Crowdsourcing ideas to treat our capital city of Trenton the way its people deserve. I like it. Promoted by Rosi.
New Jersey is a tough place. A tough place to make a living. A tough place for politics. And most of all, a tough place for urbanites. I love this state, its history and potential, but I’m not going to lie to you. New Jersey’s cities are in horrendous shape. Newark, Paterson, Camden and our own state capital, Trenton, are ravaged by crime, poverty and deteriorating infrastructure. In the interest of honesty, we really should change the saying on that famous bridge into Trenton to: Trenton Rots While Jersey Trots.
And it is Trenton in particular that I want to focus on here. The city was once a gem of the Garden State, with neat, brick row houses standing aside historic streets. Bold architecture stood out in marble state buildings while the Golden Dome of the Statehouse dominated all. Its high school – now basically condemned – had its own gallant neoclassical facade attesting to its civic importance.
Today our capital city is a national embarrassment, and it’s all our fault. Trenton has become symbolic of everything that is wrong with the state and its government. It makes no sense that a geographically small city of 85,000 souls could reach its present state without cowardly neglect. Just blocks away from the Capitol Complex on State Street are neighborhoods inundated with violence and joblessness. Young adults, many clearly in some kind of mental and physical distress, stroll about at all hours, wandering. Former storefronts deteriorate and rot. Even the city’s once-proud Transit Center is, from the point of view of this experienced educator and long-time Jersey resident, damn scary.