A pair of analyses of the Huntington Beach downtown scene show a grim picture of the impact the bars and concentrated alcohol licenses have on the city's safety and reputation.
Two Huntington Beach organizations have compiled data highlighting the number of establishments that serve alcohol and the number of bar and restaurant customers who flush into the city's streets and, as a result, make Huntington Beach the city with the most drunk-driving incidents for its size in California.
One of those organizations, Huntington Beach Neighbors, says the city's approach to dealing with filling vacancies downtown has created an area that encourages partying and drinking on weekends and summer nights instead of tourism and a balanced retail area that also serves the residents who live there.
"Our first objective is to stop having or to slow down the growth of youth bars so we have a better balance of establishments in downtown Huntington Beach," said Richard Plummer, the Neighbors' vice president. "We already have a tourist destination."