By approving the “Step Up Main Street” master plan this week, the Town of Frisco is one step closer to upgrading its main drag despite numerous financial unknowns.
Construction on Main Street however may be slow going — based on a poor economy, the town tentatively plans to break ground in 2012 instead of 2011.
According to town planner Jocelyn Mills, the project's next step will be converting the master plan into construction documents and determining actual costs. This was initially set for 2010, but it's now being pushed back to next year.
“Due to public comment, we will look at zoning codes to encourage redevelopment on private property to go hand in hand with the Main Street redesign,” Mills said. “Staff will be working on that this year.”
Master plan designer Mary Hart presented a pedestrian-friendly main drag to council and staff Tuesday, complete with tree lanes next to side walks, pocket parks, a pedestrian corridor by Third Avenue and public art. An upgraded option for a welcome sign to welcome visitors from Highway 9 to Main Street was also created.
Hart's redesign includes historic simple forms, a mountain-rustic look and natural materials. She suggests keeping sidewalks 8-feet-wide, and then creating a tree/amenity lane to the right of it to make the street-scape more interesting. The tree/amenity lane could even be used to accommodate tables and seating areas for Main Street eateries.
Both Hart and Mills also stressed the importance of getting visitors to walk the whole length of Main Street, which is currently a problem in town.
“We want to make Frisco memorable for visitors,” Mills said Tuesday.
The Council stressed to Hart and Mills the importance of creating additional parking spaces as the project moves forward. As the plan is purely conceptual at this point, this will be taken into consideration as it's turned into actual construction plans. Potential materials for the redesign project will also be analyzed by the town for cost and durability.
“The council and the town are sensitive to parking, and needs of retail and business on Main Street,” Hart said. “That's something that will continue to be important as the process moves forward.”
Hart added that public input was important to her design from start to finish.
“We tried to balance all the different needs of Main Street to accommodate maintenance, retail, traffic and pedestrians,” Hart said.