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The Superblock Report

Main Street in Nyack. Photo Credit: Nyack Daily SnapshotThe Mayor’s Citizen’s Committee on Nyack’s Superblock concept presented their findings Wednesday night at Village Hall. The committee studied the architectural, economic, environment and social impacts of reshaping Nyack’s downtown around an anchor facility.

During the four month study, the eight member group chaired by Triny Hertzberg met with experts in parking and planning as well as backers of Riverspace Downtown to create a 43 page comprehensive study of the question, is “re-development of the Main Street superblock, between Cedar Street and Franklin Street,  in the best interests of the Village of Nyack?”

The group’s conclusions interpreted the Superblock concept in the context of Nyack’s Comprehensive Master Plan:

  1. Promote and enhance downtown amenities and social character – Create a public space accessible to Nyack’s Main Street that encourages quality downtown gatherings with adequate restroom facilities, space to sit and trash / recycling receptacles.
  2. Promote and enhance downtown’s historic scale and character – Maintain the village’s diverse mix of buildings by complementing what’s in place with lighting, landscaping, public art and seasonal displays. Look for opportunities to bury overhead cables when possible. As one third of Nyack’s residents work in the Village, encourage more convenience and similar stores while setting requirements for  setback, floor area, and height requirements for downtown development.
  3. Enhance the fine-grain mixed-use character of downtown – Build on the “walkability” of Nyack by mandating diverse ground floor retail space use to provide interesting window displays. To add to Nyack’s credibility as an arts center, encourage residential and artist live-in and work spaces to increase street life, improve safety and provide additional customers for businesses. Encourage office use of upper floors of buildings to increase number of people downtown during the day.
  4. Enhance walkability throughout downtown — Safer and more attractive sidewalks, pavers to protect pedestrians in the crosswalks, tree clusters to shade but not degrade sidewalks and low level sidewalk lighting to replace street lighting.
  5. Address perceived and actual parking problems – Rework existing parking by re-striping, removing curb cuts, and adding diagonal parking. Also, improve the ‘€œreadability’€ of existing parking options for visitors.
  6. Improve connections between downtown Nyack and the rest of the Village, particularly the waterfront –The Hudson is Nyack’s most important natural resource and one of its primary identifying characteristics. The Superblock design should improve the visual connection to the river and remind visitors of Nyack’s unique waterfront connection and differentiate the village from other destinations. Better signage will encourage visitors to walk to the waterfront and increase use of fringe parking areas. Also, extend retail district zoning to Burd Street to encourage shops and eateries to guide shoppers to the river. Burd Street retail is a logical place to incubate start-up arts, crafts and other businesses that can someday graduate to more visible and trafficked locations on Broadway and Main Street.

Source: 8/10/2009 Report From The Citizen’s Committee To The Nyack Village Board On The Development Of The ‘€œSuperblock’€, Page 35 “Appendix 2 Comprehensive Master Plan Principles”

Photo Credit: Nyack Daily Snapshot

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