On Monday, February 4th, at 5:30 PM in the Lee Belle Johnson building at 301 S. Foch, the community is again invited to learn more and contribute ideas and feedback to the redesign of Foch Street in downtown Truth or Consequences. Architects and landscape designers from MRWM will present their findings about the existing conditions, the feedback received thus far, their design strategies, and share sketches of some possible reconfigurations of the streetscape.
The presentation will be followed by a community discussion about the pros and cons of different options that will inform the architects’ next steps.
The redesign project got started last fall through the award of the “Great Blocks on MainStreet” grant to MainStreet Truth or Consequences and the city. The grant pays for research, engineering, and community engagement associated with the production of “shovel-ready” construction documents.
The purpose of the grant is to dramatically upgrade a core three-block commercial area within a MainStreet District through the creative implementation of urban design, architecture, and landscape architecture, and catalyze the target area by providing public infrastructure upgrades that will in the next phase result in private sector reinvestment in buildings and businesses.
Many public infrastructure funding sources require finished construction documents to qualify for funding, and so this grant opens up new possibilities for the revitalization of civic infrastructure in Truth or Consequences.
After the first community feedback session back in December, the architectural firm established a list of goals and considerations for the redesign of Foch Street:
- Celebrate the history and culture of Truth or Consequences.
- Engage the citizens of Truth or Consequences in the design process.
- Create ADA compliant connections throughout the project area that create comfortable travel for pedestrians of all abilities. Provide amenities including pedestrian lighting and street furniture.
- Provide numerous locations for the display of public art, small performances, merchandise displays, or other activities.
- Identify possibilities for “pop-up” or temporary installations in vacant lots adjacent to the project area.
- Provide shade. Trees, shade structures, and trellises are possible options.
- Improve drainage issues through water harvesting techniques that provide water to new landscape plantings.
- Encourage visitors to explore the downtown district.
- Improve visual and pedestrian connections to the Healing Waters Plaza.
- Determine locations for wayfinding signage to improve visitor navigation of the downtown area and attractions, including identification of major arrival points to the district.
- Maximize parking in the district, but not at the expense of the pedestrian experience.
- Provide for safe and appropriate traffic movement through the project area.
- Consider semi-truck deliveries to existing businesses.
- Coordinate improvements with the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) and NMDOT.
- Identify a portion of the project that can be built by the community in the near future while the larger project is seeking construction funding.
The terms of the grant require that the finished construction documents be completed by MRWM before June 15th, 2019. The firm is still gathering technical information about the existing conditions and collecting community feedback while sketching some preliminary options for residents to consider.
Anyone with ideas, concerns, or suggestions for redesigning Foch Street may contact the lead architect directly:
Robert Loftis, MRWM Landscape Architects, 1102 Mountain Rd NW, Suite 201, Albuquerque, NM, 87102, 505-268-2266, fax 505-2659637 or firstname.lastname@example.org