Nearly a year after the kerfuffle over pizza delivery no-fly zones first emerged, it carries on, writes Brian McKenzie in a recent Daily Progress. Papa John’s and Domino’s still restrict delivery to any neighborhood in which their drivers have been robbed, presumably because drivers won’t go there. That means Westhaven, Friendship Court, Wilton Farms, Blue Ridge Commons, and the odd fraternity can’t get a hot pie shipped to their door, and that’s got some people mad. Or, rather, couldn’t — after some safety improvements at Friendship Court, Domino’s will deliver there again. That’s not good enough for some, with Councilor Blake Caravati “on the edge of saying it’s racist,” and Eugene Williams advocating “that the city government should get involved.”
I like both Mr. Caravati and Mr. Williams, but somehow I can’t envision either of them choosing to don the uniform and deliver pizzas to these neighborhoods every night. It’s not a great job in the first place; why make danger mandatory?
21 thoughts on “Pizza-Delivery Debate Continues”
I think Mr. Caravati’s comments were irresponsible. Until anyone’s had a delivery job where they have to go to unfamiliar neighborhoods after dark they’ve got no business passing judgement on anyone else.
As I said in a post on a different thread, Mr. Caravati should put up or shut up.
Caravati’s comments are extremely irresponsible. So, he’s not planning to run for another term on council, and now he’s trying to start a racial debate over a non-racial issue? Sounds like Mr. Caravati might be planning a run for higher office.
For what office? I think he’s gone about as far as he can go. Blake wouldn’t challenge his friend David Toscano for the House seat. Creigh’s seat isn’t opening up anytime soon unless he decides to challenge George Allen for Senate. He’d have to be out of his mind to challenge Creigh Deeds in a primary.
Congress? I don’t see it happening. There’s precious little money out there as it is without competing with Al Weed and Bern Ewart for it. Besides which, Blake doesn’t have a political organization of his own. The city party has been his organization. Once he ceases to be an incumbant that pretty well dries up. I can’t think of any obvious constituency that could get him off the ground outside of Charlottesville.
Maybe he can get in on that elected school board.
I can’t believe I’m on the business-owner’s side on this issue. but I am. For me, the test would be this: would Caravati, Williams, Rick Turner et.al. be comfortable with their teen-age sons or daughters delivering pizzas to these neighborhoods? If they honestly wouldn’t flinch at the idea, then I feel they can condemn the business owners. But if they know, deep down, that they’d be really nervous and concerned for their child’s safety, then they have no right to urge someone ELSE’s kid (or adult) to do it. It seems to me the most cynical political opportunism to say what they say: as long as they don’t have to do it and no one they love has to do it, as long as it’s some stranger or stranger’s kids, then yeah, send ’em on in!
i think the main reason why they don’t go to those places is because they don’t tip. Seriously, I knew someone who was a driver and when they would an order from a poorer neighborhood, drivers would hate it because they knew they would not get any tip.
Start tipping people and you might see more service!
I live out in rural Albemarle County and nobody will deliver pizza to my house. Where are my county supervisors? Why aren’t they speaking up for my needs? Where is my pizza? I have the right to pizza delivery.
interesting counter point there Harry.
I think this is a classic case where innocent people have to suffer because of the hoodlum element in their community. Caravati is an ass for raising the race issue. Would he go into some of these neighborhoods alone late at night? I’m sure if there was a hoodlum-infested neighborhood and the hoodlums happened to be white(or Asian, Hispanic,whatever) the pizza companies would do the same.
What would happen if the city tried to require them to deliver everywhere? You would have drivers quitting(I certainly would),. Or the company could say no deliveries anywhere, and then everyone loses.
Myself, if I called for a pizza and was told my neighborhood was unsafe to deliver to, I would be looking to move. I would not want to live in such a place.
There is clearly no easy answer to this problem.
Here’s one thought, however. Most of the neighborhoods in question have a centrally-located, well-lit (usually), somewhat highly-trafficked community center in it. (I had my office in the Westhaven community center for a year and held many night meetings there and never once felt unsafe going to or from my car.) As a short-term solution, perhaps the pizza companies would at least agree to meet customers at the community centers in those neighborhoods, so the drivers don’t have to navigate some of the darker, less-trafficked side streets where they have to worry more about their safety?
As a longer-term solution, each of these neighborhoods needs to address the underlying conditions that foster this kind of criminal activity and make the pizza companies justifiably nervous about delivering there. As just one example, lighting — CRHA (which owns all the public housing in town) has been trying for years (with only limited success) to get funds to install more street lamps and wall-mounted lamps in its neighborhoods, which would have a direct impact on reducing crime. As another example, policing — Chief Longo has been trying for years to get funds to expand community policing in many of these same neighborhoods, but his funding requests are consistently short-changed.
It would be ironic if it took protecting the security of pizza delivery drivers (as opposed to the residents of those neighborhoods) to motivate our city to take more proactive steps to address crime in these neighborhoods, but if that’s what it takes, then fine.
DaveNorris, Rydell Payne, the director of Abundant Life Ministries located in Blue Ridge Commons (Prospect) had a proposal along those lines–something about delivering the pizza to a central location–Abundant Life, maybe— and theh paying local kids to help complete the delivery somehow? I’m not sure of the details but I think it’s something that should be explored.
So someone gets to foot the extra cost of paying local kids to complete the delivery? Who is that? The people ordering the pizza? The Pizza company?
I think that’s a bad idea. It’s rewarding someone at someone else’s expense because a business has been the victim of a crime.
I like it just fine. If somebody in Blue Ridge Commons orders a pizza, they’re told it’ll be delivered to Abundant Life. If that’s a problem for them, the pizza joint gives them the number of a neighborhood kid who is in the business of running pies from Abundant Life to people’s homes in exchange for a tip. That transaction is handled between the resident and the kid.
It’s inelegant, but the pies get delivered, the driver can be safe, and some kid makes a couple of bucks. I love it.
TrvlinMan, like i said, i don’t know the details so i really don’t want to misrepresent Rydell Payne’s idea! I just recall hearing something along those lines…Sounds like WaldoJaquith is fleshing it out. Maybe he could check with Rydell Payne and see what he had in mind?
i wonder how cold the pizza will be with all of these different changing of hands?
From racism to cold pizza. How quickly the mind strays.
Dave Norris may be okay with the thought that we’ll take action to keep pizza delivery drivers safe — rather than the residents of these communities, but I’m not. A little racism here, a little there — nobody’s been a big racist so it’s all just circumstances. But little bits of racism add up to the same thing as one big identifiable that-there-is-racism moment. And if you’re on the receiving end it really doesn’t matter if it got there by the placement of large bales of straw or straw by straw by straw: your back is still broken.
I’d really like us all to be more honest. “Yup, we got isms everywhere.” And when we see one we eradicate it. No more, “well, it isn’t a big ism, so it doesn’t count”. Isms are bad. Exterminate them on sight. We’d have a far more civil society at the end of the day.
I suppose people will go disagreeing about whether or not the pizza delivery policy is racist. But thats a good point about safety of community residents. There is a thug element that preys on all its fellow citizens, black and white alike. Then the goal should be working to eradicate this problem so that all neighborhoods are safe for residents and pizza delivery drivers alike. Thats long term. But in the short term its reasonable for the companies to take steps to protect their drivers.
Place the blame for lack of delivery exactly where it belongs-on the goons and lowlifes that go around committing senseless crimes.
I’ve got to follow with DaveNorris’s logic here. The underlying problem seems to be that of crime. If city leaders are going to act, hopefully they will first establish that the types of crimes in question do indeed occur at higher rates in the affected areas — I say this to help rule out the possibility that deliveries have been cut due to the absence of good tippers. Then if you fix the crime, you fix the delivery problem.
As for the runners… it is a simple solution that is probably too simple. Who do the kids report their earnings to? Are they a pizza company employee? Some kind of independent contractor? If one of the kids is mugged during a delivery, does the pizza company hold any responsibility? There are too my liability issues in my mind.
So basically what you’re saying is it’s okay to have the residents of these areas pay an extra “crime tax” to have a pie delivered to their place. Why not go straight to the local gang leaders and offer to pay protection to them directly for the privilege of delivering to their neighborhood? It’s almost the same thing. You are incentivizing crime. Someone in the neighborhood is benefitting financially (however indirectly) from the crime in the area.
Sure arrange a central drop off location for any problem delivery areas. But don’t involve extra costs or middlemen.
Sure arrange a central drop off location for any problem delivery areas. But don’t involve extra costs or middlemen.
Nobody’s requiring extra costs. If somebody wants to get off their ass and walk 100 yards to pick up the pie, they can go for it. But if you want it to your door, why not call your friend’s son and offer him a buck to run it to the house?
here’s an idea. order from pizza hut. they don’t appear to be on the list of places that care about the safety of their drivers.
It’s hard to believe this story has been going on for over a year!
Early last year I tried to contact the pizza firms and the other parties quoted in the stories. No one appeared interested in talking with me about mapping the crime incidents, delivery areas or non-delivery streets.
I’ve posted a very drafty map online at http://www.crowsey.com/Charlottesville_Pizza_Flap.pdf. It still needs crime data (I’d add that immediately if I could get if from C’ville, Albemarle or the pizza firms) and some specific locations, but in its current unfinished condition it is still interesting.
The non-delivery streets marked in yellow on the map were taken from the first news account I saw about the incident. The racial distribution information is straight from the 2000 U.S. Census data.
If there’s any interest in completing this map, let me know and if I can get the additional data I’ll post an update. Comments/suggestions/corrections are welcome. Contact me at email@example.com.
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