Your City, Your Business: Input on downtown leads to exciting plans for change
In every line of work, feedback is an essential part of improving upon a product or service. For the Greater Downtown Council (GDC), a recent undertaking by the planning and development committee brought forward some common issues and suggestions...
In every line of work, feedback is an essential part of improving upon a product or service. For the Greater Downtown Council (GDC), a recent undertaking by the planning and development committee brought forward some common issues and suggestions for further improving our central business district.
Although the GDC is a membership based organization, we expanded the requests for input from every business within the downtown area. As an entity dedicated to the promotion and development of a healthy downtown, it's important to hear from as many voices as possible within those boundaries, from members to non-members.
Surveys were mailed to gather initial data, and as a follow-up, the downtown was divided into three districts -- Old Downtown/Medical District, Core Downtown and Canal Park -- for the purpose of holding input and brainstorming sessions.
The one requirement for those in attendance was that if they identified an obstacle that was negatively impacting our business district; we also wanted to hear some creative solutions for tackling the issue.
From housing, parking and signage to safety, cleanliness and historic preservation, the topics of discussion generated some valuable input -- in addition to validating the work plan and priorities for our organization.
Although each district, or sometimes even each block, faces somewhat different challenges, there are common denominators that can be addressed to better assist our entire downtown waterfront.
A common theme that has resonated is the world of parking. Stakeholders have expressed a desire to see better access and identification. This is a project our organization has been working on, and we are pleased to be making some successful strides.
We will soon share the details of enhancements to the downtown parking program, and work is underway to develop a comprehensive way-finding system.
Under the proposed system, motorists would have clearly marked direction on the closest available public parking ramps and lots. It's just one more improvement that can be made to make navigating the downtown an enjoyable experience.
Watch for some exciting changes in the downtown waterfront's environment this year. From housing developments and special events to new programs and physical enhancements, there is great progress to be made in 2005.