On May 11, nearly 50 Summit residents, merchants and invited guests gathered at the Rochambeau Branch Library’s Community Room for the first of several planned SNA meetings on key issues of community concern. This meeting focused on the status and future of our two very different commercial districts, Hope Street and North Main Street.

We opened the session by asking the audience to name the things they like about both streets. (See separate postings on discussions with our guests and Mayor Cicilline.) We kept the tone positive by framing things we don’t like so well in terms of what we want to see in the future. Here’s what people said:

1. What we said about Hope Street
These are the things about Hope that are good right now
Small, individually-owned businesses
Businesses owned by Summit residents
Knowing merchants – personal, friendly service
Trees, plants and flowers at some stores
Village-style signage
Useful mix of products and services
Police foot patrols

These are the things about Hope that are great now
Free on-street parking
Wonderful restaurants
Cultural diversity of food and products
Liveliness in the evening
Sidewalk dining
Buildings fronting on sidewalk
Close integration into residential neighborhood – truly part of where we live.
Rochambeau Branch Library

These are the things that we want to see soon on Hope
Yellow center line – particularly on Hope at entry to Blackstone to reduce wrong-side driving.
Pedestrian safety crossing streets
Trash-free, very clean street and sidewalk
Well-shoveled sidewalks down whole street when it snows
Assurance of continued free parking
Vigorous enforcement of time limits, parking at corners
No graffiti

2. What we said about North Main Street
These are the things on North Main that are good now
Lots of traffic to support new business
Economic generators such as Miriam staff
RIPTA bus service

These are things on North Main that are great now
Trees finally planted
Serves many communities, near and distant
Auto access to highway, downtown

These are things we want to see soon on North Main Street
A beautiful approach to our neighborhood.
Feel personally safe. Sense of protection on street.
Smithfield Ave well-lit and provided with reflectors
Large empty spaces filled
No abandoned properties or lots
Lower, less intrusive signage
Traffic and demographic studies to show commercial potential