Park Street's transformation
into New England's Latino retail strip appears to be cruising
A $6 million streetscape improvement is well underway. Bid specifications
for the development of the massive gateway project at Park and
Main streets should be out before the end of the year. Other
elements in the grand plan are still in the talking stages but
show potential. One thing that the shopkeepers on Park Street
should do to help the makeover along -- and show their faith
in it -- is to turn on the lights in front of their establishments
Most of the storefronts were built with fixtures for night lighting.
Yet with the exception of a conscientious few, the businesses
act as if the lights were put there as adornments.
Turning the lights on at night serves several useful purposes.
They draw would-be customers, who are window shopping, to the
service or merchandise that is being sold. Moreover, a series
of shops with their lights on are a magnet for pedestrians. Lit
storefronts also reduce dark and shadowy areas where opportunistic
criminals can lurk undetected.
Many facades and light fixtures were installed with the help
of Hartford community development funds under which the city
absorbed 65 percent of the costs.
Considering the break they received on the facade expenses,
the shopkeepers should be happy to pay the electrical bills for
night lighting. Store owners who worry that they might forget
to turn the lights on or off can invest in a timer.
Plans for Park Street envision
it as a place where strolling people can shop, eat or be entertained
at night. If it is ever to become such a place, it should start
looking the part.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at