Home / Latest / OPINION: Downtown New Bedford is not only unsafe for our family but, it’s dirty, loud and disgusting
Photo by Vera Carvalho.

OPINION: Downtown New Bedford is not only unsafe for our family but, it’s dirty, loud and disgusting


“Today we wanted to just grab a quick bite [to eat], find a shaded area, and enjoy the beautiful day in downtown New Bedford. That wasn’t possible.

I’d like to start off by saying we love our downtown and hang out there often. Today I was beyond disappointed.

We walked to three different locations and not one of them was anywhere I’d sit with my children and feel safe. At one point we walked on a sidewalk that we can tell someone had peed on against the wall, it was fresh. DISGUSTING.

We often sit by wings court, we’ve taken photos here and just enjoyed the art. Today that wasn’t possible. It was dirty, loud and there were people (homeless) loudly cursing.

At this point, we walked over to Custom House Square. This was even worse. Dirty beyond belief. There were dirty disposable masks EVERYWHERE. Cups and napkins thrown on the floor and grass 🤢🤢

The number of homeless people laying on the sidewalk and grass was unreal. There was a woman half-naked. Yes, you read that correctly. She was lying in the grass with her shirt pulled up and cupping her breasts with her hands. My kids were terrified.
Needless to say, we couldn’t sit and just enjoy a meal.

I’m sharing this because I know we can do better. The city of New Bedford, Massachusetts needs to do better. Tag anyone you’ll think will be of any help to this post. #newbedford #cityofnewbedford #newbedfordma #downtownnewbedford #MayorJonMitchell”-Vera Carvalho.

Photo by Vera Carvalho.

About Michael Silvia

Served 20 years in the United States Air Force. Owner of New Bedford Guide.

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  1. I agree, last month I was parked on pleasant street across from the bus station & the convenience store asking people for money for a sandwich. I guess he finally had enough money for his purchase, of drugs! He pretended to walk to g to he convenience store & met up with his partner as they loudly bickered about who they were going to buy from. All this feet of my vehicle. I too like walking about downtown but it is impossible as a woman alone or with a child. Vagrancy is rampant and has taken over the areas designed for enjoyment , not someone’s toilet & bed roll. Foot patrol, consequences for loitering & indecency might help .

  2. If any of these homeless people downtown are veterans, I might be able to help them out. I am the outreach and employment specialist for the Massachusetts Military Support Foundation’s Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. I cover the greater New Bedford area. I will be performing outreach in that area soon. Or if you know of any veterans that are looking for services, please have them contact me.

    Thank you.

  3. Try eating at any restaurant along JFK Highway (Rt 18) or Union street – it’s a constant parade of motorcycles and cars without mufflers and accelerating of the lights – the noise is deafening. And last Saturday we had an additional “treat” – turning into the state pier, a 4 wheeler pulled in front of us to signal us to stop, after which 50 of his friends sped by on 4 wheelers and dirt bikes doing wheelies then whole time.

    I see lot of police cars parked in front of the station with their engines running- putting a few of the around the city could easily improve the situation.

    The people who own the Black Whale, Carmines, Moby Dick Brewery, Cork and Vine, Merrills, and the Black Rose should all take notice – every time we eat at one of these place outdoor it’s deafening – and we swear we’ll never go back.

  4. Sounds like a lot of people complaining because they want too. The lady who wrote the piece is doing a lot of assuming. And the pic she took doesn’t seem to be a scene of mass chaos she spoke of. I was downtown a couple times this week and it was quiet and nothing happening like normal, unfortunately. Of course it is going to be loud, hopefully a bustling downtown would have traffic and hopefully customers coming in and out of the area. Loud cars and motorcycles are nobody’s fault downtown, I hate them too but who are you going to blame for the vehicles driving through the area? Another comment here made little to no sense and is probably one of those bots that have been programmed to start arguments in comment sections. It seems like some people don’t want certain other kind of people around and in that want they are bashing is anyone who happens to be downtown while they are down there. The only groups of people gathering was on the library building stairs on the Pleasant St. side but walked by a couple of times and they were just people sitting on the stairs. A few were probably just resting on a hot day and a couple might be people just hanging around downtown all day. But as long as they cause no problems they have as much right as anyone else sitting downtown. People talk about how are we going to attract people downtown with all these types downtown. The people who want to check things out, try new things and experience life will go about it and the people who aren’t willing to change their minds on any subject will never come down here. The problem is some of them make up and pass along horror stories of things they heard that have never happened but they will believe it did. These people have never been down here and are never coming here. The downtown area in Mew Bedford is probably one of the safest downtown’s in any city this size around.

  5. All of this whether you agree or not comes down to proper policing, enforce and Mitchell and his team. It’s that simple.

    Now that he has closed the police station downtown (which they didnt announce publicly) the scene at the bus station has spun out pf control. And it will get worse.

    As for masks and litter on the ground? Haha I see that everywhere and more of it on hiking trails and public parks not frequented by our homeless brethren. We are ALL responsible for keeping the city clean.

    Demand answers and not on Facebook or websites. Go to city hall and demand answers. Of course knowing Jon, he won’t be there.

  6. That’s what happens when you have a mayor who is afraid to say a anything and allows the scum of the earth to live here for free and speed past our houses at 2am and no one cares. Funny thing is my ass is getting up everyday to go to work to pay for these people to sit and live for free and drive past my house very loudly at 2am!

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