January 10th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 2
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Two concepts presented for Coleman Revitalization Project
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Mucipality of Crowsnest Pass photo
The municipality will begin a $3.75-million project this spring to revitalize downtown Coleman.
ANNA KROUPINA
Pass Herald Reporter
The municipality presented two concepts for streetscaping in downtown Coleman at an open house held on January 4.

Poster boards with preliminary concepts were displayed at the open house for people to learn about both the underground and aboveground work. Thomas, along with members of Council and representatives from Stantec Consulting, the company hired to develop a tailored plan, were present to answer questions and gather input from locals.

The $3.75 million project will replace underground infrastructure in need of repair, including road curbs, wastewater drains, storm pipes and gutter on the road. The project limits are 17 Avenue between 76 and 79 Street and 77 Street between 17 and 19 Avenue.

But apart from a deep infrastructure replacement, the municipality decided to take advantage of the road closures and construction already happening to visually spruce up the downtown core.

Both designs intend to encourage people to visit the downtown Coleman core and thereby visit businesses in the area.

“What we were trying to do is reinvigorate downtown and we’re following a lot of the concepts of the Main Street Program throughout the province, promoting that walkability function to help supplement the businesses,” says Patrick Thomas, Manager of Development, Engineering and Operations with the municipality. “We can build a very efficient, a very thoroughfare road, but it wouldn’t help the businesses grow and thrive. By getting people that want to be there and that want to get out of their vehicles into the area, they’re more apt to stop and go into a business.”

Concept 1 was a softscape-focused design with an enhanced planting plan that emphasizes the natural landscape and incorporates greenery in the streescape.
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“It’s softening up the streetscape and creating those environments for pedestrians to hang out in more often and encouraging them to stay downtown,” says Britney Bell, landscape designer with Stantec.

The second concept, while still incorporating more green spaces than currently exist, places stronger focus on hardscape features such as plaza design and ease of pedestrian movability.

“In Concept 2, we are creating outdoor spaces for gathering, plaza spaces, cafes, tables and opportunities for businesses to expand outside if weather permits. If the community has any event like parades, festivals or farmer’s markets, they can expand on the street. It creates a more inviting space for those events,” says Bell. “There is a more pedestrian-friendly feel of downtown to permit businesses to have pop-up shops, have more events and encourage people to come downtown.”

Poster boards presented various “palettes” for furniture, plants and concrete styles that may be considered as part of the revitalization.

“We are presenting some concept ideas of what our streetscaping could look like and seeing what elements people like. It doesn’t have to be one or two. It can be parts of one, parts of two, maybe even parts of something else. We’re really just trying to capture what people would like it to look like and then we can come up with a concept to come forward,” says Thomas.
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The plan also includes a public art design to showcase Coleman as an artistic hub and maintain the historical background of the downtown core. It is intended to be a collaborative process with the community and local artists. Two artwork themes prevalent in this area are being considered by the municipality: mining and Prohibition.

“We’ve identified that there can be public art pieces, but we are here to get the feedback of whether it’s even something that people want,” says Thomas. “Once we get that, then we can identify an area that can house a piece of art, the size, dimensions and type. We really see downtown Coleman becoming an artistic hub and having an increased art display would supplement that feeling, but we don’t know if that’s a concept that will be supported by council and the community.”

The open house was an opportunity for the public to share feedback on the proposed concepts and now, the input will be compiled, analyzed and the municipality will move forward with a detailed final design.

“We will be going back and compiling the feedback that we’ve received, evaluating what that feedback is and modifying the concepts,” says Thomas. “They will be presented to Council to show the predominant feedback we got and determine whether they are in support of this concept.”

There will be stakeholder sessions to discuss the construction schedule with directly affected properties, but no more open houses will be held for public input.

The final design is anticipated to be completed in March 2018. Staggered construction is slated to begin this spring, with project completion projected for fall 2018.

The project proposal can be viewed on the municipality’s website at https://www.crowsnestpass.com/doing-business/doing-business/downtown-coleman-streetscape-revitalization-public-open-house.
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January 10th, 2018 ~ Vol. 89 No. 2
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