I want to thank those of you that took time out of your week to attend the downtown forum this past Thursday. Over seventy people attended the forum to look at design alternatives for Main Street and Front Street. Three options were presented for Main Street and two options presented for Front Street. There were a number of distinguishing characteristics of each design. Some incorporated wider sidewalks, and others bike lanes. Some options resulted in more parking and some less. All options incorporated new crosswalks, lights, and other safety and aesthetic improvements.
>> Answer the new Downtown Ashland questions!
There was a good discussion about the pros and cons of each alternative. Afterwards, attendees had the opportunity to let us know which alternative they liked the best and why.
As part of this discussion, we would like to hear from those that didn't attend as well. We have uploaded the various presentation materials and have added several new questions as well. We look forward to hearing from you over the next few weeks. The presentation, as well as all the plans and renderings (titled as Main and Front St Alternatives), have been uploaded to coUrbanize.
Afterwards, BSC Group will take all the input and come up with a final conceptual design for Front and Main Street. Stay tuned for the next forum in Summer 2018.
To get everyone excited about the upcoming Public Forum, to be held at the Community Center on Thursday, March 29th at 7:00 PM, we are uploading several articles over the next couple of weeks about Ashland's downtown. Today's article is about the Corner Spot. (Click over to the Info page to view it.) The additional articles will be about local businesses, both current and future, and events that the Town has held. Check back to see those articles.
We hope to see you on the 29th!
In preparation for the second forum on the downtown revitalization project, the power point presentation from the first forum in September and a few articles are upload for your review on the Info tab (click then scroll down to the bottom). We will let you all know when the next public forum is scheduled.
Recently the Town of Ashland was successful in receiving a $5,000 grant from MassDevelopment to conduct a Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) through the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
TAP's through the Urban Land Institute assemble a group of real estate, planning, and economic development experts to help communities look at specific development challenges within their cities and towns. They research the specific problems facing towns, visit the sites, meet with relevant stakeholders and then present their findings and recommendations to the community.
The Technical Assistance Panel worked with Ashland on December 12th at an all day workshop ending with a public presentation. Uploaded is the presentation given, located under the Info & Plans section of the Info tab.
The video recording of the presentation will be available on WACATV.com. Check with WACA for availability.
One of the elements of a successful downtown is the right combination of residential, commercial, retail, and open space. Utilizing a grant from MassDevelopment, The Town of Ashland is working with the Urban Land Institute to conduct a Technical Assistance Panel that will look at a feasible and workable mixture of uses that will help us realize our goals of a more vibrant downtown.
Technical Assistance Panels convene a number of experts in the engineering, architectural, and economic fields to look at specific issues in cities and towns across Massachusetts. They typically engage in literature reviews of previous planning studies, conduct interviews with relevant experts and stakeholders, and then combine that with their real world experience to come up with practical recommendations and strategies for towns to implement. The process typically culminates in a presentation to the community with these recommendations and strategies.
Ashland's Technical Assistance Panel presentation will be held on Tuesday December 12, in the Board of Selectmen's room. Although we know the presentation will be in the evening, the exact time is being determined. It will also be televised on WACA. We hope you will be able to attend or watch, as this will be a vital component in the revitalization of downtown.
On Monday the Town hosted the first town forum on the Downtown Revitalization Planning Initiative. The Town was extremely encouraged by the attendance. Approximately 100 residents heard a brief presentation by BSC, the engineering and design firm hired by the town, and gave their opinion on decorative designs elements such as landscaping, street furniture, and treatments of cross walks and medians that they want to see down town. The attendees were divided into 6 groups to discuss what Downtown Ashland looks like today and what the vision is for the future. Some of the ideas discussed were: improving the streetscape with landscaping and decorative elements, making crosswalks safer and more comfortable for pedestrians, undergrounding utilities, changing traffic patterns, enhancing Ashland’s small town feel, creating a place for residents to gather, and encouraging development that retains historical characteristics such as 21 Main Street.
This was the first of many conversations to come as we design the future Downtown Ashland. Throughout the process we hope you continue to use this platform to communicate with the Town and your neighbors. Please encourage others to become a part of the conversation.
Thank you for your feedback and to everyone that attended the Downtown forum. We greatly appreciate all the input we have received from the community thus far.
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback. It has been encouraging to hear from so many of you in the first few weeks of launching the Downtown Revitalization Planning coUrbanize tool. We hope to continue to hear from you throughout this process. So far the conversation has been insightful and engaging. We love to see the dialogue between residents that is occurring. All this conversation is fantastic, and while we aren’t responding to all the comments, we are reading every single one. Thank you, and keep them coming!
Another reason for the update is that we want to remind you all of the Downtown Forum on Monday, the 18th. The forum will focus on designing and updating the landscape and streetscape of downtown. Your comments and the feedback we receive at the forum will help shape our revitalization efforts. We are hoping for a great turnout, so bring your neighbors!
Come Monday, September 18th to the Community Center on West Union St. The doors will open at 6:30 PM with the conversation starting at 7:00. Light refreshments will be available. We will also provide babysitting to make it easier for families with young children.
We hope to see you there!
Thank you for visiting our project page. We're using this platform to gather your feedback on the downtown. We want to hear from the residents of Ashland on how we can improve the downtown, why you come to the downtown, and what we can do to make the downtown a better and more inviting place. Please let us know your thoughts!
Follow the project to receive email notifications about new status updates and drop a pin on the map to share your ideas with us.