Manchester Invites Feedback on Downtown Manchester Improvements
Published on November 17, 2023
Town of Manchester Invites Feedback on Downtown Manchester Improvements Project Concept
As November rolls along the State’s attention turns to Downtown Manchester, home to the one-of-a-kind Manchester Road Race. Manchester is proud to host this wonderful annual event and welcome tens of thousands of runners, walkers, and supporters to our special Main Street. While the Road Race has Thanksgiving covered, the Town of Manchester continues exciting plans to make Downtown an even better place all year-round.
The Downtown Manchester Improvements Project (also known as the “Downtown Streetscape Project” or “Downtown for All”) is the next phase in the Town’s recent efforts to make Downtown and its adjacent neighborhoods more vibrant.
Leveraging a $7.5 million grant from the State of Connecticut that was awarded in March 2023, this project will represent a significant investment in Downtown that will benefit the entire community, complete necessary upgrades of the Main Street corridor, and address multiple community needs previously identified in various engagement efforts spanning the past decade.
The Downtown Manchester Improvements Project is in the planning stages, and over the next several months, the Town will be soliciting feedback and input from residents, business owners, and other stakeholders before finalizing the design. The current concept is based on years of public engagement and feedback efforts where the Town has gleaned crucial public input on opportunities and strategies for further improving Downtown. These efforts have included conducting a Town-wide survey collecting feedback on recent improvements, facilitating a strategic workshop to identify priorities, engaging with the Downtown Special Services District and the Manchester Road Race leadership, and gathering public input on Manchester NEXT (the update of the Town's 10-year Plan of Conservation & Development).
This project will put the Town’s “Complete Streets” policy into action, transforming the Main Street corridor between Center Street and Hartford Road into an accessible, vibrant, and equitable space through a comprehensive design that includes traffic and pedestrian/bicycle safety improvements, additional public spaces, and an enhanced streetscape complemented with strategic public and private development. The project aims to reduce the instances of serious vehicular crashes, slow vehicular speeds, increase foot traffic to local businesses, and increase the amount of accessible public space.
Moreover, Downtown needs improvements to its existing infrastructure and this plan will drive activity, private investment, visitors, residents, and new businesses to Main Street. Downtown is the heart of the Manchester community, and the Town is determined to help the district, its businesses and residents, thrive well into the future.
For more information about the plan concept, please visit : yvmmct.com to review project details, ask questions directly to the project team, review FAQs, and subscribe for project updates.
Click here to view the project video presentation and accompanying FAQ Document
The next step for the project team is to collect more feedback and input that would further the design of this concept. The project team has already begun engagement with groups like the Downtown Special Services District, Manchester Youth Commission, Manchester Road Race Committee, Sustainability Commission, and others. There will be a number of additional opportunities coming soon. Please reach out to the project team via Your Voice Matters if you or your organization is interested in hearing more.
Contact: Emma Petersen, Principal Comprehensive Planner