After delaying for the past four months, the city council on Tuesday evening added two segments of 12th Avenue to the hotspot business curfew ordinance to get a better handle of the crime that plagues that street in the 4th Ward.
Businesses on 12th Avenue between East 18th Street and East 24th Street as well as shops on 12th Avenue from Straight Street to Auburn Street will have to close at midnight, according to the ordinance.
“This has been a long road for 12th Avenue,” said Ruby Cotton, 4th Ward councilwoman, who has been pleading to get the crime ridden street designated as a hotspot crime zone. “Finally, we’ll have some relief.”
Cotton has repeatedly praised the business curfew ordinance for restoring quality of life in troubled neighborhoods. Noise, gang hangouts, and late night disturbances have been severely diminished in the 15 areas that fall under the business curfew, according to community leaders.
“We’ve seen a decline in crime,” said Andre Sayegh, 6th Ward councilman. He has two segments of Main Street in the 6th Ward within the business curfew ordinance.
Non-fatal shootings have dropped by a whopping 79-percent in the designated crime hotspots, according to a report issued by police.
A group of bar owners have objected to the business curfew ordinance and have filed a court challenge. However, the opponents of the business curfew have suffered three defeats since 2014, according to the city.
With the addition of two segments of 12th Avenue, the total number of street segments covered by the business curfew ordinance is now 17.
Council members held a public hearing on expansion of the ordinance prior to adoption. One business woman, who did not remain to speak at the public hearing which took place at 11:15 p.m., objected to the ordinance through a third party.
The business woman reportedly owns a liquor store on 12th Avenue.
None of the council members present opposed the expansion.