by: Henry Rosoff Updated:
It is statistically the most dangerous block in the city and you may not be able to avoid it.
KIRO 7 reviewed city Seattle police reports from the last three years, focusing on violent crimes that include drive-by shootings, robberies and homicides. The block of Third Avenue between James and Yesler had the most violent crime with 276 incidents.
The block saw four times as much violent crime as the entire neighborhood Magnolia during the same time-frame, and three times as much the most dangerous block in the Rainier Valley.
Shop owners along the block said drug dealing and drug use happens constantly. KIRO 7 observed much of this behavior during several days of undercover observation. During that time, there was an overdose at the corner of Third and James. A man named Rick openly admitted he and his friend who overdosed were doing meth. He also admitted they needed the help of paramedics frequently and didn't see any problems with consuming so many fire department resources.
The block is home to The Morrison, the city's largest downtown emergency service center. It helps the homeless who have major mental disorders and addiction problems.
Third between James and Yesler is also unavoidable for people who have other business at the King County Courthouse, which is on the block. South of the courthouse is City Hall Park, a notorious homeless hangout.
There are also 19 King County Metro lines that stop on the block, which puts downtown workers that include Jessica Burrus face-to-face with the city's underbelly.
"I'm always down here after work and you see a lot of overdoses and a lot of ambulances," Burrus said while waiting for a bus. A man standing next to her added: "I mostly see a lot of smoking, drug dealing, a lot of yelling, screaming, threats and stuff. It's a dangerous block."
Seattle police stats also showed most blocks with high rates of violent crime are in the same part of downtown.
In the last three years, there were more than 100 violent crimes on Third between Pine and Pike, Pine between Fourth and Fifth, and Pike between Second and Third.
Police stats also highlighted two interesting block downtown.
There were 67 violet crimes, mainly robberies, along Northgate way between Third and 5th right in front of the mall. There were also 84 violent crimes right in the heart of the U-District: along University Way between 50th and 47th. Police were investigating an assault as KIRO 7 gathered video for this report.
However, no other block in the last three years compares to the Third between James and Yesler. It's the only block with more than 200 violent crimes since late 2010.
Below you can find a complete list of dangerous blocks around the city of Seattle. In counting crime, KIRO 7 added all the crime on each block and at the intersections at end of each block. For example, University Way between 50th and 47th had 84 violent crimes: 71 somewhere on the block, seven at 47th and University, and six at 50th and University (71+7+6=84).
Seattle also offers a crime mapping tool if you are curious about crime figures in your neighborhood.
VIOLENT CRIME BLOCKS IN SEATTLE:
Third between James and Yesler: 276
Third between Pike and Pine: 179
First between Bell and Blanchard: 135
Third between Pike and Union: 117
Pine between Fourth and Fifth: 108
Pine between Third and Fourth: 106
Pike between Second and Third: 102
Second South between Washington and Main: 95
Broadway between Pine and Pike: 88
Eastlake between Denny and Yale: 84
University between 47th and 50th: 84
Broadway between Pike and Union: 80
Northgate between Third and 5th: 67