Category: Press Release
A series of expert consultants that have come to Westfield and completed analyses of downtown have all noted the special opportunity the Columbia Greenway offers downtown Westfield. The plans listed below consistently support the completion of the Columbia Greenway as an unique asset and an integral component of any plan for the economic revitalization of downtown.
- The Urban Land Institute October 2015 Technical Assistance Panel report on downtown called out the Columbia Greenway as a major asset for the City and included its completion and programming as one of eight major recommendations for strengthening the downtown. These outside experts wrote, "The extension of the Columbia Greenway bike trail and the creation of riverfront parkland next to the city’s new and revamped bridges is also a major step forward," and "The new Columbia Greenway and the new parkland along the Westfield River offer an opportunity to bring new visitors and activity to downtown Westfield."
- The 2013 Westfield Elm Street Redevelopment Plan, completed by the firm HDR, Inc, consistently speaks of the importance and opportunity of having the trail links in the heart of the downtown. This plan notes the Columbia Greenway allows Westfield to replicate multi-modal combinations that have been successful around the country. This extensive report proposes a bicycle center as part of the Elm Street redevelopment and states, "With the anticipated heavy use of the Columbia Greenway Trail, the Westfield Bike Center has the opportunity to be a draw for these trail users, encouraging these bicyclists to exit the trail at Thomas Street and explore all that downtown Westfield has to offer."
- The 2009 Re-Thinking Downtown Westfield also saw the Columbia Greenway as an unique asset and vehicle for economic stimulus. It notes, "the trail weaves its way through the center of the city and offers outstanding potential for passive and active recreation. This route will offer safe, speedy and convenient travel along a linear park spanning numerous roadways and the Westfield River, and connect a number of destinations throughout the city. This trail not only “knits” together the downtown and adjacent neighborhoods but also has great potential for economic development as businesses with roofs or second floors aligned with the rail trail find new and profitable uses for these spaces."
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