Should Seattle change or stagger closing times?

Posted on February 26th, 2010 by Sara Willy

Publicola published an interesting story yesterday that raised the question of whether or not Seattle should extend the current closing time from 2 to 4 a.m. across the board, or stagger times throughout the city in an attempt to improve public safety. From Publicola,

The theory is that by encouraging staggered closing times, the thousands of customers who roll out onto the street at  am would be dispersed over the night. This would take pressure off of SPD, allowing them to do better, more focused enforcement. It would also help curb drunk driving (at 2 am there is little taxi cab availability due to the spiked demand for cabs with everyone settling up at the same time.) There would also be less concentration of noise on the streets at 2am solving one of the most frequent complaints from downtown residents. And of course with an increase in operating hours comes an increase in revenue (and jobs) for bars, and in turn, more revenue to the State and City.

Many cities across the country have started extending liquor service to 3 and 4 a.m., while a few have tried 24-hour service, including Birmingham, Alabama, Atlantic City, Memphis and the entire states of Nevada and Louisiana. Read Publicola’s full story here.

Since both Lower and Upper Queen Anne have a large bar and lounge presence, there’s no doubt the hill would be greatly affected by any change to the city’s current closing time. So, Queen Anne, what do you think? Should Seattle keep closing time at 2 a.m., extend it, or stagger it? Do you think this would improve safety in the neighborhood?