North Beaver Street earns 'Great Street' designation
For years, North Beaver Street has been known locally as a corridor for good shopping and good eating, but the well-traveled York City street is about to be shown a new level of attention and appreciation.
Representatives from the Pennsylvania chapter of the American Planning Association will be in town Friday, Sept. 1, to declare North Beaver Street one of the state’s “Great Streets.”
Pamela Shellenberger, chair of the chapter’s Great Streets initiative, will host a short ceremony at 4:45 p.m. outside Central Market to announce the street’s new honorary status.
“It’s really exciting to get this state recognition,” said Meagan Feeser, chief marketing and development officer at Downtown Inc. “I think we all know what a great street it is and what it means to our downtown, so it’s really cool to get this state recognition.”
'Complete street': North Beaver Street is one of just two streets to win the Great Streets honor in 2017, joining State Street in Media, Delaware County.
The award-winning section of North Beaver Street, between Philadelphia and Market streets, is home to Central Market, White Rose Bar and Grill, Holy Hound Taproom and a slew of small businesses, Feeser said.
Though there is a wide range of criteria that a street can meet to qualify for the planning association’s award, Feeser said Great Street judges were impressed by the street’s walkability and variety of businesses.
Judges place a special emphasis on “complete streets” — streets that are easily accessible to all users, including cars, pedestrians and bikes, creating cohesion and promoting collaboration between residents and businesses in the area.
“Beaver Street really becomes sort of a city center, especially during special events” such as First Friday, during which officials close down the street for children’s games and other activities, Feeser said. “It really creates a sense of community.”
Collaborative effort: Feeser said she believes the beautifully painted trash cans, planters and bike racks dotting the sidewalks along the award-winning two-block stretch of North Beaver Street made a lasting impression on the judges.
Downtown Inc started an initiative several years ago to “bring great art outside and make downtown a walkable art gallery,” while helping downtown business owners with their own block-improvement efforts, Feeser said.
“That sort of strength in numbers works really well,” Feeser said.