Let’s play a little word association game here. I say “Summer in D.C.,” you say…

humidity…

outside…

tourists…

hot…

school’s out…

hooligans…

crime.

Ahhh yes, summer crime, a D.C. classic. I was thinking about this last night while walking towards the Adams Morgan/Columbia Heights area. Now, I know many a person, who lives north of U Street and often walks home several hours after dark. Some of us are more cautious than others. And this has caused a bit of debate. Late at night, do you take the Metro through the “sketchy” zones between commercial strips, or do you just go full steam ahead up those hills? (My personal approach: always make eye contact.) For the record, the Third District crime stats show that robberies jump significantly over the summer: In March of 2007, there were 59; In July that same year, there were 104. But, if you’re inclined to not spend an extra three to four dollars round trip using the Metro, which route do you take? Is tranquil 13th Street with its steep slant—nothing but a little quad workout to end the day!—and its phenomenally gorgeous city views best? Or is 14th Street with its relatively well-lit, busy streets better? What about quiet 15th? Or traffic-heavy 16th? Well, I did some research, and 15th appears to be the winner. Here are last month’s robbery stats*:

13th and W Streets: 9 14th and W Streets: 9 15th and W Streets: 4 16th and W Streets: 7

*Robberies with and without guns within 1500 ft of the intersection of W and number streets. W is two blocks north of U Street, and the 1500 radius stretches east and west to touch the closest number streets in some parts.