MONTPELIER — Folks love Montpelier, and it’s not just the recent streak of perfect weather.
That’s the good news from an informal survey of people along State and Main.
At a time when the city is looking to spruce up its look, has embarked on a major municipal heat project, and hopes to ease entry to the city through construction of a transit hub, several residents and others took time Tuesday to talk about the improvements they’d like to see downtown.
Abigail Pajak, Stephanie Congo and Trevor Lewis were sitting on a bench outside the Kellogg-Hubbard Library, a popular gathering spot. “I really think that they should have better and more trash and recycling receptacles,” said Lewis, with Pajak and Congo nodding in agreement. “It would also be great if there could be more benches in the shade. More trees.”
Not surprising to hear that from state Agriculture Agency employees.
“Please tell them to paint the crosswalks better in the street,” said Congo. “Right now, if you aren’t from here you can’t even see them.”
Massage therapist Rebecca Riley lives in the city and gets to walk to work every day. For the past 20 years she’s seen the city change, and as far as she’s concerned it’s all good. “I really am in love with Montpelier. I feel like the town is responsive to the people who live here. And as time goes on it’s gotten a little more brisk and a little more ‘city.’”
Riley would like to see more money go toward the landscape, with additional pots of flowers. “I love the flowers. So, yeah, more of that.”
Inside Capital Kitchen, owner Jessica Turner, a member of Montpelier Alive, said holiday decor is at the top of her list. “I am really hoping that we can put some money into making a great holiday light experience. It takes so much work to put them up, so let’s make them really great. Barre has some great lights. We should too.”
Across the street at the Quirky Pet, owner Cindra Conison said she is fine with the way things are downtown and that people should take care of what they already have. “I would like to see people cleaning up the sidewalks in front of their shops,” she said.
First in Fitness yoga instructor Glenn Scherer had some expansive ideas. “I really think they should turn Langdon Street into a pedestrian mall,” he said. “I enjoyed the Frostival, but it was kind of cold. But they need to do something around the bus service. The buses have sometimes been delayed for several hours at the Canadian border and I knew someone who had to wait in front of City Hall for two hours to get a ride.”
When told the city planned to create a transit hub at the Carr Lot on Taylor Street and extend the bike path, Scherer grew excited. “I had no idea they were going to do that. That’s great.”
Michael Gambler, who works at Vermont Mutual, was taking a brief break and enjoying a burrito on the benches next to Christ Church. The New York native was musing that he feels slightly embarrassed to complain about the traffic.
“The downtown in Montpelier is great. It has something for everyone, and the farmers market is incredible. There are so many different kinds of vendors. It’s the place that I talk up to everybody.”
As for his one request — echoed by others: “More parking.”
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