MANCHESTER, Conn. (WTNH) — Proposed plans for a new streetscape in Manchester could include beginning construction for a new library, adding space for foot traffic and creating designated bike lanes.
The city’s downtown has long been a destination.
“We love the diversity of the restaurants, of the different shops,” said Charles Groce, of Springfield. “We really love spending time here.”
Upgrades could be coming sooner rather than later. The Connecticut Bond Commission has released $99 million for the Community Investment Fund 2030, with Manchester set to get $7.5 million.
“A lot of energy and vitality is coming back, and this will only help,” said Stacey Zackin, a manager at WORK_SPACE.
While plans are still in the concept phase, the biggest project could be a library where the Webster Bank is located. The state funds could go toward paying to demolish the building and prepare the property.
Those funds may also be used to reduce the four travel and turning lanes on Main Street to two, and then add space for foot traffic and a cycle track that would have designated bike lanes.
They’re improvements that local business say they are excited for.
“We see it, especially on the weekends, people coming, parking their bikes outside, and they’re going to have that designated lane for them to feel safe, said Sophia Dzialo, the owner of Firestone Art Studio and Cafe.
The hope is to make downtown more welcoming to everyone.
“I know there’s a lot of hidden gems in Connecticut, and we have a lot that are within walking distance from here, and we would like them to not to be hidden anymore,” Zackin said.