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Author: Jennifer Hunter

D.1.4 Crosswalks

D.1.4 Crosswalks

Action

Provide and maintain quality crosswalks to make the pedestrian experience more welcoming and safe. 

Why

Crosswalks provide safe passage across streets and discourage unsafe crossings. They alert drivers to pedestrians. A well designed, ADA compliant system of crossings increases access to resources, provides a feeling of safety, encourages more foot traffic to support your downtown businesses and increases social opportunity. 

How

  • Conduct a crosswalk audit and hold community outreach events to understand existing conditions downtown. This process can be used to come up with opportunities for improvement. 
  • Plan for, fund, construct and maintain an adequate number of crosswalks that:
    • are clearly visible
    • have proper signalization
    • follow ADA best practices
    • calm traffic and increase safety

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • Crosswalks are clearly visible
  • Crosswalks adequate signalization and follow ADA best practices
  • There are an adequate number of mid-block crosswalks
  • Crosswalks are constructed with state-of-the-art materials to enhance crosswalk safety
3
  • Crosswalks are clearly visible
  • Crosswalks adequate signalization and follow ADA best practices
  • There are an adequate number of mid-block crosswalks
2
  • Crosswalks are somewhat visible
  • Crosswalks have limited signalization and minimally follow ADA best practices
  • There are an inadequate number of mid-block crosswalks
1
  • Crosswalks are faded and not maintained
  • Crosswalks limited signalization and no further ADA best practices are in place
  • There are an inadequate number of crosswalks

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D.1.3.3 Sidewalk Maintenance

D.1.3.3 Sidewalk Maintenance

Action

Improve sidewalk maintenance.

Why

Sidewalks typically make up the vast majority of your district’s streetscape; therefore, they make a big first impression. If your sidewalks are covered in garbage, snow, weeds, or other debris it will give off a negative impression of disinvestment.

How

Tactics to help improve sidewalk maintenance:

  • Establish ordinances that clearly explain the roles and responsibilities for building owners and business owners for maintenance
  • Enforce ordinances consistently
  • There is a reliable, designated maintenance provider

Resources

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Includes garbage, snow removal, debris and weeding.

4
  • Ordinances are in place that clearly explain roles and responsibilities for building owners and business owners for maintenance
  • Ordinances are strictly enforced
  • Performed maintenance by town, contracted service, or building owner/businesses is reliable and consistent
3
  • Ordinances are in place that clearly explain roles and responsibilities for building owners and business owners for maintenance
  • Performed maintenance by town, contracted service, or building owner/businesses is reliable and occasional inconsistent
2
  • Ordinances are in place that clearly explain roles and responsibilities for building owners and business owners for maintenance
  • Performed maintenance by town, contracted service, or building owner/businesses is reactive and frequently inconsistent
1
  • Ordinances are in place that clearly explain roles and responsibilities for building owners and business owners for maintenance
  • Performed maintenance is only done upon request

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D.1.3.2 Sidewalk Furniture and Fixtures

D.1.3.2 Sidewalk Furniture and Fixtures

Action

Provide and maintain branded, carefully curated public amenities such as lighting, benches, bike racks, garbage and recycling receptacles. 

Why

Public amenities invite people to spend time in the downtown and can help create feelings of welcoming, safety and a sense of “being someplace special”. Clean, well-maintained sidewalk furniture and fixtures show that a community cares and is willing to invest in their downtown. Planning a system of public amenities through branding, design, color and repetition will help to create your Main Street’s unique identity. 

How

  • Conduct a public amenity audit and hold community outreach events to understand existing conditions downtown. This process can be used to come up with a wishlist for improvements and help prioritize new amenities. 
  • If you do not already have updated branding or a color scheme for the downtown, consider hiring a landscape architect or marketing firm to help the district create a public amenity plan. 
  • Develop, fund and implement a plan to properly maintain these amenities in the district. 
  • Be sure local regulations and policies are in place to support installation and maintenance of amenities as part of any redevelopment project or new development.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

Elements include benches, bike racks, garbage receptacles, recycling receptacles, and cigarette receptacles.

4
  • The sidewalks have at least 4/5 elements.
  • All furniture and fixtures are regularly maintained and cleaned.
  • Furniture and fixtures are branded.
3
  • The sidewalks have at least 3/5 elements.
  • All furniture and fixtures are regularly maintained and cleaned.
2
  • The sidewalks have at 2/5 or less of the elements.
  • Furniture and fixtures are sporadically maintained and cleaned.
1
  • There are no sidewalk furniture or fixtures.

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D.1.3.1 Sidewalk Conditions

D.1.3.1 Sidewalk Conditions

Action

Conduct community outreach. Design and construct sidewalks in the district that provide maximum connectivity and are compliant with accessibility standards. Develop a plan and budget to keep them well-maintained.

Why

Sidewalks connect people to local businesses, jobs, education, places of worship, social events, food resources and more throughout the downtown, and this encourages increased foot traffic and economic development. Utilizing a well-maintained, accessible sidewalk can also be a more healthy, environmentally friendly, affordable, and welcoming way to get where you need to go. 

How

  • Conduct a sidewalk audit and hold community outreach events to understand existing conditions of sidewalks downtown. This can include a wishlist for improvements, amenities and additional sidewalk connections. 
  • Develop, fund and implement a plan to properly maintain sidewalks in the district. 
  • Develop, implement and plan for advertising your sidewalk network. 
  • Be sure local regulations and policies are in place to support installation and maintenance of the downtown sidewalk system.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • 80%+ sidewalks are smooth and even, not cracked, heaved, or missing
  • Sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate multiple users
  • Sidewalk ordinances are in place to clearly guide uses and usages that enhance the customer experience
3
  • 50-80% sidewalks are smooth and even, not cracked, heaved, or missing
  • Sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate multiple users
2
  • 40-50% sidewalks are smooth and even, not cracked, heaved, or missing
1
  • Less than 40% sidewalks are smooth and even, not cracked, heaved, or missing

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D.1.2 Public Transit

D.1.2 Public Transit

Action

Conduct community outreach. Research, develop and implement a public transportation plan that includes construction of (and signage for) safe, well-placed transit stops and amenities throughout the downtown. 

Why

Public transportation easily connects people to local businesses, jobs, education, places of worship, social events, food resources and more throughout the downtown, and this encourages economic development. It can also be a more healthy, environmentally friendly, affordable, and fun way to get where you need to go.

How

  • Conduct research and hold community outreach events regarding the needs and desires for public transportation downtown. 
  • Develop and implement a public transportation plan that improves safety, links transit to housing, food resources, employment centers, and connects to the downtown. The plan should also include attractive transit stops and amenities. 
  • Develop and implement and plan for advertising available transportation options.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

For example: Train, Interstate Bus, City Bus, CT FastTrack

4
  • Placement of transits stops is researched and links to multi-modal transit, housing, and employment centers in the district corridor.
  • Attractive transit stops with shelters are used.
  • Bus route has dedicated bus lanes for increased safety for boarding and deboarding.
3
  • Transit stops are well marked.
  • Transit stops with shelters are used.
2
  • Transit stops are marked by street signs.
  • Transit stops have benches.
1
  • There is no public transit.

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D.1.1 Bike-Friendly Culture

D.1.1 Bike-Friendly Culture

Action

Conduct community outreach. Research, develop and implement an active transportation plan that includes construction of (and signage for) safe, well-placed and attractive bike lanes and amenities throughout the downtown. 

Why

Active transportation, including bicycle riding, is a healthy, environmentally friendly, affordable, and fun way to make your journey to work, to shop, to play and to get back home again. If you use public transportation, sometimes you’ll need your bike to take you that “final mile” home from the train or bus. Main Street districts that have a bike-friendly culture enjoy improved safety, economic benefits and increased access to mobility options, overall vibrancy and foot traffic for your businesses. 

How

  • Conduct research and hold community outreach events regarding the needs and desires for active transportation downtown. 
  • Develop a master plan that includes bike lanes or bike corridors which link to multi-modal transit, housing, & employment centers, and connect downtown to other trails (if applicable).
  • Implement the plan. Construct protected bike lanes in your district using attractive visual contrast.
  • Conveniently locate bike racks in multiple locations throughout the Main Street district.
  • Develop and implement and plan for advertising available transportation options.

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • There is a master plan that includes bike lanes or bike corridors in which placement is researched, links to multi-modal transit, housing, & employment centers, and connects district to trails (if applicable).
  • There are protected bike lanes with attractive visual contrast.
  • Bike racks are conveniently placed in multiple locations.
3
  • There is a master plan that includes bike lanes or bike corridors, or a plan is in progress.
  • There are protected bike lanes with attractive visual contrast.
  • Bike racks are conveniently placed in multiple locations.
2
  • There is a plan that includes bike lanes or bike corridors, or a plan is in progress, but there are no bike lanes yet.
1
  • There are no plans in place.

– AND/OR –

  • There are no bike lanes or bike corridors.

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V.4.2 Succession Planning Resources

V.4.2 Succession Planning Resources

Action

Be a resource for your businesses on succession planning so they can learn about, plan for and successfully navigate business transitions if the owner can no longer maintain the business.

Why

Business owners are often so engaged with the day to day operations of running the business that it’s hard to take the time to consider succession planning, unexpected illness, retirement. Still, having a plan in place for the future will help protect one the business owner’s (and often their family’s) most financially valuable asset. A succession plan evaluates the value of the business and prioritizes mentorship for possible successors. Succession planning helps to avoid a forced sale of the business and Main Street vacancies.

How

  • Host a workshop offering resources for business owners to create continuity plans.
  • Include what financial resources would be available to help the business(es) with continuity.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

For example: retirement, death, new owner.

4
  • Relationships with property owners and business owners are strong to know when a transition is happening.
  • Resources are made available to help through transition.
  • District coordinator is available to provide limited guidance through transition.
  • A plan is in place to address vacancy through business transition.
3
  • Relationships with property owners and business owners are strong to know when a transition is happening.
  • Resources are made available to help through transition.
2
  • District coordinator reactively knows when a transition is happening.
1
  • District coordinator learns of transition after the fact.

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V.4.1 Disaster Planning

V.4.1 Disaster Planning

Action

Develop a Disaster Plan, specific for Main Street district businesses, in collaboration with public safety, public health, economic development and other municipal departments.

Why

Our Main Streets and town centers are often our economic engines, our gathering places, our access to goods and services…the lifeblood of the community. Having a plan in place for unexpected disasters can prevent or mitigate impacts to our community, including Main Street businesses. This plan will provide resiliency and allow businesses and the community to bounce back more quickly. 

How

  • Obtain samples of disaster, hazard or resiliency plans from other communities to use as a reference. 
  • Explore opportunities for technical assistance and partnership with your region’s Council of Governments’ Hazard Mitigation Plan, SustainableCT and Resilient Connecticut – CIRCA. 
  • Hold a workshop with Main Street stakeholders, emergency services, public safety, public health, economic development, and other municipal departments to discuss and draft the Disaster Plan.
  • Include topics such as mitigation, natural disaster, technology loss, pandemic, relocation options, resources and communication plan.
  • Include what financial resources would be available to help the business(es) with continuity.

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Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

For example: flood, fire, cyber-attack, eviction.

4
  • The municipality has a disaster plan in place for natural disasters.
  • There is a written disaster plan in place specific for district businesses that includes relocation options/resources and communication plan.
  • The plan was developed in collaboration with public safety, public health, economic development, and other municipal departments.
  • There are financial resources are available to help the business(es) with continuity.
3
  • The municipality has a disaster plan in place for natural disasters.
  • There is a written disaster plan in place specific for district businesses that includes relocation options/resources and communication plan.
2
  • The municipality may or may not have a disaster plan in place for natural disasters.
  • Some thought has been given to disaster plan in place specific for district businesses, but nothing is in writing and/or it is not finalized.
1
  • The municipality does not have a disaster plan in place for natural disasters.
  • There is not a written disaster plan in place specific for district businesses.

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V.3.5 Recruiting Businesses

V.3.5 Recruiting Businesses

Action

Create a plan for recruiting businesses that considers community input and market trends and that communicates a clear “wish list” of desired businesses. 

Why

A recruiting plan will help everyone involved stay on track and work together to create a vibrant, diverse and intentional mix of businesses in your district. Maybe your Main Street is looking to stand out from the rest, provide certain types of entertainment or services, embrace and market a certain niche or business cluster. Developing this plan will help ensure success in accomplishing district goals. 

How

  • Initiate a community engagement workshop to review available market studies and community plans and understand the district’s assets and desires. Develop a “wish list” of businesses.
  • With input from property owners, real estate brokers and developers, develop and carry out a business recruiting plan. 
  • Hold stakeholder engagement sessions at least quarterly, ongoing. 
  • Review the plan and update market studies periodically to understand new trends and assets.

CMSC Professional Affiliates

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • There is a “wish list” of desired businesses based on community input and market trends.
  • There is a plan in place to attract these businesses.
  • Property owners, real estate brokers, and developers are engaged and bought-in to the plan.
3
  • There is a “wish list” of desired businesses based on community input and market trends.
  • There is a plan in place to attract these businesses.
  • Property owners are aware of the plan.
2
  • There are efforts in place to recruit businesses but with no strategic direction.
1
  • There are no efforts or plans in place. Recruiting is passive.

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V.3.4 Small Business Ecosystem of Support

V.3.4 Small Business Ecosystem of Support

Action

Establish a strong channel of business support including training, technical assistance, regular networking opportunities. 

Why

Small
business
technical
assistance and support programs can be
a
linchpin that
ensures
a strong economic
foundation
in
your district and create financially
stronger
business
enterprises.

Then those enterprises create
jobs, generate
income
and
investment
and attract and retain needed community goods and services. Most businesses benefit from technical assistance, help with developing a strong business plan and obtaining financing. Networking opportunities allow businesses to be natural mentors to each other, bounce ideas off of one another, identify challenges that are unique to the district, cross market programs, products and services and more.

How

  1. Develop programs and partnerships to provide consistent training and 1:1 technical assistance to small business owners.
  2. Hold community merchant meetings at least quarterly to build community and connections.
  3. Share information about additional business resources and referrals regularly with your local businesses and be sure that the information is available upon request.

CMSC Professional Affiliates

Search Downtown Resource Library

Main Street Management Assessment Rubric

Scoring Standards

4
  • There are programs and partnerships in place to provide consistent training and 1:1 technical assistance to small business owners.
  • Community merchant meetings are held at least quarterly to build community and connections.
  • Additional business resources and referrals are available upon request.
3
  • There are programs and partnerships in place to provide training and 1:1 technical assistance to small business owners from time to time.
  • Community merchant meetings are held at least once a year to build community and connections.
  • Additional business resources and referrals are available upon request.
2
  • Business resources and referrals are available upon request.
1
  • There are no channels of small business support are established.

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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