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WWL: Revisiting Main Street
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
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The Main Street Project has helped revitalize downtown areas in dozens of cities


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49:04 minutes (23.56 MB)
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The Main Street Project has helped revitalize downtown areas in dozens of cities – but the economy is hitting the project hard.

There are some neighborhoods, however, that are partnering with universities – collaborating to revive sections of town that would otherwise flounder. The University of Hartford has helped lift the upper Albany neighborhood… and UCONN’s Waterbury branch supports the city’s downtown revitalization efforts. But not every town is as lucky. Bristol’s main street project has been delayed, and some towns’ “main streets” have been sitting unchanged for years.

Today, Where We Live, we’ll talk about the Connecticut Main Street Project. Do you live near a main street revitalization project? What is being done right – and what could be done better?

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Listener Email from Hiram

The Town of Simsbury, Ct is holding a large Town Center Planning effort to plan for the future of the Simsbury Town Center. This is very different from many such efforts in that we will be using consultants from all over the country to hold a Charrette (an intensive 6 day long public consensus building workshop) to discuss Visualizations of the future center, architecture, economics, traffic, historic preservation, landscape design and finally zoning code production needed to created a vibrant mixed use town center. This effort is aimed at implementing our new (2007) Plan of Conservation and Development and possibly using a “Form Based” zoning code. (A rarity in CT at this time). 

The process will kick off with an Open House meeting at 6 pm at Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury. The actual Charrette will be held in Simsbury from September 11 – 16, 2009 at the Simsbury Library.

All residents are welcome. Anyone with questions should feel free to call me for further information at (860) 658-3228. 

Hiram Peck AICP
Director of Community Planning and Development
Simsbury, CT


Listener Email from John

as commendable as your guests' efforts are, he must recognize the
reality that hartford is nothing more than a bathroom stop between new york and boston.

the only reason people live in hartford now is because they can't afford to live anywhere else,
and they leave as soon as their means will allow.

visit hartford to seek out entertainment?  not unless you want to take a cab home
because your car has been stolen (i've had TWO stolen in downtown).

we'd be better served by developing city centers that have a chance of
rebounding from this recession...such as middletown, new haven,  and new london.
at least they have a coastline to celebrate.

Listener Email from Joshua

As a student at the university of hartford i can say that I do not feel that the north end of hartford "upper albany" is a safe place.  It is a place that students avoid usually and it is also a place where students go to get drugs and alcohol.  From my own experience i can assure you that if someone is out at night in the north end they dont need to look for drugs to find them.  There was also a liquor shop that didnt check id for several years where students got their alcohol.

Regardless of what the crime rates may be the north end is not seen as a safe place.

Listener Email from Jake

I own multiple locations in down town Hartford
internally Hartford's building and zoning departments don't work together and that makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get things accomplished.  I have a location (on main st) on hold for over 2 years, over a MILLION dollars invested, that would bring people into the city and NO ONE from the city has helped me with the project.  The only way I know to fix the problem is to sue the city and trash them publically.  I know of several business owners that REFUSE to do business in Hartford because of the internal issues Hartford has.