Street Scape Study

Frederick City officials and the Downtown Frederick Partnership are investing in a study of ways to improve the downtown streetscape such as this area on North Market at Church Street.

Officials in the city of Frederick and the Downtown Frederick Partnership are seeking feedback in a study of ways to improve the downtown streetscape.

How people use the streets has changed a lot during the pandemic, with the addition of small parklet dining areas and takeout dining and other adaptations, said Kara Norman, executive director of the Downtown Frederick Partnership.

Many of the changes weren’t meant to be permanent, but now city leaders need to look at possible improvements in the short, medium and long terms, she said.

The city, the partnership and the Ausherman Family Foundation have combined to hire Design Collective and RK&K to look at the streetscapes of Market Street between South Street and 7th Street and Patrick Street between Bentz and East streets.

The city paid $25,000 as its contribution to the study, with $20,000 from the Economic Development office and $5,000 from the planning department, city spokeswoman Ashley Waters said Tuesday.

The study will look at creating thoughtful design solutions, set priorities and develop a framework for future improvements to the streetscape for the pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers and other people who shop, dine and attend events in the downtown area, according to a news release from the city.

A public workshop will be held on May 5 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the study, with ASL interpretation available and registration available at bit.ly/publicworkshop1.

A survey is also available online, with hard copies available at City Hall at 100 N. Court Street in both English and Spanish.

The study’s findings are expected to be presented to the mayor and aldermen in July.

The process is intentionally compact to help people to focus and get their thoughts together, Norman said.

And with much discussion of federal infrastructure legislation, they want to have a package together to do their best to access whatever resources are available, she said.

The questions will be how to best use the 60 feet of space between buildings on the two streets and satisfy the competing demands of pedestrians, shoppers and special events, Norman said.

The current streetscape was essentially created in the early 1990s, when the city moved utilities underground, according to city officials, although some modifications have been made since then.

Monica Pearce, of Tenth Ward Distilling Co. on East Patrick Street, said she thinks the study is a great idea. She, too, feels a lot of cool ideas came out of the pandemic, such as outdoor seating that helped change the feel of downtown, she said.

Pearce said she’s all for whatever comes out of the study in an effort to keep the retailers, residents and restaurants of downtown happy.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter:

@RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(24) comments

oldmagpie11

Boulder had the same problem and dealt with it 50 years ago - the entire history is written up here: boulderdowntown.com/visit/history-of-pearl-street

Boulder's recycling program was used as a model for what Frederick county put in place about 20 years ago.

No need to reinvent the wheel when it's already rolling somewhere else :)

kfmd

How much did we spend on that Disparity Study? You know the one we needed so that we could ensure a fair contract procurement process? The one that concluded that we weren't supporting smaller local diverse firms enough?

After spending around $238,000 on the Disparity Study, the City's choice for this contract is entirely contradictory to the recommendations— we hire two firms, one very large, both from Baltimore—with overwhelmingly white male leadership. Good job.

Is the City's contract procurement still discriminating, or are there no minority-owned professional businesses that could have more than adequately handled this contract?

mgoose806

At this point, no longer feel safe going to downtown at night. Not talking about the lighting or width of sidewalks. The Mayor and Chief of Police are only interested in what's politically expedient. Neither has shown a propensity to prevent “activists,” from harassing, intimidating, and in some cases, terrorizing the citizens and visitors of Frederick City. O’Connor has been a disappointment in the handling of a number of issues. His number one failure, along with the BOA, has been public safety. Clearly, he doesn’t support law enforcement as witnessed over his actions over past year and half.

Greg F

Gee...sounds like you're talking about a certain party and their leader that failed to protect the Capitol.

Comment deleted.
Greg F

Whatever C-Dumbo...you're the guy who backed and still backs the orange porn star payer.

bosco

Groggy's TDS symptoms include complete denial of anything Quid Pro Joe f**ks up and a propensity to try it on the previous administration. He probably thinks Maxine Waters is a great orator and community leader.

C.D.Reid

No doubt! [lol][lol][lol]

C.D.Reid

Agreed 100%, mgoose. I wonder if O'Connor wears a back brace to compensate for the lack of a spine?

Guy T. Ashton

I was hoping for another study from the city!

bosco

I think we need a study to see how many studies we need with a commission to oversee studies.

sevenstones1000

The roads are not wide enough for the safe usage of both bicycles and cars.

Greg F

Captain Obvious....what would you have them do? Tear down the buildings to widen it for you? You get what you get with a downtown designed in the horse and buggy era.

kfmd

[thumbup]

to sense

Attractive and bright historical street lights!

C.D.Reid

If this is the same RK&K that was the EOR on the project I worked on in Harm City (aka Baltimore,) they couldn't have made a worse choice. That company was clueless when it came to design, we were convinced they only hired inexperienced, college interns. I remember one drawing called for a concrete elevation to a 1/16". Yeah, right, a finisher is going to get concrete that close. Their lack of response to RFI's was so slow, and usually so vague, that my company ended up filing a delay of project claim against the City because of RK&K. I remember one time they wanted me to calculate the number of pipe piles which we had to drive that were within a certain distance from an existing building. I was the only surveyor for three contracts that totaled over $315M, and didn't have time for their lack of competence, so I gave them the coordinates for the building corners and literally told them to figure it out themselves. That was the second project that I did where they were the EOR, and I'm glad it was the last. If this is the same company, good luck Frederick, you're going to need it.

Greg F

First thing is to find a way to get the vagrants out. So many around it is not feeling safe around there even in daylight. Right around the soup kitchen, at times even the presence of cops around there doesn't add to any sense of safety.

Frankle1

I have never once felt unsafe in the presence of someone who is experiencing homelessness downtown. Have some compassion and if it bothers you so much to see people without homes near a soup kitchen, start donating to foundations working to get them help. Advocating for more police when the problem is poverty - not crime - is insane.

fnpreader123

It makes me feel unsafe (female) and I'm sure it makes some tourists feel unsafe. I hate walking into the parking garage past vagrants who watch me, because I'm never sure they won't follow me in :( It's a horrible feeling, and I am going downtown less than I did two years ago.

Awteam2021

That area of Market St. has been a home for the destitute as long as I can remember. It’s part of the character of the town. My kids volunteered at the food bank while in high school. Made friends, never a problem. I feel more like you are intruding in to their space.

bosco

fnpreader...street smarts would dictate that if you see someone or something that makes you uncomfortable, especially as a female, you should if at all possible avoid the situation. Cross the street, enter a store, something. I would not advise any female to use a parking deck anywhere after dark. On the street, you are either predator or prey. I must admit it's harder for a female to project as a predator than a male.

Greg F

It doesn't help them often sitting on doorsteps stoned or drunk or in the process of getting to the state of either one. Been yelled at several times just walking by the bridge on the creek by them sitting on the wall there and watched them yelling like insane imbeciles many, many times at passers-by....many of them looking whacked out on something. Enough is enough. I don't even like going down in the daytime any more, much less after dark. The crazy ones outnumber the sane after dark.

C.D.Reid

Allowing the homeless, drug and booze fueled, to intimidate and harass citizens is just part of the City's overall plan for "diversity." And "diversity" is good, right?

DMSchobel

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Greg F

I've seen more than a few times they were carrying firearms, and in more than one case exchanging them between themselves. I had to go down there after dark at that corner and never once felt safe....always something going on...cops always there and often arresting someone

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