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Opinion: Take A Stroll Down Main Street in Bristol

During one of the Farms to Families Food Distribution events I attended a few weeks ago for a client in need, I found myself at the end of a very long line of cars wrapping around Main Street, Riverside extension, North Main then finally to Hope Street. The line lasted over a hour. During that time I was able to look around a see what was happening on Main Street.

Main Street has tons of projects happening simultaneously and at lighting speed. For those like myself that endured years of absolutely nothing happening downtown by false promises from Renaissance Downtowns and poor self absorbed leadership, boy it was refreshing.

Yes, the revitalization of Main Street is happening. Downtown is moving!

A few days later I took a stroll down Main Street and grabbed a few images of all the positive things happening so people can see it. We live in a digital show me don’t tell me on my smart phone era.

Mayor Ellen Zoppo-Sassu is doing an amazing job informing the public on all the positive things happening but let’s focus on Main Street for a moment. When you add it a up, it is impressive.

Take a look.

Photo (c) M.Uchalid

Right at the top of Main Street is a massive market rate 32 unit apartment complex going up. And it’s going up fast! Nice to see it positioned right up to the street too!

Photo (c) M.Uchalid

This building has been an eyesore for decades with constant color changes being done as a quick fix without really addressing the problems desperately needed. Well, it is finally happening. The building has been totally been gutted and will soon be transformed into a safe place to call home. And yes, that is another color change. Hopefully the brick color will stick.

Photo (c) M.Uchalid

The city is constructing a new walkway that will connect Main Street to a new parking lot set in the back of the former mall site. The walkway will be decorated and lightened up to offer residents a safe and easily accessible way to park and take a stroll down Main Street and grab a bite to eat.

Photo (c) M.Uchalid

Baskets, baskets, and more baskets! Baskets LLC recently occupied 200 Main St. They have over 25 employees fulfilling orders from across the Northeast. Check them out they sell baskets I think! The owners also own Foodies on North Main. Definitely check them out!

Photo (c) M.Uchalid

The corner of Main Street and Riverside Ave is getting a diet. When Riverside Avenue Extension was constructed it was built with six lanes. Yes, six lanes. For those who use it as a speedway will notice they’ll have to slow their roll. The sidewalk has been extended and angle parking will be included. Great spot to park and take a walk around. Especially with the proposed new buildings going up next to it.

Riverside Ave Extension Photo (c) M.Uchalid

What can I say about the mural? Well, just about everything All Heart Bristol. The artwork represents so much of who we are in Bristol and highlights our diverse culture. It instantly brings life to Main Street. Great job!

Main Street Mural Photo (c) M.Uchalid

The new Bristol Hospital Main Street building will always be remembered as the start of good things to come. While Bristol Hospital is bringing life to others is brought life to Main Street.

Bristol Hospital downtown building Photo (c) M.Uchalid

The state recently paved a portion of Main Street across from United Realty and the Barnes Group to Walgreens. It looks great!

Main Street Rt 72 looking South Photo (c) M.Uchalid
End of Main Street to South Street Photo (c) M.Uchalid

This is not just another parking lot. This one is unique. It has been an eyesore for decades. Finally the owners of the property and the city have worked together to construct a new paved parking lot.

The parking lot is used for the insurance company on Main Street and was heavily used by the former Downtown Café that closed down years ago due to poor management. The Cafe was the oldest continuing running restaurant and bar in Bristol. If you take a look at the new parking lot in the back you can see some history being displayed with old signage and the river’s culvert.

New parking lot under construction

There is so much happening downtown right now I can’t mention it all. Like me, you’ll probably just scroll by so I’ll save them for another post.
In the meantime, take a stroll down Main Street!

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