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Old 08-18-2018, 04:13 AM
 
17,448 posts, read 9,748,223 times
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Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
One thing that HAS to go is the clinic that Richard Neal put his name on. Whoever heard of putting a health center right in an area that they were trying to revitalize? Please tell me it's not a needle exchange program. Same with the social program offices further down. That's what happens when landlords are desperate for tenants - they end up cutting their own throats. The city needs an ordinance in regards to what kind of operations are allowed in the revitalization zone.
Springfield has a 30% poverty rate. The highest percentage of poor single parent households in the state. What do you propose to do about that? Bulldoze the Section 8 housing?
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by GeoffD View Post
Springfield has a 30% poverty rate. The highest percentage of poor single parent households in the state. What do you propose to do about that? Bulldoze the Section 8 housing?

Of course not, by why put a clinic on Main Street, downtown? Who is going to rent a retail space next to a clinic?


But now that you mention section 8. I remember when Chestnut Towers was considered upscale. It's a pretty prime piece of real estate across from the library and museums. When people started leaving the downtown area, there was little choice but to let it become section 8. I don't care where you go in the world, low income areas means social problems. Springfield now has the unfixable problem of 240 units seething with drug problems and bed bugs. The decent low income people living there are trying to flee, themselves. Ten million has just been allocated to improve the building, but unless they can find a way to get the drug dealers out of there, it's going to continue being a thorn in Springfield's side.



I pity the people who get displaced by gentrification, I honestly do. But, I look back at the 80s when all, or most of the apartments within walking distance to downtown where market rate especially the Matoon Street area it wouldn't be that bad of a thing for some of that to come back. I worked downtown in the 80s and got out of work at 3am. I sometimes walked home all the way to the top of Maple Street and never had a problem or even felt unsafe. Maybe I was just young and dumb.

Last edited by IWLC; 08-18-2018 at 06:26 AM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 05:22 AM
 
416 posts, read 503,776 times
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One of the worst things that ever happened to Springfield is the idiots who wasted millions on two bridges over the river, then essentially one long bridge through town ruining the city with Route 91.
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Old 08-18-2018, 06:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cvap View Post
One of the worst things that ever happened to Springfield is the idiots who wasted millions on two bridges over the river, then essentially one long bridge through town ruining the city with Route 91.

That's pretty much ancient history. The Memorial bridge was built in 1922. I think it's beautiful. Anyone remember the nightmare that went on for years when it was being renovated? That's the difference between government projects in Massachusetts and private building, like MGM. I remember reading that Massachusetts highway projects are the worst in the nation for delays and cost over-runs. A little bit too much of the 'don't kill the job' mentality and too many people in government seeing everything as an opportunity for personal gain.
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Old 08-18-2018, 07:57 AM
 
2,109 posts, read 3,788,413 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
That's pretty much ancient history. The Memorial bridge was built in 1922. I think it's beautiful. Anyone remember the nightmare that went on for years when it was being renovated? That's the difference between government projects in Massachusetts and private building, like MGM. I remember reading that Massachusetts highway projects are the worst in the nation for delays and cost over-runs. A little bit too much of the 'don't kill the job' mentality and too many people in government seeing everything as an opportunity for personal gain.
Well, the Longfellow Bridge rebuild was famously expensive and time-consuming but there was a lot of historical correctness in the methods and materials which I think many people appreciate and the bridge is now a gem. The Memorial Bridge may be a similar story. Too bad such a ceremonial bridge leads only to a nondescript area in West Springfield. Not sure what bridges the poster refers to. South End Bridge when new took the traffic from 91, which ended there, over to route 5. Maybe too bad that they didn’t make that the permanent solution rather than running 91 through downtown Springfield but there are many reasons for Springfield’s decline; I wouldn’t lay it all at the door of the interstates. Same with Hartford—91 and 84 did a lot of damage but they don’t explain why the richest city became one of the poorest.
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Old 08-18-2018, 08:44 AM
 
405 posts, read 162,003 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Well, the Longfellow Bridge rebuild was famously expensive and time-consuming but there was a lot of historical correctness in the methods and materials which I think many people appreciate and the bridge is now a gem. The Memorial Bridge may be a similar story. Too bad such a ceremonial bridge leads only to a nondescript area in West Springfield. Not sure what bridges the poster refers to. South End Bridge when new took the traffic from 91, which ended there, over to route 5. Maybe too bad that they didn’t make that the permanent solution rather than running 91 through downtown Springfield but there are many reasons for Springfield’s decline; I wouldn’t lay it all at the door of the interstates. Same with Hartford—91 and 84 did a lot of damage but they don’t explain why the richest city became one of the poorest.



When was 91 built? In the 60's? There were quite a few boom years in Springfield since it was built. Does anyone remember the mid 80's when Springfield was voted into the top ten small cities in the country to live in?



People, whether rich or poor gravitate to where there they have the most amenities that cater to them. Springfield focused on social programs at the cost of everything else and the people who use them flocked to where the action is.


Projects, like the casino rely on attracting people from out of town, but a real revival can only come with working people moving into the area. All the apartment buildings on Maple street used to be occupied by young working people. I knew many, back in the day and they were waiters and waitresses, bartenders, retail managers, etc. Maple St didn't become 'iffy' until after you passed the beautiful McDuffy School. What a tragedy it was when it was destroyed by the tornado.


Some landlords figured out that it was a lot more of a sure thing to rely on a check from section 8, and you could charge more too. Apartments that used to rent for $700 became $900, because that's what section 8 is paying. Young people can't afford that so they stay at home with mom and dad.

Last edited by IWLC; 08-18-2018 at 09:15 AM..
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Old 08-18-2018, 09:24 AM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,324 posts, read 21,412,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhill View Post
Well, the Longfellow Bridge rebuild was famously expensive and time-consuming but there was a lot of historical correctness in the methods and materials which I think many people appreciate and the bridge is now a gem. The Memorial Bridge may be a similar story. Too bad such a ceremonial bridge leads only to a nondescript area in West Springfield. Not sure what bridges the poster refers to. South End Bridge when new took the traffic from 91, which ended there, over to route 5. Maybe too bad that they didn’t make that the permanent solution rather than running 91 through downtown Springfield but there are many reasons for Springfield’s decline; I wouldn’t lay it all at the door of the interstates. Same with Hartford—91 and 84 did a lot of damage but they don’t explain why the richest city became one of the poorest.
I don't know what happened in Hartford but one reason Springfield was in decline during the 1950s was because soldiers returning from WWII wanted to move to the suburbs and start families. Manufacturing had begun its long decline too. Here's a very short article:

https://qz.com/991336/the-story-of-u...massachusetts/

Federal Reserve Bank of Boston economist Robert Triest says that manufacturing employment in New England peaked around 1920 (pdf), and that deindustrialization across the region has been going on for almost a century. Hampden, and the rest of western Massachusetts, held on to most of their manufacturing jobs through the 1960s, but began to lose their advantage in low-skill manufacturing to the southern US around that time.

Probably a lot of it also had to do with the availability of cars. People who previously had needed to live within walking distance, now had a car to travel back and forth to the suburbs and to go shopping at the new malls. Better roads for the cars probably played a part too. Rte 91 was part of urban renewal in the '50s and '60s and was supposed to be built along rte 5. Instead they decided to build it on the other side of the river. No one cared about the CT River (it was a dirty polluted eyesore in those days) and that the riverfront was being cut off from the city.

Rte 91 also sliced a chunk out of Forest Park. It had several dangerous exits and although it improved transportation (people no long took the train or rtes 5/10 to get north to such places as Northampton) the damage of slicing the city apart was done and took its toll.

By around 1965, Springfield was headed straight down and nothing could save it. I think it was a combination of factors, a cycle in the life and death of a city.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:38 PM
 
405 posts, read 162,003 times
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Originally Posted by in_newengland View Post
No one cared about the CT River (it was a dirty polluted eyesore in those days)

I guess if there is any bright side to our manufacturing going to Asia, it took the pollution with it, now their rivers are chemical reservoirs instead of ours. Remember the 70's when you couldn't touch any surface in any city without your hands getting black residue on them?


I'll have to take everyone's word for it,because I only moved here in 1986, but I don't understand how 91 had that much effect on Springfield since it's a small strip between the highway and the river. I'm sure there's other cities that did ok without a riverfront (though it's true, most cities are along a river). What used to be where the highway is now?


Oops, just went in the basement, and it's flooded from the downpour. I know what I'LL be doing.
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Old 08-18-2018, 01:53 PM
 
Location: stuck in the woods with bears and moose
22,324 posts, read 21,412,893 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IWLC View Post
I guess if there is any bright side to our manufacturing going to Asia, it took the pollution with it, now their rivers are chemical reservoirs instead of ours. Remember the 70's when you couldn't touch any surface in any city without your hands getting black residue on them?


I'll have to take everyone's word for it,because I only moved here in 1986, but I don't understand how 91 had that much effect on Springfield since it's a small strip between the highway and the river. I'm sure there's other cities that did ok without a riverfront (though it's true, most cities are along a river). What used to be where the highway is now?


Oops, just went in the basement, and it's flooded from the downpour. I know what I'LL be doing.
Actually, there was a huge campaign to clean up the CT River but having the manufacturing go overseas probably didn't hurt. The CT River used to be like an open sewer. It was kind of exciting when salmon actually returned to the river, a sign that it was clean enough for them.

(Sorry about your basement, lot of rain this summer.)
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my posts as moderator will be in red. Moderator: Health&Wellness~Genealogy. The Rules--read here>>> TOS. If someone attacks you, do not reply. Hit REPORT.
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Old 08-19-2018, 04:41 PM
 
10,796 posts, read 10,748,521 times
Reputation: 7079
Anyone else think a Rapid Transit line from Holyoke to Forest Park would be a good idea? The PVTA gets ~35,000 daily riders so I think a route through urban areas like that might have potential.
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