Thursday, July 23, 2009

A New Look for Downtown Brainerd

The work that began over seven years ago with the group Brainerd Restoration, the City of Brainerd, and other community groups in creating the Downtown Revitalization Plan made good progress this summer.

The Historic Downtown Street-Utility Reconstruction Project, that started April 20th, is substantially complete before the July 31 deadline.

The community is invited to celebrate with a ribbon cutting ceremony in Historic Downtown Brainerd on Tuesday, July 28th, at 9 a.m. at the intersection of South 6th and Laurel Streets. Coffee and cookies will be provided.

Still to come: benches to give shoppers and visitors a space to rest and meet, trash receptacles to reduce litter, bike racks to encourage cycling and to give an alternative to locking bikes to street signs and kiosks near public parking lots with maps so that people who drive to the area can easily understand what is nearby, easy to walk to, and how to get there.

A 2007 survey of nearly 600 people in the Brainerd area found that 47% would patronize Downtown Brainerd more frequently if there was more catering to pedestrians with benches, bike trails and racks, better sidewalks, green space, etc. What respondents enjoyed most about Downtown Brainerd is the feeling of a traditional downtown.

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