Friday, October 9, 2009

Downtown Improvements

The Downtown Revitalization Committee is a volunteer committee focused on identifying and advancing opportunities to improve the downtown. In July, I joined this committee as the Planning Board's representative. Since then, we've been reinvigorating the committee's focus on documenting a plan for the town center, which could be used as an impetus and guide for future improvements.

In the process, we've acknowledged that many individual improvements, which all add up to some significant progress, have already been achieved thanks to the initiative of property owners, businesses, town and civic groups involved in the downtown area. These changes point to the great commitment of individual property owners, businesses, town and volunteer groups to a vision for the downtown as a hub of business, civic and community activity. To name a few of these improvements:

  • Benches and matching trash receptacles installed by Laborers Training Center and DPW at several locations along Main Street .
  • Potted plants decorate several areas, including near the benches and a major planting at the Grove and Main intersection, thanks to the regular contributions of the Hopkinton Garden Club.
  • The DPW recently performed repairs to deteriorated portions of sidewalk along the south side of Main Street between the Respite Center and Route 85.
  • A new Gazebo and walkway was constructed on the Common this year, thanks to Friends of the Common, under the direction of Parks and Recreation and the Historic District Commission.
  • Pruning, loaming and seeding on the Common was recently performed by Scott's Landscaping. Hopkinton Drug in 2007 completed significant improvements to its exterior facade as part of a building redesign
  • A new fence alongside the historic cemetery across from the Common now calls out the historic nature of that space
  • Bill's Pizza plans to begin construction this year of a redesigned building at the same location, which will also include repairs to nearby sidewalks.
  • The Cumberland Farms (Gulf) at the corner of Main and Cedar completed landscaping improvements along Main Street
  • Main Street Ventures completed upgrades to the building at the corner of Church and Main , which will be the new home of Zio's restaurant
  • The Trails Club has opened up a new pedestrian trail that connects to the sidewalks on Main Street near Hopkinton Lumber
  • The DPW has enhanced cross-walk painting at Main Street crosswalks, including those near Church Street , Hayden Rowe, and others
  • Landscaping improvements to the Town Hall are well underway
  • The Planning Department has initiated a study of parking in the downtown area
  • The Police Department has been investing resources in crosswalk enforcement and traffic enforcement in the downtown
  • A Walkable Communities Workshop delivered by the Metropolitan Planning Organization identified several potential enhancements to sidewalks and crossings

To build upon this momentum and ensure a cohesive effort moving forward, the Planning Board has set a goal this year to work with the Downtown Revitalization Committee and others to document a plan for the downtown. As work on that plan progresses, we look forward to open dialog with those who have constructive ideas or interests in the downtown, and will provide additional updates.

Do you have ideas or feedback on our downtown? Post your comment here or send me a note.


  1. Wouldn't it be great if we could put the utilities underground thus losing all the wires and poles?

  2. Hi Kathleen - thanks for your post! The poles, wires, cables, and other apparatus hanging from them are the largest detractors from the visual beauty of our downtown. First step is to document a plan so we have something concrete to put before the town.

    I don't know whether it would be received with unanimous support, but we'll never know if we don't at least advance a plan. Thanks again for following the blog!