NC: Dover Aiming for Downtown Streetscape Upgrades

Jan. 24--DOVER -- The city has announced plans for a streetscape study aimed at improving pedestrian safety and continuing revitalization in the downtown.

The study is intended to rebalance motor vehicle traffic and foster recommendations to enhance the downtown as an area for mixed-use development, according to a news release.

"The study will result in a revitalization plan with four key goals: Create a more attractive pedestrian-oriented environment, make vehicle circulation more clear and convenient; simplify links to parking, and expand bicycle and transit links to and through the downtown," the release reads.

City Manager Mike Joyal said much of the study will focus on possible changes to enhance public safety, including a focus on Chestnut Street. Over the last year, the city has installed new crossing signs and invested in sidewalk improvements on the heavily-trafficked portion between Sixth Street and Washington Street, In the past, the city has also looked at ways to facilitate traffic downtown.

"This is a new study, not something that has been done before," Joyal said. "This is looking at another aspect of the downtown area."

Funding for the study came from the city's Capital Improvements Program approved in December 2012. The city's Planning Department is overseeing the study.

"We have some areas of downtown Dover which are great for pedestrians, and other areas where we need improvement," City Planner Chris Parker said in the release. "This project is geared at looking at locations where pedestrian and vehicular travel might conflict.

"My hope is that by reviewing the concerns and issues present, the consultant can work with the Transportation Advisory Commission to recommend improvements which can be implemented over time to create an inviting environment for visitors to downtown Dover," the release continues.

The report should be finished by the end of August.

Copyright 2014 - Foster's Daily Democrat, Dover, N.H.

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