said a proposed Souza Road shopping center would certainly draw a clientele. There'd be shoplifters. People with drug habits. Car thieves. Purse snatchers.
And if they couldn't find what they wanted at the shopping center, the Tiverton resident told the Planning Board last night, criminals would check out nearby neighborhoods. All of it would mean a dramatic strain on the town's police force, its town solicitor and other services.
"They attract the wrong kinds of people," Gescheidt, -- who was a public defender in Kent County, which includes the Warwick and Rhode Island malls -- told the Planning Board. "I know this. These people are my clients."
Well, I guess he nailed it on the head. Why make commercial districts walkable when you are likely to step on used drug needles, be solicited by prostitutes, or get mugged. New Urbanists - give up the corner store! What are we going to learn next, that apartments attract Those People?
Hmmm... maybe if this guy would stop defending these pothead criminals who are stealing and murdering at his local grocery, they would not be such a problem.
Link to article: http://plainvanillashell.com/article.asp?ID=4042