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Best / Worst use of waterfront

Best use of the Waterfront?   39 votes

  1. 1. Best use of the Waterfront?

    • Burlington, VT
      2
    • Portland, ME
      9
    • Portsmouth, NH
      3
    • Providence, RI
      10
    • Newport, RI
      15
  2. 2. Worst use of the Waterfront

    • New Haven, CT
      18
    • Concord, NH
      1
    • Hartford, CT
      14
    • Sprigfield, MA
      6
    • 0

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32 posts in this topic

Posted

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.

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Posted

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

BEST: Camden

WORST: Newark

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Posted

Best: Portland

Worst: New Haven and Hartford-tie

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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)

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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.

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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

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Posted

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.

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Posted

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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Posted

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).

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Posted

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.

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Posted

There are cute little parks on the other side of the highway next to the riverfront in Hartford. But there's never anybody there, nobody can see you walking down the riverfront, it's creepy and barren because the raised highway hides you from the rest of the city. As long as I-91 is there, Hartford's riverfront is completely wasted and should be on the worst list. The convention center recently built is now another barrier. I'd love to see people rollerblading, having picnics on the riverfront, playing sports on the grassy lawns, but it's just too creepy for most people since you're way too secluded.

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Posted

There are cute little parks on the other side of the highway next to the riverfront in Hartford. But there's never anybody there, nobody can see you walking down the riverfront, it's creepy and barren because the raised highway hides you from the rest of the city. As long as I-91 is there, Hartford's riverfront is completely wasted and should be on the worst list. The convention center recently built is now another barrier. I'd love to see people rollerblading, having picnics on the riverfront, playing sports on the grassy lawns, but it's just too creepy for most people since you're way too secluded.

I totally agree.

All the users posting about how Hartford should be on the best and saying people who voted badly just havent been there are just speaking on their faith on good intentions for their hometown. Hartford's waterfront is absolutely awful.

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Posted

I totally agree.

All the users posting about how Hartford should be on the best and saying people who voted badly just havent been there are just speaking on their faith on good intentions for their hometown. Hartford's waterfront is absolutely awful.

I actually agree that Hartford should be on the worst list. That was never the argument. The argument is that Hartford has made great strides over the past 10 years in opening up parts of the riverfront, and for that should be considered on the "best" list as well as the worst. Both New York City and Sacramento are using Riverfront Plaza as an example of how to deck over a highway for waterfront access. I want to make it very clear that I-91 is a horror along the CT river and the criticism is just, but compared to 5 or 10 years ago, it's a whole new world down by the river. I used to try and navigate my way to the river back in the mid 90's and there was literally nowhere to access it from downtown Hartford.

My hope is that IF Front Street ever gets going and the Science Center and Coltsville really take off, there will be considerations for relocating I-91. Just imagine the riverfront w/o I-91 in the way...

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Posted

I am a Hartford lover and I am proud of that. Every city should have people who are diehard about it and love it and will stick up for it like I will do about Hartford right now.

Hartford and the state of CT made major mistakes with the placements of I-91 and I-84 in downtown Hartford. Hundreds of businesses were lost to make way for I-91 and Constitution Center. Now Hartford does not have the best waterfront but it is improving and the city has finally noticed it needs to take advantage of its waterfront which is a major step for the city of Hartford.

Riverfront Plaza hosts hundreds of events each year thank to Riverfront Recapture the orginanzation that manages and runs the riverfront parks in Hartford and East Hartford such as Charter Oak Landing and Great River Park.

For the 4th of July 300,000 people crammed Riverfront Plaza to watch the city's fireworks display after frequenting events that happened throughout that afternoon in the city. There are numerous jazz concerts and the Lady Katherine Hepburne cruises depart from there.

The Hartford riverfront is not as bustling as I would like it to be but neither are some other cities. Philadelphia is a world class city that is a truly bustling city full of wonderful neighborhoods and a bustling downtown but have you ever been to Penn's Landing. It's like Riverfront Plaza....cut off by a highway with a huge amphitheater.

Now burying I-91 and I-84 in downtown Hartford would do wonders for the city and we all know that....but pigs will fly before that happens.

An easier approach I think may be getting some more restaurants and shops in the vicinity of the riverfront. Right now there is the convention center and there will be the science center but getting some more restaurants, cafes, and shops that will draw people to that area of downtown will then draw them to utilize the waterfront. Right now there is Vivo at the Marriott (Convention Center), Starbucks at the Marriott, a coffee shop at Constitution Plaza and Spris at Constitution Plaza. Besides that everything else in that area is office towers and yes they have tenants but if those people leave the building they go and walk around Trumbull St, Pratt St, Main St and Asylum St because theres not much by the river.

Here are some photos of Penns Landing in Philadelphia

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Posted

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.

If that happened, people might start to question how the convention center obstructs the riverfront.

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