NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The city of Northampton received $200,000 from MassDOT’s Shared Spaces program. That money was used to redesign Main Street.
The project is finally completed, but now people aren’t happy about it.
A petition was organized by one local business on Main Street which was signed by over 30 downtown businesses and more than 400 residents, saying this redesign will put people out of business.
Downtown Northampton businesses are furious after the city spent thousands of dollars to redesign Main Street.
It went from two lanes on each side to one. With the extra space, sidewalks were expanded, but at the sacrifice of more than half of the downtown parking spots, and you’ll now have to parallel park when you do find a space.
22News spoke with the owner of Haven Body Arts here on Main Street who organized a petition to restore Main Street to how it was originally. It’s been supported by 34 other local business who fear the change could too put them out of business.
“Business needs people. You reduced the amount of people, you reduced how easy it is for them to get here to navigate everything,” said Peter Kerantzas, co-owner of Haven Body Arts. “The pool for people that are going to buy goods or services has shrunk drastically. We have fellow business owners who has their clients call and tell them we’re not going to stop by we can’t find parking.”
Kerantzas added that now businesses cannot take deliveries or perform curb-side pick-up because there is nowhere to pull over or park on the street, something that is crucial during this pandemic.
In addition, many struggling businesses were anticipating more revenue during the school year, however local colleges won’t have students on campus – greatly reducing foot traffic even more downtown.