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GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Grants Pass citizens voiced their praises and concerns about an alley beautification project at a public meeting Thursday afternoon.
Members in the crowd included city council members and local business owners.
Blue Zones Project wants to add murals, benches, and plants to three alleys on 6th Street in downtown grants pass. They are all located between G Street and I Street.
They are all in between locally owned businesses. The alleys are owned by the city, meaning they are all city parks.
Blue Zones Project says that the city of Grants Pass, downtown merchants, and Experience Grants Pass have all been involved.
It also says the re-modeling would reduce crime because the alleys would be well lit, and would encourage foot traffic during the day.
The project designers say the upgrades would increase walkability for people using parking lots in the area, and says the alleys would be great for festivals and cultural activities.
Pictures of design ideas for each alley were displayed at the meeting at The HIVVE. Many of the citizens were thrilled with the way the alleys could look when the project is finished.
“I think it provides additional venues and will bring more tourism to town, and enhance the downtown historic district,“ Steve Ware said, a member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.
Some citizens also showed concerns for safety.
One business owner whose property bumps up next to one of the alleys said she worries the new brick gates would benefit loiterers and be a security threat to her store.
“I worry that whoever is designing it needs to live and breathe next to that alleyway for a while, because right now it’s got hiding abilities behind the brick," Janice Munro said. She's the owner of Old Town Antique Mall. "They will scale that brick wall; they will sit on the brick wall; they will use that brick wall to get on my roof.“
The project is in the very early stages, and just now being introduced to the public. It’s unclear how the project will be paid for. That is something that will be covered later on.
If the project moved forward to completion, it is expected to be finished at the end of 2020.
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