Downtown Committee Plans Ahead

The Downtown Plan Implementation Committee met this morning. They discussed:

  • The Baldwin parking lot upgrade. It’s in the final approval stages, including the Representative Town Meeting next month. The goal is for work to begin early next year.
  • “Streetscaping” also goes before the RTM in September.
  • “Wayfinding” (signage and orientation) is progressing. There is a possibility of using ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds.
  • Next steps — including a pedestrian bridge, and an “emerald necklace” were discussed
  • Also discussed: a very early idea for Jesup Green (reclaiming more green space near the river) …
  • … and potential docking on the water once the river is dredged. The committee recently received a budget earmark from the state for this work. The Army Corps of Engineers will conduct an environmental study this fall.
  • One more topic: the addition of the Imperial Avenue parking lot to the list of priorities. This may include a more permanent, multi-use structure for the Farmers’ Market (ideally also for parking during non-market use times), and an upgrade to encourage more day parkers to use the lot.

Chair Randy Herbertson cited “momentum” for downtown improvements.

In other Downtown Plan Implementation Committee news: The group has a new website. Click here for information about parking lots, pedestrian access, maintenance, sustainability and technology upgrades.

The Downtown Plan Implementation Committee looks at both sides of the river.


3 responses to “Downtown Committee Plans Ahead

  1. Wayfinding is back on the table again? How many times does this outdated plan to clutter our environment with more useless glop need to be voted down? As an aside, I’m not sure I would put dredging under the heading of “Sustainability” (as it currently appears on the DPIC site. Notwithstanding the fact that the state has volunteered to let us dump the toxic sludge from the Saugatuck River in Sherwood State Park, dredging is generally not too cool from an environmental standpoint.

    I look at this pork fueled list of proposed spending – and then, for some reason, I think of Baron’s South Park; 22 acres of once beautiful open space in the heart of downtown that has been utterly and completely ignored. Literally. At this point it’s no longer a park. Talk about an opportunity for enhanced pedestrian access downtown.

    But nope.

  2. Catherine Talmadge

    Morley I totally agree that creating an “a passive use plan for Baron’s South should be a part of this discussion!

  3. Donald Bergmann

    I hope all appreciate the work of the DPIC and the leadership of its still recent Chair, Randy Herbertson. The DPIC continues to implement concepts embodied in the Downtown Plan and, in my opinion, is doing a fine job. I know they want to move the Parker Harding effort ahead and that the planning for that needs to commence immediately so that work can begin once the Baldwin Lot repaving effort is finished. I have been urging the candidates for First Selectperson, Jen Tooker and Jonathan Steinberg, to campaign in strong support and commitment to Parker Harding, maybe even a pedestrian bridge across the Saugatuck. Docking just south of the Steinkraus bridge along with the Saugatuck dredging are also key items. Randy Herbertson’s interest in the Imperial Lot makes sense as well. Baron’s South will be mostly addressed by the P&Z Commission. Let’s all work for passive open space to remain the core, probably the totality of Baron’s South..

    I look forward to hearing from Jonathan and Jen very soon, though Jonathan has already expressed some strong supportive views. For me, the next First Selectperson needs to evidence and conduct his or herself in a manner that makes clear the specifics to be accomplished and the strength of personality to achieve. The projects being worked on by the DPIC will serve as a basis to test those attributes. Hopefully, both candidates will give us all confidence that success will not just be a goal, but also a reality during the term of the next First Selectperson.