There is a need for a “town square” or place where community events like the “Farmers’ Market” and other gatherings can occur in the downtown area. The business community feels strongly that Main Street should not be used as a Festival Street. The Festival Street concept has merit if proper funding can be achieved. A study of potential sites should be performed so that an appropriate location can be chosen.
South Main Street Option – Festival Street
An option to the above-described modifications to South Main Street is to create a street designed specifically for public gatherings, festivals, performances, markets and other public events (see Figure 6). This option supports the periodic closure of South Main Street for events such as parades, music events, car shows, and food festivals. As a curbless environment with upgraded hardscape materials and added street furnishings, South Main Street prioritizes the pedestrian experience in Downtown Pendleton. The festival street is distinguished by a number of distinctive elements:
Transition ramps (5% slope) bring South Main Street up to the sidewalk grade; this occurs at four locations: the north leg of the intersection of South Main Street and Frazer Avenue, the north and south legs of the intersection of South Main Street and Emigrant Avenue, and the south leg of the intersection of South Main Street and Dorion Avenue;
The street surface has a distinctive color (stamped concrete);
The Festival street has customized street furnishings, such as decorative cast iron tree grates and bollards;
The stationary bollards along the sides of Main Street have pedestrian-scale lighting;
Removable bollards are placed atop the transition ramps during special events when South Main Street is closed to vehicle traffic;
Light posts and building façades are equipped with fixtures for shade coverings (“shade sails”);
A gateway arch at the intersection of Frazer and South Main Street demarks the entrance to the Festival Street; and
The street contains underground utilities and is equipped with speakers, electrical outlets and data connections for vendors.
INSERT FIGURE 6. FESTIVAL STREET SCHEMATIC PLAN VIEW
SW 1st Street and SE 1st Street Improvements
SW and SE 1st Streets will be handling additional through traffic once enhancements to slow traffic on Main Street are put into effect. As a result, bicycle “sharrow” lanes should not be placed on SW and SE 1st Streets. Overall, improvements are cost efficient upgrades that do not require extensive construction or disruption.
Proposed improvements to SW 1st Street and SE 1st Street are intended to create an environment fully supportive of bicyclists and pedestrians while also supporting automobile traffic. As Downtown Pendleton’s designated “bicycle boulevards”, SW 1st Street and SE 1st Street will connect to the greater bicycle network while remaining as two-way traffic streets with existing parallel parking on both sides. Overall, improvements to SW 1st Street and SE 1st Street are cost-efficient upgrades that do not require extensive construction or disruption. Streets will be upgraded with the following elements to better support bicycle and pedestrian use.
Bicycle racks, either off-the-shelf or custom-designed;
Streetscape improvements such as repainted traffic lanes, street trees, tree grates and irrigation system.
Parking Lot Improvements
Surface parking lots are prevalent in Downtown Pendleton, especially along SW 1st Street, SE 1st Street and Frazer Avenue. The majority of the parking lots lack landscaping and few, if any, have signage making people aware of their availability or location. As such, the following improvements are recommended for public and private surface parking lots, where practical. (Note: Not all improvements shown on the Plan maps will be feasible, and other improvements not shown may be considered.)
Landscaped setbacks of at least five feet between sidewalks and paved surfaces of parking lots to provide a buffer for pedestrians; alternatively, a narrower setback with a landscaped screen or seating wall could be employed where space is extremely limited;
Planting islands within larger parking lots for shade and visual interest;
Bioswales (vegetated depressions or planters) at parking lot perimeters that are designed to remove silt and pollution from storm water runoff;
Trees within landscaped setbacks and planting islands that help convey a sense of verticality or street enclosure along the edges of parking lots;
New and enhanced access ways where gaps between buildings exist to accommodate pedestrian flow between parking lots along SW First and SE First Avenues and Main Street; and
A new mid-block crossing between the Chamber of Commerce building and the parking area on the southeast corner of Frazer and South Main Street.