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Market Street revitalization project to be finalized

by Kari Ashworth - News Editor
Wed, Dec 4th 2019 03:00 pm
The Village of Brockport presented its master plan for Market Street on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis
The Village of Brockport presented its master plan for Market Street on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Photo Credit: Marios Argitis

Market Street in Brockport, New York, will be getting an upgrade. A village meeting was held Wednesday, Nov. 20, to discuss the streetscape plan. 

Mayor Margaret Blackman called the meeting to order and provided background for the project.

“Back in July of 2018, the village board was informed by Superintendent [of Public Works] [Harry] Donahue that the trees — there were four honey locust trees — were compromising the sidewalk,” Blackman said. “The sidewalk was being raised up, the bricks that are there were being raised up. The trees themselves were leaning; they were too large for the tree lawn there. And the water’s a result of that, of the sidewalk being heaped up with draining toward the foundations of the building.”

According to Blackman, Donahue informed the village the trees would need to be removed in the “not too distant future.” Brockport interviewed a couple of landscape architects and settled on Sue Steele of Sue Steele Landscape Architecture, with whom the village has had several meetings with. Steele also contracted with an arborist at The Davey Tree Expert Company who concluded the trees were compromised by pruning and by insufficient tree lawn space.

The assessment began in the Spring of 2019, Steele said, and ultimately a master plan was developed for the project. The removal of the trees was the recommendation due to its impact on its surroundings. 

“A bigger concern is that [the trees are] leaning because they’ve been pruned and the canopy is asymmetric which that condition cannot be changed because the buildings are in place,” Steele explained. 

As for the new design, Steele developed a plan to unify the “two very different characters” that are the east and west ends of Market Street. Steele plans to incorporate some of the elements on Main Street, such as planters, hanging baskets and benches, on Market Street and the goal is to make the street a “complete green street” that would function as a “demonstration and educational corridor in the village.”

“As we zoom into the west end [of Market Street], connecting to Main Street by pulling in the seasonal planters, continuing the banner poles, the lighting that is historically appropriate to Main Street, making some modest reconfiguration to the entry that exists at the public parking on the south side of Market Street and maintaining that specialty pavement and looking at other specialty pavement opportunities to maintain that same design,” Steele said. “But most significant in this, and this is the fabric that weaves the whole street together, is the porous pavement.”

A consistent 7-foot-wide sidewalk with a 3-foot-wide specialty pavement will be utilized throughout Market Street. The street lights, banner poles and planters will also be maintained along the street, and a shared bike lane will be incorporated as well. 

The east end of Market Street will keep the porous pavements and street trees will be added where there are no existing power lines. 

“With a little bit more ecological focus, [we’re] looking at pollinator gardens and opportunities for public art to start to share a story and provide educational opportunities as you enter Harvester Park,” Steele said. “Maintaining the sidewalk where it exists there — and those street trees would be stormwater planters — so as stormwater enters into the parking zone, we have a connected stormwater planter. So, we’d have a planted area that can handle inundation. And we’d be collecting, filtering stormwater prior to its release in an overflow condition for the Erie Canal.”

Steele also hopes to incorporate painted light poles and interpretive signage in areas that have a limited ability for planting trees. Pollinator gardens will also be incorporated in Harvester Park and along the north side of Market Street. 

“With that, because it’s very difficult to just change from a tree lawn to perennial planting, adding some educational signage to start to share that story,” Steele said. “And how residents, visitors, students that might visit here, individuals who may be at the visitor center, [could] learn a little bit about why these types of strategies are important for improving our environment.”

The next step for this project is to collect feedback to finalize the plan and then secure funding. The total design, inspection and construction cost is estimated to be $1,000,208. Blackman said there are green grants through the consolidated funding process. 

“The comprehensive plan was passed,” Village Trustee Katherine “Kathy” Kristansen said. “This is one of the action items in the comprehensive plan, which gives the request for money, and [this project] has to be done.”

The village cannot apply for a grant until July of 2020 and a decision on who receives the grants will be determined by December of that year. The best case scenario for the project would be for construction in Spring of 2021. 

 

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Taken by Vinny Croce:
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