Sidewalk Beautification Expansion

This project will update the Main Street sidewalks to match the new aesthetic introduced in the 2016 Main Street intersection construction. We would also evaluate upgrading the Main Street lamp posts and their current installation to improve longevity. The ‘traditional’ Main Street lighting could also be expanded along South St, North St, and one “block” further East and West. We would also encourage incorporation of green stormwater improvements at the same time, as well as additional pedestrian safety improvements.

[rescue_tab title=”WHAT”]

  • Update Main Street sidewalks to match new aesthetic at intersection. Evaluate upgrading lamp posts and installation to improve longevity.
  • Expand those upgrades to South St, North St, and one “block” further East and West.
  • Additional pedestrian safety improvements.
  • Encourage incorporation of green stormwater improvements at the same time.

[rescue_tab title=”WHY”]

  • Current Conditions – Current Main Street brick tree lawn feature has settled over time, creating a tripping hazard and fertile place for weeds to grow. Current Main Street lamp posts are showing significant wear and damage due to proximity to street salt and to snow removal blades.Only the Town Green, Intersection, and Main Street share coherent aesthetics – matching lampposts, ample sidewalk, granite curbing. The historic look of the downtown, as well as pedestrian safety, could be enhanced by the expansion of this aesthetic throughout the downtown district.
  • Town Plan – Relevant support in the Town Plan includes:
    • Transportation: Goal 4, Policies 5 and 6, Task 4; from text
      • Bristol will have infrastructure so that people can walk and bicycle safely along town roads.
      • Encourage bicycle use and walking whenever possible and develop sidewalks and pedestrian and bicycle lanes where appropriate.
      • Provide cost-effective system maintenance and improvements that promote safety, preservation, and hazard mitigation on a priority basis.
      • Work to make the town, particularly the private sector in the downtown,
        and in the development of additional so-called hamlet areas,
        pedestrian-friendly and more accessible to people with disabilities.
      • In general, the municipal infrastructure appears to be well-built and readily
        accessible. In the planning and design for additional or replacement sidewalks, it is recommended that the width, where possible, be a minimum of five feet. However, because of the existing structural limitations on many of the older buildings on Main Street, it is recognized that there is need for improved accessibility to some businesses in that area.
    • Economic Development: Policy 20
      • Encourage property owners to search for innovative and\or affordable
        ways in which access to individual businesses and retail establishments
        can be improved or altered. ○ Land Use: Policy 6
      • Maintain a pedestrian-friendly compact downtown.
    • Inspiration – The type of major improvements that Vergennes was able to make to sidewalks and building entrances all along its Main Street would be our dream outcome, though highly unlikely to be realizable in Bristol.
    • Ends Statement – When completed, the Downtown Designation area will have a coherent visual identity which will encourage pedestrians to think of Bristol’s downtown as more than “just Main Street.” New sidewalks, lights, and other improvements will also enhance pedestrian safety and access to facilities and businesses.

    [rescue_tab title=”WHERE”]

    • Sidewalk areas to be considered for improvements:
      • Main Street – main block, plus north side from #28 to Mountain Street
      • South Street – east side from intersection down to #6
      • West Street – from intersection to Howden Hall
      • North Street – east side from intersection to #26
      • Mountain Street – west side from Main Street to #5
      • Park Street – north side

      [rescue_tab title=”WHO”]

      • Team – Primary: Design
      • Partners – The following municipal bodies and local organizations are likely to be involved:
        • Town – Selectboard, Highway Department, Energy Committee
        • Designation area property owners
        • New co-housing community on North Street
      • Beneficiaries – When complete, improvements will enhance pedestrian safety and access to businesses and facilities. Businesses in the downtown but not on the single Main Street block will benefit from increased traffic as the more attractive and visually coherent walkways entice pedestrians to explore further off Main Street.

      [rescue_tab title=”HOW”]

      • Participate with Bristol CORE
      • Funding Sources
        • Municipal budget
        • Municipal Planning Grant
        • Downtown Transportation Fund
        • VTrans Transportation Alternative Program
        • VTrans Bicycle and Pedestrian Program
        • VTrans/ACCD Strong Communities, Better Connections Program
      • Timeline – estimate of what might happen each year from 1-5 to move this project toward completion
        • 2016 – research costs, funding, talk with town about prioritization, talk with property owners
        • 2017 – Main Street work is currently on the Town’s calendar; may be only for brickwork and granite curb area, not actual sidewalks
        • Years 3-5 – apply for funding for first priority section, and on