Hudson's Shared Streets, now Warren Street Seasonal Usage, begins May 15
Aliya Schneider is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Shared Streets program, now called Warren Street Seasonal Usage, will require businesses to follow safety and design guidelines. If they fail to do so, the business' ability to participate in the program will be put at risk. There was little oversight and consistency to the barricades separating patrons from traffic, so concrete barriers will be required this year around permitted parking spots for uniformity and safety. The program is expected to begin May 15 and run through October, Tourism Board member Tamar Adler said April 6. The program last year allowed businesses to expand seating and retail space into the parking spots along Warren Street in front of the buildings. Safety and a lack of enforcement were the biggest complaints last year, Common Council President Thomas DePietro said. Shared Streets organizers distributed safety recommendations but there was no clear authority overseeing the program and businesses did not face repercussions for not having safety barriers. A project manager will be hired to oversee the program and work with city departments to enforce regulations, DePietro said. The Tourism Board will purchase the barriers for participating businesses, for a total of $7,500, Adler said. Organizers hope to find a donor to cover the cost of the parking space permits. Mark and Deborah D’Arcy last year donated $15,000 to the city to underwrite permit fees and to offset lost parking revenue. The city will own the barriers after the program concludes in the fall, DePietro said. The speed limit on Warren Street will remain 30 mph. While the idea of closing the street to traffic was floated by the board, Mayor Kamal Johnson said that will not happen. Note: Johnson and DePietro are volunteer WGXC on-air volunteer programmers. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.