Spreading out the bars is only going to raise ancillary problems such as muggings and rapes. The further apart they are, the further people will be walking afterdark past allies. It also will do very little to curb the large mill of people that congregate at Front & Market as they get out of downtown.
I seriously don't think they understand the exact problem here and definitely aren't thinking like a drunk person.
28 N Front: I Love NY Pizza
122 Market St: Slice of Life
Taxi Cab Stands: 2nd - 3rd Market
In a tight two block radius on a single street, you have just about every single place a drunk wants to go when they're kicked out of a bar at 2am. I'm sorry, but no matter the radius of downtown if you continue to dump them out at precisely the same time and have all the major food venues and taxi cabs in the same place - you are going to end up with problems.
However, it makes it really, really easy to saturate a single area and crack down a few weeks in a row to set a tone. WPD needs to make visible arrests for anything that warrants an arrest and send a clear message that it really won't be tolerated.
Put a checkpoint on each road that leads into downtown, and let them know you mean business. I've seen Raleigh do it. I've seen Chapel Hill do it. We don't have enough officers to feasibly lock downtown to send a message, but SHP, Brunswick, and Pender can certainly be contracted for a night or two. This will cost money to fix.
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