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2018 Update #6

Reimagining Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park, Donating Firewood to HOPE

With much of the 2018 construction work taking place in Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park, several folks have recently asked about the timeline and the process involved in deciding what these two key pieces of downtown real estate will look like once the Rail & Bridge Project is done.

Let’s take a look at how we expect things to work.

VHB, the engineering firm responsible for designing the project, has contracted with Middlebury landscape design firm LandWorks to create design options for the Town to consider. VHB expects to submit a final grading plan for Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park in late Spring, at which point design work could begin.

What might prove productive at this early stage, before any plans are drawn up, is to hold a public visioning meeting. This would be an opportunity for interested citizens to bring their ideas for landscaping Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park to the table in an open and collaborative forum. LandWorks could then take the best of those ideas and work up alternative designs for review.

Ultimately, approval of final design plans will fall to the Selectboard. How we get there is still to be determined, and I will keep you posted on how the full public input process will unfold.

Some Background

As background, what has been talked about in Printer’s Alley, from left to right as you look down the Alley from Main Street, is a 5-foot buffer of shrubs next to the Bank’s brick wall, followed by a pedestrian sidewalk, followed by a rebuilt roadway running one way into the Marble Works, followed by green space and then the rail line. What that green space looks like and how all this ties together is to be determined.

Over in Triangle Park, the construction of the tunnel will quadruple the amount of green space between St. Stephen’s and Main Street and Merchants Row. The fountain will be restored to its place in Triangle Park. Everything else is to be decided.

A note on who’s paying for this work. The State will pay for the reconfiguration of Printer’s Alley and Triangle Park, the Town will pay for any “amenities,” which would include things like park benches, plantings, light posts, etc.

Tree Clearing Update

As I mentioned in a recent blog, JP Sicard of Barton, Vermont, mobilized their equipment behind Water Street yesterday and expect to begin clearing trees along the Otter Creek between Cross Street Bridge and the Battell Block this week.

I wanted to let you know that JP Sicard has agreed to donate cleared hardwood trees to HOPE’s emergency firewood shelter on Boardman Street. These community-minded folks will deliver cut log lengths to HOPE for later cutting and splitting.

Building HOPE Capital Campaign

I’m sure you’re familiar with the work of HOPE, our local non-profit that provides assistance to over 3,000 low-income residents of Addison County each year. Its food shelf currently serves over 600 people each month while sales at its resale store have continued to grow in recent years.

As you may have heard, a Building HOPE capital campaign currently underway is raising funds for a major renovation of HOPE’s Boardman Street facility. The campaign is currently $80,000 short of its $600,000 campaign goal. HOPE welcomes you to tour their building and make a donation. To do that online and to learn more about HOPE, click here:

That’s all for today. See you downtown.

Please keep your comments and questions coming. Send me an email at and I’ll try to cover it in my next update.

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