Three new Revitalizing Main Streets grants were awarded this week; to the Town of Buena Vista, the Town of Fraser, and the Town of New Castle, with the largest of the three grant awards going to Buena Vista. This brings the total Colorado Revitalizing Main Streets grant awards to 104 projects statewide and growing.
Awarded projects span the entire state, from Denver and Boulder to Hugo and Limon to Frisco and Rifle. A full list of recipients is available here. Highlights include numerous projects facilitating safe pedestrian access to outdoor dining, improved lighting, sidewalk repair, incorporating “parklets” into streetscapes, and much more.
“Revitalizing Main Streets is ensuring our small businesses can bounce back, create more jobs, and support our economy. These important grants will help Fraser, New Castle and Buena Vista truly thrive for years to come,” said Governor Jared Polis. “I’m so excited to support protecting and enhancing the Colorado way of life with these investments.”
This week’s awards are as follows:
Town of Buena Vista- Award | $149,999.00
Project: Streetlight Replacement Project
Replace all of the aging and inoperable street lights along Main Street. With COVID-19, more residents and visitors have been frequenting downtown for daily outdoor activity. In one way or another, everyone frequents this part of town for commerce, people watching, connecting to the Main Street Wi-Fi, passive outdoor recreation, and other uses including physical minimum spacing.
“Buena Vista has put a lot of effort into our downtown, making it evermore welcoming to people and creating a community feel. Part of this has been to encourage pedestrian and bicycle traffic throughout town,” said Buena Vista Special Projects Manager Joel Benson. “As the downtown has become more appealing and has attracted more people, activity now extends further into the evening and early morning. This grant allows the Town to create more uniform lighting by replacing its hodgepodge of lights with consistent lighting and makes downtown and some key public areas safer for our residents and visitors.”
Town of Fraser- Award | $96,749.00
Project: Fraser Community Park
Add permanent seating, shade structures, and bike infrastructure to a parcel of land that was converted to a temporary gathering place in downtown Fraser during COVID. This will help the space to become a more permanent fixture that will be accessed by residents and visitors looking for outdoor space and using the biking and hiking trails nearby.
Town of New Castle- Award | $57,994.00
Project: Guardrail Safety Enhancement
Improve safety along a multimodal trail by replacing a section of guardrail where the trail nears a curve in the highway. The trail connects cyclists and pedestrians safely from their homes to fundamental services such as employment, medical care, shopping, and mass transportation.
“The latest awards illustrate the goal of the Revitalizing Main Streets Program: to help communities across the state implement transportation-related projects that improve safety and yield long-term benefits to community main streets,” said CDOT Executive Director Shoshana Lew. “From safety enhancements to trails and replacing outdated lighting, to creating a space that encourages active transportation; these projects will positively impact each community into the future.”
The award is a major step for towns like Buena Vista, that don’t have the money in annual working budgets to take on capital projects on their own.
“We’re very excited about this grant to replace a lot of the decorative street lamps on Main street,” said Town Administrator Phillip Puckett. “We’ve been talking about it for many years and it was cost-prohibitive. Given this grant opportunity, we’ve got the ability now to replace the lamps and have a more consistent look and more efficient light, and we hope to complete this by the end of the year.”
The impact of last year’s Revitalizing Main Streets grants on many Colorado towns is being felt already. The Town of Frisco is preparing to open its Pedestrian Promenade for the summer which turns three blocks of Frisco’s Main Street from 2nd Avenue to 5th Avenue into a pedestrian and bike-only area and includes parklets funded by a Revitalizing Main Streets grant. This is the first summer the parklets will be in use during the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade; they were installed in fall, 2020.
Even at 9,000 feet in elevation and with snow piling up, the parklets were well-loved all winter and used for both restaurant and retail businesses. The parklets have been a popular addition to Frisco’s Main Street since installation and are expected to help make the Frisco Pedestrian Promenade even more effective this summer. The Frisco Pedestrian Promenade opens the evening of June 18 and more information can be found at FriscoGov.com