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Posted at 01:42 PM ET, 02/11/2013

Things I’d rather ban than bars

Two groups have proposed a moratorium on liquor licenses in the U Street area. It seems unlikely to pass, but regardless, here’s a partial list of things I’d rather ban proliferation of in DC:

Bank branches. In the age of ATMs, banks are offices, not retail. They have a deadening effect on sidewalk life and drive up the cost of retail space for everyone else.

Cell-phone stores. Proliferation of luxurious cell-phone stores is proof that we’re all paying way too much for cell-phone service.

Pharmacies. Unlike cell-phone stores, it is an important convenience for every neighborhood to have a CVS or Wallgreens. But after the third one opens in your neighborhood, are you really excited about a fourth?

Froyo stores. I like froyo, but it’s obviously a bubble that’s about to burst. No way can so many survive long term.

Empty storefronts. Griping above notwithstanding, we shouldn’t ban anything as long as we have empty storefronts. Even that bank branch is better for sidewalk life than nothing.

Dan Malouff is an Arlington County transportation planner who blogs independently at The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.

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