Streetscape plans top Rotary talk

Cutlip

Cutlip

ELKINS — Initial plans for streetscape improvements in downtown Elkins topped discussion during Monday’s Rotary Club of Elkins meeting.

Leaders involved with the Elkins Streetscape Vision spoke during the Rotary Club’s lunch meeting at the Elkins-Randolph County YMCA, and they noted Elkins Main Street Inc. is seeking public input and ideas during an open house workshop set from 4 to 7 p.m. today at the Old Brick Playhouse.

David Cutlip, who has worked as a co-chair of the Design Committee of Elkins Main Street with Maryanne Durland, shared photos and information about possible short- and long-term streetscape improvements. Cutlip said the Elkins Streetscape Vision document that has been compiled over the past few years is not a final, comprehensive plan.

“It’s just a framework to start discussions with the community,” he said. “We don’t consider this a final document by any means. It’s a starting point.”

The streetscape improvements could involve everything from improved landscaping and more attractive signs to designing safer crosswalks, sidewalks and parking areas downtown. Cutlip said the idea is to gather input and suggestions from community members and local business leaders, and then the streetscape improvements plan could be crafted to take those comments into consideration.

“You want to create something that reflects the history and traditions of Elkins,” he said.

He noted a good, well-planned streetscape often gives a welcoming feeling, where there is plenty of lighting and safe, clear areas for pedestrians. He said improvements to both aesthetics and safety also could include design guidelines for building rehabilitation and renovation.

Short-term improvements already have been taking place thanks to community and business efforts in the downtown area, he added, with more flowers being planted this year, as well as other projects, such as the painted pianos set up near downtown businesses.

“I’m really pleased with that,” he said.

Elkins Main Street Executive Director Karen Carper said the goal of the project is to create improvements for everyone’s benefit.

During today’s open house workshop, participants will have the opportunity to see highlights of the streetscape vision, participate in surveys and help prioritize long- and short-term goals. Residents are encouraged to attend the three-hour event, whether for just a few moments or an hour.

The Elkins Streetscape Vision document can be viewed at www.downtownelkins.com/streetscape. Additional information is available by calling Carper at 304-637-4803 or emailing karen@elkinsmainstreet.org.

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