Last night just 13 blocks from us there was a drive-by shooting. Of course that’s half to be expected since it’s on Aurora.

Thankfully we live on the top of the hill up from there. Gravity seems to keep the ruffians down though.

The problem with Aurora is really three-fold.

First, this is effective a north-south highway in the city that lacks enough of that. It doesn’t have a lot of foot traffic since it’s a divider of the city. People wandering around is like sunlight shining onto moldy ground — it disinfects.

Secondly, since it’s been zoned commercial in a way that doesn’t attract as many consumer businesses there is a further reduction of “normal” people. This isn’t helped by the fact that there aren’t sidewalks on the streets next to Aurora either. (This is a historical thing — north of 85th wasn’t Seattle until it was annexed 1950s so much of the infrastructure doesn’t exist up there)

Thirdly, the road has historically a rough place; it’s where you went to get drugs or a hooker back to when the world’s fair was here back in 1962. Ever since the Worlds Fair in 1962 you had a bunch of motels that sprung up on Aurora. These originally catered to the fair but quickly fell into criminal activity afterwards.

All this coupled with the complete lack of policing and you have the perfect storm of criminality. (Yes, the police know who the criminals are — they choose not to do a damn thing.)