The Brighton Downtown Development Authority has agreed to spend up to $70,000 to develop a new streetscape plan for the downtown area. According to DDA Chairman Bob Herbst, the current streetscape plan is up to 15 years old and needs updating.

The DDA Board of Directors, meeting Tuesday, voted to hire Giffels Webster to do the study. Giffels Webster is the company that developed the city’s new Comprehensive Master Plan, which was approved Monday by the Planning Commission and will go the the City Council in December for finl approval. Herbst says there are many streetscape aspects that need to be updated. For one thing, the city has been required to have the garish, overhead cobra-style lights in addition to the more welcoming and softer Victorian streetlights, because of nighttime illumination rules.

Herbst says the city might consider - if feasible from a cost standpoint - procuring more of the decorative Victorian streetlights and at a higher luminosity, to end the necessity of the overhead cobra-style lights. Other possibilities to make downtown more attractive: replacing some trees which are either dead or dying that are located in front of businesses and can block or obscure the businesses’ signs; replacing brick pavers that are no longer level or switching from the pavers to stamped concrete; and replacing or repairing sidewalks that have buckled because of tree roots underneath and can pose tripping hazards.

Herbst says the streetscape study will take about 18 months to complete. Even though the entire cost of the streetscape study will be paid by the DDA, since it is city money, it will require a chance for the public to weigh in on it and approval by the City Council. (TT)

Photo: new holiday lights at Mill Pond Park, with new bandshell-amphitheater area in background