Uneasy times in Montford

I am writing a letter to bring some public awareness to problems in my neighborhood.

Just in the last two weeks, there has been a drive-by shooting in [the] Klondyke [Apartments complex], an attempted robbery of the convenience store at knifepoint, a mugging by three men near Chestnut Street and people selling drugs behind the Montford Community Center. I have seen people openly selling drugs from a scooter on my street and people peering into parked cars by the MCC ostensibly looking to break in. Both [I] and one of my neighbors have been threatened by a notorious neighborhood thug from the street. Things have been stolen from my front yard and porch.

If you look at a longer period of time, there's a lot more "interesting' things happening that seem to get swept under the rug. I don't feel safe walking to my workplace without being armed anymore. What is going on here?

Ever since the police substation was taken out, crime has been ramping up in my neighborhood. I wish they would put it back. Or at the very least step up patrols in Montford.

— C.W. Allen

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16 thoughts on “Uneasy times in Montford

  1. GoodGrief

    Start a neighborhood watch. Form a militia. Get a big scary dog and walk it with you. Carry a small camera and snap pics of suspicious gangstas, that gets ’em moving along. Concealed carry permit? Get one. Learn kung fu. Hire a bodyguard. Create a posse. Don’t be a victim, we need to take back our streets.

  2. Asheville Dweller

    People tend to forget that Montford wasnt always the land of warm and fuzzies. This is why people need to be vigilent about their protection, im not talking arming ones self but take awareness to your situation, like mentioned above a simple neighborhood watch does wonders.

    Just because you live in a popular part of a city doesnt make you safer.

  3. My first reaction is to say: History repeating itself, but Montford has seen much worse times.

    There has always been crime, will always be crime in Montford. Good Grief is right. Take back your neighborhood. It worked for me for years (before I got pregnant and quit paying attention to my little part of Montford.) Word got around to the Montford criminals that I was the crazy lady living in the yellow duplex on Bearden, that you didn’t want to mess with, it was best to leave me alone. They left me alone, but they still trolled the neighborhood, vandalizing others. Once I let up on watching my part of Montford and spent more time inside watching my belly grow, that’s when trouble came back to our street.

    We had the opportunity to buy the the duplex we rented for five years on Bearden Ave. back in ’94. We chose not to do so. But only after we were jolted awake one very early am by the sound of a .357 magnum being unloaded at our street corner when I was about 6 months pregnant. Drug dealers were again hanging out on the corner of Bearden and Montford, hawking their wares. Prostitutes had chosen to move further into Montford from Flint St. Needles were tossed into our front yard. I had horrible visions of my future 2-year-old toddling outside, picking up a needle, accidentally sticking it in his arm and then asking, what’s this Mommy?

    So we bought elsewhere. I dearly miss living in Montford, being able to walk so easily to downtown. Looking back, I wish we would have stayed, but pregnant women with wacky hormones sometimes make crazy decisions.

  4. UnaffiliatedVoter

    When you have a neighborhood impacted by public housing at both ends, and downtown, it makes for routine criminal activity. Really like the Nine Mile Restaurant there! Excellent food!

  5. hauntedheadnc

    Embrace street crime. It embellishes your tragically hip hipster cred. Safe, well-kept neighborhoods are for yuppie scum only, and whenever you find that neighborhood has become, sadly, safe, you’d do well to move to a dump like Spartanburg post haste.

  6. SocialifeAvl

    I think at times people tend to forget that Asheville is not Mayberry. Of course I don’t agree with the criminal activity but it comes along with city living. Personally I wish they would bring down every project in the city. But if they did that, I wonder how many Montford residence would welcome public housing residents into there neighborhood. People get a false picture of Montford and Asheville. You can’t stick people in an isolated public housing area and expect them to or there ways to venture out. When rape and murdering starts that when we should panic. Montford is safe

  7. cwaster

    “Montford is safe ”

    No, it isn’t. Home invasions, crack dealing, robbery, drive by shootings, break-ins…. that’s not safe.

  8. Vinnie Lasanga

    Mister Allen sounds like he doesn’t likeliving with African American neighbors.

  9. cwaster

    Shooting today on Montford fiurther down from the corner store by a home-owner in relation to a possible break-in. Coincidence, methinks??

  10. ashevillain7

    This topic seems to come up regularly….probably means there’s something to it….but really not that much different that other areas of this city and definitely not different from similar areas of other cities. There is one problem I’ll address though.

    I once lived in Montford for ~ 1.5 years and prior to that, for 2 years I was a delivery driver that made the rounds of nearly every neighborhood (incl. Montford) in Buncombe County. I never personally had a problem there. Housemates would occasionally have something get stolen from their car and the store would occasionally get robbed.

    One glaring problem that I noticed from living and working in Montford (I wish I knew how to make this font in bold) is THAT IT IS THE WORST LIT NEIGHBORHOOD IN BUNCOMBE COUNTY. There is very very little street lighting, none on most of the side streets. I would frequently walk downtown and never felt threatened but almost always felt the need for extra awareness. I can understand how some people feel unsafe walking there. Sometimes I felt the safest thing to do was to walk right down the middle of Montford Ave. The sidestreets definitely need better lighting…I actually am really surprised that no one has ever mentioned this before as a means to reduce crime.

  11. JWTJr

    “When you have a neighborhood impacted by public housing at both ends, and downtown, it makes for routine criminal activity.”

    The city talks a big game about public housing and then drops the ball completely when it comes to management. They are great a creating pretty buildings based on compassionate ideas that quickly become run down, crime ridden slums.

    Next time I see council talk about public housing, I want to hear them discuss how they plan to reverse this trend on the next project.

  12. dhalgren

    Seems we need more Police. That’s going to cost more money. Increase the property taxes and insist that government do it’s job and enforce the laws. Or, you could stop your whining and live with it.

    “Next time I see council talk about public housing, I want to hear them discuss how they plan to reverse this trend on the next project.”

    So that’s your plan jr.?

  13. Doug Sahm

    One of the many symptoms of so much multi-family housing. When most of the population living there have no real investment in Montford, you end up with situations like this because there is no incentive for them to strive to make the neighborhood a better place.
    The city needs to start taking steps to protect historic neighborhoods with stricter zoning. Ensuring neighborhoods like Montford are kept beautiful and safe would actually help the entire city in the long run, but my faith in our city council to understand such a concept is almost nil.

  14. JWTJr

    “Next time I see council talk about public housing, I want to hear them discuss how they plan to reverse this trend on the next project.”

    So that’s your plan jr.?”

    A plan? I said I’d like for the planners of subsidized housing to actually do what they say and make the effort to ensure the property is managed and not neglected. You disagree with that?

    It always seems to be the case that the planners have a plan and money and then later say they need more money to carry out what they said they had the money and resources to do in the first place. Its not money, its management. They can’t manage their way out of a wet paper bag.

  15. cwaster

    The home invasion this week is exactly what I am talking about.

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