Main Street Makeover

If you haven’t been to Main Street in a while — since, say, yesterday — you’ll find quite a transformation.

To enhance social distancing, parking has been eliminated through August on the one-way stretch between Pop’TArt Gallery and Vineyard Vines.

And to enhance its beauty, the Westport Downtown Merchants Association (and 8 volunteers) planted 36 planters in those former parking spots.

There’s more room to walk around. It looks a lot better when you do. And the DMA is coordinating volunteers to make sure the new additions (and the other plantings on poles) will be watered all summer.

PS: There is plenty of parking available. And now it’s all unrestricted. No time limits — no worries!

The planting project was coordinated and led by Jacqui Bidgood and Deborah Herbertson.

16 responses to “Main Street Makeover

  1. Alan Phillips

    Doesn’t look like the planting committee got the social distancing message. Unless of course they formed a pod.

    • Scott Bennewitz

      Yep, you’re right, We let our guard down when a camera came out to document the effort. All volunteers had masks, and social distancing was easy as you planted your own barrel 35 feet apart. But it takes work to break old habits (hop in the picture and smile!) and do the right hing in this environment. I guess we all could learn to do better.

  2. Dianne Quagliariello

    Thank you DMA & all the volunteers! 🌼🌾🌸🌿

  3. Bob Dearborn

    “To enhance social distancing” and then show a picture of people not social distancing.

  4. Sally Palmer

    Beautiful, thank you!

  5. Brian MacPherson

    No masks, no distance, no sense

  6. Morley Boyd

    Now the street looks even more empty.

    • Deborah Hart

      Anything else Scrooge?

      • Morley Boyd

        I have plenty to add. But I’ll only mention that the lower Main Street business manager I spoke with yesterday was not happy about the fact that her customers could not park in front of her store and were obligated to walk from elsewhere. She didn’t know why the town had blocked off the parking but was of the opinion that it was not helping her sales. I have no way of knowing if her concern is valid of course.

        • Scott Bennewitz

          Perhaps you might point out that parking time limits have also been (temporarily) suspended so that her customers could spend more time in her and other Westport stores. And perhaps other shoppers could stop by her store to shop.

  7. Ellen Gilbert

    Something unsettling that all the planting” group were standing Shoulder to shoulder no masks as if there was nothing wrong… no virus just felt like what’s wrong with this picture???

    • Jacqui Bidgood

      We let our guard down for that photo after we were hot, wanting more air and done – truly our bad and I can only be respectful to those who point this out. The volunteers had stood apart masked, for a demo before moving to barrels individually to work. Stores had been extensively surveyed and there was deep support to close the entire block to increase an hospitable environment to patrons – the no parking approach is a compromise to achieve that wish whilst maintaining vehicle flow. I want to thank the volunteers who came out to plant as well as a large crew who are watering the beautiful planters – for their time and talent as well as their love of Westport and support of Downtown. As we worked – we had an enormous amount of positive comments from many passers by.

  8. Joshua Allen

    Thank you to all the volunteers for doing something productive and positive for our community!

  9. I like many of the ideas for Main Street and since I have walked it since 1940 when in the 4th grade in the present Town Hall, I think of the days where all the merchants knew me and I them.
    For many years, as the town grew, and parking downtown became a problem
    I have wondered why a second level on Parker Harding Plaza has not been built. Not only would it double the parking, but it would act as an opportunity for additional “street level” style retail shops adjacent to a “Riverwalk” Park.

    Granted, at this moment in time, tenants for the present shopfronts are scarce. But, this too shall pass and Westport will have a resurgence when parking once again will be a problem.

    Main Street could, with some creative traffic planning, be a pedestrian plaza.
    Just some thoughts.

  10. F for no masks and no distance.

  11. Hats off to the volunteers. They did a nice job! Typical responses here of folks sitting behind their computer finding fault and complaining…Geez, even Emperor Lamont has allowed groups larger than this!