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

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.

Did you appreciate this story?

Show us your ❤️ by becoming a Seven Days Super Reader.

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

Pin It

More by Cathy Resmer

  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community
  • Turning Point Center Fights Addiction With Crafts and Community

    Burlington's Turning Point Center is a refuge for Vermonters who are trying to find their way out of drug dependence. In the stairwell leading to the center, a mural depicts a giant hand reaching down to a solitary slouching figure. Just outside the center's door at the top of the stairs, is another message: "You are no longer alone."
    • Dec 13, 2017
  • The Tech Issue — 2017
  • The Tech Issue — 2017

    • Oct 18, 2017
  • More »

About The Author

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer

Cathy Resmer is Seven Days' deputy publisher. She's an organizer of the Vermont Tech Jam, and compiles a weekly tech e-newsletter every Monday. She also oversees Seven Days' free monthly parenting publication, Kids VT, and is an enthusiastic wrestling mom... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Seven Days moderates comments in order to ensure a civil environment. Please treat the comments section as you would a town meeting, dinner party or classroom discussion. In other words, keep commenting classy! Read our guidelines...

Note: Comments are limited to 300 words.

Latest in City

  • What's New This Summer at 16 Burlington Waterfront Spots?
  • What's New This Summer at 16 Burlington Waterfront Spots?

    It's hard to imagine that the curving Lake Champlain shoreline of Burlington Bay was once littered with oil tanks, industrial barges, timber and pollution-spewing smokestacks. A few remnants of the working harbor remain, but the stretch between Rock Point and Oakledge Park is increasingly a place for recreation, restaurants and pleasure boating. Some 30 years after the City of Burlington used the public trust doctrine to win a court battle and reclaim big chunks of the waterfront from the railroad, its transformation continues. Here's a look at pending and possible changes, large and small, along the 4.5-mile lakeside stretch. Changes include North Beach improvements, new bike path construction (and exercise stations), a brand new sailing center, more paid parking and marina construction.
    • Jun 6, 2018
  • More »

Recent Comments

Keep up with us Seven Days a week!

Sign up for our fun and informative

All content © 2018 Da Capo Publishing, Inc. 255 So. Champlain St. Ste. 5, Burlington, VT 05401
Website powered by Foundation