Oct. 27, 2011
Present: Mike Whitten, Manchester Transit Authority; Linda Connell, McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton; Scott Schubert, Anagnost Companies; Jay Minkarah, City of Manchester Economic Development Office; Charles Panasis, Brady Sullivan Properties; Brad Alderfer, Northwestern Mutual; Will Stewart, Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
Linda Connell called the meeting to order at 2:07 p.m.
1. Welcome & Introductions
- Officials at UNH Manchester said the university’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) club might be able to complete a study of the downtown bicycle infrastructure during the spring semester.
- Stephanie Lewry of Intown Manchester relayed to Will Stewart that the introduction of the “big blue P” parking signs is set to be on the agenda of the next meeting (not yet scheduled) of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s Traffic Committee.
3. Discussion of Downtown Committee Goals
Will Stewart shared the updated committee pro forma, which now reflects the suggestions made at the September meeting.
4. Green DASH rolling press conference
- Manchester Transit Authority Executive Director Mike Whitten noted that the MTA and Chamber of Commerce will hold a rolling press conference aboard the Green DASH at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16. Committee members are invited to take part.
- Committee members brainstormed additional ways of publicizing the free downtown shuttle, lest it lose funding due to lack of ridership. Ideas included having downtown landlords and education institutions put up signage in their apartment buildings/dorms/students areas, passing out flyers on the street, and including an insert in the Chamber and Intown Manchester newsletters. Mike Whitten did note that Green DASH-specific bus stop signs will be going up along the route soon.
5. Quarterly Downtown Booklet/Magazine
- The committee discussed the idea to publish a quarterly publication to inform residents and tourists of the amenities and happenings downtown. Suggested information to be included: restaurants, hotels, attractions, museums, Green DASH route, library, Welcome Center, public bathrooms, stores and colleges.
- Suggested formats include those similar to the Guide to the Seacoast (which can fit in a back pocket) and a location-based mobile app.
- Current publications that share downtown amenities and happenings include Intown Manchester’s monthly printed and electronic newsletters, a downtown map printed by the Granite State Ambassadors that’s available at the Welcome Center and the Chamber; and Advantage magazine, a regional guidebook published annually by the Chamber which includes a map of downtown Manchester.
6. Old/New Business
- Given that the next two committee meetings fall on holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve), it was decided that the committee will meet on Thursday, Dec. 1, at 2 p.m. and not meet again until January.
- The Piscataquog Trail, which connects downtown and Millyard with the West Side, will soon reach all the way to Goffstown Village thanks to a donation from Manchester Moves to cover the matching funds necessary to secure a grant to complete the rail trestle across the Piscataqoag River near the Kelley Street Bridge.
- It was noted that it was a shame that the City didn’t host some kind of celebration of the NH Fisher Cats’ winning of the Easter League Championship. It was suggested that perhaps some kind of “welcome back to the champs” celebration could be held when the 2012 season starts in the spring.
- Mike Whitten noted that MTA recently started offering bus service to Concord and is seeing ridership of 50 people per week. Service to Nashua, which began last year, currently sees nearly 1,000 per month.
The meeting adjourned at 3:24 p.m.
Next Meeting: 2 p.m., Thursday, December 1, 2011