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Jamestown’s downtown: Plan seeks to make the area a destination that attracts people

Jamestown residents want to see the downtown area grow as a location that attracts people, according to Cory Scott, planner for RDG Planning and Design.

Scott and Marty Shukert, another planner with RDG, were in Jamestown Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss concepts for the downtown portion of Jamestown at the Land Use and Transportation plan public input meetings.

 “We want to make downtown more of a destination,” Scott said. “The area has a good starting point with Babb’s (Coffee House) and Buffalo City Rotisserie Grill and other businesses in the area.”

The railroad tracks through the downtown area can be a problem, Scott said, noting the public had said it was an area difficult to cross by pedestrians.

Shukert said finding another location for an underpass in the area would be difficult because of the long distances needed for the slopes to elevate the tracks or create an underpass.

Other problems include the size of some of the buildings and associated parking lots. Facilities such as the Jamestown Civic Center are so large they don’t connect to the overall downtown area, Shukert said.

“We want to make sure the super block projects work together,” Shukert said. “They are so big they don’t tie to the rest of the downtown.”

Some ideas included adding some recreational opportunities to the area. The map drawn by Shukert  included an ice skating trail to the south of the Civic Center along the railroad tracks.

Planners are also studying traffic flows on First Avenue. No decisions have yet been made on the number or placement of traffic lights on the street.

“We’re talking about a three-lane street,” Shukert said. “A turning lane and one lane in each direction but that is still in the planning stages.”

Scott said work will continue on the LUTP with a preliminary draft released later this year. The next planning session is slated for the last week of March and will include the business corridors and Mill Hill areas.

“We had a good turnout this time around,” Scott said. “We have a lot of people tracking what is happening.”

Residents can also give their input through an online survey at www.rdgusa.com/crp/jamestown.

“The survey got a boost after our last meeting,” Scott said. “We’ve had about 300 online responses so far.”

Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at knorman@jamestownsun.com

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