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Best / Worst use of waterfront


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31 replies to this topic

Poll: Best use of the Waterfront? (39 member(s) have cast votes)

Best use of the Waterfront?

  1. Burlington, VT (2 votes [5.13%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.13%

  2. Portland, ME (9 votes [23.08%])

    Percentage of vote: 23.08%

  3. Portsmouth, NH (3 votes [7.69%])

    Percentage of vote: 7.69%

  4. Providence, RI (10 votes [25.64%])

    Percentage of vote: 25.64%

  5. Newport, RI (15 votes [38.46%])

    Percentage of vote: 38.46%

Worst use of the Waterfront

  1. New Haven, CT (18 votes [46.15%])

    Percentage of vote: 46.15%

  2. Concord, NH (1 votes [2.56%])

    Percentage of vote: 2.56%

  3. Hartford, CT (14 votes [35.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 35.90%

  4. Sprigfield, MA (6 votes [15.38%])

    Percentage of vote: 15.38%

Vote Guests cannot vote

#1 Carter711

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 12:30 PM

BEST: Here the waterfront is very accessible, with lots of decks to drink a margarita and enjoy the view, parks, bike trails, etc. Waterfront really enhances the quality of life in these cities

WORST: Waterfront? What waterfront?

I went with Portsmouth for best, because I find its waterfront so accessible, with lots of outdoor restaurants. Many of the city's old imposing brick strctures along the water have survived and enhance the area as well.

I chose New Haven for worst, b/c I lived there for a year and never had occasion to visit the waterfront. The I-91 - I-95 merge, as well as poorly planned industrialization along the shore, has really cut this city off from the water.

 

#2 Jerseyman4

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 05:38 PM

I didnt vote for anyone on the list. Why arent any NY/NJ/MD/DE locations included?

BEST: Camden

WORST: Newark

Edited by Jerseyman4, 26 April 2006 - 05:38 PM.


#3 Jerry2

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 02:47 PM

Best: Portland
Worst: New Haven and Hartford-tie

#4 beerbeer

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 05:48 PM

What is happening on the Hartford waterfront is amazing and ongoing. Whoever did this poll hasn't been to Hartford lately.

Hartford has multiple riverside parks, a river walk, boat houses for shells, docks, boat launches, ampitheaters on both the Hartford and East Hartford shore. They are adding sculptures to the river walk this summer. There is also a huge proposal for the riverfront south of downtown.

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I love Portland but this waterfront is hard to beat. Don't believe the bad rap that gets laid on Hartford. Believe your own eyes.

Posted Image

Edited by beerbeer, 27 April 2006 - 06:04 PM.


#5 damus

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 06:59 PM

I think Providence should be on the "Worst waterfront" list. Even though I love the city, there is only a small area downtown where they did a good job with their waterfront, and that's currently covered in grafitti. The Providence River waterfront along Allens Avenue is still completely covered with industrial buildings, and the river that runs to the west of Federal Hill through the Eagle Square shopping cetner isn't kept neat and tidy, either. Down the road, I'm sure Providence will have a great waterfront, perhaps the best on the list. Not yet.

Here's how I voted:

BEST: Portland
WORST: New Haven

#6 SOCOM

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:20 PM

Best Waterfront? I have no idea, but I've heard good things about Portsmouth's waterfront.

Worst waterfront is by far New Haven. I-95 completely cuts off the city from the water.

Hartford, as beerbeer illustrated, can no longer be considered on the "worst waterfront" list. Up until the year 1999 - absolutely. But the city has made great strides over the last 7 years. Still a lot of work to do, but it's very easy to get to the water in Hartford, and riverfront plaza is a gem.

#7 Carter711

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Posted 27 April 2006 - 11:52 PM

What is happening on the Hartford waterfront is amazing and ongoing. Whoever did this poll hasn't been to Hartford lately.

I admit, I've never visited Hartford's relatively new riverfront park and pedestrian bridge over I-91, though I have seen pictures and it does look quite impressive. The reason Hartford made the worst list is because I-91 still cuts off a large part of the city from the river. The Connecticut River is such a great asset and yet the city in many areas still feels very cut off from it. Also there really isn't a restaurant/retail environment along the waterfront, which I belive is important. But I understand what you're saying, Hartford is doing a hell of a lot better than New Haven with its waterfront. I'm just saying there remains a great deal of untapped potential here.

I think Providence should be on the "Worst waterfront" list.


I considered putting Providence on both the Best and Worst lists, but decided that might be a little confusing. I ultimately felt the city should appear on the Best list because of its success with events like Waterfire and the gondolas. Also, from what I understand the city's made a great deal of progress since the days when its rivers were paved over. But, I agree, Providence has a lot more work to do yet.

Why arent any NY/NJ/MD/DE locations included?


I realized very quickly after posting this that I didn't specify New England in the title, but couldn't fugure out how to change it. While I'd love to include Mid-Atlantic cities, my limited knowledge of them would make it almost impossible to pick a good sampling of them for this poll.

#8 beerbeer

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 08:01 AM

Portland is lucky that development lagged in that city. Walking around their waterfront is like being in a colonial city or a Dickens novel. The cobblestone streets and small shops give a very human scale. Portland also feels real, it's authentic, compared to other waterfronts (like San Diego) that have an amusement park feel.

Edited by beerbeer, 28 April 2006 - 08:02 AM.


#9 Hartfordfan

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Posted 30 April 2006 - 06:38 PM

best is newport. worst is new haven. Absolutly poor use. The first thing you see is the oil tanks near I-95.
I am suprised bridgeport didn't make the worst list. although they have and arena and a ballpark, the waterfront has nothing else to offer (restaurants/shopping)

#10 Recchia

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:49 AM

Interesting someone should mention Newport, I've always thought that America's Cup Blvd cut off the waterfront too much from the downtown. Nonetheless, what is right on the waterfront is very nice, and south of downtown has an amazing, classic New England rural waterfront setting.

#11 Cotuit

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 09:42 AM

Interesting someone should mention Newport, I've always thought that America's Cup Blvd cut off the waterfront too much from the downtown.


America's Cup Blvd. does cut off the waterfront to an extent, but at least what is on either side of ACB is nice, and ACB is not an interstate highway, such as a city like New Haven has between it and it's waterfront. ACB is actually quite easy to cross.

#12 beerbeer

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 04:57 PM

I love Newport but everything feels like the Yankee Candle Shoppe. Not really old, fake old.

Still it's a beautiful place and fun to visit.

#13 Lone Ranger

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 12:01 PM

Interesting someone should mention Newport, I've always thought that America's Cup Blvd cut off the waterfront too much from the downtown. Nonetheless, what is right on the waterfront is very nice, and south of downtown has an amazing, classic New England rural waterfront setting.



America's Cup Blvd. does cut off the waterfront to an extent, but at least what is on either side of ACB is nice, and ACB is not an interstate highway, such as a city like New Haven has between it and it's waterfront. ACB is actually quite easy to cross.


Exactly so. And one look at the amount of foot traffic in that area is proof of that.

America's Cup was a bad idea, but not for pedestrians. For auto traffic in tourist season, it's hell. Trying to drive ACB in the summer months is self-defeating. You're better off on foot. :rofl:

Which, to me, is proof enough that ACB isn't doing any substantial damage to the character of the city. It's also proof that it's not doing its job as a major automobile route-of-travel, but that's a different concern altogether.

#14 drc72

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 05:01 PM

What is happening on the Hartford waterfront is amazing and ongoing. Whoever did this poll hasn't been to Hartford lately.

Hartford has multiple riverside parks, a river walk, boat houses for shells, docks, boat launches, ampitheaters on both the Hartford and East Hartford shore. They are adding sculptures to the river walk this summer. There is also a huge proposal for the riverfront south of downtown.

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I love Portland but this waterfront is hard to beat. Don't believe the bad rap that gets laid on Hartford. Believe your own eyes.

Posted Image


Even though I91 runs through the riverfront area, I still think think Hartford should be on the best list.

#15 SOCOM

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Posted 02 August 2006 - 10:33 PM

I have to say it's amazing how many votes Hartford has gotten for worst use of the waterfront. I have no doubt that most, if not all the votes for Hartford are from people who have not been to the city since the turn of the century. I-91 running alongside the river toatlly sucks, but Riverfront Plaza is such a success that other cities (like Sacramento, CA) have studied how we bridged the highway to access the riverfront.

#16 Recchia

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 08:14 AM

Albany, NY should have gotten worst use of waterfront up until they built the riverfront park and footbridge over 787. Now its getting better.

#17 SOCOM

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 09:55 AM

Does New Haven offer any access to its waterfront? How about Springfield? I'm asking because I don't frequent either city other than the occasional drive-by.

#18 lammius

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 02:07 PM

I've been to New Haven. There's no way I could find to get to the waterfront. Apart from the interstate cutting it off, the neighborhoods leading toward the water from downtown are sketchy at best, so it's not a pleasant area to walk through.

I agree with Jerseyman4 about Newark too. The city has a potentially beautiful and long waterfront area right in their downtown, but it's a back yard to the highrises on Broad and Raymond Streets. There's space to create parks and footpaths but waterfront land sits vacant with nothing but weeds on it. It's not THE worst, but it has some of the most ignored potential.

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#19 SOCOM

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:01 PM

I've been to New Haven. There's no way I could find to get to the waterfront. Apart from the interstate cutting it off, the neighborhoods leading toward the water from downtown are sketchy at best, so it's not a pleasant area to walk through.

I agree with Jerseyman4 about Newark too. The city has a potentially beautiful and long waterfront area right in their downtown, but it's a back yard to the highrises on Broad and Raymond Streets. There's space to create parks and footpaths but waterfront land sits vacant with nothing but weeds on it. It's not THE worst, but it has some of the most ignored potential.


Wow, you weren't kidding. There is some serious potential there, and it doesn't seem like it would take all that much to really improve the riverfront (ie. no highways to deal with).

#20 Carter711

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Posted 03 August 2006 - 03:44 PM

Does New Haven offer any access to its waterfront? How about Springfield? I'm asking because I don't frequent either city other than the occasional drive-by.


I guess technically in New Haven there are some areas that access the waterfront, but there's really no reason to go there. The water is surrounded by Oil tanks, and other industrialization, and I-95 towers above you. Then there's the I-91 and I-95 merge which is a mess of interchanges and ramps right near the water as well. While on the whole New Haven is a nice city, it really has no waterfront to speak of. I would have to say that Hartford is far better than New Haven, with its Riverfront Recapture program.

Wishful thinking - Hartford decks over I-91 for at least a quarter of a mile, say near the convention center, and works on establishing some kind of retail, housing, and restaurant activity along the water, or at least with views of the water without the I-91 obstruction. Then it would certainly be a best waterfront city.