City leaders want to hear from the public on ways to transform and improve Union Street in downtown Concord.
The city of Concord staff will conduct a public demonstration to help plan the future Union Street streetscape design.
A planning staff will be downtown on Friday, May 31 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. between Gianni’s Trattoria and The Cabarrus Creamery to discuss ideas and concerns about streetscape on Union Street, including sidewalk widths, outdoor dining and seating, street trees, parking and lane widths.
“Streetscape is talking about the areas between the buildings and the road,” said Kaylee Caton, design manager for Concord’s Planning and Neighborhood Development. “It’s the furniture, sidewalks, landscaping and public art in some cities.”
There will be areas set up for people to experience widened sidewalks, and the community will be invited to submit input on the design options.
Caton said it’s important to get the public’s stamp of approval to possibly get rid of the street parking.
“We are looking at Union Street and they are looking at possibly getting rid of parking on the street in order to widen the sidewalks,” Caton said. “Usually, people have opinions on whether they like on-street parking. From my understand, back in 2016 when they were talking with people, a lot of people were a fan of getting rid of the parking and having more room for outdoor dining and more space for activities downtown. We just want to get the public’s opinion and the OK to get rid of public parking.”
Caton said the city presented a master plan in 2016 to redo the streetscape on Union Street.
“They had a company they hired and brought in the public to get their opinion and came up with three options for the streetscape. Now we are at a point where there is some funding to implement it and we want to re-engage the public with those three options to see if we can narrow it down to one.”
Caton said they will display one example and then have posters and graphics to represent the others.