DRAFT OF DOWNTOWN GIDDINGS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN RELEASED

  
(courtesy Texas State Historical Association)

After six months of research, the Goodman Corporation of Houston has released a draft of the Downtown Giddings Economic Development Plan.

The plan, according to the Giddings Economic Development Corporation (GEDC), provides goals and recommendations to “support and strengthen the economic vitality and resiliency of downtown Giddings”.

The plan was paid for through a grant provided by the Texas Department of Agriculture and built around stakeholder interviews, surveys, and demographic and market analysis.  It is designed to incorporate the following goals: align activities among public partners; maintain and enhance the city's identity as a unique and desirable place; prioritize public investment in downtown Giddings; improve the public realm in downtown; better connect civic assets to downtown; and support the availability and development of quality housing stock through infill redevelopment.

Some of the plan’s recommendations are already being considered, as the city and the GEDC recently entered the final stages of consideration for a federal Economic Development Administration grant to pay for some infrastructure projects, including paving a downtown parking lot and extending water lines to the Sterling Theater building.  Also, several years ago, the GEDC began exploring an upgrade to the city's entrance signage.

Once adopted, the plan will serve as the city's official guide for land use and development in the downtown area.  It will act as a road map for the next three to five years, detailing a vision and policy agenda for issues such as land use, development, beautification, parking, pedestrian mobility, and circulation.

Before adopting the plan, the city will share findings from the report with the Giddings City Council, who will meet September 28th at 7 p.m. at Giddings City Hall.  The proposed plan can be seen here.

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One Comment

  1. Just for my own interest, I downloaded the entire 112 page plan whose link is available in the story. After reading it and looking at the proposals and costs, it seems to me that Giddings is faced with several difficult and far-reaching decisions. The first thing that surprised me is that the plan continues to allow Highway 290 to bisect the downtown area, as well as allow the train crossing to remain at grade level. I wonder what Brenham would look like with 20,000 plus vehicles per day passing through it (and allow the BNSF rail line to keep on-grade crossings)? Giddings seems to want to attract more ‘pedestrian’ shoppers and make a ‘pedestrian friendly’ downtown; would anybody think that a downtown that will handle 20,000 plus vehicles per day will ever be pedestrian friendly? If it is, the traffic flow will likely suffer terribly. Giddings also wants to attract small businesses and have parking on street. I immediately thought of downtown Navasota; if you park in one of the angled spots on the main thoroughfare, you’re likely to spend minutes upon minutes waiting to back out. The planners also assume that there will be many more bike riders and so bike lanes will be needed along many streets. Even driving through Brenham two or three times a week, I may see only two or three bicyclists in that.time, and if they follow the laws, they are to use the same lanes as the traffic.
    This seems like another farce orchestrated by “authorities” and “consultants”, none of which will ever have a business, own a home, or even live in Giddings.

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