Downtown Salisbury is getting a new look. Salisbury City Council adopted the Downtown Main Street Plan at the Tuesday, March 16 Council meeting. Following multiple public opportunities for comment during design, the Downtown Main Street Plan consists of two phases to implement pedestrian and bicycle inclusion, landscaping, parking, infrastructure improvements, and transit mobility. Phase I transitional striping is set to begin summer 2021.
How did it start? While there was a previous proposal to change Main Street in 2004, the origins of this plan are the Behind the Curb series hosted by Downtown Salisbury Inc. in 2016. At that time, making pedestrian and bike improvements was one of the top-rated priorities of stakeholders.
The initial draft was presented at the December 2020 City Council meeting.
Why change? There are aspects of the current street layout that are unusual and do pose some safety concerns. The shallow parking angle (30 degrees) often means that large vehicles stick out into one of the travel lanes, causing vehicles to need to merge unexpectedly. Parking next to a large vehicle means that cars backing up have to do so blindly.
What will change? The Downtown Main Street Plan has two phases. Phase I is a restriping plan including:
- Changing the angle of parking from 30 degrees to 45 degrees
- Center turn lane to allow left turns from Main St. onto Innes St.
- Restriping from four lanes to three lanes to include designated zones for delivery vehicles
- Stamped concrete crosswalks at the intersection of Main and Innes
- Addition of bike lanes on N. and S. Main and sharrows for increased bicycle travel (Horah to Kerr St.)
Phase II is a concept plan for what the downtown could look like in the future. This may include:
Pedestrian bump-outs at intersections to improve pedestrian visibility and space for streetscaping
Pedestrian bump-outs at key locations for outdoor seating/dining
Reconstruction of sidewalks for new trees/landscaping, lighting, trash/recycling bins, and bike racks
Completion of the long-range concept plan will depend on funding. A comprehensive FAQ is available online, along with more information at salisburync.gov/MainStPlan.