Business owners petition to keep two Springfield streets open

Bliss and Howard streets lie within the future MGM's casino site

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Bliss and Howard streets both lie on the future site of the MGM Springfield casino in the city’s South End. Under the current plan, both streets would become private ways.

Business owners voiced concerns of the impact on their businesses if both Howard and Bliss streets were taken private. Owners raised questions from everything to pedestrian safety to how their trash would be collected. They’re making sure everything is taken into consideration before both streets are closed.

Jeffrey Burstein’s law office building sits right in between Howard and Bliss streets. He told 22News his business does not have parking, so on-street parking is vital; “They rely on street parking, which is going to be lost. Handicap clients, tenants, residential tenants in our building need to be able to bring up groceries. So there are many concerns that we have that we hope are addressed.”

According to City Engineer Matthew Sokop, Springfield would take all of the concerns raised Wednesday night into consideration. He said, “A lot of plans are sight-plan related and they’re being looked thru by the DPW, the planning department, and the city council will eventually make a recommendation.”

The Springfield City Council will make the final decision. They’ll vote on Tuesday to either keep Bliss and Howard streets open, or take them private to accommodate MGM. If approved, both streets will close on Wednesday, January 27th. To access Main Street from East Columbus Avenue drivers can take Union street.

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