AUBURN — Downtown’s crosswalks, parking spaces and lane lines will get a fresh coat of paint as part of an effort to make the downtown more bike- and pedestrian-friendly, councilors were told Monday.

“I’ve had business and prospective people say we have no on-street parking, but I say no, it is there,” Economic Development Specialist Alan Manoian said. “We just need to paint out the individual stalls. And visually, this will really project that we do indeed have abundant on-street parking.”

The work, estimated to cost $50,000, could begin right away.

But longer-term changes will have to wait. Those could include adding more on-street parking spaces on Turner, Court, Hampshire, South Main and Second streets, as well as moving the traffic light at Academy and Main streets to Elm Street and possibly closing Academy Street to through traffic.

Those more robust changes were spelled out in a staff memo, but city councilors ran out of time Monday and didn’t discuss them.

Mayor Jonathan LaBonte, who said he disagrees with closing Academy Street, said any changes would get a full public hearing.


“I can assure you that any discussions of anything beyond putting down striping will be talked about extensively,” LaBonte said.

Councilors adopted a “complete streets” policy in June as a part of their fiscal year 2014-15 budget. It calls for the city to make every road comfortable for all manners of traffic — cars, bicycle, pedestrian and wheelchair.

It also required city staff to come up with a first-draft plan to make it happen within 30 days.

Assistant City Manager Harold Kroll, Manoian and city Public Works and police staffers have been meeting since then to come up with the plan.

Kroll said the city would pay for the work with a combination of state and federal grants and funds from the downtown tax increment financing district.

Plans call for renewed lane and parking space stripes along Court, Spring, Pleasant, Turner, Mill, Broad and Third streets.

Downtown crosswalks could get fresh paint as well, and mid-block crosswalks would all get signs to warn drivers.

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