Broadway and Lyndale, revisited

One year ago, David Zimmer and I visited the infamous north Minneapolis intersection of West Broadway and North Lyndale Avenues. The corner is home to outlets of local chains Merwin Liquors and Winner Gas. We went back last week.

These side-by-side videos show that little has changed on the ground in the past year. In each case, the newer video is on the right.

Winner Gas on the northeast corner:

Merwin Liquors on the northwest corner:

Both establishments are still open for business. However, this particular Friday morning we arrived before opening time at the liquor store. At Winner, the fencing is a little more dilapidated, at Merwin, a wireless advertisement is missing.

This year, a nearby Walgreens and Aldi closed up shop altogether.

But our state’s Attorney General, Keith Ellison, has declared victory. You will recall that last fall, Ellison threatened litigation against the owners of these properties (Winner and Merwin) for tolerating the rampant crime on their premises.

As KSTP reported last October,

Ellison’s office says it found 14 instances of shots fired, people injured, guns found or drug activity at Merwin Liquors and 22 at Winner Gas this year alone. The businesses were also where at least three shootings happened just last month.

Eight months later, the state’s top law enforcement official claims that his “blame the victim” approach was a complete success. From a May 18 Ellison press release,

Reports of violence, drug sales down after joint investigation into Winner Gas Station and Merwin Liquors

At a later press conference on the subject, Ellison added that “peace and tranquility” have prevailed at the troubled intersection.

Perhaps the loiterers at Broadway and Lyndale have moved on to happier hunting grounds. But there are no signs of a renaissance west of the river.