Downtown Houma will look different on October 18…temporarily.
The Terrebonne Parish Planning and Zoning Department announced last week that it will showcase potential street structural changes on October 18-19 in Downtown Houma during their Downtown Demonstration Day project.
“There are so many little strategies and types of improvements that can be made. You can't just say, ‘Okay, everybody get on the plane; we’re going to fly to Greenville, South Carolina or Fairhope, Alabama,’” said Christopher Pulaski, director of Terrebonne Parish Planning and Zoning Department. “How do you show people what you're talking about? One of the most successful techniques to do it are these demonstration day projects.”
From the intersection of Barataria Boulevard and Main Street to the intersection of Roussell Street and Main Street, there will be green-painted bike lanes along that stretch.
The road will also merge into one lane around the intersection of Lafayette Street and Main Street and that will end on the intersection of Roussell Street and Main Street as well.
There will also be courtesy bike boxes for bicycle turning, pedestrian right-of-way signage and bumpouts to decrease walking distances in the roadway.
The pilot will also feature angle parking along two blocks (intersection of Lafayette Street and Main Street to the intersection of Church Street and Main Street) and back-in angle parking for one block (intersection of Main Street and Goode Street to the intersection of Roussell Street and Main Street).
The Planning and Zoning Department aims to create a ‘complete street’ that provides safe access for pedestrians, bicyclists and automobiles.
They also are looking to create more foot traffic in the downtown area by adding such attractions as a food truck court, pop-up shops, a farmer’s market, pocket parks, public art installations and more, for the demonstration.
Although these changes will be temporary, the Department hopes the feedback from the two-day experience will allow them to zero in on what will work and what won’t work in their masterplan to enhance Downtown Houma. “We're doing this not just because we're curious; we're doing this because we want people to give us their feedback,” Pulaski said.
Pulaski acknowledged that this event wouldn’t be happening without the Gordon Dove Administration, Main Street Manager Anne Picou, the Houma-Terrebonne Chamber of Commerce and all of the other partners and sponsors of the demonstration.
Volunteers are needed, Pulaski said, and they can call Katie Tabor with the Planning and Zoning Department at 985-873-6569 to register.
To follow any updates on the event, visit the Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government’s website at https://www.tpcg.org.
An image of the site plan can be seen above or click the link provided below for more details.
“Downtown revitalization has been underway in Houma for 20-plus years, and they've done an excellent job. But it still continues to be a challenge to attract or retain businesses in the downtown area,” Pulaski said. “People like Downtown; there's no question about that. But we never want to stop improving, and we felt that we wanted to take a bigger leap than we've ever taken before.”