Building up downtown Fitchburg
Posted in the Fitchburg Forum
#1 Jun 28, 2012
Building up downtown
Merchants, officials eye plans to revitalize Fitchburg center
Sentinel & Enterprisesenlandenterprise.com
Posted: 06/28/2012 07:02:51 AM EDT
PHOTO COURTESY OF A.T. LEONARD & ASSOCIATES An architect's rendering shows what Fitchburg's Main Street could look like with wider sidewalks, more trees and flowers, outdoor cafˇs and a "Main Street Mall" that could be closed to vehicular traffic for cultural events. By Alana Melanson
amelanson@sentinelandenterpris e.com @alanamelanson on Twitter
FITCHBURG -- Can you imagine a fully walkable downtown, bustling with economic, social and cultural activity? A new effort to revitalize the Main Street and Boulder Drive areas has begun, starting with a meeting that property and business owners along both streets were invited to Tuesday afternoon at City Hall. There, they learned about the city's preliminary concept ideas for accomplishing the goal and aired their thoughts and concerns.
According to Andrew Leonard of architectural landscape firm A.T. Leonard & Associates of Ashby, the goal is to make the downtown "a place that
PHOTO COURTESY OF A.T. LEONARD & ASSOCIATES Main Street in Fitchburg as it appears today. Merchants and city officials are looking at ways to make the downtown more attractive to visitors. people want to be at and stay at."
Part of his idea to accomplish that is to expand planting islands, widen sidewalks to make them more pedestrian-friendly, and create visual interest through a thread of outdoor art displays that will draw people up the road and make them more likely to stop at stores, cafes and restaurants along the way.
Leonard suggested making a pedestrian mall that could easily be closed off to traffic for large outdoor cultural events, as well as creating a two-way bike lane on Boulder Drive and a pedestrian walkway that takes people from the train and bus station to the Upper Common.
Mayor Lisa Wong said she would like to make the Upper Common a destination for arts, food and culture, particularly for
#2 Jun 28, 2012
folks who will be moving into the mill building on River Street that was recently renovated into loft-style housing.
Paul Furgal, project engineer for Tighe & Bond, said traffic patterns in the downtown would be examined to improve light timing and circulation. He also mentioned the possibility of creating a two-way flow between Main and Mechanic streets.
"We don't want to just make it look prettier," he said. "We want to make it look and operate better than what it is today."
Parking was a big issue among folks who shared their concerns, such as Hassan Sadeghin, owner of 329-335 Main St., who came up from Maryland to attend the meeting. He said customers and employees of his tenant, Tiki Tiki Restaurant, often get parking tickets -- one of them amassing about $800 worth.
"A person stopping to buy $5 of Chinese food, I saw with my own eyes getting a $20 ticket -- that person is never going to come back to Main Street," Sadeghin said.
John Sciabarrassi of Dainty Maid Apron Manufacturing Company on North Street said the amount of parking in the downtown, and where it is located, is a problem.
"If the city does not have parking on both sides of Main Street, then it will never develop business on Main Street," he said.
Parking issues would have to be looked at block by block, Wong said, based on what businesses in different sections need. Some may need loading zones, whereas others may need free parking for 15 minutes or up to an hour, she said.
Furgal said some areas could become angled parking rather than parallel.
Leonard said there may be a state grant available for the first phase of the project -- North Street to Putnam Street -- which has been targeted because nearly all of the traffic going to the Fitchburg State University goes through the Water and Main intersection.
"Every sign in this intersection tells you how to leave Fitchburg -- go to Westminster, go to Lunenburg, go to Ashby -- not that there's downtown 100 feet to your left," Leonard said. "So we want to change that."
He also suggested putting up signs for historic buildings, or places associated with historic people or events, as well as pointing folks in the direction of cultural amenities such as the Fitchburg Art Museum and local studios and galleries.
Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alanasentinel .
Read more: http://www.sentinelandenterprise.com/local/ci...
#3 Jun 28, 2012
People need to get engaged in this project! Taking a look at the drawing of a narrower Main street raises some questions.
1) that particular coner is already a death trap to cross. pushing the sidewalk out like that may cause some drivers to actaully drive over the sidewalk. Maybe a high curb will make this difficult or a concrete planter at that corner?
2) I would also be concerned with emergency vehicle access. Narrowing the roadway may jam traffic up making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get down Main street on their way to an emergency.
Fire engines usually rip down this strip getting to an emergency; this is a need and has to be seriously considered. Even widening the street to make it a two way with parking may become an issue for fire trucks trying to get down Main street. Every second counts.
This is an important route for the emergency vehicles; I think narrowing the roadway will not work due to this need alone.
Then noticing the bike race advertisement on the building. Everyone must understand that hosting this race is a good image for the city that brings in revenue just through being associated with the image.
The ward councelors need to convene a meeting and invite the other city councilors and the Mayor. We must retain this race to include all three race days!
As much as you think this race was known it was actually just beginning to receive recognition from sponsers and local citizens. We need to keep this race and make it bigger!!!
#4 Jun 28, 2012
I thought we were going to narrow the sidewalks so Main St could become two way again. I guess I'm not in the know. Maybe Insider knows.
#5 Jun 28, 2012
I believe that they are just brainstorming ideas. But you have to stay up on things because they like to move on things without the publics consent.
It is like the trash. At first the barrels looked good but know it just looks too government for me. It looks like north Korea during one of their parades. The trash fee was sneaky! The revenue that others are going to make off everyone recycling through this mandatory program is BS. The city of Fitchburg and then hence the citizens of Fitchburg should be reaping the financial benefits.
At first there will be no layoffs then they will let the par timers go from the agencies. Then they layoffs. Already they have gone from three guys a truck to one guy a truck.
They will also lay off at the recycling end as they will no longer be needed as citizens fall in line. Then the massive revenue increase that will take place! Unbeleivable! The citizens of Fitchburg are getting the shaft!
The Mayor will shrug it off! When I mention stuff like this I think of our seniors. They deserve better than the BS and smiles!
#6 Jun 28, 2012
Nobody going to do anything Just a bunch of crap
#7 Jun 29, 2012
The city I live in has been using a similiar system for a couple of years, and the bins have definitely helped to keep the city cleaner. You'd rather see a ripped up bag with trash stewn everwhere rather that the cans? Huh...
By the way, recycling helps reduce the amount of waste going to landfills and helps preserve our environment. Nationwide efforts so far have not only diverted millions of tons of resources from our landfills but have provided a sustainable industry that contributes to the country's economy. In fact recycling has twice the economic impact compared to burying all of the waste in the ground. If were to do a little research, you's find that it creates jobs and helps produce American-made goods. Yes, Lynch these businesses employ Americans.
And now the process of collecting trash can be done by one city worker instead of three and you're bitching? IMO that eliminating a little more waste.
#8 Jun 29, 2012
Lynch is just a loudmouth blowhard with nothing going for him.
#9 Jun 29, 2012
It's a nice racket. They charge you to have the bucket and take your plastic objects. Then they sell them to a plastic company so you can buy it back as a toy or maybe a milk jug.
#10 Jun 29, 2012
It's not a racket. It's called commerce and you're just jealous that you didn't think of it. And only those taking income from their property are charged.
#11 Jul 3, 2012
I agree and support recycling! I am also very supportive of the fact that recycling means American jobs.
You have double talked here. On one hand you point out job creation then on the other hand you promote the cutting of jobs. What is it?
These barrels take away jobs. The trash is not collected by the city. It is waste management. And Yes, waste management will be making a profit. The city contracts with waste management to pick up the trash. Waste management profits off of the recycling! Now they will be able to recycle more and faster for less costs. It is a win win for waste management.
The contract has changed to benefit waste management in more than one way. The city off sets its cost through their contract with waste management allowing half the east coast to dump their trash in Fitchburg! Have you ever driven behind a dump truck in the summer time as it enters Fitchburg? this is polution that is not ours! Our land, air and water belongs to all citizens of Fitchburg!
For example, the federal government has fined Fitchburg for its waste water finding its way into the river which flows to other communities!
It is all in negotiating. We lost AGAIN!!! The Mayor and the city council represents ALL the citizens in Fitchburg! This is your Fitchburg, stand up and let them know it and demand to be represented !
The FPD contract is of your concern and it is in EVERY citizens interests!! They keep rubber stamping the contract without negotiating for a better run department! This is a failure! It may not be a popular thing amoungst their peers but it is what rightfully needs to be done. It is what amounts to proper management.
A strong leader needs to lead, needs to represent, needs to properly manage and needs to make tough righteous decisions that are not always welcomed by the powerful! Does Fitchburg have this within its leadership? I encourage you to re read the Zide story! As he states, they are all human as they have their opinions,wants ect but they must set all of that aside and to judge without bias!
#12 Jul 3, 2012
PLEASE Lynch answer the question... Have you been in jail for more than 5 years and for what?? How do you know the CO beat inmates??
If you can't answer this question than stop writing on this form. Answer the question. Why don't you ever answer questions put to you but always have a comment about everyone else.
I will follow you all over this form asking you to answer the question put to you. Every post you make I will also post to you.
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