For four years I have been attending the University of Toledo and for that entire time Bancroft Street has been absolutely atrocious, from Secor all the way downtown. The stretch in front of UT is especially an issue because of its importance to so many students.
Currently, the city is putting new piping under Bancroft and redoing the roads and walkways as part of an ongoing project. For weeks, the road has been steadily torn up and worked on.
At first, I did not mind all the orange barrels and traffic detours because I assumed the road would be repaved and at last there would be a nice, smooth street to drive on.
It turns out I was wrong about having a smooth road. While part of the road has been repaved, it’s about as good of a job as a toddler would do.
Even with all the construction, parts of Bancroft remain untouched for the snowplows and salt trucks to destroy even more this winter. I don’t know about you, but I wish I owned an off-road vehicle because that seems like what you need to drive down Bancroft.
I feel like my car is going to break into a million pieces every time. The bottom line is that Bancroft Street is terrible and the city must do something about it.
The University of Toledo is one of the crown jewels of the city, along with the Toledo Museum of Art, The Toledo Zoo and the Metroparks.
If I were a parent from out of town going on a college visit with my son or daughter who is considering attending UT and Bancroft Street was my first impression of the university and city of Toledo, let me tell you, it wouldn’t be good.
I would probably take that account with me to my friends and family back home. Next thing you know, they will have told their friends and family about the negative experience I had.
It’s like a game of telephone, and the impression of UT and city of Toledo would be a negative one. That means people will be reluctant to consider UT and the city for visitation or for attending college.
Without doing some of their own homework, people wouldn’t realize that UT is a great institution, and the city is not as bad at all.
The bottom line is that Bancroft Street is a crack in the Glass City image.
First impressions matter, and from those first impressions come reputations and stereotypes. If we want the city and university to rid themselves of negative first impressions, start with curbside appeal and repave Bancroft Street.
From there we can start to rebuild the negative image of this city from outsiders and attract new people to visit and attend UT.