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Thread: Using GIS to map alcohol disturbances in Tacoma

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Using GIS to map alcohol disturbances in Tacoma

    In the ESRI Map Book, Volume 23, they show how mapping of an Alcohol Impact Area in Tacoma WA was able to map the number of drunk and disorderly events in relation to businesses that sell alcohol. They were able to use the information to stop the sale of single containers of alcohol, which reduced the number of complaints by 19 percent.

    Is anyone aware of a similar program where they were able to adopt a zoning or general law ordinance to actually have a liquor license removed? Is there anyone here from Tacoma who could PM me more details about the program.
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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Why don't you check with the city of Grand Rapids. They were in the process of having the liquor license taken away for the Margarita Grill downtown, which ended up closing anyway.

    I believe the basis of their arguments centered on public safety issues related to police calls and overcrowding
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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post
    Why don't you check with the city of Grand Rapids. They were in the process of having the liquor license taken away for the Margarita Grill downtown, which ended up closing anyway.

    I believe the basis of their arguments centered on public safety issues related to police calls and overcrowding
    Our neighborhood association has been working with them for quite a while regarding a ĎGrocery Storeí that sells inexpensive alcohol and they have a large homeless customer base. There has not been the violence issue but there has been quite a few minor incidents. The City has been great so far but we are searching for new tools to directly track and see if there is a link between these minor disturbances with this grocery store.
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    Cyburbian
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    we are searching for new tools to directly track and see if there is a link between these minor disturbances with this grocery store.
    I donít think the GIS work would be overly difficult here, provided you have access to the right data and software, and some basic knowledge of statistics (a big caveat I know).

    The data would have to include the time and location (preferably street addresses or something else fairly specific) of these incidents around the store in question as well as similar data for the area (city, township, whatever) for comparison; and a street centerline file with address ranges, or parcel file so you can map the incidents.

    ArcGis has built in tools for measuring geographic distributions, found in the spatial statistics toolbox. At least this is true with my version, 9.2; Iím not sure when ESRI introduced them.

    So, here are the basic steps I would take:
    1. Geocode the incident data, or manually assign locations to the data. In both cases you would create a point shapefile.

    2. Perform a hot spot analysis using the point data as an input to one of the tools in the spatial statistics toolbox. This will show areas where features are either clustered or dispersed in a way that it is unlikely to occur by random chance (i.e. thereís some underlying reason for this distribution). This is where your knowledge of statistics would come into play.

    You can find more information about the spatial analysis tools in ESRIís online help files. Googling ArcGis and spatial statistics would probably turn them up.

    I suspect the hardest part in all of this would be on the political end, convincing elected officials or other decision makers that there is a problem here, and that they should do something about it.

    HTH

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