Frisco sets Oct. 5 end date for pedestrian promenade, talks winter ‘parklets’
FRISCO — Frisco Town Council decided to officially set an end date of Oct. 5 for the Main Street Promenade.
The experiment is coming to an end after almost four months of allowing shops and restaurants to spread their businesses onto Main Street. The promenade opened June 12 as part of the town’s economic relief efforts to help keep local businesses afloat during ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.
Frisco Town Council members discussed the promenade’s eventual end during a regular meeting Tuesday, Sept. 22. There was some discussion of keeping it open further into fall, but with days getting shorter and colder weather on the horizon, the council ultimately reached a consensus that the promenade had run its course.
“It’s been a good run,” council member Dan Fallon said. “Summer has been great. But I think it will be winding down by the end of that first weekend in October. The environmental conditions are going to be the big constraint. … It’s time in my mind to reopen Main Street and start to look toward the winter.”
Businesses on the promenade will have until 10 a.m. Oct. 5 to remove any of their furniture or equipment from Main Street. Frisco Public Works will be working at the same time to get the road ready for traffic, with the hope of reopening the road to drivers later that afternoon.
But the sparkle of lights along Main Street and spotted throughout town won’t be disappearing entirely this winter. The town is moving forward with a new “parklet” project that would allow local businesses to maintain some additional outside space throughout the winter months.
In early August, the Colorado Department of Transportation awarded Frisco a $50,000 grant through the department’s Revitalizing Main Streets program, meant to help fund communities seeking out creative changes to public spaces to promote economic activity. The town is putting the money toward building parklets — small decks that would fit into parking spaces — that could be deployed throughout town.
Public Works Director Jeff Goble said the parklet designs were versatile.
“We’re building basically 40 Lego blocks that could be put together to make 20 parklets or fewer parklets that are larger,” Goble said. “We’re not putting roofs on them by any means, but they are being designed to handle the snow loads, handle the weather and handle the wind.”
Goble continued to say that the parklets could be picked up and moved around town, and could be placed anywhere as long as they’re being used to assist businesses in physical distancing efforts. Goble also noted that the lights currently strung along the barrels of the pedestrian promenade would be repurposed for the parklets and that his team had already put a plan in place for snow removal.
But it remains to be seen how many local shops and restaurants will actually choose to use the parklets. Some council members voiced that the parklets weren’t a realistic option for some businesses and called for more feedback from the community.
“I want to do a meeting starting to talk to restaurant people about it,” Fallon said. “I’d like to get them together that first week of October or the next week and really start to hear from them about how they’re planning individually or if there’s some other combination of ideas.”
The town expects to be able to start rolling out parklets by mid-October.
Anyone interested in putting a parklet in front of their business should contact Community Development Director Don Reimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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