Almost a month ago, on August 13, Arterial, the group planning the streetscape changes that are part of the Hudson Connects DRI project, made a presentation to the Historic Preservation Commission. Responding to that presentation, HPC chair Phil Forman told his colleagues, "We need to bring our full game to the table." John Schobel, vice chair of the HPC, declared, "We have to be very careful with materials."
It's still not clear what role the HPC will be allowed to play in the planning for Hudson Connects, but at the HPC meeting yesterday, Hilary Hillman and Britt Zuckerman from the Conservation Advisory Council (CAC) were in attendance to make a presentation. In introducing Hillman and Zuckerman, Forman said the CAC had been doing "a lot of thinking about materials" and commented, "What's being proposed [by Arterial] is a hell of a lot of stripes."
Zuckerman began her presentation by showing historic photographs of Hudson, which showed large shade trees right at the edge of the street, sometimes literally in the street.
She argued that to survive and flourish, street trees needed more than minimum sized tree wells and spoke of the benefits of incorporating planting strips and bioswales into the street design.
Zuckerman asserted that materials could be used instead of striping to "suggest moments of pause and places to cross" and showed examples of materials, all of which are ADA compliant, that might be used to create an appropriate streetscape for Hudson.
Schobel responded, "This is exactly the expertise and thoughtfulness that needs to overlay what Arterial is doing." HPC member Jeremy Stynes concurred, commenting, "The hero should be the architecture not the traffic striping."
When Forman asked about the process going forward, Zuckerman said she was "reaching out" to Arterial but as yet they have not responded.
In August, David Lustberg of Arterial told the HPC that they had created a website for the project called HudsonConnects.com to keep people updated on the project. He said at that time the website was no more than a landing page. Gossips checked the website earlier today and found it is still not much more than a landing page but did discover that the public workshop, originally scheduled for August 24 and canceled, had been rescheduled for September 22. Checking the website again just now, that information seems to have disappeared. No workshop appears on the city calendar for the month of September.
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