If you’re like most people, you try to give guests a good time. Naturally, they feel more welcome when they can tell you’ve made an effort.
It’s the same with towns. Visitors are more likely to stop a while if a town is attractive and feels welcoming. They may even imagine living there.
To have more jobs, Springfield needs people to come and establish businesses, or to move their businesses here. That’s why the downtown streetscape improvements in the works are so important.
One project to make walking more appealing and safer will add a landscaped strip between Main Street and the sidewalk from the theater plaza to Valley Street. An entryway will be included for the new riverfront park across the street that is now being designed.
That short stretch of Main Street will be slightly narrower, so traffic will move a little slower, making it easier and safer to cross the street. Drivers and passengers will be more likely to notice things of interest, to park and stroll around, and to visit stores and eateries. More pedestrian traffic will help attract new downtown businesses.
Our downtown is the entryway for travelers. If it looks nice – if it appears we’ve made an effort – they will be more likely to give us a second look. Of course, these projects will also make our own time downtown more enjoyable and safer, too. And they will increase property values.
Have a look around at other towns in the region. You’ll see that the towns thriving and prospering are the ones that have been willing to make changes like the ones planned here.
I am glad that Springfield is making an effort to enhance our downtown, and that town officials have gotten outside money to construct a more inviting streetscape.