Name That Neighborhood | City | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Seven Days needs your financial support!

Name That Neighborhood 

Local Matters

While all eyes are on Winooski's massive downtown redevelopment, a smaller, quieter effort is underway to rehabilitate the Onion City's "West End" -- an area stretching from West to North Streets, and from Elm Street to the railroad tracks that cross Malletts Bay Avenue. It's the neighborhood formerly known as "the Flats."

A group of 75 citizens discussed the informal name-change at an October meeting convened to address quality-of-life issues in the neighborhood. A few of the people who attended said they didn't like the old name, according to J. Ladd, Winooski's Community Development Director. When it was coined decades ago, the term contrasted the area with wealthier parts of town, like "the Heights."

"There was some question about whether 'the Flats' was a pejorative term," Ladd explains.

The new name, he says, "seems more descriptive," since the neighborhood is in fact on the west side of the square-mile-large city; the steep streets close to Malletts Bay Avenue are anything but flat.

But "the West End" isn't the neighborhood's only nickname -- some residents have made up their own monikers. Megan Moir, who owns a house on West Lane, calls her street "Crack Lane" because of the drug trade she suspects is happening nearby.

Moir was one of a handful of residents who came to the Winooski Family Center last Wednesday to learn how to start a neighborhood-watch program. Her house was burglarized last year. Nearly everyone else at the meeting had a similar story. At the October meeting, Winooski Police Chief Steve McQueen reported that in 2003, his department made 765 calls to the small neighborhood, resulting in 180 arrests.

The 2004 Crime Report has not yet been released, but anecdotal evidence suggests that the high-crime trend continued in the West End, at least during the first half of the year, before the neighbors started to organize.

Ladd notes that the watch training is part of a larger effort to form a neighborhood association; the city also sponsored several study circles over the last few months. Even Moir admits that there seems to be some momentum. "It is getting better," she says.

Got something to say? Send a letter to the editor and we'll publish your feedback in print!

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Bio:
Deputy publisher Cathy Resmer is an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter. She also oversees Seven Days' parenting publication, Kids VT, and created the Good Citizen Challenge, a youth civics initiative. Resmer began her career at Seven Days as a freelance writer in 2001. Hired... more

Comments


Comments are closed.

Since 2014, Seven Days has allowed readers to comment on all stories posted on our website. While we’ve appreciated the suggestions and insights, the time has come to shut them down — at least temporarily.

While we champion free speech, facts are a matter of life and death during the coronavirus pandemic, and right now Seven Days is prioritizing the production of responsible journalism over moderating online debates between readers.

To criticize, correct or praise our reporting, please send us a letter to the editor. Or send us a tip. We’ll check it out and report the results.

Online comments may return when we have better tech tools for managing them. Thanks for reading.

Latest in City

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative
newsletters:

All content © 2020 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401  |  Contact Us
Website powered by Foundation