Community comes together at workshop to improve Franklin Street in Marietta

Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:13 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) -Residents, business owners, and city officials may have different ideas on how to improve the west side of Marietta but they have one thing in common, they want the best for this side of town.

“You can trip on a sidewalk easily with some of the sidewalks I’ve seen. It’s just impassable sometimes for a normal walking person, let alone someone with a walker or cane. So, it will be beneficial for everybody if we can get Franklin Street to be fantastic,” said west side resident Donna Balachowski.

Fantastic for Balachowski would be the sidewalks she can drive her wheelchair on. There were many other suggestions for improvement Thursday at the reThink Franklin Street pop-up workshop. A workshop that Jackson Patterson, Chair of Main Street West, says aimed to gauge people’s ideas about how the spaces throughout the West side of Marietta can become more pedestrian-friendly.

“It’s a really good way to collaborate all at the same table and just have fun and redesign it in a better way to make it more walkable for pedestrians and traffic for visitors and traffic. Everybody who comes to Marietta can pass through here safely and it looks really friendly and comforting. It’s home,” Patterson said.

People placed plants where they thought they would improve the area-whether it is to collect stormwater runoff, help slow down traffic, or simply beautify the street. Bob Monahan, General Council for Par Mar Stores, says he and his team wanted to participate because they plan on building their headquarters near the intersection of Gilman and Putnam.

“It’s important for us to meet with people on the west side to get their vision of what they would like to see and have it mix with our vision of what we would like to do,” Monahan said.

“We believe in being a part of the community and the best way to do that is to meet with the community, get their ideas, and hopefully work together to get something that everyone can be proud of.”

In partnership with the Washington County Health Department, Washington County Creating Healthy Communities, and Main Street West, residents, business owners, and city officials have the chance to make the needed changes to Franklin Street and all of Marietta’s West Side.

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