(Image: YWCA Main St. Facade in Ulrich City Center, Lockport NY)

The Buffalo News is reporting that the city's Main Street Program will be kicking off in March with the hosting of a group of experts from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

I'll be very interested to see what business owners feel and what the experts suggest. I'm hoping something is mentioned to put an end to the practice shown above. Covered windows and locked doors along Main St. facades should be minimized through regulation. This practice does nothing to provide an interesting, safe, walkable or welcoming atmosphere on Main St. The street has enough non-retail facades and frontage parking lots already making any type of synergy and connectivity tough. Places such as the Elmwood Village Association in Buffalo have rules such as no more that 25% window coverings. A visit there shows the positive effects of such regulations.

Open up your window views and unlock your front doors. Businesses should be inviting people to come on in or to continue down the street to "share" customers.

From the news:

...Program manager Heather Peck said Wednesday that a team of four consultants chosen by the National Trust will be in town March 9-12 to gather information that can be used to create a customized plan for improving business conditions in downtown Lockport.

The visit will include a community reception from 5 to 7 p. m. March 10 in the Lockport Main Street program office in the Old Post Office, 1 East Ave.; a full day of closed-door interviews with small groups of officials and business people March 11; and a public presentation of preliminary findings by the consultants March 12. ...

...Peck said she has already lined up some business owners to take part in the March 11 talks but is looking for more participants. She said she would like business people not just from the city but Lockport’s nearby environs, too. She can be reached at 525-0620 or by e-mail at heatherbpeck@yahoo.com . “After three days, we’ll be making a comprehensive plan of action for the next three years,” Peck said. “What the consultants want to know [from business people] is, ‘What do you think about Lockport? What do you want to see from this program?’ ” The interview sessions will be confidential to encourage plain speaking, she said.

The consultants will take a driving tour of the area and will go door-to-door on Main Street, checking out the space both available and occupied and “taking a lot of photographs,” Peck said....

Past post on Ulrich City Center Main St. facade usage: Peek-a-boo! I Can't See You (2009-02-16)


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