Help us make Market Street Better for Everyone!
On Friday, October 7th, the City of Poughkeepsie worked with residents, businesses, and partner agencies to create a demonstration project that temporarily transformed Market Street into a better place to walk and bike.
Dubbed Market Street Connect, the demonstration project narrowed the street from three lanes to two (between Church and Mill Street) and created enhanced public spaces using temporary materials, such as hay bales, chalk paint, plants, artificial turf, and movable furniture. The demonstration project allowed the community to experiment with traffic calming strategies, and reclaim space for public gathering.
During the demonstration, the City collected feedback from residents at three different locations along Market Street. Attendees had the chance to view draft plans for long-term changes to the street and provide their input through conversations and comment cards. We received a lot of positive input regarding the demonstration project – over 120 responses were received from conversations with residents, an online survey, and the written responses on the feedback cards. Thanks to everyone who came out to check out the demonstration and share ideas!
Why use temporary materials to test design alternatives?
Demonstration and pilot projects allow for a “test before you invest” approach. This means that rather than only drawing design concepts on paper, the City can test out ideas for Complete Streets treatments, such pedestrian enhancements and intersection markings, amongst others. This approach provides Poughkeepsie’s residents and businesses with the opportunity to experience a “rendering in real time” that allows us to test out and evaluate new street design treatments before making substantial financial and political commitments to more permanent infrastructure investments.
This approach is all about action!
Demonstration projects on Market Street:
- Show fast progress towards adding “Complete Streets” treatments to Market Street, in a way that is visible and engaging to the community;
- Allow the City to gather quantitative and qualitative data from real-world use of the street, helping deepen our understanding of how people use the street and how we redesign it to better meet their needs;
- Widen public engagement by allowing people to physically experience potential changes to Market Street with the expectation that you’ll tell us what you like and dislike about the temporary projects;
- Allow the City to learn from the impact of the temporary designs, to inform development of the eventual plan; and
- Encourage people to work together in new ways, strengthening relationships between residents, non-profits, local businesses, and government agencies.