Thursday, August 27, 2009

Road to Nowhere? New Hope PA Spending $468,000 to Guide Visitors Away From Downtown

The Times of Trenton recently reported that Pennsylvania taxpayers will largely be paying for New Hope's $468,000 "Cultural Canal Walk."

According to the Times, "the new walkway would guide visitors from the borough's new parking lot, which accommodates motorists arriving via Route 202, away from the borough's heavily trafficked downtown, where even metered parking is scarce." Full story.

Several recent trips down New Hope PA's Main Street, however, revealed a multitude of vacant parking spaces and shops as the Borough's economy erodes through non-benign neglect.

"Theoretically, the tourists would park their cars and follow the proposed landscaped 800-foot pathway on the western bank of the Delaware Canal," The Times continued. "It will conclude at the New Hope and Ivyland Railroad Station."

As is widely known, however, New Hope visitors mostly desire to be downtown, because that's where the "action" is. Developer George Michael's non-central, troubled Union Square corporate park does not seem of as much interest to tourists these days with the flight of key attractions Michener Museum, 5th Season, Blue Raccoon, and others.

Why are Borough officials so interested in sending tourists to the local version of Siberia?

The Times reports that "Borough Manager John Burke said, "We are overjoyed at receiving this additional grant. We had a project that was "shovel ready' (in qualifying for funding.)"

That rings true; the Borough seems to be shoveling it on pretty thick with this solution in search of a problem, in this author's opinion.

Maybe it's time Borough officials, three of whom are running for re-election this fall, to focus on bringing visitors back to New Hope's downtown, instead of pushing them away.

1 comment:

  1. F the boro council and the waste of money this town has seen since "The Developer" came to "Improve" the downtown of New Hope has been a misjustice of their appointed positions. They suck and its time for new blood from the business community to step up and guide the town in a more profitable and community supported and cooridated manner. This can be achieved with those with some vision and communication skills. Please some one step forward!