April 4, 2014

Facebook readers weigh in on downtown idea

PLATTSBURGH — Most Press-Republican Facebook readers think the idea of a pedestrian-only section in downtown Plattsburgh is at least worth being explored.

City Councilor Joshua Krester (D-Ward 6) raised the idea at a recent Common Council meeting, saying he doesn’t have a specific plan but wondered if downtown could benefit from some re-branding.

Noting a national trend of people wanting to get away from malls and strip malls, Kretser told the Press-Republican: “If we prove to investors that we are doing the planning to accommodate more business downtown, then they might be willing to invest in Plattsburgh.”

Mayor Jim Calnon said a thorough study would be needed before any streets were closed permanently.

We asked Press-Republican readers to weigh in on the idea. Here are some of the responses:

Vince O’Driscoll: “I give Josh credit for trying to improve downtown. Who knows? Maybe it will attract businesses into the city. I agree that this needs to be studied more, but I say if it’s feasible, give it a try.”

Kelli Trombley: “Sorry Plattsburgh is not Burlington and never will be.”

Sierra Spoor: “I think it would def spice Plattsburgh up a bit, it has lots of potential especially with the court yard (if that’s what it’s called). I say go for it!!! Always great to see our community grow, and this may be a great start.”

Jennifer Coffey Meschinelli: “I think blocking off Margaret Street would be too disruptive, because it is a main thoroughfare. I have said for years why not Clinton Street. A good portion of it is empty so there is more potential, because to make this a tourist destination, you need stores and shops that will attract people from out of the area. The mix of stores on Margaret are not a good fit.... Why not pick a spot that needs some help and let it expand to the surrounding streets? Including Margaret. Thanks for getting the conversation started again, Joshua Kretser.”

Donna Gillespie: “I think it’s the dumbest thing I have ever heard,,,,,theres only one church st. thank god and let it stay there! we r definitely not burlington!”

Max Robert Zuckerberg: “I also agree this is not Church street. When they made it one way that was the biggest pain to get around. Almost as bad as only one entrance to the govt center by blocking the other one. It would be way to disruptive and with ‘all the stores’ and lack of parking in the city lot, I think it would cause more people to steer clear from the area altogether!”

Melissa Facteau: “If well thought out and executed, it could be a real positive to the downtown area. However, it would require more easily accessible parking than what is available now, which would probably make it cost prohibitive.”

Mark Tiffer: “There are major infrastructure issues that need to be addressed prior to permanently closing any street. More accessible parking being the most obvious issue. The long-term plan could be to create a permanent pedestrian plaza that covers Clinton Street, upper Bridge Street and City Hall Place. This would allow Margaret Street to be the only North/South thoroughfare through downtown. Short-term plan: close City Hall Place from Bridge Street to Court Street for July and August. This could be done for this summer. Obtain approval to route truck traffic through Route 22 via Broad Street bridge. FYI... Church Street is not the only pedestrian mall. In fact, they were quite common in the 1970s and 1980s. Most did not succeed for various reasons. However, there are many examples of very successful pedestrian malls throughout the world. We just happen to live across the lake to Church Street. To those saying that Plattsburgh is not Burlington... Well, you are correct! We are Plattsburgh and we are trying to make it the best Plattsburgh it can be. Burlington does not hold the patent on downtown revitalization or pedestrian plazas. It would be foolish for us to not look and see the success of our neighbors and attempt to modify and adapt them into our own community.”

Kim Mousseau: “It’s nice to know that people still have faith in our city. We choose to live here, so let’s make it the best city we can. Clinton St. would be a nice initial street to test the idea. Maybe have it a pedestrian way just in the summer? Maybe closing off City Hall Place for weekends only in the summer (Friday-Sunday) or all summer would alleviate the controversial issue with restaurants taking up parking spaces. Go Plattsburgh! We love First Weekends in Plattsburgh!”

Amanda Trow-Racine: “Meeting friends for lunch today, there was little enough parking available on Margaret St. Blocking off a section of the city with little to offer is unnecessary....”

Dave Morrison: “Who says that Plattsburgh is trying to be Burlington? What I think that some of you are really saying is ‘We don’t want tourism to come to Plattsburgh. We’re a small town with small town values. Let’s keep it that way!’”


A number of readers also posted comments on the online news article.

Read their responses at:


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