Getting on the Road for Main Street Development


Downtown Lamar

Downtown Lamar

Kristin Cypher, Vice-President of Britina Design, led the public discussion during the Wednesday, June 25 morning meeting to discuss downtown Lamar improvements in light of future construction plans for Main Street by CDOT next year.

CDOT Meeting at Brew Unto Others in Lamar

CDOT Meeting at Brew Unto Others in Lamar

This was a follow up meeting to review suggestions from residents to develop an open and friendly downtown area.  Plans call for it to be accessible by foot, bike or vehicle and would be constructed to provide some eye-catching and functional changes that would cause a drive through tourist to stop and take a look at the area and draw residents to linger and shop in the various businesses.

Cypher recapped some of the earlier design work that had been proposed and opened the floor for suggestions on what changes could improve downtown Lamar.  CDOT’s work on Main Street will be between the Lamar Canal and College Street, south of LCC.  The repair work will be performed in two time periods, lasting about 20 to 24 months.

City Administrator, John Sutherland, told the audience, “This is a golden opportunity we’re being given by CDOT to make these improvements, let’s not waste it.”  Emily Nieschburg from the Healthy Places Initiative added that the community needed to continue with a sense of urgency to start making concrete decisions for submission to CDOT.  Volunteers from the audience will begin to shape up the suggestions for submission to Britina Design.

The audience was urged to select their choices from a group of three development areas encompassing tactical urbanism, multi modal ideas and streetscape improvements for Britina to develop a consensus.  One area is for how Main Street would be laid out for vehicles, another for traffic patterns for pedestrians, bikes and cars and the third is appearance improvements coupled with functional changes.

A handful of morning suggestions included noise abatement from downtown traffic,  eliminating the bricks that are adjacent to the downtown sidewalk, develop a maintenance district that would provide annual fees to cover the maintenance costs of new amenities downtown, public restrooms, develop inducements to get the college kids to come and stay downtown, discount cards for them, bike access, create themed ‘Festival Fridays’ for marketing and music, art displays in empty storefronts, better use of alleyways, rear entrances to some stores, especially during future Main Street construction and remove the median.

The City of Lamar has a stake in CDOT construction with the electric wiring and water mains located under the street and sidewalks.  The excavations will go down to that level on the street improvement project and this is an opportunity to replace pipes and wiring that’s over 40 years old. A February start date for the repair project is considered, continuing to Lamar Days next May.  The northbound would be open to two way traffic while repairs are made to the southbound part of the street and vice versa.  The first leg of the project will extend between Lamar Canal south to Parkway and the second half, to be done in 2015, will run from Parkway to College Street south of Lamar Community College.

By Russ Baldwin

Filed Under: BusinessChamber/Local BusinesscommunityEconomyFeaturedLamarPublic SafetyTourismTransportationUtilities


About the Author:

RSSComments (0)

Trackback URL

Comments are closed.