ASHLAND, Ore. -- The City of Ashland is planning to revitalize parts of Downtown Ashland throughout the next five to ten years. The city wants to work with community members to figure out what needs to be improved. That's why they're holding an Open House at Carpenter Hall from 5 - 7 p.m., tonight. Anyone is invited to come.
The City of Ashland said community comments will help build a foundation for the Revitalize Downtown Ashland Plan. At the open house, community members can suggest ways to improve a bunch of different topics, including parking, sidewalks, safety, traffic flow and community spaces. Different stations will be dedicated these different topics at tonight's open house.
It's important for the community to play a big role in this revitalization project, said Public Works Director Paula Brown.
"The heart and soul is downtown," said Brown. "We want to make sure people feel that they are safe, welcome and wanted downtown."
The City of Ashland will also be looking at past revitalization plans. This way, they can build on city studies dating back to the 1960s.
"You don't want to try to reinvent the wheel from the start," said Deputy Public Works Director Scott Fleury. "You want to know why something didn't work previously so you don't spend time and effort doing something that you know won't work moving forward, or didn't have acceptance from the community."
City officials said they are hoping to get a budget of $3-5 million dollars for this revitalization, but that is all subject to change. All plans will have to be approved by city council.
Some locals said they love Downtown Ashland, but would like to see transportation improvements. One specific concern is the need for more room on the road for bikes.
"I think a bike lane going on the main street, in both directions, would be awesome," said Ashland local Tuula Rebhahn. "I wouldn't mind if they cut parking for that."
Other locals said Downtown Ashland could use more places for people to park cars.
"I think maybe a parking structure would be nice to get some cars off the streets," said Vanston Shaw, who has lived in Ashland for more than a decade.
The City said these are the types of comments they want to hear from the community at tonight's open house. If you cannot make tonight's open house there will be two more early next year.
You can also click here to submit your suggestions through an online open house.
You can also email the City of Ashland at this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org