"It is an area that is underserved, underappreciated and underutilized," said Chattanooga Mayor Ron Littlefield.The boulevard serves as a pathetic entryway to the famous Chickamauga Battlefield a few miles south.But recommendations in a 2004 planning report to revitalize the Tennessee side of the Rossville Boulevard area - with benches and bike racks, landscaping and lighting - have come to naught.
"I think it really starts with the neighborhood itself," he said.
"It has to start with the neighborhood wanting to make their community better." Mr.
Marianne Power owns the La Dean Shop, the last remaining women's clothing store from the boulevard's commercial peak in the 1960s. He said teens and young men brought their cars to the boulevard to show off.
"The Rebel Drive-In had carhops that would come to your car," he said.
The car lots that anchored the area moved to Highway 153, and local restaurants failed and closed.