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Downtown Drinking

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:50 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:All I know is that the people who do this for a living (Joel Plant, Susan Crowley,et al) believe -- and the research corroborates -- that there is a clear correlation between density of alcohol establishments and incidence of assaults and other anti-social behavior, and that the gradual decrease in the number of bars and taverns in the target area is one element to a holistic approach to reducing access to cheap alcohol, which will reduce underage and excessive drinking downtown.


I honestly believe that is indeed ALL you know. Yep.

The problem is, more than in all but a rare few college campuses, drinking is out of control among way too many UW students, and a majority of that drinking is done at house parties and private residences.

As people have repeatedly said in this thread and elsewhere, reducing the number of bars in Madison will do very little to reduce the drinking problems among college students in Madison.

Stu Levitan wrote:Let me ask you: Are you satisfied with the state of public safety at bar time downtown? Do you want the city to continue to address concerns over safety by spending more and more on law enforcement -- or would you rather see a long-term structural change in community standards and practices?


No, I'm not. Your band-aid won't help though. There will still be just as much drinking, except now an increased amount at unregulated private residences and house parties.
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Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:06 pm

I've got peer-reviewed research papers and the considered opinions of respected professionals on my side.

What, besides your own opinions, do you have to support your position? Or is it just something that you know, and thus don't need to validate with data or research or anything old-fashioned like that?
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Postby spanky » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:16 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Spankster -
My post was in response to Jungleland's, not yours.
Gotcha - my bad.

Stu Levitan wrote:All I know is that the people who do this for a living (Joel Plant, Susan Crowley,et al) believe -- and the research corroborates -- that there is a clear correlation between density of alcohol establishments and incidence of assaults and other anti-social behavior, and that the gradual decrease in the number of bars and taverns in the target area is one element to a holistic approach to reducing access to cheap alcohol, which will reduce underage and excessive drinking downtown.


It is the "and the research corroborates that there is a clear correlation" part, and the assumption that a density plan will reduce drinking that is disputable. What research, and how come no one including, you, Joel, or the Mayor can present this research for review??

Stu Levitan wrote:Let me ask you: Are you satisfied with the state of public safety at bar time downtown? Do you want the city to continue to address concerns over safety by spending more and more on law enforcement -- or would you rather see a long-term structural change in community standards and practices?


I do agree that there is a problem that peaked last summer in several areas downtown. I do not believe the City currently uses all the existing tools in hand such as demerit points and revocation properly or to the extent possible to abate the problem. And furthermore, I am not convinced that this density plan will correct the problem. In fact, it may even make it worse, i.e. harder to monitor, and more difficult to utilize tools that already exist â?? all at a very real expense of barring (groan) positive businesses from being established in our downtown - businesses similar to those that have been responsible in part for the revitalization of some of downtownâ??s grittier areas.
Last edited by spanky on Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bonzai444 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:16 pm

As a person who probably knows less about this issue than anyone posting on this thread, I hope you all take it easy on me. I guess I'm kind of wondering what the potential benefits of this plan are. My take is that by not allowing any new liquor liscenses to establishments that plan to open up as bars is going to stabalize, and eventually reduce the number of alcohol related incidents downtown right? The fact that I don't think this plan would do anything of the sort I will leave alone, essentially because it's impossible to prove or disprove something that hasn't been tried yet. Put simply though college kids are going to drink whether there are 10 bars in the downtown area or 500. Nothing short of prohibition government can do to stop that.

Here's my other problem with this....as a late twenty something I guess I still look at downtown as kind of the "action spot" if you will on a weekend. I admittedly don't hit the downtown bars that often any more, but the bar scene downtown is a truly unique and fun experience for many younger adults in this city, not just the students. I make no apologies for thinking that it's cool that you can hit a half dozen different bars in a fews hours if you want to without having to drive drunk, and then being able to easily get a cab at the end of the night. I think perhaps part of the draw for many of us that are STARTING to get a little older now is that we can still find a new bar downtown. The pattern down there seems to be that a new bar opens up that offers something that is usually a little better than what's around it. In turn the other bars need to improve to keep up, and it kind of creates this situation where each of these bars needs to have a niche in order to survive. I don't see anything wrong with this, and in fact from my perspective competition is a good thing in business.

There is clearly demand for the bars that are down there (as should be aparent by the lines to get into many of these establishments on Friday and Saturday nights), and to hault the ability for news ones to open up in the downtown area TO ME is like not allowing a new store to go into the mall or something (ok this probably not the best example, but you get my point). Essentially you're taking the best area for a particular market and elminating the ability for new competition to come in. It just doesn't seem right to me. But what do I know?
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Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:22 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:What, besides your own opinions, do you have to support your position?


Besides the opinion of Paul Soglin (and it is beyond me why you are ignoring him at this time), I also have the decided advantage of being a part of downtown and University culture and I have been at many campus parties in this century, as opposed to your archaic memories of smoking pot and drinking beer on campus in the 60's and 70's.

The problems of UW students and alcohol has nothing to do with the number of bars in Madison.
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Postby om » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:26 pm

scottyp65 wrote:So lets take a city like Chicago and look at wrigleyville/halstead area. That area is about twice as big as state street area with about 4 times as many bars and about 10 times as much capacity. Why are there not riots out there every night?
Simple. Bars can stay open until 4 am, some until 6 am.


Aaaaaaaaah, no. You got that one all wrong.
I lived in the Wrigleyville/Halstead area in days gone by, and the reason that there are no riots is that there are many, many fewer heterosexual male college students looking to get a good drunk on, and many, many more gay men who would rather sauter by than kick your ass and break some shit up.

If your looking for corollaries, at least compare apples to apples.
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Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:46 pm

Spoken Word wrote:your archaic memories of smoking pot and drinking beer on campus in the 60's and 70's.

The problems of UW students and alcohol has nothing to do with the number of bars in Madison.


Criminy, just how old do you think I am? For the record, I was 16 when the sixties ended, didn't smoke pot until April 23, 1971, and didn't come to Madison until 1975.

But,just to recap-- you admit you have no data, research or other supporting evidence other than your own opinion. Glad we got that settled. You can state your conclusion over and over again, but without data or evidence, your opinion is still just your opinion.

But since you know so much -- how'd you like to come on the radio and debate Joel Plant on this matter?
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Postby spanky » Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:58 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:But,just to recap-- you admit you have no data, research or other supporting evidence other than your own opinion. Glad we got that settled. You can state your conclusion over and over again, but without data or evidence, your opinion is still just your opinion.


You should hold yourself to this standard.
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Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:04 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:But,just to recap-- you admit you have no data, research or other supporting evidence other than your own opinion. Glad we got that settled. You can state your conclusion over and over again, but without data or evidence, your opinion is still just your opinion.


Actually, I share the opinion of dozens of others, many of whom have posted on this thread.

And again, why are you ignoring Soglin in regards to the House Parties and drinking culture on campus being the main culprits?

I trust Chuck as being much more in touch with drinking culture than you, Stu, with all due respect to both parties.

Please post your data and "evidence".

Stu, your statements that you have data and evidence and others don't mirrors the establishment that your generation fought and rebelled against. I respect your wanting to do good things for Madison but you (and frankly the "experts" who supposedly contributed to your "data") seem hopelessly out of touch on this issue.
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Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 4:09 pm

Stu, at the risk of making an ass of you and me, let's assume that you do realize that

a) the drinking age in Wisconsin is 21, right?

and

b) the average 21 year old is a Junior or Senior at the UW

and

c) there are 40,000 undergrad students at the UW

and

d) not every single 18-20 year old drinks in bars

and

e) by all accounts there is a widespread drinking problem among UW students

PLEASE take a long look at your "data and evidence" and explain what effect less bars downtown will have on UW students drinking?
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Postby Forum Newbie » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:08 pm

Stu (or others):

I don't know where I stand on this issue, but would appreciate further information. I am curious as to scholarly work you are speaking of. Is this from the police stuff back in 2005? I found the police "data" in a central district newsletter. Is there a more detailed report out there somewhere? A list of authors that I can check into from a journal database?
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Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:30 pm

Research, part I:

The level of drinking, drinking participation, and participation in binge drinking are all significantly higher among all college students when a greater number of outlets licensed to sell alcoholic beverages exist near campus. This is particularly true for underage drinking. Chaloupka, F. & Wechsler, H. â??Binge drinking in college: the impact of price, availability and alcohol control policies.â?Â
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Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:45 pm

Cleveland, L.A., Kansas City, and Newark? Newark?!!

i'll kindly await better data that in any way reflects downtown Madison than that. I thought you were serious about this.
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Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:58 pm

Hey Stu, my computer has Google, too!

http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/cas/Documen ... e-article/

Attendance at off-campus parties, dormitory social event/parties, fraternity parties and on-campus dances was more often reported by underage students than of-age students (Table 2). Students were also asked to indicate number of drinks they had the last time they attended any of the events. In contrast, of-age students were more likely to attend off-campus bars and on-campus pubs than underage students. Among those attending, underage students more often reported having five or more drinks than of-age students at off-campus parties (x2(1) =50.53, p<0.001) and fraternity parties (x2(1) =15.13, p<0.001). Even at off-campus bars and at an on-campus pub, many underage students reported that they had five or more drinks (33% and 18% respectively).

Access to Alcohol, Price, and Type of Alcohol

More than half (54%) of underage students indicated that it was very easy to obtain alcohol, and 40% said that it was easy. As expected, access was significantly easier among of-age students (x2(2) =971.37, p<0.001). Among the latter, 84% indicated it was very easy and 15% easy.


and then there is this:

http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29565
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Postby Ducatista » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:04 pm

Spoken Word wrote:Cleveland, L.A., Kansas City, and Newark? Newark?!!

i'll kindly await better data that in any way reflects downtown Madison than that.

The "89 inner-city census tracts in KC, MO" are even better than Newark.
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