Despite its potential, Downtown Taunton remains underused, challenged by storefront and upper floor vacancies, and perceptions of a lack of safety and convenient parking.
The Taunton Downtown Plan sought to offer the City a wide variety of tools to assist in its efforts to enhance the area’s viability and vibrancy. This included physical improvements at a number of scales: a complete streets approach to Main Street, an extension of the park along Mill River, the redesign of Liberty and Union Plaza, tactical improvements to storefronts, and a rebranding and wayfinding strategy to make existing parking more visible. The toolkit also included financial and policy-based approaches, with different development scenarios, based on the level of investment available.
The project also included a multi-pronged approach to eliciting feedback and building consensus. The team worked closely with the Taunton Office of Economic and Community Development and the Taunton Business Improvement District, as well as an advisory committee, and the larger community via a range of public interactions (from traditional community meetings to participation in local fairs to a vigorous on-line presence).