A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Planning Assn. Calls Commercial Street "Great"

The American Planning Association has honored Portland's Commercial Street as one of its 2008 "Great Places in America" honorees. Commercial Street qualifies as a "great street" because

"[it] blurs the distinctions among working waterfront, downtown main street, and historic tourist district... It's a dynamic yet precariously balanced amalgam crafted through years of debate and compromise."
Word choices like "precariously" and, later in the same article, "controversy," "complex," and "balancing act" make it clear that the Planners are aware of and frown upon Bob Baldacci's unholy lust for luxury hotels.

Commercial Street is great because of its embrace of the working waterfront's marine industries. It's pointedly not a strip of coyingly quaint shops and boutique hotels (ahem, Fore, Exchange Streets). For Commercial Street to remain great and get even better, it needs to replace some of the parking lots that disfigure it with new workplaces and housing that maintain Portland's dignity as a city in its own right, not as a summer colony where poor Mainers serve wealthy tourists from away.

Thanks to Elliot at Original Portland for pointing this out.

1 comment:

nickety said...

I know this isn't really the forum for this, but I haven't found much information on the candidates for County Commissioner, Register of Probate and Cumberland County Charter Commission. Is that James Cloutier the corrupt City Councilor on the ballot?