Why is this project being proposed?

    Over the past decade, the Department of Planning and Economic Development has led various initiatives to gather public input, including specific Downtown projects and town-wide efforts like the Manchester 2020 Plan and a Complete Streets Policy adopted in 2017. In 2021, a Downtown Manchester Improvements Project Concept Team began collaborating on applying the Complete Streets policy to Downtown Main Street, incorporating feedback from previous initiatives. Now, representatives are seeking public input on implementing a Complete Streets design for Downtown Main Street after presenting a draft concept to the Manchester Board of Directors in January 2022.

    Will the proposal reduce parking available Downtown?

    No, the concept plan shows no net change in on-street parking spaces and an increase in off-street spaces. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 public parking spaces available downtown. 

    Won’t the road diet cause traffic congestion and other delays?

    The combination of coordinated traffic signals and new lane configuration has been designed to make vehicular traffic smoother, slower, and safer. Because the signals will be coordinated, a trip through the Downtown by car is expected to take the same amount of time as it does today. 

    Does the plan eliminate all angled parking in favor of parallel parking?

    No, the plan proposes a mix of angled, parallel, and off-street parking – the same mix that exists today. Most blocks on the western side of Main Street could either be parallel or diagonal. The Town is in the process of engaging with business and property owners to determine which type is preferred on each block. 

    Will emergency vehicles and large trucks be able to get through a roundabout?

    Yes, the proposed roundabouts have been designed to accommodate very large vehicles, even in an emergency. 

    Are there concerns that biking downtown is uncommon and that people may not use the cycle track?

    While bicycles are not often seen downtown today, cycling in the current Downtown environment can be unsafe without proper infrastructure in place. Dedicated cycling infrastructure with a physical barrier is considered the safest way to accommodate cyclists. The project includes a cycle track with a curb between it and vehicular traffic. 

    Are the plans set in stone?

    No, the plans are a work in progress, and the Town is interested in hearing from community members about the project. The goal is to make Downtown the best it can possibly be for everyone. 

    Will the proposed plan harm Downtown events?

    The town is working closely with the Manchester Road Race Committee to ensure changes do not disrupt the race significantly. The Town expects the project to ultimately benefit Manchester’s one-of-a-kind event. 

    Additionally, nothing in the proposed plan would end or significantly disrupt the car show.  

    Won’t the project reduce the number of people who travel Downtown and see/visit local businesses?

    No, the proposed plan is not expected to significantly change the number of motor vehicles traveling through Downtown. The plan is intended to attract more people downtown and make traveling safer for all.