Watertown seeking feedback on major streetscape enhancement project

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Lachenauer Plaza, Watertown, New York (WWTI/ Isabella Colello)

WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWTI) — The City of Watertown is seeking community feedback on its streetscape enhancement project.

Watertown is in the planning stages of its streetscape enhancement project taking place in the City’s downtown. The goal of the project is to increase pedestrian comfort and safety and create a more “walkable” environment.

This project will improve four project areas. According to the City, the streetscape enhancement project received $10 million from the New York State Downtown Revitalization Initiative in 2017.

Specifically, the city has proposed enhancements for Court Street, between Public Square and Arch Street. This could include new sidewalks, curbing, brick pavers, benches, trees and lightings. The City added that the project proposes a two-way cycle track on the southwest side of the roadway for bicyclists and will change the parking layout from angled to parallel.

The second area proposes changes to the Lachenauer Plaza to “redefine the plaza as an area of respite.” The City has proposed removing the mounded area and creating a sitting area and tree grove. Additionally, a stone wall was proposed with benches affixed to the wall and pavement treatment across a reduced width of Arcade Street.

Watertown has also proposed enhancements at the Governor Flower Monument to enhance accessibility for pedestrians and protect the statue from traffic collisions. Propose improvements include protective bollards at the monument’s perimeter, a concrete sidewalk and striped crosswalks across the Washington and Stone Street intersection, annual plantings, trees along Washington Street and lighting. The existing donor tablet would also be relocated to the northwest corner of Washington and Stone street.

The fourth area of proposed enhancements is downtown Franklin Street to enhance the pedestrian experience and replace deteriorated sidewalks and streescapes. Proposed enhancements include new sidewalks, grass strops between the sidewalks and adjacent private properties and refurbishment of existing street lights.

Watertown residents are asked to send feedback on each or all of the streetscape projects. This can be completed online through the Virtual Open House.

After feedback is submitted this fall, the city will configure construction documents and conduct bidding. Construction on all four construction areas is projected to begin in the Spring of 2022 and be completed in the Fall of 2022.

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