On May 28, the Register-Star reported that the concrete blocks and planters used to define the parking spaces used for outdoor dining were to return on June 20. Today is June 20, and there are no blocks or planters in the street.
At the informal Common Council meeting last week, DPW superintendent Rob Perry reported that no applications to use parking spaces for dining had been received by the Hudson Police Department, and he could not arrange for placement of the blocks, each of which weighs about a ton, until he knew where they needed to go.
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, and folks are wondering about the status of Warren Street Shared Usage 2022, so over the weekend, Gossips got an update on the status of plans for outdoor dining in the streets from Alex Petraglia of the Hudson Business Coalition (HBCi). The word is they are aiming to have the blocks and planters installed next Monday and Tuesday, June 27 and 28.
Last year, the Tourism Board hired a project manager for Warren Street Shared Usage (WSSU) and paid him $15,000. This year, the process of collecting the requisite permit applications, proof of insurance, and signed regulations forms from participating businesses is being carried out by a handful of HBCi volunteers. All the paperwork will be turned over to the HPD later this week. As Petraglia told Gossips, "We wanted to make it easy on our friends at HPD and DPW and not do it in dribs and drabs but rather in one go." He also reported that he had spent two full days at the DPW yard on Dock Street cleaning out the dead plants from last year and repairing the planters. New arrays of annuals for the planters will be delivered this week from Pondside Nursery.
Commenting on the delayed start of WSSU 2022, Petraglia said, "Learning from the mistakes of past incarnations of the launch of 'shared streets,' we know that it's better to get all the little details right rather than try to rush this. I'd rather we're criticized for being 'late' than for doing a subpar or unsafe job."
Twenty-one dining and drinking establishments will be participating in the program this year, nineteen on Warren Street and two on Columbia Street above the Public Square. For those of us who enjoy the experience, we will soon be dining in the street again.
|Photo: JD Urban | HBCi|