By Rosalie Tirella
I noticed the street parallel to Lafayette Street is now two-way and has a lovely double yellow line painted down its middle (courtesy of our DPW). I grew up in the neighborhood. For years and years and years the street (bordering the Corner Lunch) was one way and NEVER EVER two way – or repaired. It always looked dumpy.
Why the big change?
Could it be that District 1 City Counilor Joff Smith’s family has relocated their scrap metal business there and wanted a nice new convenient two-way street on which to conduct their business – Goldstein’s Scrap and Metal? And Joff could make that happen – as soon as they made the move from their old site – Harrison Street – to the new one? Most likely the answer is yes. After all, their son sits on the city council’s street/parking subcommittee – only for most folks, it takes years for anything to happen to their street.
When the Canal District took over the old Green Island – Joff’s family business – Goldsteins Scrap and Metal – on Harrison Street moved to make way for what is likely to be Allen Fletcher’s personal inner-city wading pool – a little vinyl lined canal replica (Allen, take a look at Lowell’s canal – it’s not the kind of canal you want to run little toy boats in!). In fact, Joff and the other councilors who sit on the city council’s parking/street sub-committee hear petitions from Worcester residents all the time. They come in and make their case before Joff and Co: they want their street paved or they want their sidewalk rebuilt. He listens, they listen and then vote and then then present their recommendation to the full city council. The hapless Worcester citizen waits and waits and waits. I know a person to whom Joff promised a new sidewalk last year. It didn’t get done last year – or this year. Just a couple of yards of city sidewalk that look dumpy and need repair. The Worcesterite is still waiting.
Why can’t Joff Smith do for the citizens of Worcester what he did for Goldstein’s Metal and Scrap – his family? Why couldn’t he make the wheels turn faster for the Worcester citizen? He certianly sent them spinning for his family/personal interest/profit. I didn’t hear any of these street changes proposed on the council floor – and I watch the city council meetings religiously. Did old (and dopey) Joff, just skip the process altogether? Did he make some quick calls to the DPW and then have the DPW guys run down and repave/retar Goldstein’s Scrap new street, paint the double yellow line making it 2-way – not giving a rat’s ass for how the change impacts traffic around a very busy intersection? (It’s right at Quinsigamond Avenue)
This is why most people loathe politicians.