It’s both understandable and odd to see the member of the D.C. Council who represents the ward with most bars and restaurants arguing against them remaining open for an extra hour. It’s additional revenue for his ward’s businesses, for one, but yet another headache for some of his residents.
At a D.C. Council hearing this morning, Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) further laid out his opposition to a proposal in Mayor Vince Gray’s budget to allow bars to stay open for an extra hour on weekdays and weekends, saying the extra drinking would cause issues with noise, crime and traffic.
“This is an urban environment, but I think it’s reasonable for people to expect that it’s quiet — or as quiet as possible,” he said, complaining that bargoers would get more drunk and cause more trouble.
Graham also worried that the proposal, which would also allow supermarkets and liquor stores to start selling two hours earlier and is expected to bring in an additional $5 million a year, would have unintended costs, such as a need for increased police presence and traffic. “I can guarantee that there will be no appetite whatsoever for a further extension of Metro hours,” he added, noting that Metro would close an hour after bars let out on weekends.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]