(City Journal) -- The anarchy and disorder dominating progressive cities across the West Coast recently hit a new low in Seattle. King County officials are looking to roll out a “safe injection van,” a legal venue at which addicts could shoot up illegal drugs unhindered and “safely.” The first of its kind in the United States, the van would manage to undermine further the rule of law while also doing little to help addicts. Seattle’s urban decay goes deeper, though, with skyrocketing rates of homelessness, an explosion in opioid usage and deaths, and spikes in violent crime.
Seattle’s predicament is emblematic of the broader crises faced by many progressive West Coast cities, where local leaders have forced law enforcement to take a hands-off approach to policing unsanctioned tent cities and vagrancy at the expense of public safety and health. San Francisco, long considered a model of progressive urban policy, is plagued by filth, chaos, and public-safety hazards. Local leaders plan to spend an incredible $305 million on combatting homelessness for the current fiscal year alone, but disorder spreads as the city fails to enforce the rule of law and basic sanitary measures.
Block-by-block surveillance reveals the deterioration of downtown San Francisco. Of 153 city blocks surveyed, 41 contained used drug needles and 96 had human feces present. Tourists are dismayed to leave their downtown hotels, to be confronted by mentally ill and aggressive homeless people who are taking control of the streets. University of California Berkeley professor Lee Riley, an expert on infectious disease, observes that some of San Francisco’s streets are dirtier than Third World slums.
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