November 17, 2008

West End study meeting Thursday

The West End Neighbhorhood Study, set for completion in four months or so, plans another meeting at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Imagine Nation museum. Here is the agenda.
The consultant has a terrific website about the study here. It's a model for communicating effectively online what's going on that city government ought to follow, something that may be especially important if The Bristol Press vanishes after January 12.
Anyway, here are the study's tentative recommendations so far:
Housing
1. Target the use of Community Development Block Grant funds for housing rehabilitation activities in the neighborhood
2. Encourage the establishment of a West End Neighborhood Association, which could create a resource guide with information about codes, services, financial resources and assistance available to property owners
3. Educate property owners and residents about housing code requirements and nuisance ordinances
4. Encourage the development of a guide to the different types of residential architecture in the neighborhood; use the guide to market the neighborhood’s rich and diverse architectural character Connecting the Neighborhood via Diverse Means of Transportation
5. Support the construction of a new road through the former IGA Supermarket site to connect Park Street and Divinity Street
6. Replace deteriorating sidewalks in the neighborhood
7. Designate a neighborhood bike route and create a designated bike lane along Divinity Street
8. Provide traffic-calming measures along Park Street, including pedestrian connections along Park Street to create safe
pedestrian access to Rockwell Park and Muzzy Field
9. Explore the possibility of connecting Landry Street with Chestnut Street and then eliminating Landry Street’s connection to Divinity Street
10. Working with Connecticut Transit, encourage the extension of bus service into the neighborhood Parks, Open Space, the Pequabuck River and Recreation
11. Allocate the funding necessary to maintain the investment that the City has made in Rockwell Park
12. Create new, well-lit and safe pedestrian pathways in the neighborhood that connect the parks and that provide pedestrian access to the Pequabuck River for passive recreation uses
13. Support river clean-up/improvement efforts
14. Support efforts to better integrate the Pequabuck River into the neighborhood
15. Take the opportunity to rebuild the West Street bridge over the Pequabuck River with realignment that helps to create riverfront access
16. Ensure that any new development that occurs near the Pequabuck River be given sustainability considerations (runoff, plantings)
17. Acquire select properties adjacent to Muzzy Field along Park Street to provide greater visibility of/access to Muzzy Field
18. Encourage the further use of Muzzy Field and encourage neighborhood-based activities during events (e.g., closing off Muzzy Street for street vendors to create a neighborhood community atmosphere during games)

Business Support
19. Target the use of Community Development Block Grant funds for commercial rehabilitation activities in the neighborhood to improve the look of the center and the commercial corridors
20. Create new on-street parking spaces along Park Street
21. Encourage property owners to establish partnerships to provide additional and shared parking near the Route 72/Route 69 intersection, making municipal contributions to increased and improved parking wherever possible
22. Improve the streetscape to materially improve the overall look of the commercial corridors of the neighborhood, including lighting, signage, landscaping, and street furniture.
23. Support commercial improvements that create active uses of first-floor retail spaces and foster positive pedestrian activity, including zoning requests that foster appropriate outdoor uses (e.g., outdoor seating)
24. Target economic development efforts to attract new businesses into the West End neighborhood that will draw people to the neighborhood and will establish it as a destination (e.g., bank, quality restaurants, bookstore)
25. Support uses along Park Street that take advantage of their proximity to Muzzy Field and that complement activities and events there
26. Work with commercial property owners on environmental assessment and remediation as needed
27. Encourage the development of a West End Business Directory to promote the businesses in the neighborhood
28. Foster new relationships between neighborhood businesses and other businesses (e.g., banks) that are committed to the neighborhood Safety and Quality of Life
29. Support and encourage the formation of a West End Neighborhood Association, comparable to the Forestville Village Association, comprised of business owners, property owners, homeowners, and residents, who can function as a leadership body within the neighborhood and take responsibility and ownership of both this plan and neighborhood revitalization
30. Actively participate in a collaborative effort to market the neighborhood and promote its assets and amenities
31. Support the efforts of businesses, institutions, and organizations that engage the community’s youth in positive ways (e.g., mentorship programs, youth sports leagues, apprenticeships with local business owners)
32. Support and encourage neighborhood block parties
33. Support the efforts of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club to build a new facility in the neighborhood
34. Use the City’s Code Enforcement Team to target code education and code enforcement in the neighborhood
35. Support the creation of active block watches in the neighborhood
36. Increase police patrols in the neighborhood to improve safety and the perception of safety
37. Consider establishing a West End police beat to foster increased familiarity between the residents, business owners, and youth with the police and to improve preventative police patrols in the neighborhood
38. Explore the possibility of establishing a new police substation location in the neighborhood, particularly near Rockwell Park
39. As part of the coordinated signage and way-finding program for the neighborhood, create signs that clearly identify offstreet parking lots, their purpose, who may use them, and hours of operation
40. As part of a comprehensive streetscape strategy, install pedestrian-scale lighting standards along the street designed to improve the safety and comfort of people in the area and to establish a linked, consistent character with and
throughout the neighborhood

Safety and Quality of Life
1. Encourage and support the formation of a West End Neighborhood Association, similar to the Forestville Village Association, comprised of business owners, property owners, homeowners, and residents, which can take a leadership role on behalf of the neighborhood in the implementation of this plan and neighborhood revitalization efforts
2. Actively participate in a collaborative effort to market the neighborhood and promote its assets and amenities
3. Support the efforts of local businesses, institutions, and organizations that engage the neighborhood’s youth in positive
ways (e.g., mentorship programs, youth sports leagues, apprenticeships with local business owners)
4. Support and encourage neighborhood block parties
5. Support the efforts of the Bristol Boys & Girls Club to build a new facility in the neighborhood
6. Use the City’s Code Enforcement Team to target code education and enforcement efforts in the neighborhood
7. Support the creation of active block watches in the neighborhood
8. Increase police patrols in the neighborhood to heighten police visibility
9. Explore establishing a West End police beat to improve relationships and communications between the police and
neighborhood residents, business owners, and youth
10. Explore the possibility of establishing a police substation in the neighborhood, particularly near Rockwell Park
11. As part of a coordinated “way-finding” program for the neighborhood, provide signs that clearly identify the location
and purpose of local off-street parking lots, who may use them, and their hours of operation
12. As part of a comprehensive streetscape program for the neighborhood, install pedestrian-scale street lighting that improves the safety and comfort of people in the area and reflects the distinctive character of the neighborhood O’Connell School site
1. Utilize a portion of the site to provide public access to the Pequabuck River
2. Encourage the development of a bicycle/pedestrian trail and other passive recreation uses along the site’s river frontage as part of a comprehensive riverfront greenway and access program
3. Give preference to redevelopment projects that take the greatest advantage of the site’s proximity to the Pequabuck River and best “re-introduces” the river into the neighborhood
4. Give strong preference to redevelopment projects that include adaptive re-use – rather than demolition – of the main portion of the building
5. Support the adaptive re-use of the building for residential and/or community-based purposes

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

A BIG WASTE OF TIME AND ENERGY. THE LOW LIFES WILL RUIN WHATEVER THEY DO

Just Wondering said...

where do you think the mayor will run off to in order to avoid the meeting THIS time ???

Anonymous said...

Sadly, this neighborhood isn't exactly the classiest you could live in. This is part of the problem, it's a very difficult, practically monumental task, to clean up a big slum such as this area.

Anonymous said...

11:42am - due to his schedule, it is not possible for the mayor to be at every single meeting, which is the reason that he delegates to Mr Weiner and others.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 3:15 PM, we all know that. The whole purpose of the study is to try to identify some realistic, workable solutions to the problem. And, by the way, much of the West End is hardly a "slum." Perhaps you should spend some time walking and driving around the many residential side streets off of Park and Divinity Streets with their well-kept houses and yards. There really are people living in the West End who take great pride in their neighborhood. Unfortunately, it takes only a few highly visible dumps to bring the area down and leave a bad impression to those passing through.

Anonymous said...

Previous mayors have nade it a point to attend as many meetings as possible, and certainly gave priority to important meetings over photo-ops.

Guess Artie thinks he has a COO to stand in for him.

Anonymous said...

I heard Bob Merrick actually wrote most of this for the people at city hall. Is that true?

Me said...

Bob Merrick is not one of the consultants.

Anonymous said...

7:07 - are you really that ignorant or just sore that your coo-poo-poo became a boo-hoo-hoo?
grow up or at least chime down.

Anonymous said...

8:11 AM - What planet are you on that you actually hear crap like that? Are people really THAT naive and unthinking?

Anonymous said...

Iam not that ignorant, and I did not support teh COO concept.

But Wqard is the first Mayor I can recall that has skipped out on so many meetings.

Wondering said...

Steve,anything happen at the meeting??

Steve Collins said...

I have no idea. I was at two other meetings.
But, hey, you might as well get used to having no idea what happens at city meetings. It's likely going to be that way forever soon.

Anonymous said...

Were they city meetings?

Steve Collins said...

Yes - about the theater and public works. You'll be reading about them soon.

Anonymous said...

Good.