Streetscape Project Updates

Not Just Business as Usual

It is more than just business as usual for the Downtown Canandaigua Business Improvement District (BID) this summer.  In its centennial year, the City of Canandaigua is undergoing an exciting new renewal project, commonly called Streetscape, which will transform the sidewalks of downtown into a beautiful tree-lined walkway. Approximately two dozen new gardens with trees and shrubs and other plantings will line both sides of Main Street between Chapin and Antis Streets in the heart of the downtown. All of the sidewalks from façade to curb will be replaced.

While many of the gardens will look like ordinary gardens at grade, several will be specially engineered to collect the runoff water from the streets and sidewalks and naturally filter it before returning it to the watershed. Storm water runoff can include pollutants that are harmful to Canandaigua Lake so a major objective of the project is protecting the lake. The storm water runoff can include pollutants that are harmful to the lakeThe infrastructure of the bio-retention areas will include several layers of filtering materials and have a final depth of approximately a foot below grade. All of the gardens will be edged with a curbing and surrounded by porous pavers that will help collect the storm water.  The engineered rain gardens will additionally be enclosed by 18 inch high fencing.  The vegetation in the gardens will include trees, shrubs and grasses selected for hardiness.

The City’s bio-retention areas, in a walkable and active mobile setting, are completely new and have never been proposed or constructed in New York State to date.  There are very basic examples of similar rain gardens near parking lots and other areas across the state, however none that include pedestrians, vehicular traffic, active transportation, roadway and right-of-way storm water collection and aesthetics.

The downtown revitalization project started in 2011 when all of the trees along South Main Street were removed while NYSEG replaced the 100 year old gas lines.  In May 2012, the City of Canandaigua received a $385,000 “green innovation” grant from the State Environmental Facilities Corporation for the storm water management initiative. This was added to the $200,000 which the City had already allocated to the Main Street makeover project. This is an important investment in Canandaigua’s downtown business district, not only in revitalizing and beautifying the area but by encouraging new business investment and growth. These gardens will aesthetically beautify Canandaigua’s downtown corridor and further showcase the leading and first-class community that it is.  What a great way for the City to enter into its next 100 years.

We invite you to please stop by and celebrate the downtown’s green Streetscape enhancements.  There are activities scheduled every single day throughout the summer in Commons Park or very nearby. The merchants invite you to discover what’s in store downtown.  And when Streetscape is complete this Fall, stay tuned for a community-wide celebration. For more information, please call (585) 396-0300.

Canandaigua Business Improvement District (BID): The BID is managed by a not-for-profit organization, the Downtown Canandaigua Business Management Association (DCBMA), created to promote, beautify, and improve downtown for residents, property owners, merchants and visitors. Created more than 20 years ago, DCBMA is funded through a property tax assessment, contracted services agreement and fundraising events. The events and services that the association provides for Downtown Canandaigua have a big impact on the entire community by helping to attract new residents, new businesses and tourists to the area. Key 2013 projects include: Downtown Hanging Flower Baskets; 100 Days of Entertainment in the Park; Fall Into Canandaigua; Tree Lighting, Santa in the Park and free Holiday Wagon Rides.

The physical boundaries of the Canandaigua BID include South Main Street from the railroad tracks at the north end to Antis Street at the south end and one-block east and west. The BID boasts an eclectic mix of more than 100 businesses from specialty shops to clothing to ethnic restaurants to service providers.