Valerie Schumacher: Why is Northampton’s Hinckley Street still a cow path?
To the editor:
As I drove up North Elm Street one day recently I was struck by all the big machinery in the road by the graveyard, then noticed that they were putting in a brand-spanking-new sidewalk. After years of bone-jarring bouncing down Hinckley Street and front-end alignments because no one has deemed to repave it in some 50 years or more, I felt envious of the dead. They’re getting a sidewalk before we get a decent street.
Yes, I know, I know, it’s not really for them, it’s for supposed safe passage down that largely unused street that’s just a short-cut and graveyard access. There are perfectly working sidewalks already if anyone cared to get just a little more exercise on Damon Road and Hatfield Street.
But I think you get my drift. We’re alive, we’re paying taxes, increased taxes, no less. We’re living on the saddest street in all of Northampton and we have to drive it, potholes and all. Every time I have a tag sale, I sell Hinckley Street potholes for 10 cents apiece, but somehow I never raise enough money to get it repaved. However, Northampton has our increased taxes again and spent some on nice yellow lines on Riverside Drive where our poor street yields to one so well cared for.
Hinckley Street degrades year after year, assuaged with Band-Aid patches. It started out as a cow path a hundred-plus years ago and despite the fact that our real-estate assessments have exploded over those same years, it’s still a cow path.