Comprehensive plan should include downtown

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 30, 2005

For those of you that missed it, there was a wonderful event downtown in Confederate Park Thursday afternoon. It was a "Concert in the Park," which is a series held by Greenville's Main Street Association where local musical acts entertain the public for free.

This past Thursday was a particularly beautiful day for such an event. It was good to see families fellowshipping in the park with each other while Miss Greater Greenville, Christen Clarke, sang several inspirational songs including "God Bless America."

If one event typifies what it's like to live in Greenville, it's this one.

There the community was; young and old, black and white, coming together to share a beautiful day with each other.

Greenville is the type of community where something like this can work. Our downtown is a wonderful asset and one that we as a city need to maximize.

Currently the city is working with a professional planner to compile a long-term plan; one that reaches 25 years in to the future. We encourage our city to include in that comprehensive plan a way to make downtown more accessible for events such as this. We envision a downtown that is more pedestrian friendly, with an eclectic mix of businesses that play and thrive off our historic charm.

Wider sidewalks, gas lighting, designated walking trails and cobblestone streets are examples of what can be done to encourage retailers to locate in downtown Greenville. Our city ordinances as to signage and facades also need to be considered as the plan is worked to insure continuity in developing such a shopping and community destination.

With the expected growth to come for our city, we applaud the mayor and council for making the investment in developing a plan, but we encourage them not to forget where it all started – in historic downtown