Dear Dr. Downtown: Please tell us about your “walkabout” last weekend with the author of Street Design: The Secret to Great Cities and Towns — Strolling in Stratford.
Well, the doctor thought that Dr. Street (aka John Massengale, New York architect and historian) might have some more sage advice for Providence. The author, who is also a founding member of the New York chapter of the Congress of the New Urbanism, lives on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.
Dear Dr. Downtown. Enough dagnab credentialism! Nobody is interested in your confused persona, or that of “Dr. Street.” Just tell us about your walk and what you learned from it. — Cantankerous in Canton.
Dr. Street actually visited in 2012 before he finished his book (with fellow walkologist Victor Dover). He had criticized the car-centric design of streets even in beautiful walkable Providence. That day, we headed down Angell Street, which turns into Thomas after crossing Benefit, then swoops down past the Providence Art Club. Dr. Street expressed dismay at the cars rocketing past helpless pedestrians on Thomas. Its brick sidewalk is narrow and lacks a protective screen of parked cars. “This street is too wide,” he said. He made that very same criticism on our walk this past Saturday.
Dear Dr. Downtown: You mean you took the same route as you did the first time? How redundant! The “doctor” is not a very good journalist! — Eyeball Roller in Island Park.
To continue reading this column, please visit The Providence Journal.