This past month, a Superior District court judge ordered our city to pay for the immediate construction of an elevated footbridge linking the Hilton Garden Inn, the Major Taylor Parking Garage and the DCU Worcester Convention Center. The city made the commitment to build this bridge years ago and may very likely be legally bound to honor that obligation. Could we have had more foresight back then?
It’s true. Pedestrians are at a disadvantage in walking this area. I’ve tried to cross Major Taylor Boulevard, waiting for the lights to change and then dashing across the “highway” of Major Taylor Boulevard to get to the other side. It can be scary! The answer for pedestrian safety remains in the redesign of the main street not the overpriced construction of a skybridge.
If a tree falls in the forest and no person hears it, does it even make a sound?
If an outsider visits our city and never actually hits a Worcester sidewalk, was he or she really HERE?
Here are the consequences when we make it easy to escape our streets: lack of economic spin-off to surrounding businesses and continued deadened street life around this single-use mega project complex.
An elevated bridge will enable visitors to drive, park, stay at the hotel and go to the convention center without ever actually being here. We missed a major opportunity this past summer during the resurfacing of Major Taylor Boulevard to make it a complete street, accessible to walkers, bicyclist as well as car drivers. With some paint and planters, we could have made that street into something incredible for just a tiny fraction of the projected $10 million dollar cost to construct an elevated footbridge.