Opinions are like you-know-whats: Everyone has them.
But now — instead of just keeping them to yourself, or venting on “06880” — you can make them count.
As part of the ongoing Downtown Master Plan, the town has developed an important survey. Westport residents are invited to answer a series of quick but probing questions about a wide range of downtown issues: Why you go there. What you like about it. What you don’t. What you’d like to see.
You get the idea.
The questions offer options. But there’s ample opportunity to add your own insights.
This is a genuine effort to solicit information. So instead of the usual (and easy) distribution method — online only — the survey can be taken 2 ways. In addition to online, paper copies (and drop boxes) will be available at Town Hall, the library and Senior Center.
Earthplace, the Playhouse, Wakeman Town Farm, Y’s Men, Y’s Women, PTAs, sports organizations, Rotary clubs — and many other groups — will be asked to send links to the survey to their members.
“We’re very cognizant that we need to hear from a wide range of Westporters,” says Melissa Kane, chair of the Downtown Steering Committee’s subcommittee on public outreach.
The survey is part of an excellent website, www.downtownwestportct.com. It includes FAQs about the master plan, and great photos showing the evolution of downtown from the 1880s to today. Particularly fascinating: The aerial view below, from 1949. It shows the backs of Main Street stores right on the river (Parker Harding Plaza was not yet built); the Taylor parking lot before landfill (for the library and Levitt Pavilion), and private residences all along Elm Street, where Brooks Corner and the Baldwin parking lot are today.
In the works: surveys for people who own businesses, work and shop in Westport. There will also be a public workshop and multi-day charrette.
The target date to complete the downtown master plan is September 2014.