09/19/12 — Downtown pitch: In truth, Streetscape is laying a necessary foundation

View Archive

Downtown pitch: In truth, Streetscape is laying a necessary foundation

The story of Center Street is, well, storied.

So it should not be a surprise to anyone that some people might get upset about a project that tears it apart.

But while the downtown revitalization is a critical component in the city's future, there was more of a reason than simply so there would be a pretty street.

The infrastructure under the city streets was in dire need of replacing.

OK, so that wasn't the only reason -- or really, the main reason -- for the project -- and yes, it would have been better if the community really grasped the critical need.

But truth is, the downtown revitalization is as brave a step as the original rally that spirited away the railroad tracks that used to divide the street.

Citizens decided that they were tired of the noise and other consequences of a railway through their city center, so they decided to do something about it. They made a decision to set a tone for their downtown and to change their quality of life.

That is what is happening right now.

Making such a tremendous shift is not easy -- and there were plenty of reasons not to take the leap. But even with the growing pains, it is the first of the necessary steps if we want to see a positive result downtown.

So we move forward like those railroad "thieves" from long ago -- toward a better city.

Published in Editorials on September 19, 2012 10:45 AM