It is a bit crazy reading all the comments over at the Telegram regarding the CSX expansion and the Grafton Hill Business Associations opposition towards it. A few commenting there see it but what the majority is failing to see is that this is a rare opportunity to do it right. Now when I say right I mean really right. Not right for economic development, not right for gentrification (a concept that I fully support in Worcester by the way), and not right for aesthetics, but right... as in really right... worldly right …everything is right with the cosmos right.
Here is an opportunity to usher in jobs, not just any jobs, but jobs for people that need them. People who may not have the good fortune to own a car that is going to take them east to professional jobs. People who may not even have the college education needed to get those jobs. People that for whatever their lot in life may contribute greatly to the make up, appearance and bad rep that our city has.
Let's face it, Grafton Hill ain't no great shakes. You drive down any of those side streets between 290 and Billings Sq and the conditions are very similar to those you see in Main South, Piedmont Village and neighboring Vernon Hill. These folks need work and they need blue collar work. How nice might it be for these folks to have well paying jobs that they can walk to. I am guessing that if the people who live in Grafton Hill that oppose the expansion want to leave the neighborhood folks with new found CSX jobs would love to take their place.
Now, as far as the businesses go, you operate your business in a city. A city that NEEDS to change. I would ask yourself these questions: Does the neighborhood you do business in need help? Does it have a plan? Are you part of that plan? Does your existing business fit in with that plan? If there isn't a plan are you prepared to be there when one is drawn up? If you have never asked these questions you need to get with the damn program because when shit changes it is on YOU not the city, and not CSX. You think the Kenmore is poo pooing over this? You think Choo Choo Charlies is? You own a garage? Get a diesel mechanic! Adapt. There are going to be 100 more trucks a day. These guys need STUFF. When they come asking for it, HAVE IT!
The face of Grafton Hill is going to change. The change is that it's daytime population is going to go way way way up with people with money in their pockets. Now you can continue to whine and carry on about it or you can step up, adapt, and make money along with everyone else.
As far as The Canal District, Washington Sq, and Shrewsbury St go, the negative impact will be minimal and if and when we get those 20 extra trains, the positive impact will far far far outweigh the negative.
So in short, have a little faith and STFU for a change Worcester. This is a good thing, the rare good thing that is a good thing for EVERYBODY.
PLEASE JUST SIT BACK AND LET IT HAPPEN.