Park Street merchants who
say the city's $6 million project to repair and beautify the
commercial corridor is hurting their business should show a little
By the fall, if all goes according to schedule, the street will
be more attractive than ever to shoppers from all over New England.
The project includes street repaving, traffic-calming devices,
ornamental street lighting, trees, signs and benches, and the
resurfacing of all sidewalks with decorative paving stones.
City officials expect the new streetscape to be the underpinning
for improvements such as the restoration of the Lyric Theatre
and development of the gateway to Park Street at Main Street.
Expediting a job of this magnitude requires traffic diversion
and limits on parking. Unfortunately, this can temporarily cause
some walk-in customers to shop elsewhere.
Storeowners should have known about and prepared for the project
months before any ground was broken. In fact, an overwhelming
number of merchants had lobbied for the streetscape project for
years. As with any such undertaking, however, a few shopkeepers
are bound to be more adversely affected than others.
Merchants who need help to get by during the construction should
consider taking advantage of the low-interest loans that the
Spanish American Merchants Association is offering. To help alleviate
the disruption of parking, the owners of private parking lots
in the area agreed to allow the general public to park their
cars there for little or no charge.
Efforts are being made to mitigate the injury caused by the
street work to businesses. Customers should make the effort to
support them despite the inconvenience.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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