Our Name: People of Engagement Bowling Green (PEBG)
Our Overall Focus
PEBG is committed to city-wide involvement centered around the City of Bowling Green’s Improvement Plan (often referred to as the “Land Use Plan″). Below are various items we are currently working with.
One: Highly livable urban form that creates/preserves a community
• “Centers” that have walk-to or bike-to convenience for surrounding neighbors, with dining, convenience shopping, and professional services.
• A strong downtown “center” with convenient access from BGSU, convenient parking, outdoor dining, wide, decorative paved sidewalks, attractive public gathering areas, and an emphasis on the arts.
• Ability to get around easily without a car—with bike paths/lanes; good, generous sidewalks; and thorough connectivity for cars, bikes and pedestrians.
• A “green” community with continuous street trees, parks, pocket parks, and “greens” everywhere.
Two: Positive, appealing first impressions
• Gateways with lush landscaping, open space and monuments.
• Grand boulevards lined with streets trees and with richly planted medians.
Three: Local flavor/character
• Entertainment with a focus on downtown events and community activities, including BGSU.
• Unique dining with farm-to-market, local “one of” restaurants or small regional chains, outdoor dining, micro-breweries, including the existing downtown and local farmers’ markets.
• A focus on the arts, with emphasis on local events, such as Black Swamp Art Festival.
• Sense of heritage, grounding, with historic buildings, natural areas, and clear city/country demarcation.
Four: A strong business base
• Retention of existing companies.
• A focus on employee-intensive businesses.
• A stabilized and growing BGSU.
• A climate encouraging local entrepreneurs, taking advantage of BGSU intellectual capital, and creating opportunities for business incubation.
Five: “Good neighbor” neighborhoods
• Gradual transitions between different land uses and building types so as to not diminish adjacent property values.
• Inconspicuous off-street parking behind buildings.
• Consistent street trees throughout BG.
• Well-maintained homes, buildings, and neighborhoods.
Our Primary Focus
The Improvement Plan has identified four priority areas of focus: Northeast & Southeast quadrant, Downtown and East Wooster Street. We have identified three key areas where action is being called for. We believe that there is an inter-connectedness between all three, and that whatever actions are taken in relation to one will have an impact upon the others.
The East Wooster Corridor:
The City of Bowling Green (BG) and Bowling Green State University (BGSU) have hired the consultancy services of Poggemeyer Design Group. This consultancy is being done at a cost of $44,000—which is being shared equally by BG and BGSU. Poggemeyer will review BG’s Improvement Plan and the Development Plan of BGSU while seeking to identify points of commonality and convergence between the two plans. As a result of their findings recommendations for improvement along the East Wooster Corridor will be presented. For clarification, the East Wooster Corridor begins at the Interchange of I-75 and East Wooster and goes to the Downtown corner of Wooster and Main. PEBG urges all decision-makers to consider extending that to include the space that is referred to as Wooster Green Space, at the intersection of West Wooster and Church Streets. We support the idea that the Wooster Green Space be considered as the western-most portion of the East Wooster Corridor.
The time frame for the completion of Poggemeyer’s study is “early to late Fall”
Bowling Green Neighborhoods:
The development of the East Wooster corridor makes the Northeast quadrant the next appropriate location for improvement. The Northeast quadrant faces many challenges, including non-conforming uses of properties, the lack of neighborhood parks/green space, aesthetic quality of streetscaping and a lack of connectivity between BGSU and Downtown. The issues facing the Southeast quadrant need to be addressed in order for the area to compete for strong households and to become a vital thriving mixed use neighborhood. The issues are disproportionate student housing within traditional family blocks, a lack of off-street parks, trails and local- serving commercial businesses as well few intersection connections to BGSU.
While Downtown Bowling Green has many vibrant businesses that have been a staple on Main Street for many years, it is important for the city to attract new residents and visitors to become a premier destination in Northwest Ohio. A greater variety of businesses and restaurants that appeal to both the existing citizens and the target demographic of 18-35 year olds is important to this mission. It has been suggested in the Improvement Plan that a reconfiguration of Main Street and the surrounding neighborhoods includes bike lanes, public plazas, updated visually appealing streetscapes, landscaping, outdoor dining, and improved on-street parking.
The expansion of the Downtown Central Business District will create a seamless commercial corridor to the BGSU campus. Any and all students, faculty, staff, and visitors will find a safe, beautiful downtown and a vibrant community; enhancing the value of BGSU as a university. The East Wooster Corridor Project is addressing some of the points from the Land Use Plan in creating this corridor.
The Land Use Plan suggests establishing an entrepreneurial fund for new or improved downtown businesses. This could be done by offering tax abatements, reasonable rental rates, and reduction in utilities and employee taxes for a specified period of time. This method has attracted manufacturing to our area and could help attract new business, or help existing businesses to expand or improve their current business.
A downtown task force should be established to oversee a streetscape design study and traffic and parking analysis to determine the feasibility of and options for the changes needed. Emphasis should be placed on looking into all that is available in grants, loans, and subsidies to cover the cost of the proposed changes.
The process and measurement of our effectiveness utilizes the SMART system
As we begin to work together on issues involving the community we will use the SMART process described below to ensure that we are in alignment with the vision, mission and purpose of PEBG. This process will keep us focused and help us measure our effectiveness.
“Specific” answers the questions “What is to be done?” and “How will you know it is done?” and describes the results of the work to be done. The description is written in such a way that anyone reading the objective will in most cases interpret it the same way.
“Measurable” answers the question “How will you know it meets expectations?” and defines the objective using terms such as quality, quantity, frequency, costs, and deadlines. It refers to the extent to which something can be evaluated against some standard.
“Attainable” answers the questions “Can the person(s) do it?” and “Does the person(s) have the experience, knowledge or capability of meeting the expectation?” It also answers the question, “Can it be done given the time frame, opportunity and resources?”
“Relevant” answers the questions, “Should it be done? ”Why?” and “What will be the impact?” Is the objective aligned with the plan?
T -Time Bound
“Time” oriented answers the question, “When will it be done?” It refers to the fact that there is an end point with check points along the way.
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