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Old 05-07-2014, 07:04 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohiogirl81 View Post
Perhaps the question's premise is all wrong; perhaps Main Street is evolving, not dying. Perhaps the smaller storefronts on Main Street are better suited to niche businesses instead of mass merchandisers.
That seems to be happening in my town. There really isn't a store downtown where you can buy anything useful other than a restaurant meal, but some people like to look at antiques and such, I guess. The restaurant business though has really taken off in the last few years.
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Old 05-07-2014, 08:50 PM
 
56,618 posts, read 80,930,134 times
Reputation: 12508
I think there just needs to be some context. What I believe that the OP is getting at is that these small towns that were self sufficient at one time aren't anymore, when they could or should be. Given the area the original streetview is in, much of the shopping is regionalized or is on the outskirts of some of these towns. So, shopping is largely, if not strictly, car dependent in spite of the "good bones" many of these towns have and may also have a population that can't be car dependent.

My father's hometown is even worse than the streetview shown in the original post and has a population of people that may not have access to a car or another mode of transportation. Streetview didn't go down its Main Street. On this site, the 4th and 5th pictures are of the Main Street: Tchula, Mississippi

Last edited by ckhthankgod; 05-07-2014 at 09:03 PM..
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:48 AM
 
Location: Youngstown, Oh.
4,896 posts, read 7,659,080 times
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I'm amused by the arguments over semantics. People often kill their house plants, but rarely do they do it on purpose. But, for a second party to ask why they killed their house plant, does seem to imply that it was on purpose.

So, maybe the questions we should be discussing are: "how did we kill our main streets" or "why did we allow our main streets to die?"
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:11 AM
 
2,388 posts, read 2,955,715 times
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I don't understand how people can state unequivocally that "main streets are dead!"

in NJ & PA dead Main Streets are the exception, not the rule. Some aspects of the Mayberry life might be dead but certainly not all.

I've lived here - https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.3...gA2CX5PPWg!2e0

and here - https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.1...O_ULXcUIpw!2e0

and here -
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@39.9...ZtVry_X76A!2e0
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:20 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,006 posts, read 102,606,536 times
Reputation: 33064
Quote:
Originally Posted by JR_C View Post
I'm amused by the arguments over semantics. People often kill their house plants, but rarely do they do it on purpose. But, for a second party to ask why they killed their house plant, does seem to imply that it was on purpose.

So, maybe the questions we should be discussing are: "how did we kill our main streets" or "why did we allow our main streets to die?"
Thank you. At least someone gets my point. I think the starting point should be: Are Main Streets dead (or dying)? Then we can get into the who, what, why, and how!

Quote:
Originally Posted by drive carephilly View Post
I don't understand how people can state unequivocally that "main streets are dead!"

in NJ & PA dead Main Streets are the exception, not the rule. Some aspects of the Mayberry life might be dead but certainly not all.

I've lived here - https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.3...gA2CX5PPWg!2e0

and here - https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.1...O_ULXcUIpw!2e0

and here -
https://www.google.com.au/maps/@39.9...ZtVry_X76A!2e0
I agree! Several others throughout this thread have said the same about Texas, and about Main Streets in general. In another thread, I posted some pictures of some Denver suburbs and their "Main Street".
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:34 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,104,114 times
Reputation: 3117
boutique main streets can only exist if the income is high enough to support them, or in tourist areas. Amazingly some posters on here castigate urbanites for having a boutique lifestyle, but trot out examples of their useless main streets replete with cute pottery shops and boutique clothing and wine or whatever.

But what main streets have regular goods and services for regular people? I can think of plenty, but what most of them have in common is that they are
1) in cities
2) not near freeways or high-volume highways with big retail
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Old 05-08-2014, 08:47 AM
 
Location: North Baltimore ----> Seattle
6,473 posts, read 11,104,114 times
Reputation: 3117
Here's a dead downtown: Jacksonville NC

http://goo.gl/maps/U568q

The action is at whatever Walmart you live closest to, just off the bypass highway at either end:

http://goo.gl/maps/zQwT5
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:13 AM
 
56,618 posts, read 80,930,134 times
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To be fair, there are some small towns/cities with nice main streets with quite a few services. These come to mind: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=skane...,29.36,,0,9.08

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=aubur...,56.75,,0,2.42
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:17 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,979,923 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by HandsUpThumbsDown;
But what main streets have regular goods and services for regular people? I can think of plenty, but what most of them have in common is that they are
1) in cities
2) not near freeways or high-volume highways with big retail
Hmm I can think of a number of exceptions. First two are Huntington, NY and Northampton, MA. Both have a lot boutiques but there are plenty of non-boutiques. For example, bot have shoe stores, clothing stores that range from boutique-y to almost discount. Huntington has an old department store As well as cell phone stores, banks, both a public library and a book store. Huntington has a supermarket just outside the main street area, Northampton has two smaller grocery stores in the main street area. Both are not in big cities. Northampton is near I-91 and there is a highway retail area to the east on Rt. 9. However, the main roads in the area go through the center of town rather than go around it with a nearby large retail area, though going out of the center of town there's some to the north. Huntington is similar in that it has no bypass. Huntington is within suburbia, and it looks like from the one-story storefronts that it grew a bit in the last 50 years as traditionally main streets would be taller. What else do both have in common?

1) They were already regional centers 50 years ago; they never were as small as the towns the OP suggested, the surrounding population is much larger and there was more main street to begin with so it was always more of a destination
2) Money and visitors from outside a couple of miles, increasing the volume of visitors.

There are probably many other examples, though both are unusually good for their type. Greenfield, MA is decent at having regular shops. Low growth so there was never a building boom outside the main street area, and stores mostly stuck to the center of town. As for cities, neighborhood business districts of cities (in a "main-street style), at least denser ones like New York City and Boston, generally have plenty of practical shops. There isn't anywhere else for shops to go, though some big box ones go elsewhere. I mentioned Austin St in Forest Hills, Queens:

https://www.google.com.au/maps/@40.7...J6rksMbhBw!2e0

Haverstraw, New York (about 40 miles north of NYC) has a healthy looking main street without much boutiques. Nice brick commercial architecture, too. Was very busy when I walked through it, though the streetview looks dead. Most pedestrians were hispanic and probably not well off.:

https://www.google.com/maps/@41.1965...EA6c_lnYAQ!2e0

Bay Ridge has a department store in its "main street".

Last edited by nei; 05-08-2014 at 10:12 AM.. Reason: unnecesary for thread
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:18 AM
nei nei won $500 in our forum's Most Engaging Poster Contest - Thirteenth Edition (Jan-Feb 2015). 

Over $104,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum and additional contests are planned
 
Location: Long Island / NYC
45,989 posts, read 41,979,923 times
Reputation: 14805
Quote:
Originally Posted by ckhthankgod View Post
To be fair, there are some small towns/cities with nice main streets with quite a few services. These come to mind: https://maps.google.com/maps?q=skane...,29.36,,0,9.08
Although Skaneateles falls under a tourist town, though it is nice.
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