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Author: Jennifer Hunter

D.4.4 Trees

D.4.4 Trees

Action

Develop, fund and implement an annual tree management and planting plan.

Why

Trees are an essential component in a downtown setting, providing beauty, cooling shade, community identity, traffic calming and fresh air. It is known that town centers and urban areas often are densely developed, paved, and have a lack of green space and trees. Trees should be maintained and appropriately reincorporated to our downtowns. Communities with trees as part of a beautification program send a positive message to potential investors, like new residents or developers. Educational tree care and planting programs that include volunteer opportunities increase social engagement and allow merchants, property owners and other community members to work as a team.

How

  • Utilize your public amenities or tree inventory and any previous community engagement feedback to create, fund and implement a tree management and planting plan that reflects community spirit and enhances the pedestrian experience. 
  • As part of your tree inventory or planting plan, have a goal of at least 80% of all trees being appropriate for the downtown. For example, they are an appropriate height, species, roots aren’t disrupting buildings or sidewalks, blocking traffic / safety signs or creating other safety hazards. 
  • Be sure all plantings are maintained throughout the year.
  • Encourage merchants and businesses to participate in the planting program.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Appropriate trees filter pollution, provide appropriate shade, are durable, and have a root system that doesn’t damage the sidewalks.

4
  • 80%+ of the trees are appropriate for the district
  • Trees are regularly maintained all year round to prevent overgrowth that blocks businesses & traffic/pedestrian signage and creates safety hazards.
3
  • 60-80% of the trees are appropriate for the district
  • Trees are maintained all year round to prevent overgrowth that blocks businesses & traffic/pedestrian signage and creates safety hazards.
2
  • Less than 60% of the trees are appropriate for the district
  • Trees are inconsistently maintained, overgrown, and blocking businesses & traffic/pedestrian signage creating safety hazards.
1
  • There are no trees.

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D.4.3 Flower Program

D.4.3 Flower Program

Action

Develop, fund and implement an annual beautification plan including hanging flowers, planters and merchant window boxes.

Why

Main Street professionals know that a vital component of revitalizing commercial districts is flowers. Communities with thriving beautification programs send a positive message to potential investors, like new residents or developers. These communities see an increase in business sales. Consumers prefer to shop in pretty places, and pretty places increase the value of a product. Planting programs that include volunteer opportunities increase social engagement and allow merchants, property owners and other community members to work as a team. Bonus: Pollinators! 

How

  • Utilize your public amenities inventory and any previous community engagement feedback to create, fund and implement a flower/beautification plan that reflects community spirit and enhances the pedestrian experience. 
  • Be sure all amenities and plantings are maintained throughout the year.
  • Encourage merchants and businesses to participate in the flower program.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

For example: Planters, hanging baskets, etc.

4
  • There is a seasonal flower program in place that reflects the community spirit and enhances the pedestrian experience.
  • There is a designated contract or organization that is responsible for seasonal flower program.
  • The flowers are maintained throughout the year to keep up the appearance and to fix any damages.
  • Merchants and businesses participate in the flower program.
3
  • There is a seasonal flower program in place.
  • There is a group of volunteers, a designated contract, or an organization that is responsible for seasonal flower program.
  • The flowers are maintained throughout the year to keep up the appearance and to fix any damages.
2
  • Flowers are initially planted by the municipality, district program, or other community organization.
  • There is no designated group responsible for seasonal flower program.
  • The flowers are not regularly maintained throughout the year to keep up the appearance and to fix any damages.
1
  • There are no flowers.

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D.4.2 Green Space Maintenance

D.4.2 Green Space Maintenance

Action

Improve green space maintenance.

Why

Green spaces such as trees, flowers, planter boxes, traffic islands, vacant lots, parks, alleys, riverfront, grass, gateways, etc. provide vibrancy and life to your district. However, if they are overgrown or improperly maintained they give a negative impression of disinvestment.

How

Tactics to help improve sidewalk maintenance:

  • There is a reliable, designated maintenance provider for each green space for year-round maintenance
  • If you are using volunteer groups, ensure that the volunteer group knows what is expected of them by clearly communicating to them what is needed

Resources

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Examples: Traffic islands, vacant lots, parks, alleys, riverfront, grass, trees, flowers, planters, gateways, etc.

4
  • There is a designated maintenance provider that regularly maintains all green spaces year-round.
3
  • There is a designated maintenance provider or volunteer groups that maintain all green spaces year-round.
2
  • A maintenance provider or volunteer group provides maintenance inconsistently and/or usually must be prompted to take action.
1
  • There is not a designated maintenance provider.

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D.4.1 Green Space Inventory

D.4.1 Green Space Inventory

Action

Conduct and document your district’s green space inventory.

Why

All good plans for revitalization start with taking stock of the assets your district has. This enables you to create a strategic plan that takes advantage of the assets you have, address core issues, share information more easily with stakeholders, and helps you market your district.

How

Watch the “How to Collect, Maintain, and Leverage Your Main Street Inventories” webinar and review the Main Street Inventory Quick Reference for guidance on how to conduct this inventory.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Examples: Traffic islands, vacant lots, parks, alleys, riverfront, grass, trees, flowers, planters, gateways, etc.

Elements of your inventory should include type, location, maintenance provider, maintenance contact information, and sponsor (if applicable).

4
  • Inventory is updated yearly
  • Documented in format that can be filtered, searched, and easily shared electronically or published digitally
  • The information documented contains at least 4/5 of the elements
3
  • Inventory is no more than 3 years old
  • Documented in a spreadsheet
  • The information documented contains at least 3/5 of the elements
2
  • Inventory is more than 5 years old
  • Documented in a spreadsheet
  • The information documented contains at least 2/5 of the elements
1
  • Inventory does not exist

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D.3.2 Graffiti Remediation

D.3.2 Graffiti Remediation

Action

Develop resources, policies, and programs to deter and remediate graffiti.

Why

Graffiti can give off a negative impression of disinvestment in your district.

How

Tactics to help improve graffiti remediation and prevention:

  • Have dedicated resources to remediate any graffiti within 24-48 hours of its discovery
  • Have dedicated resources to enforce ordinances against graffiti and investigate sources of graffiti
  • Have a public art program to enliven spaces and deter graffiti

Resources

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • There are active dedicated resources to remediate any graffiti within 24-48 hours of its discovery
  • There are active dedicated resources to enforce ordinances against graffiti and investigate sources of graffiti
  • The district has an active public art program to enliven spaces and deter graffiti
3
  • There are active dedicated resources to remediate any graffiti within 24-48 hours of its discovery
  • The district has used public art programs to deter graffiti in the past
2
  • There are dedicated resources to remediate graffiti
1
  • There are no dedicated resources to remediate graffiti

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D.3.1 Lighting

D.3.1 Lighting

Action

Work with public works and public safety on addressing lighting deficiencies. Encourage them to update the lighting plan accordingly.

Why

Lighting can play a significant role in shaping the identity of a downtown. It helps create a sense of place, enhance safety and security and improve the overall quality of life for residents and visitors. 

How

  • Utilize your public amenities inventory and any previous community engagement feedback to create, fund and implement a lighting plan which includes energy saving and dark-sky-friendly practices. 
  • Develop and enforce policies and regulations to support the goals and objectives of the lighting plan. 
  • Review the plan every 5 years to keep up with industry standards and ensure a safe, sustainable, and equitable environment. 
  • Be sure that the lighting installations are regularly monitored, maintained, and repaired.
  • Get creative with your lighting to highlight your Main Street assets including merchant windows, public art installations, historic buildings and architectural features to provide an enhanced experience for residents and visitors.

CMSC Professional Affiliates

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Light Justice is the practice of planning, designing, implementing, and investing in lighting for historically neglected communities through a process of stakeholder respect and engagement. (From lightjustice.org)

4
  • Engaged with public works and public safety to address lighting deficiencies.
  • Engaged with public works and public safety to implement lighting plans that incorporate dark skies best practices, inclusion of the arts, and/or light justice best practices.
3
  • Engaged with public works and public safety to address lighting deficiencies.
2
  • Little or reactive engagement with public works and public safety to address lighting deficiencies.
1
  • No engagement with public works and public safety on lighting deficiencies.

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D.2.4 EV Charging Stations

D.2.4 EV Charging Stations

Action

Install and maintain EV Charging Stations in convenient, accessible locations throughout the downtown.  

Why

Adding EV Charging Stations downtown will provide a safe, convenient asset to attract more residents, shoppers, diners and employees of local businesses.  

How

  • Engage the community and various stakeholders to understand the need and desire for EV charging stations, including possible locations. 
  • Develop a plan for, and fund, installation and maintenance of EV Charging Stations. 
  • Be sure to install directional signage leading users to the stations. 
  • Make EV Charging Station information available online, social media, and advertise with all events.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • The district has active electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Clear directional signage is in place.
3
  • The district has plans in place to launch electric vehicle charging stations including clear directional signage.
2
  • The district is considering electric vehicle charging stations.
1
  • The district has no plans for any electric vehicle charging stations.

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D.2.3 Parking Signage

D.2.3 Parking Signage

Action

Install and maintain carefully located, clear, branded signage to advertise available parking in the downtown.  

Why

Clearly marked and well-advertised parking encourages more people to spend time in your downtown which boosts the overall vibrancy and local economy. 

How

  • Utilizing your parking study or parking plan, design signs that are branded, clear and easy to understand for as many people as possible. 
  • Utilizing your parking study or parking plan, strategically locate signage in areas that are visible from the street. 
  • Maintain all signs throughout the year. Trim any vegetation that might block signage.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Parking location signage is visible from the street.
  • Parking usage signage is clear and maintained.
  • Parking signage is maintained throughout the year for visibility.
  • Signage is easy to understand.
  • Parking signage and/or structures are branded.
3
  • Parking location signage is visible from the street.
  • Parking usage signage is clear and maintained.
  • Parking signage is maintained throughout the year for visibility.
  • Signage is easy to understand.
2
  • Parking location signage is not easily visible from the street.
  • Parking usage signage is inconsistent.
  • Parking signage is poorly maintained.
  • Signage is confusing to understand.
1
  • There is no parking signage.

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D.2.2 Parking Promotion

D.2.2 Parking Promotion

Action

Improve the promotion of your district’s parking options.

Why

Parking is always a hot topic. Most often people complain that there is not enough parking. We have found that sometimes you have enough parking, but people just don’t know about it or can’t navigate to it.

How

A specific webpage can be developed for district parking.  Information should include all parking options, rates, enforcement, and locations etc.  The link can be shared and promoted through all district stakeholder and business web and social media sites.  A more specific “wayfinding signage” plan may need to be developed to identify specific locations and desired/required signage information as well as determine a budget for the cost.

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Parking information is easily found online through a dedicated webpage or website.
  • More than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
  • Parking information is included in all event promotions.
3
  • Parking information is easily found online through a dedicated webpage or website.
  • Less than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
2
  • Parking information is only available through printed materials.
  • Less than 50% of district businesses distribute parking information.
1
  • There is no promotion of parking online or in print.

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D.1.3.4 Pet Friendly

D.1.3.4 Pet Friendly

Action

Establish a pet-friendly culture in the downtown.

Why

When we welcome pets, we welcome their humans too. Pets can bring positive energy and encourage social connections on our Main Streets. Pet friendly accommodations and policies encourage foot traffic and increase support for businesses.  

How

  • Conduct a pet friendliness audit and hold community outreach events to understand existing conditions downtown. This process can be used to come up with opportunities for improvement. 
  • Share results of this audit, as well as any resulting goals and objectives, with developers, property owners and businesses. 
  • Install multiple pet waste stations along sidewalks, near or in public green spaces, and locations near pet-friendly residential complexes.
  • Install dedicated pet amenities such as a dog park and water fountains.
  • Provide businesses resources to help them understand the role of service animals and may provide treats and/or water bowls.
  • Develop, fund and implement a plan to properly maintain and advertise these amenities in the district.

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • There are multiple pet waste stations along sidewalks, near or in public green spaces, and locations near pet-friendly residential complexes are considered.
  • There are dedicated pet amenities such as a park and water fountains.
  • There is a pet-friendly culture with district businesses. They understand the role of service animals and may provide treats and/or water bowls.
3
  • There are multiple pet waste stations along sidewalks, near or in public green spaces, and locations near pet-friendly residential complexes are considered.
  • There may or may not be dedicated pet amenities such as a park and water fountains.
2
  • There are pet waste stations along sidewalks and near or in public green spaces.
1
  • There are no pet waste stations or dedicated amenities.

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Connecticut Main Street Center

P.O. Box 270
Hartford, CT 06141
860.280.2337

© Connecticut Main Street Center 
P.O. Box 270, Hartford, CT 06141 | 860.280.2337