DENVER - New research from a Metro State University criminal justice class finds extending hours at lower downtown bars may not help reduce violence in the area.
The students looked at similar situations in entertainment districts in other cities and countries. They found in some cases, extended closing times actually increased the risk for violence.
"It actually makes the bar owners lose more profit. I thought it was surprising," student Marisol Gomez said.
The research project, which spanned several months, included a review of crime statistics in the area, observations by the students and surveys of bar owners in the area.
The main problem causing violence in LoDo, according to the research, is crowded streets. The students say a majority of the violence happens within 85 feet of bars and isn't specific to closing time.
They suggest placing taxi stands and food vendors away from the crowded areas to draw crowds away from high crime areas.