Street fronting, pedestrian-scaled buildings.
Over the course of the week, the team spoke with, or heard from, at least 200 people. The City and team hosted a barbeque, open houses, and a working walking tour. We were filmed and interviewed (almost daily) by local television stations who were interested and engaged in the evolving conversations.
Elected officials, government staff, business leaders, and residents seemed very open to our ideas. The focus of our proposal was to create an environment in which people would want to walk, linger, shop, and socialize. Our recommendations included: pedestrian-scaled signage; improving safety for pedestrians at intersections; encouraging preservation and the development of new buildings that are good neighbors to, but not copies of, existing buildings; and directing public investment in a way that supports Main Street. Our most “radical” proposal, which people seemed to like, was to harvest an approximately 30-foot wide strip of the street for conversion into a landscaped and occupiable linear park. The final product, a written report, is at least a month away from completion, but will include a myriad of observations and ideas that the city can take action on.
– Andrew Vesselinovitch, AICP, Associate AIA