Engagement on the West Side

As the Enrich Marietta team continues to gather feedback and input from the community, outreach efforts are taking place across the city. Earlier this month, Jackson Patterson, leader of MOV Rebound for Kids and co-chair of Main Street West, set up at the West Side Drive-Thru and Carry Out to speak with community members.

In addition to encouraging community members to complete the survey, Jackson asked community members to highlight areas on the map where they would like to see preservation, enhancement, or transformation.

Some of the primary areas identified where the community would like to see improvement include the Harmar entrance to the Train Bridge, the lot adjacent to the former Train Museum, and the West Muskingum Park’s riverfront.

Residents also called for improvements to existing parking lots on the West Side, including the Peoples Bank parking lot and the lot behind Spagna’s and the Harmar Tavern. “People in Harmar would like to see better lighting and more green space and landscaping,” said Jackson.

Residents would also like to see traffic slowed near the entrance to Harmar Elementary School, either by adding speed bumps, hiring crossing guards, or employing other traffic calming measures. Others mentioned needed street and alleyway improvements, the need to preserve and restore the Harmar Train Bridge, and a desire to fill the vacant storefronts on Maple Street.

Many of the businesses on Maple Street don’t keep regular retail hours. “Residents said that they would like to see these stores open more often to encourage more people to walk across the bridge to spend money in Harmar,” said Jackson.

Jackson’s main take away? Residents of Harmar are hungry for change and they embraced the opportunity to contribute to the process.

Working in partnership with the Enrich Marietta team, OHM Advisors will compile all of the community feedback shared through the survey as well through the activities like the one Jackson hosted at the West Side Drive-Thru and Carry Out. These results will inform which projects are prioritized in the plan for Downtown Marietta.

Sarah Arnold