Create Walkability for People on Public Square in Watertown, NY

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Please sign our petition to support improvements to Watertown’s Public Square. 

 On October 4, 2017 the City of Watertown was selected for a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) award.  Based on public input, concepts were developed to improve the City’s historic Public Square. 

 Once a hub of activity, Public Square is now serving more as a conduit for through traffic.  The goal is to reverse this trend by making Watertown’s historic Public Square a more inviting and friendly place for people to live, work, shop, visit, and enjoy spending time.

 A few individuals have vehemently objected to making any changes to Public Square, warning of dire consequences.  But the majority of people in the community support improvement and think that Public Square should be the center of civic life—designed to be pedestrian friendly and incorporate features that will draw people to downtown.

 We believe it is more important for Watertown’s Public Square to be a thriving, vibrant center for social and business activity than it is to accommodate heavy through traffic.

 We would like the Local Planning Committee and the Watertown City Council to support using part of the DRI award to embrace positive change and improve the accessibility, safety, functionality, character, and economic prosperity of Public Square.  

 By signing this petition, City residents, business owners, property owners, downtown workers, customers, and visitors are demonstrating their support for positive change to Public Square.

 We support the following positive changes for Public Square:

 ·       Incorporation of physical attributes that encourage walking for both commercial and recreational purposes, while improving safety and accessibility for all people, including the disabled.  This may include changing traffic patterns and the integration of more sidewalks or pedestrian rights-of-way.  People should be able to traverse Public Square safely and conveniently, without an excessive amount of street crossings or heavy traffic.

 ·       Addition of activity-based features that will appeal to various people and attract more visitors.  Examples include things like cafe seating areas, an ice rink, playground, or a performance and event area to host markets, fairs, concerts, festivals, and other functions.

 ·       Improvement of Public Square’s character and aesthetics, including the addition of green space, sculptures, attractive lighting, art, and benches.  The historical monuments and fountain should be preserved and highlighted as part of the City’s identity.

 ·       Retention of customer parking within a convenient walking distance of storefronts on both the north and south sides without compromising walkability.  This should include pedestrian-friendly designs that work for both people and cars, such as the incorporation of a piazza or the closing of a side street to vehicular traffic.

 ·       Simpler, more intuitive traffic patterns and reduction in vehicle speeds, making it easier to notice storefronts and safer to park, walk, or cycle.



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Cliff Olney needs your help with “Watertown DRI Local Planning Committee and Watertown City Council: Create Walk-ability for People on Public Square in Watertown, NY”. Join Cliff and 227 supporters today.