The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO


July 13, 2011

Anson Burlingame, columnist: A Joplin built for everyone

JOPLIN, Mo. — I first visited downtown Joplin about 13 years ago. In my opinion, it was ugly. Old, dilapidated or abandoned buildings, fast food businesses, filling stations, and general wear and tear. I was not impressed.

Over the past several years much progress has been made, particularly between Spiva Park and Seventh Street. In my view, we have an opportunity to accelerate that progress as we rebuild following the May 22 tornado.

The same thoughts apply to the 20th Street corridor and about 10 blocks on Range Line. Do it all or only tackle one corridor seems to be a choice now. Or we can simply rebuild as before with little innovation of change.

Just imagine if Main Street was a walking mall with a trolley car (that costs about a quarter to ride) connecting one end at Spiva Park to 32nd Street on the other end. Maybe it would even be a clean-energy trolley car or one that could be quickly modified to such new energy when the technology catches up.

Just imagine a green boulevard on 20th Street connecting Main Street and Range Line. Just imagine a “magnet area” on Range Line centered on 20th Street. Really dream and consider all three areas connected only by cheap public transportation a “Street Car of Imagination” with ample parking on both Range Line and Main Street from which all people can drive and then be connected to various “magnets.” And, of course, bike paths for those able to use them would be included in all three corridors. And those bike paths would connect to outlying areas as well, as is already being achieved.

No cars would be allowed in any of those new corridors. Only cheap public transportation, like a quarter a ride.

Such a vision does not exclude anyone. A well-built and maintained homeless shelter and treatment center for addiction can be included. Some of those areas could easily accommodate low-cost apartments as well as high-cost lofts. Put in a centrally located public housing center, again safe and well maintained and with cheap public transportation for residents to go shopping or eating wherever they so choose to go.

Mom-and-pop grocery stores and attractive pharmacies as well as a range of restaurants. How about a downtown movie theater and continued encouragement of a privately owned and operated cultural center complete with concert hall and live theater with ticket prices that almost all could afford.?

What a wonderful opportunity to “clean up” Joplin for everyone.

Anson Burlingame lives in Joplin. His blog “I’m Not Sure, Are You?” can be found at

Text Only
  • Our View.jpg Our View: Pledge must be priority

    Mike Seibert, after being elected Joplin’s mayor on Monday, immediately pledged that the city will be operating with transparency.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Your View: Free choice

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) regarding right-to-work seems to assume that if workers are given the choice of joining a union, they won’t join.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Serious drawbacks

    Joan Banks’ guest column (Globe, April 13) lays out clearly and persuasively the serious drawbacks with so-called right-to-work legislation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Your View: Step aside

    The people of Joplin made it clear they wanted change at City Hall with their decisive votes to replace two council members.

    April 16, 2014

  • Geoff Caldwell, columnist: Government without apology or explanation

    Americans feel closest to their Uncle Sam at this time of year as he extends his hand for his “fair share” to fund his numerous endeavors.

    April 16, 2014

  • Phill Brooks, columnist: Value of outside fiscal experts for government

    Missouri recently lost a man who had been one of the state’s tax leaders of decades past.

    April 15, 2014

  • Our View.jpg Our View: Hate hurts us all

    Investigators say Sunday’s shooting of three people — two at a Jewish community center and another at a retirement complex in Overland Park, Kan. — were hate crimes.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Other Views Other Views: State’s theatrics

    Conservatives in the Kansas Legislature have taken advantage of a serious problem — inequities in public school funding — to attack teachers and create new problems.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joan Banks, guest columnist: Right-to-work isn’t what’s right for Missouri

    Right-to-work legislation is up in the air right now in the Missouri Legislature.  Last week, the bill failed to get enough votes to advance to the Senate, but supporters are working to get those votes and move it forward.

    April 14, 2014

  • Our View: A hand across

    Have you ever needed $20 to help you get by until payday, a ride to work when your car wouldn’t start or someone responsible to watch your children for a few hours?
    Of course you have, and odds are you picked up the phone and there was someone on the other end willing to help.

    April 13, 2014

Local News
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter

The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
NDN Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge