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Missing From Bar Guide: Drunks in Neighborhoods ...

In regard to The Bar Guide (Cover Story, Aug. 16), I am disappointed that your writer left out an important bit of information regarding most of the bars listed — the fact that a vast majority are located within otherwise quiet, residential neighborhoods of the Fan and Carytown, and that it is imperative that these areas are respected by the many bar patrons (and bar owners) who frequent these establishments on any given night.

While it is great that Richmond has so many locally owned "restaurants," it is a shame to see that they come at a cost to the preservation and integrity of these historical urban neighborhoods.

Starting Thursday nights, like clockwork, the drunk college students start shuffling down Fan streets, hitting bar after bar, leaving reminders of their presence in the form of beer bottles and various other forms of trash on the sidewalk. They create an equal, if not greater, amount of noise pollution, since for some reason, each drunk feels the need to scream normal conversation, which reverberates off the old buildings and is magnified tenfold. They steal signs out of yards and furniture off of porches. Finally, and most disturbing, is the number of stumbling drunks that I witness getting into their cars and driving home.

Where are the bar owners when these bars close? They should be policing the corners of these local watering holes to cut down on the aforementioned nuisances. I blame the bars. Since they are responsible for sending drunks into our neighborhoods, they are also responsible for keeping our streets clean, quiet and, above all, safe.

T. Ford

... and Where to Find Great House Music

Just wanted to mention to you in regards to your article pleading for WRIR house-type music with a European flavor in the Richmond night scene ("The Elusive Dance Floor") that both myself and my counterpart, Tony Hainsworth, play dark, tech and prog house every Friday at Europa, 10 p.m.-2 a.m., at an event that is going on three years now.

We have both played WRIR, we have both played all over the country — and in Tony's case, all over Europe. It is a sophisticated atmosphere with very forward-thinking dance music and good weekly crowds.

Perhaps because we choose not to promote to the masses is what has kept this party unique and filled with those who understand the concept of a sophisticated night out. But in an article written like the one in this edition of Style, I can't help but cringe when I read someone looking for what we provide and not knowing where to find it.

Jeff McGrath

Leave "Killer 33" As Is

Thank you for the article on the bizarre quest to widen Route 33 in Hanover County ("Surviving 'Killer 33,'" News & Features, Aug. 2). Unlike the two women in the article, I will go on record as a Hanover County resident who thinks it is one of the most ridiculous ideas I've ever heard. I travel the entire distance from Montpelier into the city of Richmond as part of my commute to work, and in the four years I've lived in Hanover, I have yet to see a single accident on Route 33.

In your article, Mr. Johnson, maker of the morbid Killer 33 signs, compares raw numbers of traffic deaths on Route 33 in Henrico County, where the road is four lanes, with Route 33 in Hanover, where it is not. However, simply looking at the numbers does not take into consideration the many variables in the two locations, though they are only a few hundred yards apart.

For instance, on the Henrico side we have heavy traffic-generating suburbia and a major interstate highway exchange, with traffic into and off of I-295. These are great reasons for a four-lane road in Henrico. Once the line is crossed into Hanover, however, after a momentary bottleneck of maybe a quarter mile between the county line and Tyson's Poultry Death Camp, there are nice, rolling fields and sporadic housing for miles. Not exactly the suburban nightmare of the Henrico portion of 33, and certainly not in need of widening. At best, Johnson's numbers from the article provide a correlation. There's no causal evidence that shows widening the road would magically equal a downward trend in traffic deaths.

The best evidence against Johnson's scheme comes from the VDOT representative in your article. According to this source, since the shoulder-widening project a year or so ago, there's only been one fatality, this from a heart attack. I say, case closed. Let's take down the Killer 33 signs, throw away the petition and lay this terrible idea to rest.

Scott Brookman

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