City seeks community input on sidewalk usage

Published 8:07 am Friday, November 24, 2017

As the City of Elizabethton continues to focus attention downtown, officials are asking residents to voice their thoughts about downtown.

Over the next month, citizens are encouraged to fill out a Downtown Sidewalk Usage Comment Form as the Regional Planning Commission continues to work on proposed regulations to allow and regulate pushcarts, sidewalk performers, outdoor dining areas and merchandise areas on sidewalks.

Jon Hartman, Elizabethton Planning and Economic Development director, said the purpose of the survey is to gauge community interest on different items, with officials utilizing the input to the final pieces in place for sidewalk regulations.

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Citizens are asked to voice opinions on downtown restaurants having sidewalk seating, purchasing food from a sidewalk vendor or pushcart, restaurants having the ability to sell alcohol outside if a barrier is in place on the sidewalk and just overall thoughts on increased additions throughout the downtown walkways.

Making downtown more appealing for foot traffic from residents is key for development, according to Hartman.

In a recent “Let’s Talk” column, Hartman indicated the success from the recent Downtown Christmas Open House was heavily influenced by the amount of individuals walking downtown with different activities available.

“More street activity by pedestrians generates more people walking by and dropping in to local downtown businesses…even if they don’t purchase anything the first time. The excitement that is generated off of pedestrian activities makes it more attractive for other local businesses to move to the downtown district. The same is true for potentially interested developers,” he said.

City can visit to fill out a digital copy of the survey and read through the current proposed regulations for downtown. The deadline to participate in the survey is Monday, Dec. 25. Paper copies of the survey and regulations can be picked up either at City Hall, the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce or the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library.