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What do you envision for the future of the Downtown District?

November 6, 2010

We'd like to read your responses!

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main street

November 28, 2010 by midget (not verified), 4 years 39 weeks ago
Comment: 115

astring of homeless shelters cause they will be the only ones who can afford to live in woonsocker after taxes

Downtown Needs A Complete Rehaul!

November 23, 2010 by Jeffo46 (not verified), 4 years 39 weeks ago
Comment: 109

I remember when Main St. was the hubbub of Woonsocket back in the late 1960's-1970's. Now, it's become a desolate wasteland that's in need of a complete rehaul. First of all, get rid of the "Antique Shops" that have been a blot on Main St. for at least the last 10 years or so. They are nothing more than a eyesore and repel, rather than attract new shoppers, to the Main St. area. Second, Woonsocket needs to start bringing some jobs to the area and by that, I mean see if there are any manufacturers that would be interested in coming here and make use of some of our vacant mill buildings, which I feel is what should had been done with Queen Menard's administration. Why would you turn them into condos, when the majority of the city's population can't afford to move into them, and some people just don't want to come here period, because of the city's reputation as a wasteland? This would get some of these deadbeats off of the welfare system and make them once again, useful members of society, instead of wondering up and down Main St. all day scaring off people. If you close these Antique shops, you could entice some small businesses to set up shop and possibly bring some jobs to the area as well. It's called common sense, but it's too bad that neither Sue Menard nor our current Mayor or the City Council have the brains to figure that out!

Downtown Revitalization

November 22, 2010 by ANewKindaRocket (not verified), 4 years 39 weeks ago
Comment: 106

As a young professional (college+ education, good paying job, young family), Woonsocket is a great place. It's safer and friendly than Providence or Pawtucket and just as, if not more, affordable. I saw the decline of Main St. growing up, but now I get giddy when I see building repairs, events at River Island, or a new owner join the mix.
I envision the City cracking down on the negative behavior spilling out from Arnold; owners like Fernandez, Balint, and Garrison finding the capital needed to rehab spaces and draw in the right shops/restaurants; and people walking or biking downtown because they can.
Until we recognize that its our responsibility to report crime, shop local, and be active on Main St., we won't get there. I try to do my part by supporting the local businesses here now and by purposefully driving Main St. daily instead of taking the bypass. I pledge to do my part and hope everyone else will too.

views and access to the river

November 9, 2010 by its the river stupid (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 96

It was the power of the Blackstone river that originally created Woonsocket and only through the river will it rebound. Look at Providence, that embraces its "water"-fire, and is beginning to bring india point into focus. Unfortunately, almost every Woonsocket property and road was designed to ignore or avoid the river. Main St. needs to be "turned around", literally to face the river. How about a master plan that combines the riverside park with a combined river-walk and river-bike path? Bringing people back to the river, over and around the falls.

The plan is in motion

November 19, 2010 by eboucher (not verified), 4 years 40 weeks ago
Comment: 103

The Wayfinding Master Plan for Downtown Woonsocket addresses many of the concerns you raised and uses many of the same ideas. It was unveiled at a public presentation at City Hall on October 14th. Multiple Call articles from around that date outline the goals of the project as well.

What do you envision for the future of the Downtown District?

November 7, 2010 by Realist (not verified), 4 years 42 weeks ago
Comment: 72

This area in the 40's and 50's worked great, however with all the vacancies and the fact that the buildings are not utilizing the space properly and the buildings are not energy efficient.

Do like social street.

Tear it all down and renovate. We need a new city hall as well, so lets do it!

Now or never!!

Tear it all down? Insane!

November 22, 2010 by jde (not verified), 4 years 39 weeks ago
Comment: 108

Just tear it all down like Social Street? Are you kidding? I assume you mean all of the Social Flatlands, between Social and Clinton.

You can't "tear it all down and renovate" that's an either/or choice. Given those two, renovating Main Street is the answer. Those buildings could be energy efficient if people put the money into them. Demolishing buildings and building new is far less energy efficient (think landfill space, gas and emissions to cart the debris, use of resources for new materials, etc.) than rehabilitating old buildings.

Name one nice thing about Social. There's nothing. The Social Flatlands were decimated by the Urban Renewal trend and the gateway project which was supposed to offer an additional retail area to Main Street. Instead, along with Diamond Hill, Urban Renewal killed Main Street. The buildings in the Flatlands are, for the most part, eyesores (apologies to the architects of the day). There is far too much parking, no uniformity of scale, massing, or materials, the buildings are mostly too short and set back too far from the street, and the whole place is an asphalt slab. The businesses that are there are the same ones that you find elsewhere in the city: Dunkin Donuts, gas stations, Citizens, fast food Chinese, mega-drug stores, Subway, and Burger King. There is nothing special about the whole place.

When Social was largely residential and industrial, Main Street flourished. Social is Main Street's problem, not its answer. Main Street needs a resident population that will drive the viability of its commercial spaces. Market Square is finally working, with its parking lots packed on many nights. That model needs to extend down Main Street, with some residential reuse above the storefronts, to get people out on the street after City Hall closes. The Stadium and Market Square need to be connected as a destination, with retail and restaurant spots, like Thames Street in Newport, Thayer in Providence, or Brown Street in Wickford.

Adding some good residential space in Social wouldn't hurt, either, along with a major redesign and set of zoning regulations that are enforced (can we get some setback uniformity, some grass and trees, and less parking in front of buildings please?). Social is clearly of the age of the Main Street By-Pass, another unfortunate development that severely damamged Main Street. We're finally realizing that the By-Pass is bad - maybe Social is next, not Main Street.

Changing People

November 9, 2010 by 112mill (not verified), 4 years 41 weeks ago
Comment: 94

Unfortunately for Woonsocket the older French Canadian hard working class is being replaced by Welfare seeking, non-working criminals who do nothing positive and keep sucking the system dry. When the working class is scared to come downtown and business owners are overloaded with shoplifting and criminal types, Woonsocket will never attract quality businesses. They overloaded this city with section 8 and low income housing, now they have to live with that. I moved out 1 year ago, my family's safety and quality of life were declining in Woonsocket...what a relief.

Changing People

November 22, 2010 by ANewKindaRocket (not verified), 4 years 39 weeks ago
Comment: 107

Wonder what your vision is then- in a dream world where that problem didn't exist? What would you see in downtown Woonsocket? What would make you want to come back with your kids to shop/eat/play?

life in woonsocket

November 16, 2010 by midget (not verified), 4 years 40 weeks ago
Comment: 101

you are so right woonsocket is being flushed down the toilet,unions robbing us blind, wefalre the only means of steady employment, why waste more money to improve

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