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The Pace of Urban Blight
Using and Updating the Baltimore Travel Guide
This time last year [February 2016] Charles and I were in the process of rating Baltimore Area neighborhoods for danger using the three-color scale:
BLUE means that people who reside and do business there will not attack you.
YELLOW means that people who reside and do business there are highly unlikely to attack you.
RED means that people who live and do business there will make a calculation as to whether or not you are a soft enough target for their particular appetite.
In the final analysis, who and what you are and how you conduct yourself is the largest determinant as to whether or not you will be attacked in any zone.
The user will note that the guide is largely a map of where not to go and that those places tend to be physically blighted by decayed architecture, rampant trash and a preponderance of liquor stores, convenience stores and vacancies.
The most dangerous areas are those with:
1. residential vacancies
2. very few cars
3. businesses vacancies
4. loose trash
5. adult men loitering during the day
6. unsupervised children loitering after dark
7. women sitting on concrete stairs [a sure indication that the interior is hellish and her men and children are out and about, with some up to no good]
All of these blighted areas were once blue or yellow zones. Thus our scheme will change, most likely more quickly than we can change the map. Toward the end of keeping you informed below is a rough scale for the pace of urban blight.
1. Areas containing aging or low-physical value rental complexes are liable to change without notice, in a single year based solely on non-visible factors: such as public housing policies. Always be wary of such complexes.
2. Blue areas adjacent to yellow areas retain their designation indefinitely.
3. Yellow areas adjacent to red areas turn red at a rate of 1 block every year, not factoring in blocking terrain. In broken areas without easily accessible street grid or not along a main street, will change at a lesser rate, perhaps 1 block every two years.
4. Blue areas adjacent to red areas change at 1 block every 2-5 years, depending on accessibility. Such blue areas as downgrade due to proximity to a red area do not turn yellow, but go directly to red.
A. If you are a home buyer, be wary of #4. It is most desirable to buy in a blue zone which has intervening yellow zones between.
B. Also note that, since late 2015, strike teams of Reparations Recovery Agents have been travelling by car, bus, bike and foot, for as much as ten to twelve miles [the entire length and breadth of the Baltimore grid] in order to burglarize, car jack, rob, recreationally attack, rape and abduct residents and pedestrians in yellow and blue areas.
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