Making downtown Danbury look nicer is part of the plan to revitalize the area. The $62-million bond package proposed for a vote on April 28th includes $8.55 million for streetscaping in the CityCenter area.
Planning Director Sharon Calitro says the last time the area was beautified, was in the early 90s. The plan today calls for concrete sidewalks, with a granite inlay, and landscaping. City officials are hoping to attract developers and make the area more walkable. A previous $4 million streetscape plan, half paid for through a state grant, only covers about half of the sidewalks included in the Transit Oriented Development study. That money would be supplemented by the latest proposed funding.
Construction could begin in the spring, if the bond package is approved.
Boughton says it makes sense to fund the balance of the project now since the workers and equipment will already be on site, an interest rates are at an historic low. He added that they City wouldn't have to rebid the other half of the work nor have to worry about material not matching. In response to campaign claims in the fall, Boughton pointed out that they would be reusing granite curbing from the last project.
The proposed planters will use the kind of trees that won't cause the sidewalks to buckle.
Historically the intersection of West and Main streets, referred to as Concert Hall Square then later City Hall Square, was the center of public life in Danbury. It was flanked by public buildings and buildings providing public programs, concerts, and services. Potential improvements include the rebuilding of sidewalks as well as a pavement pattern change in the crosswalks. The intersection used to be cobblestone, and the TOD plan calls for stamped accent paving as a nod to the City's historic look.
Calitro says the TOD plan incorporates share-a-lanes--shared vehicle and bike lanes. There is not enough space to put bike lanes on both sides of Main Street and keep four lanes of car traffic going. The plan also includes installation of solar parking kiosks to get rid of individual meters.