A spiffed-up Rodney Square in on the way, but there are few signs it will stop a coalition of riders and community activists from pushing for a return of the Rodney Square transit hub.
The cost of the Rodney Square project is estimated at $6 million to $8 million, a number that will raise eyebrows among activists claiming that the benefits of the city’s turnaround are not making their way into neighborhoods.
Earlier in the month, the Coalition to Return Bus Service to Rodney Square confirmed its efforts will continue.
The effort comes after the ceremonial groundbreaking for a new transit hub near the Wilmington Train Station that will address at least some of the current shortcomings.
Missing from the arguments is the fact that the center of gravity in downtown has shifted to the south, making efforts to bring jobs to the Rodney Square area a top priority.
Even with the redevelopment of the DuPont Building, upwards of a half a million square feet of space within a short walk of Rodney Square is on the leasing market.
The hub was clearly holding back efforts to draw tenants and may have accelerated other departures.
Meanwhile, DART made a few service changes, while adding benches and shelters for riders, some of whom walk several blocks to connecting service.
Clearly, the state did a poor job in preparing for the change, but that is no reason to continue an effort that is destined to fail. Instead, the focus should be on improving the current situation and ensuring that the new hub serves riders.
The lingering question is what would have happened at Rodney Square and the city if Chemours had departed the DuPont Building?
The result would have been a victory for the coalition that would have left Wilmington with a rundown, dying Rodney Square and a bus hub with a steadily declining number of passengers.
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