Paulding Plan Part 2 (sidewalks & streetscaping)

The Paulding Plan Part 2:

PROBLEMS/NEEDS AND RELATED RECOMMENDATIONS

Problems and needs were identified through public meetings, one-on-one meetings with individuals involved in the downtown, and analysis of existing land uses. In addition, PDG’s experiences in other communities were used for comparison. Following each problem/need, recommendations are made for ameliorating or lessening the problem or otherwise addressing the need for the community.

1. Sidewalks and Streetscaping

Problem/Need: The condition of the sidewalks and lack of streetscaping is probably the most significant problem facing downtown Paulding today. Existing sidewalks are deteriorated, uneven, inconsistent, broken, and otherwise in poor condition, presenting potential liability problems to both the Village and the property owners.

Along with the poor condition of the sidewalks, there is little or no differentiation in elevation between sidewalks, curbs, and street surfaces. This results from years of resurfacing the streets without removing old asphalt. Problems created by this lack of differentiation include: Storm water is not controllable, vehicles have nothing to stop then from entering onto the sidewalks, pedestrians are less protected from a safety perspective, and the aesthetic quality of the downtown is diminished. The problem is so great in downtown Paulding that when the meters were removed to provide free parking, the posts were left in place to stop vehicles from proceeding onto the sidewalks.

In addition to these problems, there is virtually no greenery in downtown Paulding except for the Courthouse Square. Storefronts are devoid of trees and grass. A few planters have been placed throughout the downtown, but they are poorly maintained. Thus, block faces are very monotonous, stark and unappealing.

Recommendations: A comprehensive sidewalk replacement program should be designed and implemented, starting at the Square (both sides of the streets) and proceeding outward in all directions as funds become available. This design scheme should include concrete sidewalks with brick trim or decorative concrete payers to reduce the quantity of asphalt and concrete existing in downtown Paulding.

The Village should initiate discussions with the Ohio Department of Transportation regarding the planing of all streets in the downtown which are State Routes, as it is imperative that the height of the curb be established before a sidewalk replacement program is started. A street planing and resurfacing program should be coordinated with a curb and gutter replacement program, as well as with the sidewalk replacement program.

In conjunction with the sidewalk replacement program, a streetscaping program should be designed and implemented. Careful attention should be given to the types of trees recommended. Trees should be light and airy so as not to block signage. The branches of the trees should be higher than seven feet so as not to interfere with pedestrians, and the trees should be devoid of fruits and seeds that will require frequent cleanup. Trees that do not grow tall and full are recommended for downtowns.

There is adequate room between the streets and the buildings for a narrow tree lawn, if grass is desired. In lieu of grass, decorative pavers or bricks can be used with grates around the trees.

Coordinated benches and trash receptacles should be placed strategically throughout the downtown as part of the streetscaping program.

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