Last week the Sacramento Bee published an article entitled, “Is the midtown party out of control? Residents say their quality of life is in the balance” claiming that bar scene in Midtown was causing more harm than good. Excerpt:
…Midtown has become a regional partying destination, and not just on Second Saturdays. It’s one reason why Sacramento has the highest rate of deaths and injuries in alcohol-related crashes of any big city in California, as well as one of the highest rates of DUI arrests.
Matt Piner has seen the transformation of midtown up close as a resident for 23 years, the past seven as chairman of the Midtown Neighborhood Association. He also sees both sides of that balance that is at risk.
Like plenty of residents, he loves being able to walk to restaurants, and has learned to live with annoyances, like being awakened by late-night revelers. He also understands the frustrations of those who believe problems have spun out of control.
…The challenge…is finding the right balance between entertainment for patrons and visitors and peace and quiet for residents. Clearly, midtown Sacramento isn’t in that happy place.
Well. Our own Amelia McLear wasn’t satisfied and fired off a brilliant letter to the editor, which was published yesterday:
Re “Is the midtown party out of control?” (Foon Rhee, Oct. 7): My husband and I recently purchased a home in Midtown and our No. 1 reason was the proximity to restaurants, bars, shops and work. We are also members of the Midtown Neighborhood Association.
It’s frustrating when The Bee quotes only the loudest negative voices in the room without seeking out the silent majority, many of whom are like my husband and I, 30-something professionals who have lived in big cities and who appreciate the big city-amenities that Sacramento is only now starting to offer.
Just like with building an arena downtown, improving K Street and creating a diverse economy, we as a city need to focus on the positives of growth and not settle for just being a government town. Quite frankly, that way of thinking is what holds us back and creates this insular, ho-hum mentality that Sacramento isn’t good enough for everything other cities have to offer.
To our city officials: please do not stop the positive progress and momentum that the re-birth of Midtown has created. Don’t make it even harder for businesses that want to come into Sacramento and create jobs and economic vitality.
There are a lot of issues facing Midtown residents, and I agree we should have constructive dialogue on what needs to happen to fix them. But the solution is not penalizing those who are filling empty buildings and creating jobs for our neighbors.
So what do you think? Is the bar scene leading to the “decay” of Midtown? Or is this an overreaction to the rapid changes taking place in our dear, little city?
PS – Be sure and read the Midtown Business Association’s response as well!