This article is the second in a series on corridors and the important role they play in Main Street (High Street in the UK) revitalization.
The previous article focused on the historic origins of corridors, corridor types, and functions that they serve in our communities. This article examines steps that a community can take to improve these important connectors to downtowns and provides a brief summary of some of the local regulatory and technical tools that can be used to underpin such an improvement plan.
Many of a locality’s corridors evolved organically over time as the community grew and expanded. The result may be a mix of both positive and negative elements along these important thoroughfares. If a community decides to examine them and create a plan of improvement, it should be aware of several principles that support the development of more attractive and better functioning corridors.
These goals may include:
- Build on distinctive character
- Strengthen sense of place
- Create a human scale
- Beautify gateways and corridors
- Improve vehicular connectivity
- Consider pedestrian emphasis
- Upgrade sign quality
- Preserve historic resources
- Mask utilitarian infrastructure
- Improve existing development
As Main Street programs mature and central business districts revitalize, a corridor enhancement program is a natural next focus.
Besides providing a more pleasant journey to the destination of downtown, a community’s corridors offer the opportunity for increased economic development of another important segment of the community.