Update: Downtown Hanover Streetscape Design and Beautification Plan

Main Street Hanover and the Borough of Hanover, along with the Downtown Economic Development Committee, the Streetscape Sub-committee and the Main Street Hanover Design committee are all excited to share with you the reports from the April 11 Project Kick-off Public Meeting and the May 31 Focus Group Reports.  Full reports can be found on the Main Street Hanover website, but a few summary points can be found below.

Thank you to the over 125 people who attended the public meeting and the 30 people who participated in focus groups for providing the planning consultants, Simone Collins, with information to be used in shaping the future of downtown.  Many of these community stakeholders and members of the general public provided input that is already a large part of the Main Street strategy, validating Main Street Hanover’s vision and goals for the Hanover community.

Focus Group Discussion Points:

  • The addition of more businesses will help stimulate economic prosperity.
  • A strong business plan and marketing strategy is essential to economic growth.
  • A marketing strategy will need to find and attract the right businesses to the area.
  • Create a destination that people will want to go to. Elements include: Wi-Fi, coffee, restrooms, & food.
  • More youth need to be encouraged to come downtown. There needs to be specific activities for the youth (under 18).
  • Streets need to be viewed as recreational space in an urban setting.
  • Look at pocket parks that allow groups to gather.
  • Develop an action plan for phases of development. There should be an early implementation project that shows instant results to keep momentum high.
  • Improve parking signage throughout the main street area.
  • Increase the amount of signage and provide better signage.
  • Implement free parking during evenings and weekends.
  • Implement business incubator spaces to help small businesses start up.
  • Create an experience that is unique to Hanover.
  • Implement decorative ground level lighting as well as overhead street lights.
  • How will streetscape improvements will be maintained?
    • People could invest money or set up community/volunteer groups;
    • The borough could cover costs for O&M;
    • Businesses could chip in or set up a business coalition that pays a monthly fee for maintenance. This benefits the businesses by creating an attractive downtown for customers;
    • Have fundraising events to get maintenance money.
  • The consultant team can design for low maintenance, which could include blocks of the same plants in raingardens to make weeding easier.
  • Given that urban environments have unique park and recreation needs, the streetscape needs to be considered as Parks and Recreation.
  • Property owners need to target the right tenants that will take care and have pride in their store fronts.
  • Businesses and landlords need to help renovate their properties.
  • Current businesses codes do not allow for ease of renovations.
  • The capital needed to renovate a building is too much to make a profit.

 

Interactive Boards: (see photos)

Attendees to the public meeting were asked to interact with three boards prior to the start of the presentation. This exercise allowed attendees to express their interests and help shape the future streetscape plan. The three boards were:

  • Where Do You Go – Attendees were given 5 dots to place within the project at their most visited places. This helps inform movement patterns and destinations.
  • What is Your Streetscape (Physical Elements) – Attendees were given 5 dots to place on a chart next to desired physical elements. This helps inform what is most desired within the community.
  • What is Your Streetscape (Programmatic Opportunities) – Attendees were given 2 dots to place on a chart next to desired physical elements. This helps inform what is most desired within the community.

Project Background:

The Borough of Hanover and Main Street Hanover, through the Downtown Economic Development Committee of the Borough Council, has chosen a consultant to conduct the Downtown Hanover Streetscape Design and Beautification Plan.  This plan will help to chart a multi-year, multi-phase effort to make physical improvements to the downtown that will enhance the quality of place and improve transportation and parking.

The goal of the Plan is to provide a safe, functional, aesthetically pleasing, environmentally sustainable streetscape plan that includes pedestrian spaces and walkways that accommodate people of all ages and physical abilities. This plan will help shape the future for our Central Business District through a streetscape plan that speaks to the essence of what makes Hanover unique, through understanding our community and using its spirit as the inspiration for the final design.

Simone Collins, from Norristown, PA, will be leading this effort as the chosen consultant for the plan.  Their background in urban planning, landscape design and transportation planning make them perfectly suited to engage the community in this holistic planning approach.

Main Street Hanover is excited to be a part of this project.  A portion of this project will be funded by a Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Keystone Communities Planning Grant.  That grant was awarded to our community because of the hard work and dedication of our staff and volunteers demonstrating to the State what is needed in our community and how we plan to make it a reality.