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MadVlad

The one thing

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Ok, I'm going to pose this question, and please play along. If you could pick one thing, and only one thing, to change in Hartford, or the Hartford Metro, what would it be. I'm talking about the single most important thing, in your mind, that would change Hartford the most, in a positive way. I don't want lists, I just want one thing. Maybe when this is done, we can go through, see what the most people brought up, and try to work and get things done somehow one at a time.

So, being my idea, I'll break the ice. Until recently, I would have said downtown housing. However, things change, and I think the current most important thing that would change the area is jobs downtown. That means business retention and job creation. We need more business downtown. There was a reason they demolished a whole neighborhood for Constitution Plaza, Hartford was thriving business-wise. Well, we are now doing well residential-wise, so we need to bolster that with more business. Lower some tax rates, give a few incentives to get some more headquarters back here, maybe pop in a few new, state-of-the-art buildings for companies to drool over.

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I would like to see annaxtion of surrounding towns, preferably West Hartford or East Hartford. 17.3 sq miles of city proper just seems to be a little to small for a major city.

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I would like to see annaxtion of surrounding towns, preferably West Hartford or East Hartford. 17.3 sq miles of city proper just seems to be a little to small for a major city.

Since it's a wish list, I'll say annexation too. If Hartford included East and West Hartford, I think we would be all set with making all of our big Hartford dreams come true.

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I hate to not seem original....but I will go along with annexation of East and West Hartford to start

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Wish list:

I-91 moved across the river, opening up entire downtown to the Connecticut

Slightly More Realistically:

Better police coverage and city gov't involvement, along with renewed development/ investment in the poorer, high crime neighborhoods to bring those areas under control. Unfortunately, many of the suburbanites, out-of-staters, etc, will not venture into the city so long as they constantly hear about the crime issues, even if it does only occur with regularity in very limited areas.

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Invest in the neighborhoods, a city is nothing without strong neighborhoods filled with citizens that care about their surroundings.

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just lower crime. Although it doesn't happen downtown, it really hurts the city's image.

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WHALERS!! Not just for the arena possibilities, but Hartford/Connecticut needs a professional sports team if it wants to bea big time city. Sign me up for season tickets, for that and Uconn basketball...

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Since it's a wish list, I'll say annexation too. If Hartford included East and West Hartford, I think we would be all set with making all of our big Hartford dreams come true.

Forget about annexation, how about county government so we stop being 169 little fiefdoms.. That would make Hartford more coherent with the neighboring towns.... Give more of a regional feel rather then snobby residents from Avon, Simsbury, West Hartford, Glastonbury and Wethersfield feeling they are somehow better than the city that is responsible for their existence...

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Im going to have to go with job growth also. I would take a major corporation moving downtown over a new residential project (since we now have so many). If workers are in a walkable area they will go outside for a morning coffe, eat lunch out, and be more prone to visit attractions. So they will go have their coffee downtown, have their business lunches downtown, shop at new stores that downtown will hopefull attract and frequent places like the Bushnell, Wadsworth, Civic Center, Old State House, etc.

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Well, If Hartford was East Hartford and West Hartford we would have an extremely low crime rate for a city of approx. 250,000......

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Not a realistic demand, but I'd have the freeways that go through the city demolished. They divide the city, are ugly and make suburban sprawl possible. I'm not sure why there were even built in the first place, I say relegate them to peripheral areas and build light rail instead.

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Not a realistic demand, but I'd have the freeways that go through the city demolished. They divide the city, are ugly and make suburban sprawl possible. I'm not sure why there were even built in the first place, I say relegate them to peripheral areas and build light rail instead.

I'm not sure if this is true for Hartford, but the ironic thing is that when I-91 was originally proposed, it was supposed to run across the river from Springfield, but the city protested and got the highway to go through the city - depriving the city of its waterfront. Back then, there was very little attention paid to issues like that.

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Highways cut through every major city in the world. Our small geographic footprint is what cripples us. No city at 17 square miles ever had an easy time becoming truly big time. I can't even think of any off hand.

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Hyper-invest in the city's school system. Create more small magnet schools that students must apply and be accepted into. Run head start programs for every child. Make the City of Hartford educational opportunities attractive and navigable to middle-class families and give poor kids opportunities. Right now a huge percentage of the "crime" in the city is generated out of the high schools and the petty grievances kids take home with them.

And I don't believe the city will ever truly recover if people are afraid to raise their kids in it.

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Highways cut through every major city in the world. Our small geographic footprint is what cripples us. No city at 17 square miles ever had an easy time becoming truly big time. I can't even think of any off hand.

Yep this is what's holding Hartford and Providence back, when it comes to bigger city populations. From what I hear West Hartford was never part of Hartford's orgiinal plans. The legislature had the bright idea of making it seprate town. Why Hartford never fought this, I never understood?

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Highways cut through every major city in the world. Our small geographic footprint is what cripples us. No city at 17 square miles ever had an easy time becoming truly big time. I can't even think of any off hand.

Providence has 2 highways that cut through it as well and they both cut through the landscape...at 18 sq. miles we're not that much bigger either. I'm not sure what you mean by "big time", but if it has to do with notoriety, than I would agree with you on that point. However, both of our metros are up there in terms of rank and Providence is in the top 10 cities in the whole US for density. Imagine Hartford with 45K or so more residents...and that's incorporating the extra sq. mile we got.....Without some sort of annexation, there is no way any NE city will make it "big time" We can only make the best of what we got and be "big-time" in our respective regions.

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Annexation. Many of are other dreams would fall into place easier.

Providence has 2 highways that cut through it as well and they both cut through the landscape...at 18 sq. miles we're not that much bigger either. I'm not sure what you mean by "big time", but if it has to do with notoriety, than I would agree with you on that point. However, both of our metros are up there in terms of rank and Providence is in the top 10 cities in the whole US for density. Imagine Hartford with 45K or so more residents...and that's incorporating the extra sq. mile we got.....Without some sort of annexation, there is no way any NE city will make it "big time" We can only make the best of what we got and be "big-time" in our respective regions.

Isn't one of those highways (I-195?) being relocated now? How is it coming along?

Didn't Providence relocate some railroad tracks a few years back?

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Yep this is what's holding Hartford and Providence back, when it comes to bigger city populations. From what I hear West Hartford was never part of Hartford's orgiinal plans. The legislature had the bright idea of making it seprate town. Why Hartford never fought this, I never understood?

West Hartford was originally part of Hartford. When Noah Webster was alive is was the western district of Hartford.

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Highways cut through every major city in the world. Our small geographic footprint is what cripples us. No city at 17 square miles ever had an easy time becoming truly big time. I can't even think of any off hand.

I think you must mean cities in the U.S. I can't remember seeing any highway ripping through the center of any major European cities. Vancouver is a North American city that shunned freeway development.

"Vancouver, with only three bridges servicing its immediate downtown, has remained free of central-city freeways, largely thanks to an anti-freeway movement and a federal government which refused to come up with the funds."

http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/spear..._vancouver.html

The money wasted on the building and maintenance of highways would have been better spent on rail service IMHO.

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West Hartford was originally part of Hartford. When Noah Webster was alive is was the western district of Hartford.

It should of stayed as one town, instead of seperating into a western division and then a town itself.

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Annexation. Many of are other dreams would fall into place easier.

Isn't one of those highways (I-195?) being relocated now? How is it coming along?

Didn't Providence relocate some railroad tracks a few years back?

Well yes and yes. The railroad tracks were relocated to open up Waterplace Park and construct the Providence Place Mall. They didn't really free up any land...just kinda moved it to make way for more development. Their efforts are starting to pay off now as we've seen the relocation of a major company and several high-rise housing developments sprout up around the new river park downtown. It's actually quite beautiful as I was down there today doing my daily exercise walk. The buildings are starting to take shape and I'm eagerly awaiting the retail fronting the park. ( the buildings are rather bland but commanding)

Route 195 is being relocated further south and it will free up 33 acres downtown just south in the Jewelry District. The new bridge will cross over the bay rather than meander through downtown. Although it won't be done for about 4 more years, I'm eagerly awaiting the results. I'm a little skeptical about all the non profits trying to snatch up the land, but hopefully we can gain some business activity in the newly freed up land. Something like this would do wonders for Hartford. Route 91 might be far-fetched, but I saw your ideas on parts of 84. ...thought they were original and magnificent....definitely progressive!

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I think you must mean cities in the U.S. I can't remember seeing any highway ripping through the center of any major European cities. Vancouver is a North American city that shunned freeway development.

"Vancouver, with only three bridges servicing its immediate downtown, has remained free of central-city freeways, largely thanks to an anti-freeway movement and a federal government which refused to come up with the funds."

http://www.brisinst.org.au/resources/spear..._vancouver.html

The money wasted on the building and maintenance of highways would have been better spent on rail service IMHO.

Nope, I guess it was a somewhat ignorant assumption. It would be nice to have the highways less prominent somehow. We definately should put more money into rail transit in Greater Hartford.

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Well yes and yes. The railroad tracks were relocated to open up Waterplace Park and construct the Providence Place Mall. They didn't really free up any land...just kinda moved it to make way for more development. Their efforts are starting to pay off now as we've seen the relocation of a major company and several high-rise housing developments sprout up around the new river park downtown. It's actually quite beautiful as I was down there today doing my daily exercise walk. The buildings are starting to take shape and I'm eagerly awaiting the retail fronting the park. ( the buildings are rather bland but commanding)

Route 195 is being relocated further south and it will free up 33 acres downtown just south in the Jewelry District. The new bridge will cross over the bay rather than meander through downtown. Although it won't be done for about 4 more years, I'm eagerly awaiting the results. I'm a little skeptical about all the non profits trying to snatch up the land, but hopefully we can gain some business activity in the newly freed up land. Something like this would do wonders for Hartford. Route 91 might be far-fetched, but I saw your ideas on parts of 84. ...thought they were original and magnificent....definitely progressive!

WOW! Providence is really growing fast. I got to hand it to you guys, looking good down there.

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If I had to chose just one thing, I'd probably go with annexation (W and E Hartford) as well. I think by annexing these suburbs, especially West Hartford, people would come to their senses and realize that the only reason W Hartford even exists is because of the economic powerhouse that was, and still is Hartford.

It's close though, I really really want the highways to be relocated away from downtown...

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