Oct 8, 2007

Former All American City Now Ghost Town

Today at 2:00pm I was virtually the only person on the sidewalk in the 700 block of Hamilton Street. The once teeming bus stop in front of the Community College is now stripped of its benches, a sign directs passengers to The Lanta Terminal at 6th and Linden. It occurs to me that in spite of the new security camera's, because of the emptiness, Hamilton Street will soon become a very dangerous place for both the merchants and their few customers. On friday our officials and the suburbanites will mingle on the 800 block for the bi-annual Dancing in the Street, admire a few new mostly empty buildings, and return to suburbia oblivious to the plight of the merchants.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mayor Ed has succumbed to the pressure of politics. Hard to believe that an ordained minister and person with a his background would stoop, but stoop he has. Mr. Butz would never have committed to downtown unless promises were made. # 1 on the list, "Eliminate riff-raff" from Hamilton. I would imagin PPL, Brew Works and Johnny Manana's and who knows who else (who have not yet arrived) have been promised something. Atown's decline has to be blamed on someone and the poor folks who just try to scrape by are targeted.

I'd rather see an initiative that gets the city's rent/owner occupied ratio from 50/50 to 60/40 over the next ten years. I'd like to see a plan to deconcentrate the row homes, converted into apartments. Take a look at a successful city (Bethlehem?) A nice mix of retail, commercial, residential...with a strong outer ring of solid, mostly owner occupied homes surrounding the downtown. How about woring hard to wrest the Americus away from that Mendelson and get it back on the boards as a successful enterprise? I'd like to see the city get a real handle on crime, because quality of life is tremendously important, if you are trying to draw affluent people to either shop, do business or reside within the city.

I'm afraid Atown has it all wrong, and until they get it right, there's more of the same in this once proud American city.