HUDSON PRIORITIZES SAFE REOPENING WITH SHARED STREETS INITIATIVE

Fridays, Saturday & Sundays 10 a.m.-sunset starting June 26, 2020

Warren Street (Front to 7th Street), Hudson, New York

A New York City Shared Street

HUDSON — In a move to promote a safe and responsible return to shopping, dining and socializing in its historic center, Hudson joins cities and towns around the world making street space available to businesses, residents, and local organizations in new ways through its Shared Summer Streets initiative. On weekends from 10am to sunset starting Friday, June 26, businesses on Warren Street between 7th and Front Streets have the opportunity to expand activities to sidewalks and select parking spaces, while 5mph local traffic and pedestrians share the street to allow adequate space for social distancing. For more information or to apply for a parking space activation permit, visit www.cityofhudson.org/streets.

It is estimated that 40% of Hudson’s businesses are at risk of collapsing due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. With New York State safety regulations limiting indoor capacities and research indicating the spread of the virus is considerably reduced outdoors, Hudson’s shared public space has become the safest place to conduct business. The initiative, a collaboration between the City of Hudson, Hudson Hall, FUTURE HUDSON, and Design for Six Feet, with financial support from Columbia Economic Development Corporation and The Spark of Hudson, was developed in conversation with city businesses and residents. “Over 90% of respondents to our local survey told us they want to spend money locally, but want to do so outdoors, safely,” says Hudson Hall’s General Manager, Sage Carter. She also said creating barricades at every intersection to limit traffic works for businesses, residents and visitors. “Limiting local traffic to 5 miles per hour and keeping some parking spaces available allows for drivers to access any address on the street, businesses to accept deliveries and offer curbside pick-up, and for local public transport to continue servicing the community,” she says. “Most importantly, it creates safer conditions for pedestrians to share the street, thereby reducing crowding on sidewalks.” Carter notes that a total of 800 parking spots are available in municipal and county-owned lots, with approximately ⅓ of them within a 5-minute walk to Warren Street.

Warren Street property owners or 1st floor businesses can apply to the City of Hudson Police Department to occupy the sidewalks and adjoining on-street parking spaces, with a small weekly fee to cover loss of revenue generated by the city through parking. Local small businesses, not-for-profits, artists or makers without Warren Street operations may apply to hello@hudsonhall.org, with spaces assigned on a case-by-case basis.

The focus of the initial weeks is to be responsive to feedback from the community, with adjustments expected as the organizers and the City work towards best practices for the remainder of summer. “This is an extraordinary moment in time. These changes in traffic patterns and the use of public streets often take months and years of planning,” says Peter Spear of FUTURE HUDSON. “Due to the impact of COVID-19 and the Phased reopening of New York, we have had to work quickly and creatively. We will rely on constructive feedback to improve and adapt over the next weeks and months. Adjustments will be made throughout July as needed or appropriate, with public safety amenities such as sanitizing stations and restrooms, as well as streetscaping improvements, happening as quickly as they can be brought on line. With Kaja, her team at Design for Six Feet and our local volunteers, we will be watching traffic patterns closely and making any changes necessary to ensure pedestrian safety.” Hudson Hall will assist the City in managing the gradual improvement and spending for improved barriers, signage, public restrooms and tables over the course of the summer based on responses and evaluation of the initiative.

“As Hudson reopens during the pandemic, we can’t rely on the old way of doing things,” says Mayor Kamal Johnson. “We have a collaborative team reimagining Warren Street and implementing an exciting and thoughtful plan. We will be evaluating the impact and adjusting the plan as we go.”

ABOUT FUTURE HUDSON

FUTURE HUDSON is a resident-driven and all volunteer series of community events in Hudson, New York to inspire creative conversations about our shared future.

ABOUT HUDSON HALL

Hudson Hall is a cultural beacon in the Hudson Valley, offering a dynamic year-round schedule of music, theater, dance, literature, workshops for youth and adults, as well as family programs and large-scale community events such as Winter Walk. Located in a historic landmark that houses New York State’s oldest surviving theater, Hudson Hall underwent a full restoration and reopened to the public in April 2017 for the first time in over 55 years. The newly restored Hudson Hall reflects Hudson’s rich history in a modern facility that welcomes residents and visitors from throughout our local community, across the nation, and around the globe.

ABOUT KAJA KUHL/ DESIGN FOR SIX FEET

Kaja Kühl is an Urban Designer based in Brooklyn, NY and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, where she teaches design studios on the Hudson Valley and its communities. Together with her colleagues Anna Dietzsch and Liz McEnaney, she founded Design For Six Feet, a design initiative to share best practices in response to the global pandemic and its implication for public space. You can follow the initiative on Instagram @designforsixfeet

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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