Downtown Bar Culture to Blame for Beatings?

Iowa City's planning commission says yes, and is considering mandating that future bars and liquor stores be more spread out to stop a recent rash of violence in the area.

"'With too much of a concentration (of establishments) such as bars and liquor stores, it becomes overburdened with that type of use,' said Karen Howard, an associate planner in the city's Urban Planning Department. 'We want to have a downtown that's open not just in the evening, but to a whole variety of people.'

Bailey said the city also has sought help from the University of Iowa. Together, the school and city launched an 'alcohol summit' in March to address binge drinking and suggest nonalcoholic alternatives.

Students acknowledge there's a problem, but few seem intent on resolving the situation.

'It's easy to blame alcohol,' said 20-year-old Justin Boltz, an Iowa undergraduate. 'I don't know if there's a solution.'"

Full Story: Iowa City troubled by surge in downtown beatings

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