Kingston seeks to curb cars
Mayor Steven Noble has posted a public opinion survey at EngageKingston.com seeking input on an Open-Streets concept for the City of Kingston.
Kingston is considering a plan that would help shops and restaurants get back to business by operating outdoors. According to the mayor, streets could be closed to vehicular traffic and opened up to pedestrians, creating more physical space for outdoor dining and open-air shopping.
“We recognize everyone is eager for our local businesses to reopen, but we also must continue to be vigilant about the health and wellness of our entire community,” said Noble. “We hope this concept will both help local businesses and offer safe shopping and dining for residents. Whether you’re a Kingston business owner, resident or visitor, please take a moment to fill out the survey and provide your feedback.”
The pan would be initiated by the end of June and continue through Columbus Day. The survey will be open until this Friday, June 12, and can be found at https://engagekingston.com/openstreets-initiative.
Businesses interested in participating should use the survey to reserve the public spaces necessary for outdoor operation. More resources and guidance for businesses entering Phase 2 of the state recovery plan can be found at https://kingston-ny.gov/kingstonrecovers.
A virtual public meeting will be held for the Broadway and Grand Street intersection improvements project on June 24 at 6:30 p.m. The City of Kingston will be realigning the intersection of Broadway, Grand Street, Prince Street, and Pine Grove Avenue to avoid traveler confusion, reduce accidents and improve accessibility. Because the intersection project will connect to the Broadway streetscape project, the city has hired the same engineering consultants, GPI, for design and implementation.
At the virtual meeting, GPI will give a presentation of the proposed intersection realignment design, show conceptual ideas for landscape design, and request input from the public to re-envision the space. Questions and comments from participants during the meeting will be moderated by Kristen Wilson, the city’s director of grants management. After the public meeting, the presentation will be available at EngageKingston.com, where the public can continue to offer feedback and receive project updates.
“I am thrilled to get this intersection realignment project started,” said mayor Steve Noble. “Both the Broadway streetscape and the intersection projects are major investments in the City of Kingston — particularly in Midtown. Now under way, the Broadway streetscape project will completely transform the Broadway corridor from St. James to Grand Street.” Improving this dangerous and accident-prone intersection will complete the effort, said the mayor, who urged community engagement and feedback. Funding of $750,000 in state transportation funds is paying for design and construction. There is no match required for this grant.
The realignment of the intersection and removal of a vacant fast-food structure, formerly Planet Wings, will create areas of public space. The city’s grants team will continue to seek funding for construction and landscaping of the public space.
To join the meeting on June 24, visit https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/973352357, via phone: 312-757-3119 or 866-899-4679, access code: 973-352-357.
Multicultural festival online
The eighth annual Kingston Multicultural Festival goes live online on June 14. Each year, folk artists and cultural organizations in Kingston and surrounding communities gather at T.R. Gallo Park in the Rondout to celebrate the Mid-Hudson Valley’s cultural diversity.
In this time of physical distancing, the Kingston Multicultural Festival Committee decided to celebrate Hudson Valley diversity and promote cultural sharing with a virtual festival. The festival website (www.kingstonmulticulturalfestival.org) offers a wide variety of experiences. New features this year include Eastern European music from Caprice Rouge, Italian crooner Michael Del Vecchio and his Michael Dell Orchestra, Latino fusion trio Sabor Latino, Latin dance troupe Dojo Dance and the Woodstock Jewish Congregation.
The Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History in Kingston is partnering with Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie on the digital cultural quilt Project. Share your culture by contributing a digital quilt square. See more than 50 squares of our ever-growing quilt already posted on Instagram at #CulturalQuiltHV. Find instructions to make a quilt square at ReherCenter.org or on the festival website.
This year’s festival is dedicated to the memory of Esther Taylor Evans, a member of the Kingston African-American community who was a fierce advocate for the black and multicultural communities.
The Kingston Multicultural Festival began in 2012 as a Kingston block party led by county historian Geoffrey Miller, founder of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History, as a way to bring the area’s diverse communities together for an afternoon of solidarity. In 2016 it added children’s activities, food and information.
The mission of the Reher Center for Immigrant Culture and History (www.rehercenter.org) is to preserve and present stories with universal appeal about immigration, community, work and bread. It uses its historic bakery building in Kingston’s Rondout neighborhood to forge connections among all peoples through tours and programs. For information, go to www.kingstonmulticulturalfestival.org.