Main Street Plan Could Cost $1.2 Million

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A plan to redesign West Main Street into a pedestrian-friendly destination could cost $1.2 million in today's dollars.

The plan has $285,000 from the Arizona Department of Transportation as a starting point.

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Angela Dye of Dye Design comments on a slide presentation and the conclusions that were drawn from earlier discussion sessions about Main Street.

The redesign is the result of compiling suggestions from citizens and business owners that participated in visioning workshops in November. Those suggestions and other information were distilled into concept drawings presented at a meeting Tuesday night.

After hearing the presentation, LaRon Garrett, director of the Payson street department, offered a guess at the total price tag.

Part of the plan includes getting rid of the turning lane in the middle of West Main in order to create wider sidewalks on both sides of the street, planting spaces and the much requested added parking. Garrett said he thinks his department would probably be willing to give up the turning lane, but the decision would be the town council's.

Angela Dye, an urban designer under a contract with the town for the Main Street renovation project, presented the concepts.

"These are just ideas, concepts to kick around. Nothing is set in stone," she said.

Brenda Mooney, owner of Bootleg Alley Arts & Antiques, was glad for the flexibility. She pointed out that the design appeared to have eliminated the parking in front of her Main Street store.

Information gathered in November was divided in two categories: the positives and negatives. On the positive side, Main Street has its history, its shops, the Senior Citizens Center, Green Valley Park, American Gulch and mature oak trees. On the negative side, are its poor sidewalks, bad lighting, vacant land, little parking, little shade or landscaping, no connection to American Gulch and lack of architectural appeal.

The community's suggestions for improving Main Street: fill in vacant land with such things as more restaurants, residential and mixed use properties, possibly a performing arts center; make Main Street a tourist destination that local residents will also enjoy using; restore and reuse the historic buildings and sites along the street; improve the building facades.

There is also a need to improve the circulation to make it a more "walkable" street, plus add benches, shading, better lighting and landscaping.

Improvements to the whole street are not the immediate goal. Initially, with the small amount of money available, the first area targeted for improvement is the most historic part of the street: its junction with McLane Road, Dye said. Those improvements will be discussed and refined in future meetings.

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