Getting Ready for a Walkable Main Street - Photo by Liz
Main and S. Fourth - Garland Texas -- Texas Hot Spot and Wallis Welding
Loving Garland Green’s (LGG) Sustainable Living Committee, chaired by Anita Opel, is looking at ways to make the stretch of Main Street from the railroad tracks eastward to the intersection of 78/Main/First Street more vital and connected to the surrounding neighborhoods and to the larger community of Garland. We aren’t the only ones doing this. Other groups have also begun their own studies and investigations into how this stretch of Main Street can be made walkable. Interest in this project is definitely swelling and taking on a life of its own.
As I mentioned in a previous Eat Green article, a New Urbanist team led by Van Meter Williams Pollack and sponsored by the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU) at the national conference here in Dallas back in early May of 2015 suggested to rebrand this stretch of Main Street as the Old Embree Neighborhood and develop the area to promote entrepreneurial activity. More at www.alstrategies.com/Where/Entries/2015/3/27_Garland_Legacy_Charette.html
[Personally, I'm not fond of the name of “Old Embree Neighborhood” as it is not descriptive of this space and leans toward the historically obtuse. I much prefer a simple more descriptive branding of this area with names such as “Walkable Main” or “Blackberry Trail” (after planting 100 blackberry bushes in this area.]
WALKABLE MAIN STREET TOUR
Our LGG Committee for Sustainable Living has been discussing the topic of a more walkable Main Street since mid May. At our last meeting we decided to host a tour of this stretch of Main Street that we have unofficially christened as “Walkable Main”. The purpose of this tour is to collaborate and gather suggestions about how this area can be developed. At first, it was only going to be the committee, then we decided to include our membership, and now we have decided to invite anyone who is interested (which may or may not be scary).
We are not expecting a lot of folks to show up (perhaps 20 perhaps as few as 6) because we know that people are busy. However, if you are not able to meet us in front of Roaches Feed and Seed at 6PM this Wednesday, June 10, you can still learn more about what we think a Walkable Main might look like by downloading these PDF documents. I have written three documents for this purpose.
Related Walkable Main Documents
1) NOTEPAD FOR A WALKABLE MAIN STREET
You can use this three-page document to record your reactions and thoughts as you tour this stretch of Main Street. It lists the stopping points on the tour in order as one walks down Main eastward beginning on the south side with TEXAS HOT SPOT and WALLIS WELDING. We suggest that if you to take a tour, with LGG or at another time that you make copies of your notes and send them to Mayor Athas and Council Member Anita Goebel who is our representative for this area. I’m sure they both would be very interested in what you have to say. [http://lovinggarlandgreen.org/files/7714/3383/9085/NOTEPAD_FOR_WALKABLE_MAIN__.pdf]
2) ATTRACT PEOPLE TO MAIN STREET
This 7-page document outlines the seven principles and guidelines for creating a walkable Main Street. Then specific examples and suggestions that apply the existing businesses and spaces provide detail for each of these principles and guidelines. [http://lovinggarlandgreen.org/files/3814/3383/9606/ATTRACT_PEOPLE_to_Main_Street.pdf]
3) WALKABLE MAIN STREET PROJECT
This 11-page document provides more information about each of the areas on the Walkable Main Street stretch and also provides some room for you to make notes. This document contains my reactions and suggestions. [http://lovinggarlandgreen.org/files/6114/3377/9718/MAIN_STREET_WALKABLE_PROJECT.pdf]
PLEASE RSVP IF YOU PLAN TO ATTEND.
Wednesday June 10 6PM at Roaches is our starting point.
We don’t hope to create a safety hazard for people. A friend of mine who is far more optimistic than I suggested that I request RSVP. I have walked the walk myself and even though there is only one sidewalk in front of one business on this strip of Main, there is plenty of room to walk without being in any danger from traffic. I am confident that we can easily handle as many as 30 people for this tour. After that point we would turn people back.
Note: If we were to have 30, we would have 15 walking down the south side of MAIN and 15 walking down the north side of Main and then switching sides. Please, no children for obvious reasons of safety--not because we don't love them and welcome them to the world of urban gardens.
Wear comfortable shoes. The tour will take about one hour.