Monday, June 30, 2008

The Greening of Main

From an article in today's SHT concerning the proposed downtown green policy:

The intersection of Main Street and Palm Avenue has been due for a makeover for more than four years, with as much as $130,000 set aside to install plants, brick and benches.

But for those same four years, the project has been mired in debate.

On one side, members of the downtown group Save Our Sarasota want more trees and plants. On the other side merchants and some downtown residents prefer an urban look with more brick and fewer plants.

But everyone agrees Main and Palm is a key intersection, and ought to be a model for other intersections.

Now, after several failed attempts at compromise, city officials have appointed a committee to break the stalemate.

The five-member group -- which consists of a property owner, a restaurateur, a gardener, a downtown condo resident and a person who has lobbied in the past for more greenery downtown -- will have its first meeting Tuesday to talk about improvements at Main Street and Palm Avenue.


Janice Green, who voiced concerns about an earlier plan to spruce up the intersection, hopes that the committee will come up with something more palatable.

"There has to be some greenery so you don't feel overwhelmed," Green said. "Even New York City has lots of trees on the east side.

"Green is chairwoman of Save Our Sarasota, a group that has lobbied against several proposals to make downtown more urban.

"Let's see what they come up with," Green said. "So far, SOS is very pleased with what is going on. I think it is a wonderful first step."

Carol Reynolds, also a member of Save Our Sarasota, will serve on the committee.

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