March 31, 2007
Down on Main Street
I had occasion to be at T-Bone's a few weeks back (it was No Big Deal – not completely my style, but can be fun, and one of my good friends is playing bass with them), and I drove home via Main Street (all the way up the Ridge to Seminole). A few blocks away from Finley Stadium, the scenery abruptly changes from signs of renewal to the all-too-familiar decay.
Now that the waterfront is in darn good shape, I hope we as a community can spread some of that wealth and beauty to other fine areas. There's a front-page picture on today's TFP, and a Metro section article that follows, about sculpture installations and the faint promise of an artist community taking shape in the area right around Main and Market. This is promising, but is also susceptible to being exclusive.
I understand the annexations that have taken place over the past couple of decades, like the one all the way up to the Soddy-Daisy line, in terms of the tax base. But instead of reaching ever outward to snag taxpayers in the hinterlands, why not concentrate on areas already in the city limits, and grow the neighborhoods and small businesses and greenspaces and schools there? The revenue to sustain our city's core operations would surely follow, in my admittedly oversimplified view.
I dream of the day when Main Street, Chattanooga, USA is glorious, unique, fun, safe, prosperous and healthy all the way to Eveningside, and beyond to Dodds. I guess it's smart to plan it one leg at a time, but let's not lose sight of the goal. There are plenty of areas to work on (including Brainerd Rd, for one), but the flame of revival has to be sparked somewhere, and Main seems as good a place as any.
Community | By joe lance | 10:34 AM